How can I create GROUPS for iPhones?

Android already has this function, but iPhones can be a little fussier. If you cannot find Groups on your iPhone, create one in your iCloud account, which should sync to your handset. The Groups should then show up on the app in contacts after selecting Create SMS Campaign.

You may find this video on how to export iPhone Contacts into a spreadsheet helpful

How long can my text messages be?

The SMS Express phone app allows you to send a "standard" SMS which is 160 characters including spaces.

If you need to send longer text messages, we recommend logging in to your cloud account and sending from the SMS Express platform instead - the platform allows you to send up to 306 characters (2 joined SMS messages) or maximum 459 characters (3 joined SMS messages)

So why IS SMS only 160 characters?

SMS means Short Message Service, and was developed back in 1984 by Friedhelm Hillebrand and Bernard Ghillebaert (who said nothing good came out of the 80s?).

Part of Freidhelm's job was to work out how many characters a text message should be. And his method was very simpleā€¦he analysed postcards and telex messages (remember those? No?). He found on average most were around 150 characters, and Fred successfully argued that 160 characters was sufficient to express most text messages succinctly (source: Wikipedia).

NOTE...if you think SMS is short, remember Twitter is only 140 characters with no real opportunity to send out 2 joined ones without it looking cruddy...and the whole planet can see it, whereas SMS is personal.

How can I tell if my SMS' have gone out?

The SMS Express app does not have reporting, however your cloud account DOES. Because the app "talks" to our SMS platform to allow text messages to go out (a "gateway"), the platform keeps a record of all outgoing messages from your account... plus you can also receive replies via the platform (unless you change your SenderID..more on this in next paragraph).

So when you send an SMS from the app, the path is: APP > SMS EXPRESS CLOUD PLATFORM > YOUR RECIPIENTS

To see your outgoing texts and view a Delivery Report, login to your cloud account Control Panel and go to Sent/Queued, and you can drill down into this. Note that outgoing SMS delivery reports last for 6 months only.

There's more info on delivery reports HERE.

Can my business name or my mobile number appear as the sender?

Yes, you can by setting up a SENDER ID, which allows 11 characters including spaces.

For example, if your mobile number is 0466666666 you can have this as the Sender ID and all Replies will come back directly to your handset.

You can also use a word as a SENDER ID (eg ACME CO), and this will show up on the recipient's phone as coming from ACME CO instead of the system's mobile number.

BUT, but a cautionary note on using a word as a SENDER ID: Some telcos may block messages that have no proper reply path(i.e. a return mobile number) as  this is what spammers do so you cannot trace the number! So your message may not get to your recipients. This is entirely at the discretion of the telco. Also a phone cannot reply to a word SENDER ID. It can only reply to a number (reply path).

If you really want to use SENDER ID, you can. But if you are sending a commercial message (ad, promotion), ensure you stay within the Spam Act by adding an Opt Out. The SMS Express App on your phone does not allow you to use the Opt Out Placeholder like the online version does, so we recommend adding your email address as an optout, or perhaps your own mobile number, which will usually display as a link in peoples' phones, so they can click to opt out from you. And make sure you remove them from your Contact list ASAP.

REMEMBER: most people will simply hit REPLY when they get a text message that requires a response, so ensure you read any replies you get back from customers or members, and act on it ASAP. You know what it's like when companies don't action your replies or keep sending you unwanted text messages. It drives you batty and will make you complain to ACMA for spamming. You don't want your customers to do that! Call us for guidance on optouts anytime.

Back Up Your Databases!

Whether you use the SMS Express text message app or the SMS Express bulk texting website, both use databases.

Always back up your data. Daily if you can. Or anytime you make a change.

If you use an iPhone, your iCloud should allow you to have a "cloud" copy of your contacts and messages. For Android users, we highly recommend Google Apps for syncing and backing up your Contacts. We also recommend backing up to an "off cloud" medium like a PC or USB stick. If you use the SMS Express online version, simply export your Groups (databases) to Excel or CSV and backup to your PC and USB or Google Drive/One Drive etc.

Backing up your data is the best piece of almost free insurance you can have!

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