Before we start, it’s important to define what an autoresponder is, and what capabilities it has. At its most basic form, an autoresponder waits to receive a specific input (keyword) and when it receives this, it sends a predetermined text. If this isn’t clear yet, don’t worry! It’s a lot simpler than it sounds.
So, let’s start getting our first Autoresponder set up.
The first thing to do is to create a keyword. Navigate to the “Keywords” tab or just press the “+” button beside it. On the keywords tab, click “Add New” in the top right corner.
You should now be on the Create Keyword screen:
Let’s run through what all of the options mean:
Keyword Name is what you want the keyword to be. Choose something that makes sense for your product or business. For example, if you are a dentist, you could choose a keyword such as “Cleaning.” A restaurant would choose something like “Burger” or “Freedrink.”
Let’s choose the keyword “Burger” for our example.
Next, you have the option to choose an existing list, or create a new list. When someone texts your keyword, they will be added to a list of subscribers. We have created a new list called “Restaurant Subscribers.” See our Campaign Guide for how lists are used.
All set! Your keyword is created. Let’s more on to the “Autoresponders” tab and click “New Autoresponder”
You should get a screen that looks like this:
The first thing to do is create a name for your Autoresponder. This is internal only, so only you will see it.
Next, you have the option to add a new keyword, or choose an existing keyword. Let’s choose the keyword we created earlier, “Burger.”
Next, choose the Phone Number that will be receiving this keyword. Most accounts only have 1 phone number associated, but if you have more than one, just choose the number or short code you would like associated with this Autoresponder.
If you would like to insert a URL into your text, we make it simple to shorten it so you don’t use up valuable character space for a super long URL.
Simply copy and paste the URL to shorten into the field here:
Click the “Add” button and it will be added to your SMS:
You are also able to attach images to your text. Please note that image texts (MMS) cost 3 credits to send. To attach an image, simply click the “Choose File” button and upload a file from your computer.
Before we start writing your text message, let’s go through some of the options you have:
Templates allow you to save your commonly used texts so you don’t have to keep typing them out every time:
If you have subscriber information you would like to dynamically insert into your text, Merge Tags allow you to do this at scale. Simply choose a tag, for example “First Name,” and it will be inserted into the text as %First_Name%. When your subscriber receives the text, they will see their first name substituted into the text. Eg. “Hello %First_Name%” will become “Hello Melanie.”
Character Count shows you how many characters your SMS is using. The standard text message has a character limit of 160. You are free to go over this, however you will use 1 credit per 160 characters used.
The blue number is the characters remaining, counting down from 160, and the red number is the amount of credits the text will cost.