How to Use, Send & Receive SMS messages in Influence

Created by Martin Parkinson, Modified on Wed, 13 Mar 2024 at 01:40 PM by Mohamad Islam

This article is designed to cover details of how to use the SMS integration from within Influence. If your system does not have SMS or you have not purchased the feature, then please call our sales team to discuss the option.


NOTE: SMS messages are provided and will need to be purchased from a 3rd-party - FIRETEXT.   To send SMS messages you will need an SMS Licence for your Influence database and an account with FIRETEXT to purchase SMS messages. (https://www.firetext.co.uk/)

Each time you send an SMS message from the database a number of your prepaid credits with FIRETEXT will be used. {Some messages may take more than 1 credit depending on length, special characters, etc.}

Please contact our sales team if you do not have an SMS licence


You can also see our help article on this too.



Contents (Click an Item to Jump to that section)


TABLE OF CONTENTS




How to send an SMS message

Select a record (e.g. Candidate/Contact) and click on their mobile number to open the Journal entry page.

 

Create your message by typing the subject/body of the message and ensure that the Method is set to SMS Text Message. Tick/Untick Repliable [ ] if you want users to be able to reply (or not)-only possible if you have a reply number from Firetext.


Click [OK] to send the SMS and record a copy of the journal in the database.


NB: After version 1.00.18.100 two new features are possible if you are using FIRETEXT as your SMS provider:
i) It is possible to attach a single *.PDF file to the SMS text. The recipient will get a link in the message which can be clicked to download the *.PDF onto their device. Steps below.
ii) It is also possible to prevent the subject line from the journal from being sent as part of the message. (This is activated Parameter JNL, flag(35))



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How to Send an SMS Mailshot

In order to create an SMS-mailshot

1) Create a contact (or candidate) search or use the [Candidates] or [Contacts] workbench to display a list of people.

2) Click the MACRO icon at the top of the screen to open the macro manager. (Looks like a cog) which will pass the selected names over into the Macro Manager screen.

3) Select Method to be 'SMS Text Message'

4) Add a subject and a message body.

5) Select batch mode and Click [OK] to begin sending the mailshot.

The system will send an SMS (text) message to each of the people in the mailshot, which will be delivered to their mobile phone.
Sending the messages will reduce the balance with your pre-paid SMS provider.

  

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Receive SMS Replies

Important: The SMS reply feature uses a daemon (small program) that runs in the background to retrieve replies periodically. This must be setup by Influence. If you are not receiving replies, please contact our support team so we can ensure that the reply daemon is setup and running.


Having sent an SMS message it is possible for replies to come back into the system and to be displayed on the ALERT MANAGER screen. In order to retrieve the replies there is a daemon process that runs in the background which will need to be setup.


To see the replies a user simply needs to open their ALERT Manager and replies will be shown on here along with any other TASKS. See below for example.



NOTE: The automatic retrieval process will 'periodically' look for replies and is normally setup to check for replies every 10 minutes. The reply period is controlled by a parameter and can be changed. However we would not recommend reducing this below 10 minutes.


INFO:  After version 1.00.19.176 it is possible to get the reply tasks to show to a Team.  This is controlled with a new parameter (JNL, Flag(36) ) and is only available if using FIRETEXT as your integrated SMS provider.

JNL, Flag(36) consists of options Y/N/1/2 please see below:


N = Not enabled.

1 = Team 1 to be notifed only - Team 1 can be specified within the user profile.

2 = Team 2 to be notified only - Team 2 can be specified within the user profile.

Y = Those a member of both teams to be notifed - managers could be a member of both Team 1 + Team 2, and may wish for SMS replies to appear in their alert manager.

PLEASE NOTE: Teams can be created via Maintenance >> Setup >> Code Tables >> Dept Codes (068)



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Different SMS Reply Numbers for different Offices (Firetext Only)

If your Influence database is a multi-office system, whereby users login and choose a particular 'office' or 'branch' they are working from,  then provided you are using FIRETEXT as your SMS provider, it is now possible to have a different 'reply' number  dependent upon the office the user is logged-in as.


e.g. Replies to SMS messages sent from the Redhill office will go back to a different number than replies from the Staines office.


An example of a multi-office login is shown below.


NOTE: This different reply number feature  ONLY works if you are using FIRETEXT as the integrated SMS message provider for your Influence database.


How it works

When you login to the system you will choose an 'office'.
Once you are logged in as that office any SMS message you send will pass over the relevant 'reply' number to FIRETEXT when they send the message.
This means that the recipient will see a different number depending upon which office sent them the text.


Setup

To record different numbers against each office you need to go to:

Maintenance > Setup > Code Tables.
Choose system area as S - System, then choose code table Offices [005]

Tick the Extra Info [  ] box  at the bottom of the screen. In the column labelled FT Reply No. enter the relevant number for replies for that office.


NOTE:  Normally FIRETEXT themselves will allocate you multiple 'virtual' mobile numbers (VMN's)  for each office which they will then process and forward back to you. Please speak to FIRETEXT about obtaining reply numbers for each of your offices.


Additionally; If you have different Reply No's (VMN's) then it is possible to apply 'forwarding' rules to each of these numbers.  e.g. "Office 1" might simply have SMS replies coming back into the system, whereas "Office 2" has them coming in and also sent to an email address (Texts@ourcompany.com) as well.

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SMS Text Message Scheduling

 (Available from version 1.00.17.213 or later)

This release of Influence adds a great new feature to allow the scheduling of SMS message sending. (This is only available if FIRETEXT is your SMS provider)


At the top right of the macro manager screen are new fields which allow you to specify a Date/Time for the SMS send. Setting these fields will delay the sending of the batch of SMS messages until the specified time.  

{NOTE: The message will be dispatched from Influence immediately, but will not be delivered until the specified time.}

As before, it is possible to indicate if the SMS messages will allow users to reply. Replies will come in to the ALERT Manager as before.

NOTE: If you have difficulties sending SMS using a Schedule from the [MATCH] tab of a vacancy, please update you Influence database to version 1.00.23.020 or later


(NB: Currently this facility is only available if you are using our preferred SMS integration partner, FIRETEXT as your SMS message provider. Please call us if you would like to change to use FIRETEXT as your SMS provider and benefit from this facility.)


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Attach a *.pdf file to an SMS (text) Message

After version 1.00.18.100 it is possible to attach a file (*.pdf only) to an SMS message.

When received the text message will contain a LINK to allow the recipient to download the attached file onto their device.


Note: This feature is only available if you are using FIRETEXT as your SMS service provider. Other providers, such as BulkSMS or IceTRAK do not offer this feature.


NB: There is a parameter JNL,Text(10) which needs to be changed before the feature will work - please contact Influence support to obtain the correct settings.


How it Works

Create a journal in Influence as you normally would (e.g. Click the 'mobile' icon next to a candidate mobile number.)
When the Journal Entry screen appears, with the Method set to S - SMS you may then write your message and attach one file (which must be a  *.pdf) to the message.

The attached file will be displayed.
When you click [OK] the message will be sent and will contain a LINK to enable the attached file to be downloaded on the recipients device.



Files can be attached any of the following ways:

Drag/Drop
Drag/Drop the file onto the Journal Entry
 [Attachments] tab
From inside the Mailshot/journal you can navigate to the  [Attachments] tab and select an existing file from the database
(Attachment Manager)
 At the top of the journal Entry screen, and choose one of the 'standard' attachments from there.


Option

It is possible that the SMS Journal Template itself can be setup to make/merge a document. In that case the system will make the document as a *.doc file, and will then convert it to a *.pdf which gets automatically attached and sent with the SMS message.   (See below)




Technical Note

(What the system actually does is send an email to Firetext with the attachment and the mobile number. Firetext then convert this to a text message and a LINK to allow the file to be downloaded. A copy of the sent email will be available in your MS Outlook Sent Items folder. (See below)


NB:
1) This feature is only available if you are using Firetext as your SMS service provider.
2) In order to work, the email address of the sending user must be added to the Whitelist on your Firetext account. (see below)

- Please speak to Firetext if you need help adding this to your account.

If you wish to enquire about Firetext please call us and speak to the sales team for more details. t: 01372 365 716 


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