One of the most convenient features of Broadstripes messaging is that it allows you to send an SMS text to multiple workers at once, for instance, all the workers in a given shop or department, or everyone who has recently shown interest in coming to a rally you’re planning.
You can also send a message to just one worker at a time. Either way, you can receive responses back on your cell phone, and can view a history of all your text communications in Broadstripes.
Get a look at how Broadstripes text messaging works in this overview video, or scroll down to watch a step-by-step video and learn how to get set up to send your first text blast.
Video: Overview – How text messaging works in Broadstripes
Video: How to set up and use text messaging in Broadstripes
Before you can send a text message
Three things need to happen before you start sending texts in Broadstripes:
- You have to have permission to send texts, which an admin can give you.
- You need a virtual cell number, which also must be provided by an admin. Broadstripes uses virtual numbers so that:
- organizers don’t have to give out their real cell numbers
- if an organizer moves on from a campaign, another team member can continue an ongoing text conversation in their place.
- You need to add your own (real) cell number to your Broadstripes user account so that Broadstripes can notify you if someone you text sends a message back.
How to add your cell number to your user account
For this example, let’s say that you have the permission you need and an admin has set up a virtual number for you.
Your next step is to add your actual cell number to your user account. Keep in mind that this number won’t be visible to the workers you text – they’ll receive texts from your virtual number. But you do need to include your real number on your account so that you receive notification texts on your cell if a worker replies to you.
Here’s how to add your number:
- To start, click on your name in the upper right-hand corner of the page to open your account details.
- When the account details form opens, type your cell number into the Phone number for SMS notifications field.
- Click Update Info to save.
- You’re now all set up to send text messages.
Sending a text message to multiple workers at once
You can only send to “Opted in” cell numbers
Broadstripes can only send a text to workers who have been marked “Opted in,” indicating that they’ve agreed to receive messages.
If you’re not sure how to add a new cell phone number or update an existing number indicating it’s been “opted in,” take a look at the Text messaging permissions – Opt in article.
In this example, we’ll send a text message to every opted in worker at Basic Hotel asking them to try to build support in their respective departments. Here’s how:
- First, we’ll run a search for people who work at Basic Hotel. (If you need help running a search, check out the Create and save a search article.)
- From the Search Results page, we’ll select all the workers. At the time this article was written, you were allowed to send up to 100 messages at once. Check with your admin to find out if that’s changed.
- Under Actions, we’ll choose “Text.”
- Next, compose a short text message (160-characters or fewer).
- Broadstripes makes it easy to personalize the message with dynamic merge fields like “First Name” or “Department.” To use a merge field, just choose it from the drop-down menu and it will be inserted into the body of your text message.
- Below the message, you’ll see the virtual phone number you’re sending from. If you have more than one number assigned to you, you can choose which to use from the drop-down menu.
- Click Send, and an individual message will go out to each person you’ve selected. Remember, text messages will only be sent to workers with cell phones that are opted in. (Workers in the selection who don’t have an opted in cell will be ignored.)
Sending a text to a single worker
You can also send a text to just one worker. You can use the method above (selecting only their name from the search results), or you can use a shortcut on their contact detail pop-up window:
- From the Search Results page, hover over the looking glass icon next to the worker’s name.
- Click the phone icon shortcut at the bottom of the pop-up window.
- Compose a short message (160 characters or fewer) and hit Send.
Receiving replies to your texts
Now let’s look at what happens if a worker writes back to a text you’ve sent using Broadstripes.
- If someone replies to a text you’ve sent, you’ll get a text notification on your cell phone with the name of the project, the name of the worker who responded and a snippet of their message.
- At the bottom of the notification text, there’ll be a link that takes you to the full text conversation in your phone’s browser.
- Tap the link and log in to Broadstripes if you’re prompted.
- The browser display that opens will look just like a regular text conversation and will allow you to continue your conversation using your Broadstripes virtual number. You’ll be able to send and see messages as they arrive in real time.
See a history of sent texts in Broadstripes
Seeing a history of the texts you’ve sent in bulk can be helpful for tracking and managing your communications. You’ll also be able to see messages sent by others on your team. Here’s how to view that history using Broadstripes:
- Choose Sent texts from the left-hand toolbar.
- You’ll see a list of every bulk text sent out for this project. Click the info icon to see more details about a specific text.