Bulletin Messenger - User Guide

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About Messenger

What can Messenger be used for?

Messenger provides you with an immediate, cost effective and simple way to communicate to your staff, suppliers and customers directly to their text capable mobile devices.

The service offers a couple of simple ways to send SMS messages. In addition, it is easily integrated with your existing systems (using email or a simple API) to update or alert people with the added benefit that the message is received wherever the recipient may be.

Messenger offers various interfaces to meet the needs of users:

  • Via an easy to use web site.
  • From their everyday email client such as Microsoft© Outlook® or Mail (or from existing email enabled automated servers and processes):
  • Using a simple messaging API for basic integration into your systems.
patented mTag technology

Mobile message recipients can then reply from their phone straight back to the original sender using patented mTag technology from Bulletin. Advanced features are available using the power of the Bulletin Messenger Address Books and customized security settings.

Getting Started

 

Signing Up to Messenger

Thanks for your interest. Before you start using Messenger you need to have an account. This can be created free in just 30 seconds.
Before you start you will need:

  • a valid email address
  • nothing else

The email address is used to validate your account and can also be used to send SMS via email once you are in the system. There is not much point using a one time email address as you will never be able to send SMS from it will you?

Or, if you have assimilated with Google then you can login using your Google ID.
Before you start you will need:

  • a valid Google account
  • a bit of trust

Once you have these at hand visit https://www.bulletin.net/sign-freetrial/messenger to signup.

As a bonus we will even give you a few free messages so you can see how it all works before you part with some of your hard earned cash.

You will receive an email full of information so read it and have a look at the links so you can get the most out of Messenger.

There will be some things you can't do before you make a payment such as sending heaps of messages but once you make a payment we will then remove any limits. It's not much but we find it helps cut down on spam and that is something we are quite keen on.
If you want to get rid of any restrictions you notice before you make a payment get in touch but why not make a payment? You can always ask for a refund if we don't meet your needs.

This account you have just created is has Group Administrator rights. You can now create up to 5 other accounts or contact us if your company has a larger requirement.

 

Making your first payment

To make your first payment you will need:

  • a valid account with Bulletin which you created earlier
  • a valid mobile phone number
  • a PayPal account or a valid credit card

Once you have logged into Messenger you can top up your account through the account balance display or via Bulletin Dashboard. The Bulletin Dashboard is the online access and payments portal for Bulletin's range of services.

You can top up your Dashboard balance at any time using Paypal or simply by using our online credit card payments. If you are a corporate client that has large volume requirements and therefore needs to establish an invoice relationship then please contact our sales team with details of your requirements.

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User Types

This service has different user types:

  1. Company Administrator
  2. User
  3. Email user

While messaging functionality is basically the same, each has different options available for account administration and security.


Company Administrator - (Used to be known as Group Administrator but this is confusing when talking about contact management) Each Company must have a user which is the designated Company Administrator. In addition to the messaging features, this user has additional options for administering their user accounts. Security, user user maintenance and reporting options are the main features and are detailed in the Company Administration section.

User - This user has their own unique login and possibly a separate billing account, and may share address books or other information with other Company Users, but all administration is done by the Company Administrator. The Company Administrator should be contacted with any queries a User may have.

Email User - The Email user will not have any login details to the Bulletin Messenger website. Instead, their email address will be enabled for SMS via Email by their Company Administrator and they will be able to send and receive SMS via email only.


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Web Browser Requirements

Bulletin Messenger makes use of some modern HTML5 code as well as javascript so it wont work so well on older browsers.

We recommend IE9 or above, Chrome, Firefox, Safari as Messenger makes use of responsive design - using up your screen real estate effectively in these browsers. Don't worry if you are using the ancient IE8 - Messenger degrades gracefully just like any decent product should.

To access and use us you will need a browser (e.g. IE, Chrome or Firefox) that:

  • supports cookies
  • has JavaScript enabled
  • has 1024 by 768 or above screen resolution.

Internet Explorer 7.0 and older are not supported and we suggest you visit http://www.browserchoice.eu to find a new one if you are still using early versions of and don't want to be the target of viruses any longer.

Some browser plugins or extensions (eg Grease Monkey) interfere with JavaScript so if you are running anything like this then you will need to disable them or add bulletinmessenger.net to the exclusion list for the extension.

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Browser Security

Security is a major concern when accessing a website you don't know and have not grown to trust yet. All traffic to and from the Messenger service is over secure HTTPS connections. None of your personal information is stored in cookies on your PC but we recommend that you check this yourself to put your mind at ease.
You may also notice that using the browser BACK button may cause an error to be displayed. This reduces the incidence of messages being resubmitted by mistake and also prevents any of your pages being accessed should someone attempt to replay your session from data they may have intercepted. Trust us, that is a good thing even though it is a little annoying at times. You can usually navigate using the buttons and links within the application so there is no need to use the BACK button.

On the subject of security we recommend you do not use the same password on our service as you do for other on line services. On our systems your passwords are stored securely (hashed) but on your browser they may not be.


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Making it yours - Theming

Messenger has a selection of built-in themes so you can brighten (or darken!) up your day. 

Both users and company administrators can set themes. If a company administrator has set a custom theme for the company, user themes will be disabled.

Theming can be found under Messenger Settings (Cogs Icon) in the Theme Options sub-menu.


Custom Theming

Custom Theming or White Label permits you to customise colours of buttons, text, upload logos and change the product name. Emails from the system also have the branding rules applied. 

White label is the removal of all Bulletin branding such as headers/footers and the application can reside at your own domain name or a an available bulletin.net subdomain

Please contact [email protected] to enquire about these features which can be enabled instantly with no fuss and minimum time to market (minutes)

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Navigation Overview

Messenger's navigation is simple and intuitive


The Active Area you are in, is always indicated in orange so you can see where you are in a glanceLet's take a look at some of those icons and get familiar with them.

IconSectionDescription
ComposeSend messages and view recent messages on your account from all sources such as SMS via email, API, mobile or Web... all your recent messages are in one place and updated regularly.
 Scheduled MessagesView a list of messages scheduled on your account
 TemplatesAdd, find and manage message templates
 DraftsLink through to messages saved by the system before you had a chance to send them. Just in case..
MessagesView and use messages
 InboxA filtered view of Messages you have received. This includes all messages received as replies to messages sent via the API, Mobile Interface and Email as well as your web messages.
 Sent MessagesA filtered view of Messages you have sent. This includes all messages sent via the API, Mobile Interface and Email and your web messages as well as MO messages to your virtual numbers.
Conversation ViewA filtered view of Messages you have received. This includes all messages received as replies to messages sent via the API, Mobile Interface and Email as well as your web messages.
RefreshA filtered view of Messages you have received. This includes all messages received as replies to messages sent via the API, Mobile Interface and Email as well as your web messages.
ContactsCreate, find and edit contacts in your online address books.
 GroupsManage contact groups within your on line address books.
 Address BooksView a list of your online Address Books, import/export contacts and access the bulk sender page.
 Blocked NumbersUpload or edit numbers that are banned from receiving messages from you or your accounts. You must take opt out requests from recipients seriously or your service may be disconnected.
Company SettingsAdmin Users Only - Set company Limits to control costs and/or access.
 UsersView a list of users in your group. Click user to edit Messenger settings for them, address book access, SMS via email and long message options.
 SMS via EmailA summary of addresses that have access to SMS via email within your group.
 SecurityAdjust security settings for SMS via Email. Authenticate Mail Server IP addresses and toggle authentication options. - These settings are for power users only, please be careful.
SettingsAccount level settings allowing you customise your account from time zone to message length, SMS via Email addresses and signature separator as well as mobile short cuts. You can choose your Theme Options here. See the User Guide for more information on these settings.
ReportsAdmin Users Only - View reports on your user group.
SupportTakes you to our Online Support Page
In-Page HelpOpens a new browser window with the Messenger User Guide or a snippet of the User Guide within the product so you can get more assistance if needed.

Inbox

Click to view page map

Compose

Messenger Settings

 

Recent Changes

We now give you the opportunity to change your theme at a User Level!

Searching

Messages, Drafts, Templates, Blocks, Contacts

Messenger has very powerful searching capabilities built into each of the main screens at the top left of the table.

The search by default does a sub-string search so for example searching for food would return

This can be useful when you want to broadly find something, but at other times you need something more precise, for example you may want to find food at the start of a sentence. In this case your search string should be:

Searching at the start of a sentence

And if you want to find fun at the end of a sentence you would use:

Searching at the end of a sentence

You can do even more powerful searches - in fact you could make it hugely powerful. If you are keen - take a look at Wikipedia and there are plenty of guides on POSIX regular expressions on the Internet

 

Inbox Searching

Because of the performance overheads of searching large Inboxes - the Inbox, All Messages and Sent pages only start searching when 3 characters are in the search box

Documentation

Always present at the top of the screen is the search documentation box. Simply type in the phrase or element you are searching for and a new window will open and search the online help and documentation.

 

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Composing a Message

How to Send a Message

Enter the recipients' number in international format (see the samples on the right). If you are sending to an existing Contact or Group from your Address Book then you can enter the Name or Alias of the Contact - suggested matches will be displayed as you type.

Press the ADD icon or hit the Enter Key. Your recipient will be validated and recipient list updated. You will see your new or existing contacts appear as a Contact Element

Enter your message and, as you type, the character counter will change.

Double check your message and then SEND it or Schedule it to send at a later date.

 

Your message will be sent using Bulletin global coverage of mobile networks. It usually works but sometimes your message may not get delivered. If it does not get delivered, check you have number correct, resend the message and if it is still not working then get in touch. You can see from the Status Pie Chart in the Sent Messages Section if there has been an issue in sending your message.

Once you have mastered the sending of a single message you may like to know that you can add more recipients in the same manner as the first or even paste a list of numbers from excel and press the ADD button or use the Bulk Uploader for CSV files of recipient lists. You can Schedule messages, use Templates and even use the Contacts and Groups from your Address Books. The recipient list (Recipients) allows a comma, space or semi-colon separated, list of numbers or Contacts from your Address Book.

For example

john 6425484848;SALESTEAM

Although the service supports sending SMS via Email to mobile numbers, your administrator may have configured the system to only allow messages to be sent to people in your Address Book using existing names or aliases. An additional administrator setting is to lock address books so only the administrator can add contacts to the Company Address Book. This setting will apply to both the Web site and SMS messages via email.*
These added levels of security aim to prevent system abuse. Contact your Company Administrator for more information if you are unable to access your address book.

Premium Service

Daily message limits apply until you deposit some funds and your account is verified within a few days of that. For urgent changes after payment Contact Bulletin


 

International Number Format

All numbers used in Bulletin services must be in International Format.

International Number Format is a number format that includes the countrycarrier and phone numbers without any dialling prefixes (eg 00 or 001) or special characters such as the plus symbol (eg '642111111' not '+642111111').

The Following table shows how some numbers are displayed in international format.

Destination

Prefix

Local Number

Intl Format

Australia

61

(0403) 416 7216

614034167216

New Zealand

64

021 525-582

6421525582

United Kingdom

44

07700 954 321

447700954321

United States

1

(954) 555-1234

19545551234

France

33

06 87 71 23 45

33687712345

More information on Country Prefix can be found here

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Contact Meta Data

Creating and sending messages is a key part of our service. We have looked at how users use it and the things that stop them from using it more often as we adapt over time.

One of the things we know is that a lot of people do not know what International Number Format is. When they (or you) enter a recipient number we look up where we think it is likely to go and display a flag to represent that. If you are only sending to your friends down the street or or colleagues in another state then all your recipients are going to get the same flag. However, if you accidently enter  the wrong number this will stick out enough for you to click through and change it before you send your message.

As well as the flag data, you can click the contact to view or edit and can even add a new number to an address book.

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Forward 2 Mobile

F2M messages are charged against your account

Every forwarded message is charged at the standard destination tariff to the nominated account.

Forward 2 Mobile relays all conversations to your mobile phone via SMS. You can continue your conversation via SMS just like you do on a normal handset, but with the added advantage of all messages being stored within Messenger securely.

Company Administrators can enable/disable this feature at a user level by going into the User Login tab. In here they can enter the mobile number to which the messages can be forwarded. Individual users can then ‘switch on’ the forward function per message thread or as a default for all messages. You can toggle this feature within a conversation or Inbox view on the Quick Replies too. When selected, all messages will forward to the chosen mobile number. Copies of all messages will also appear on the web platform.

The following commands can be sent from your nominated handset via SMS:
#STOPF2M disabled for current conversation
#STOPALLF2M disabled for all configured messages in the account effectively disabling until a new message is sent with F2M option enabled
#HOLD1. account default message option is changed to ‘reply 2 web’ so new messages from the web platform are not sent with F2M option
2. F2M is disabled for all existing configured messages

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Scheduling Messages

Simple to set-up, Bulletin Messenger allows you to Schedule your SMS Messages for a future delivery. Recurring messages can also be scheduled which will reduce your workload and make sure your team never misses an important meeting again.

The process of scheduling is only pixels different from sending a message immediately. Once you have composed your message you are ready to schedule it. Simply select the drop arrow on the Send button to expose more options, including Schedule. You will then be able to set-up the time frame for delivery.

The easiest way to schedule a one off message is to use the calendar to find a day, click that date and then edit the time of delivery. Your calendar will show other messages you have scheduled which is handy if you need to add this one in reference to any others or avoid sending too many messages to the same recipients on the same day!

Alternatively, you can click Schedule again and choose from the delivery options.

 

Advanced Scheduling Options

Recurring Messages - The process for recurring messages is similar to that as for a single message, you can even change a one-off message to a repeating one simply by editing it after it has been created. When creating or editing a scheduled message, if you want it to repeat then check the Repeats... check box and choose the period type (day, week, month or year) and a number between 1 and heaps. Each period also has different options that makes sense when you see it in action.
Important: For recurring messages you need to specify the start date and the end date allowing you to run a daily message for the last 3 weeks of term or a weekly message leading up to the election.
Type in the start date and the end date if you want but we find it easier to use the calendar provided and click the start date followed by the end date (or vis versa) until your period is selected.

Time Zones - Handy for if some of your team is not in the next room, you can schedule a message for delivery in a different time zone. Think of it as time travel without the jet lag.

Scheduling to Groups - If you schedule a message to an address book group, the members of that group will be looked up as the message is about to be sent. This is a very powerful feature when you use recurring messages as it allows you to update your address book groups with new members, delete old ones and the next time the message is sent it will go the new set of recipients.

 

Viewing Future Messages

You can view future messages by clicking the Scheduled Messages link from the Compose Screen. The (default) list view shows your upcoming messages and allows you to click through to view recipients and edit the schedule. If you think you should be able to edit the content here then you are correct. That should be something you can do soon, just not at the moment sorry.

To get other perspectives on your future messages toggle between List, Day, Week and Month views.

 

Drafts

Bulletin Messenger allows you to leave the compose screen and pick up where you left off by finding your message in the Drafts. A handy feature if you are waiting for confirmation on a location or date for a pre-planned event or meeting.

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Uploading Recipient Files

The power of Bulletin Messenger is in the ease of use for group messaging and team communication. Generally the Address Books are sufficient for your needs but there are occasions where you need to send a one-off message to a group of clients from another database. You copy a list of numbers directly into the messenger compose page to box. if you are copying a column from excel then it will just work. If you are copying from somewhere else then make sure there is a space or new line between each number then click the add button to add your numbers to the message recipients.

Alternatively, you can browse to your file of numbers by clicking the bulk send (its a wee truck!) icon to the right of the to field and following those instructions.

When sending any message you should consider the opt out responses. See the info box below for more information as it is particularly important when sending bulk messages.

Opt Out

Opt Out is a commonly used phrase meaning that a recipient has indicated that they no longer wish to receive messages from a sender. Regardless of how the recipient originally got on the list, if they opt out then they should be immediately removed from any list or address book and cease to be sent any further messages.

The normal method of opting out is for recipient to reply to a SMS message with STOP or REMOVE. However, if they use any other term, phrase or language to indicate they no longer want to receive messages then failure to abide by that request may result in loss of service. We suggest you add Stop SMS? Reply with STOP to each of your messages.

Bulk File Format

Your file should simply be a list of numbers in international format with one number per line.

 

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SMS Merge in Composer

SMS Merge is a new feature in Messenger. It brings you the power of Dynamic Tagging to the composition of Messages. Something you may be familiar with in Email Marketing but now through Messenger, ready for SMS!

Using Bulletin SMS Merge Tags in Compose you can personalise the content of thousands of SMS so each one of your clients feel like you are TXTing them, and them alone.

 Prepare A CSV File for SMS Merge and Upload it

The first step to utilise the power of SMS Merge Tags is to prepare a CSV File. This file becomes a list of your Recipients.

Your CSV file should contain a table of tags you want the message to insert the value of. The file must contain one number per Recipient in an acceptable format, and each recipient's details must be on a separate line.

The first column must always be the mobile number.

For example

Mobile,Name,City,Colour
61491236985,Bob,Hamilton,Brown
44854212124,Jason,Bristol,Orange
14082225555,Kate,Carcassonne,Red

In this example a header row has been included defining the name of the tag you can insert. If your CSV does not contain a header row then the tag name will default to the value of the first Recipient listed.

Using the Bulk Uploader (truck Icon) you can upload your pre-prepared CSV file. Once it has been verified the CSV File behaves like a Bulk Recipients List. You will be able to see the number of Contacts you are sending to and where.



 

Composing with SMS Merge Tags

Once you have uploaded your pre-prepared CSV file then there are two ways to insert the SMS Merge Tags into your message.

  1. Through the Insert Tag List.
  2. Directly in the Message Content in the Edit Mode in the following format:
${TagName}

If you are entering the Tag Name directly into the Message Content then your CSV should contain the Header row mentioned above.

Preview Mode

In the Preview Mode you will see the SMS Merge Tags rendered with the longest value as an example of the message you are sending out. This allows you to keep track of your Message Parts and Character Count as you compose so you can tailor you message accordingly. 

SMS Merge Tags and Drafts

Composer automatically saves your messages as you are working and this applies to SMS Merge messages also so you can come back later without loosing your Recipients or your Message Content!

 

 

 

SMS Merge Tags and Templates

Please Note: At this time there is no method of saving your SMS Merge Message as a Template.

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Templates

Templates form the base of a message, allowing you to create and save messages that you send often or may need in an emergency. You can share them (admin users only at this stage) or duplicate/copy them as required.

Templates can be named so they are easily recognised in the template list when creating a message. If your profile allows it, messages can be up to three SMS parts (about 459 ASCII characters, or if the message contains any non latin characters then the max is 201)

You can send a template or canned message from the Templates Section. Alternatively, you can select a template from your list from the Compose page and now through the Quick Reply.

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Signatures

It's good practice to identify yourself when sending a SMS message or entering an abandoned building at night. From the Messenger Compose page you can set and use your SMS signature.

A signature will take up space in your message so it pays to keep it short. You also have the option of having Messenger start every message you compose online with your signature already inserted so you don't forget to do it. If you don't need it for a specific message then you can delete it as with any text.

The Messenger Signature is unrelated to an email signature. When using Email2SMS with Messenger we also suggest that you use your email to set a signature. See the Email2SMS Section for more information on customising your account to strip extraneous legal jargon whilst retaining your name in an email.

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Message Source and Reply Options

By default all messages sent via Bulletin Messenger will use a pool of numbers designed to facilitate message threading so that if one of your recipients replies with "yes!" you can tell if they

  • Are available for the meeting your have texted about
  • Are interested in the latest Product Release or 
  • Are going to need to change the Staff Roster. 

See how things could get confusing if we didn't use a pool of numbers?

The threading pool also allows you to setup forwarding options for when any replies come in. You can do this in your profile page before you send any messages but you may need to contact your Company Administrator to enable this feature for your account. Forwarded messages will be deducted from your message balance as you use them.

Most regions have the option of not using this pool, the main exceptions being the US and New Zealand. We don't provide the ability to set the source as your number in these regions as our experience shows it severely reduces the delivery success of your messages.

For details on how to set the defaults for your account see the Profile instructions.

Virtual Numbers for SMS

Users in the US can subscribe online to a virtual number for SMS. This is a dedicated number, unique to you, that people can SMS into from almost anywhere in the world. Any messages you send will also come from this number, just as if you sent it from your mobile, so your recipient can store the number and knows it's you. The Conversation threading is limited with this option selected.

Premium Service

This option is not available in all regions and therefore is a Premium SLA Customer feature only.
Setting the source with your mobile number or an Alpha ID reduces delivery success rates and may be subject to higher costs. Mobile verification must be performed before this feature can be enabled.

Contact Bulletin if you are considering setting up an Alpha ID. It will need to be less than 11 characters. Get in touch with your request using the online support form. Sending using your number or an Alpha ID may cost a little extra. In most cases the cost will be about USD$0.01 over and above the normal message cost to the country you are sending too.

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The Inbox

Inbox and Sent Messages

The Messenger Inbox is constantly updating stream of new messages. As new messages are received by the system they will be pushed to your screen and highlighted in bold so you can stay on top of your communications.

If they are not updating fast enough then you can use the refresh button to check for new messages.

If you are using the Chrome browser then you might like to have desktop notifications enabled within your profile to get real-time alerts of new messages.

All Messages

All Messages provides a sequential, unthreaded view of messages in and out of your Messenger account in real-time. This can be useful for monitoring activity (or use the powerful reporting interface)

You can set All Messages to be your default page by visiting Messenger Settings and changing the setting for Home

 

Conversation

Messenger can show a conversation view of your Inbox that allows you to see messages that are part of a conversation.

If you are expecting replies to your sent message then this may the best view for you. If you click on any message in the Inbox it will take you to the Conversation view

Clicking on the mini pie chart (circle beside the message) expands the statuses of the message out and shows a large pie chart for reporting purposes

For each message you have several options available aside from viewing the conversation.

  • Quick Reply (see below)
  • Forward - It might be a joke or it might be an emergency message, either way someone needs to see it and you can forward it to them using this option. It prepopulates a new message with the content of this one so you only have to address it and send it!
  • Block - It's not you, they just don't like your message. Use this to make sure you do not annoy them by sending more messages accidently.
  • Delete - Use this to remove the visible reply from your inbox. All other replies will still be available and by deleting this one it may cause the conversation to slip into the past to the point of the next most recent reply.
  • Delete Conversation - This will delete the whole conversation including any Sent messages and other replies in this conversation.
  • Toggle Read Status - Change the Read status of the message to highlight it bold if you need to action it later.
  • View Properties - Simple technical data about the message

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Quick Reply

The option to Quick Reply means that you do not need to change screen, fill in any more forms or otherwise interrupt your day. Simply hit the Quick Reply icon and type your message. When you hit send the SMS message will be sent in the background and you can continue to answer your other messages.

On the right of the Send button is a dropdown providing you convenient access to your templates - so you can use them in a Quick Reply.

Quick replies are billable SMS so count towards your included messages or account balance.

Block Lists

SMS messaging is a very personal form of communication and Bulletin would like you to take as much care with the people you message as possible. If someone replies with stop (or any other variant) then we would really like you to stop sending messages to that recipient. To help you stay on the good-side of your customers and also to prevent any accidents... you should make use of the Messenger blocking functionality.

Whenever you are viewing a message you received you are able to easily Block that recipient. You can even do a batch of them at once to save you time. You can view and search and even edit your blocked number list in the Contacts Section under Blocked Numbers.

Some numbers may not be editable. If that is the case then these have been added by your administrator or at the system level. Do not ask to get them removed, it will not happen as they have been added at the explicit request of the recipient.

Sending unsolicited SMS messages is a breach of your terms of use and may result in your account being disconnected and other action being taken.

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Sent Messages

As with the Inbox, the Sent Messages Section allows you to view messages in chronological order or in a conversation view that groups your messages together and shows how many replies each sent message has.

Within the list view you can see at a glance how your messages are being received. Simple colour coded pie charts show whether your messages are getting received. We base this on data we get back from the carriers as each message is sent. The more people you send to with a single message, the more 'pie' like the image becomes giving you an at a glance picture of the success of your campaign.
To get more information on the message status click on the pie in the Conversation view.

For each Sent message you have the option of forwarding it, deleting, viewing the properties or exporting it. Forwarding a Sent message creates a new message using the content which allows you to send the same message to a new set of recipients.

 

Message Detail

The message properties and export options allow you to view and save data outside of Messenger if you need it for audit or other purposes.

Within the Conversation view, the status pie can be clicked to examine the recipient detail and view or select a subset of recipients for follow up messaging. Select the recipients by status to Resend, Start a new conversation or Block them. Resending will create a new message with all the same information as the last one. This is useful if you need to resend a message to a group that were unable to be reached.

You can start a new conversation with some or all of the recipients which is useful when you need to follow up the last one. For example you had 50 people respond to your first message and now you want to send a new message to only that 50.

 

Exporting Message Data

A message list or message detail can be exported to a standard CSV file using the Export* option. This gives you the ability to take the data from Messenger and work with it in other applications such as Microsoft Excel.

If you require more information than is available in these data exports your administrator can run basic reports or you can contact Bulletin for customised reports (costs may apply).

 

 

Email to SMS messages

The primary benefit of this feature is that it uses email which you are already familiar with to send SMS messages.
Simply compose your email as you normally would and send to your contacts and their replies will come back to your email.

You should address your emails to a contact alias or mobile number using the @bulletinmessenger.net domain to create an email address, for example [email protected] if you have an existing contact in your online address book or [email protected]

 

Sending to multiple Recipients

This email will be sent, as an SMS message, to the New Zealand Mobile number 02715414141 and the number matching the 'A.Contact' alias in this users address book. It will also be sent as a standard email to the recipients in the "To:" field.

With group emails, it is suggested that Bulletin Messenger addresses be entered in the BCC field. This will stop other recipients from attempting to send email messages to addresses they may not have access to.

For more information see here.

White Labeling Email2SMS

A Note About Splitting Traffic

It is not possible to split traffic for a single domain name e.g mydomain.com between email2sms and normal email usage. Use a separate domain for each.  

The Email to SMS service can function with Custom Domains and Custom Subdomains. Your users will no longer be required to send emails to bulletinmessenger.net and instead can use your domain or else the custom sub domain you have chosen.

Any system emails such as delivery statuses are rebranded with your logo and come from your custom domain or sub domain.

 

API Sending

Messages can be sent using a REST API. This is useful for integration with CRM tools such as Salesforce, websites and POS systems.

With callback functionality built in you are able to have replies forwarded back to your application or through to an email address so the write person gets to see the reply as soon as possible.

See the Developers Guide for further details

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Other Ways To Send

Microsoft© Outlook® Mobile Service (2007 or 2010)

Bulletin is an approved Microsoft© Service Provider and Messenger for Microsoft© Outlook® 2007 & 2010 is the premier text message service to enable messages to be sent from Microsoft Outlook 2007 & 2010 to mobile phones around the world and for replies to be received back in to Microsoft Outlook's email Inbox.

Its seamless integration with the Messenger platform, provides powerful features such as forward to mobile - not available with comparable services

See the Microsoft© Outlook® Messaging Service Documentation fro detailed instructions.

If you do not have the correct version of Microsoft Outlook that supports the Outlook Mobile Service (OMS), or use a different email client then you can still use messenger with the Email2SMS functionality (see the user guide for more information).

Microsoft© SharePoint 2010

As an approved Microsoft© Service Provider, Bulletin Messenger works not only in Microsoft© Outlook® but allows SharePoint 2010 to become TXT capable.

What you need to get started

  • a valid Bulletin login and password
  • Microsoft© SharePoint 2010
  • access to the internet (some firewalls and corporate policies restrict access that will stop this working, talk to your IT department if this is the case)

The web service address you need to add to Microsoft© Outlook® is https://www.bulletinmessenger.net/services/omsservice.

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Going Mobile

Mobile Touch2TXT

Bulletin Messenger can be used on touch devices such as tablet, iPad, Kindle, iPhone or Android devices.

For a more optimal experience on these types of devices access the

http://m.touch2txt.com

site on your mobile device. Messages can be sent, contacts accessed and replies are available for use on this interface.

Touch2TXT is ideal when you are out of the office and want to maintain contact with your team. Your Address Books are always available and your team is just a TXT away.

Compatible devices

Touch2TXT uses jQuery Mobile, so device support is covered under that framework.

Most iPhones, Androids, Windows, Kindles and iPads are supported. For further details see http://jquerymobile.com/gbs/

What you need

  • a valid Bulletin username and password
  • a compatible device
  • an internet plan
  • access to

http://m.touch2txt.com

For more detailed information see the Touch2TXT Documentation.

 

Using Your Phone To SMS Your Contacts

Group messages can be sent from your registered handset using your on-line address book. This feature gives you the power to send messages from your handset to hundreds of recipients with one single, simple SMS message.

All Mobile Originated (MO) messages need to be sent to +61420300681 (only available from phones registered against an active account).

See the MO SMS instructions page for more details.


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Contact Management

  Using Address Books in Compose 

You can easily browse through or search your Address Books for existing contacts, or groups of contacts, you wish to send a message to through the Address Book pop-up.

With Rich Contacts you can click on newly added recipients and quickly add their details to your address book, or you can alter existing contacts all from the convenience of the Compose screen.

 

Managing your Online Address Books

The Manage Address Books Section allows you to find, create, delete, export and synchronise your address books.

Shared (Company) Address Books each have read and write permissions that you can modify per Address Book per user giving you fine grained control over who has access to your data. Keep in mind though, things can get out of hand quickly and you may find that if you over use these restrictions your users may end up getting quite confused. Keep it Simple.

Only the Company/Group Administrator can create Address Books that can be shared.

The Online Address Books allow you to add contacts you send messages to on a regular basis.
Company Address Books may be created, shared and managed by a Group/Company Administrator and they may choose to share them throughout your organisation.

If you want to use Email2SMS or mobile group messaging then you must use an alias for any group or a contact you create. An alias will be automatically created when you create a contact or group but you can edit them after that as required. Because these aliases can be used as part of an email address, they must conform to those standards and restrictions.

Within each Address Book no two contacts/groups can have the same alias and this is recommended across all Address Book entries too if using Email2SMS. This means that you should not have more than one 'John' alias in any address book, either as a group name or alias, or as a contact alias. This helps avoid confusion when sending to 'John' or using email to send to [email protected].

What is an Alias?

An Address Book Contact or Group alias is used as the email address when sending SMS via Email. An Alias is a short version of a Contact or Group name.

It is possible that an alias may be already in use within a Shared Company Address Book. It is up to you to ensure that you assign an alias to your Contacts carefully to avoid any potential clash. 

Before you send SMS via Email you should make yourself familiar with what addresses you can use.
  • An Alias may contain any number or letter. Spaces or special characters such as ':', '@', '#' etc are not allowed
  • An alias is not case sensitive (e.g 'eric' is the same as 'Eric', 'ERIC' and 'eriC')

 

Valid Aliases

Invalid Aliases

Matt

sv c (contains a space)

Jon1

Team Jacob (too long)

svsc

a.t (contains a period/dot)

Address Book Settings

Each Address Book has a number of settings and options. You can change the Address Book name any time.

Address Book type is set only during creation and at this time it is not possible to change it once created. We recommend you copy all the contacts into another address book and drop the existing one if you wish to do this.

Contacts can be imported either to a new address book or over an existing address book - see the section on importing below

Contact property visibility permits you to set which address book fields are visible and searchable using the quick search within the main address book list view above.

Synchronisation

If you copy Contacts from one Address Book to another, Messenger creates a new version of that Contact detail. Consequently, that data may get out of sync over time. Messenger will sync your Contacts in the background if you have that option selected but you can also do a manual synchronisation as required.

If any of the original Contact's details change such as name or number or even tags/labels then these details will be copied through to your Address Book. This synchronisation is one-way only; any changes you make to your contacts will NOT flow back to the source.

Contacts

Groups and Contacts are listed for each Address Book you has access to. Groups do not have mobile phone numbers associated with them. Contacts have a phone number attached to them. You now have two ways to view and edit a Contact Details. You can access the quick view through the Contact's name where it appears as a recipient, or if you like more room and information in one place, the full page Edit a Contact feature may be more suited.

From any of the contact pages you have options to create contacts, groups or Personal Address Books.

 

 

Create Individual Contacts

  1. Choose which Address Book you want to create the new Contact in
  2. enter the Contact's name
    • a unique alias will be generated for the contact that can be used with Email2SMS
  3. change the alias if required (remember spaces and special characters are not allowed)
  4. enter the mobile number

The new Contact may be assigned to any existing Groups in the Address Book.

You also have the option of adding some tags or properties to the Contact such as position, location department or organisation. These tags are displayed in your contact lists such as the Show Groups page. You can customise displayed tags on the contacts page by editing the address book and selecting visible columns Tags can be searched just like other contact details - handy if you have, for example, a team name as a tag and you would like to text them all without having a group.

If you cannot add contacts or groups to your Address Books then contact your Group Administrator as they may have set higher security settings.

See Importing Address Lists for bulk management options.

Copying Contacts Between Address Books

Contacts can easily be copied between address books - and better still - if you have applied filter criteria for example to copy all staff in a specific team - these can be selected and copied.

To copy contacts between address books, simply view the contacts screen of the source address book and check the contacts. You can filter contacts using the search and select these specifically.

Contacts that are duplicates will not be copied.

Contact Groups

  1. Choose which Address Book you want to create the group in
  2. enter the name (remember spaces are not allowed)
  3. and, if necessary, the alias

Any existing Contacts in the Address Book may be assigned to the new Group. You can access a quick view of a Group's Members through the Group's name where it appears as a recipient, or if you like more room and information in one place, the full page Edit a Group feature may be more suited.

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Importing Address Books

There are two methods of importing address books. The first is an online process done via the website. The second can be automated to upload from for example a CRM system or HRM system. Both methods perform a complete refresh of the specified Address Book (deleting existing contacts that are not in the file, and adding new ones that are in the file).

The online import can be found under the Add or Edit Address Book screen as shown below

If you are wanting to send to a list of recipients one time only (or the list changes regularly) then use the Bulk Sender option on the compose page

 

 

Click HERE to download an address book bulk import CSV template. Then, simply add the Usernames, Numbers, and Assigned Groups underneath the heading (Assigned Group not required).

 

Online Import

 

Overall Format

Messenger imports files in the CSV format, such as those that can be exported from Microsoft Excel.

The first line of an import file is the section headers, and the minimum import is a file with a number section header followed by a number on each line thereafter.

You can import any field within the Messenger address book - including email, company, position, function, city, department, country

Restrictions and Rules

When importing an address list it is important that the file meets the following criteria.

  • Comma delimited format (CSV)
  • Header row with the applicable values of "number", "name", "alias", "email", and "group" (or "groups"), .
    • check the spelling of the header rows!
  • Each row must have the same number of fields, blanks are acceptable
  • Phone numbers must be valid numbers that the system can send to, and should be in International Format.
  • Name values must be less than 70 characters long. Longer values will be truncated.
  • Alias values must meet validation requirements
    • Must be less than 64 characters. Longer values will be truncated.
    • Must only contain alpha-numeric characters (a-z, 0-9), hyphen, underscore, or full-stop (ie: no spaces or special characters such as brackets, commas, colons, hash, currency symbols, quotes or apostrophes etc).
    • If no alias is specified, one will be generated automatically from the "email" column, if provided, or the "name" column if there is no "email" column.
  • Email address must be 254 characters or less. Longer values will be truncated.
  • Multiple groups can be defined by pipe-delimiting the "group" field, or by repeating a row and changing the "group" value.
  • To import a file, browse to the location where you have your prepared list of contacts or numbers and then press the 'import' button.

Confirm that the file looks correct, choose an option below and press 'Save'

  • import the list into a new address book, or
  • choose one of your existing lists

Each import file represents the complete definition of an Address Book, including the contacts within the Address Book, and the groups to which they belong. Therefore, if you choose to import into an existing Address Book any existing contacts will deleted and only valid contacts/groups from your import will be in the Address Book afterwards.

If there are any errors or warnings, the system will report them after the import is validated. If you are content to ignore the warnings click "Save" and the file will be imported, otherwise your address book will remain unchanged.

Address Book Import File Structure


At the minimum, the CSV file to import will look something like the following with only numbers specified:

Number
61497565432
61492776143
61492776242
6149219878763
614921887863
614921828763
614918828762
61498828762

This can be enhanced with names and group information. In the example below, users "John Stamos" and "Nicky Tomb" are in no groups, but "Christine in Accounting" is in the "Work" and "Play" groups:

Name,Number,Group
John Stamos,61497565432,
Nicky Tomb,61492776143,
Thistoo,61492776242,home
Zeeble,6149219878763,Work
Overseer,614921887863,Work
Jenny,614921828763,Play
Christine in Accounting,614918828762,Work|Play
Support Phone,61498828762,Work

In this example we also are importing the Email Address and Department of the contacts

Number,Name,Alias,Group,Email,Department
9898840240,a111112,a12357,TESTINGGROUPS,[email protected],Sales
211601037,a111113,a12358,TESTINGGROUPS,[email protected],Marketing
64211601038,a111114,a12359,TESTINGGROUPS,[email protected],Finance
64211601039,a111115,a12360,TESTINGGROUPS,[email protected],IT

Automated Import

This process will delete all contacts and groups from the selected Address Book prior to the import and can not be regenerated in the case of an error.

 

This form will allow you to perform the import process manually so you can check your data before automating the process.

User ID
Password
Address book ID *
File
User Credentials - Use the same User ID and Password that you use to access Messenger.
*Address Book ID
The Address book ID is a unique number assigned to each address book and will remain the same even if the address book name changes. However, if you delete the address book then that ID will no longer be valid.

You can locate the address book ID on the address book details page. If you need assistance contact Bulletin Support with your account details (login ID and password).
If the User ID does not have write access to the selected address book then an authentication error will occur.

File Structure

The file to import will look something like the following:

Name,Number,Group
JohnStamos,61497565432,
Nicky Tomb,61492776143,
Thistoo,61492776242,home
Zeeble,6149219878763,Work
Overseer,614921887863,Work|Play|home
Jenny,614921828763,Play
Christine in Accounting,614918828762,Work
Support_phone,61498828762,Work

Each line in the file should refer to ONE contact. Unique alias values (for email2sms messaging) will be created using the email address (if in import data) or name field. Contact names and group names may also be truncated and adjusted as necessary to meet the database requirements, so it is important that the address book contacts in the website are checked before messaging to avoid misdirection.

This process can be automated on Linux using curl:

Also supported is the "abname" property, which can be used to refer to the address book by name, rather than via the "abid" property. If both are provided then the abname has priority. Note, that the name can be changed via the website but the ID will remain constant so for automation purposes it is suggested that the abid is used.

 


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Exporting Address Books

Address books can be exported from the address book management screen shown on the right. Upon clicking export you will be prompted with a local location and filename to save the address book to.

 

 

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Customizing Messenger

Your Settings 

Most of your account options are maintained and managed and shared amongst your subscribed services. However, some of them are specific to Messenger and these are managed on the Your Settings page.

Name

Your name is visible to other users within your organisation and can be changed at any time.

Password

Click on the change password text to bring up the change password dialogue. On-screen instructions will provide assistance with providing a password compliant with your organisations selected password policy.

Mobile Number

Your mobile number is an important detail to have correct if you are using the forward to mobile or Instant Messaging service. Please note that users cannot share a mobile number (No duplicates)

Time Zone

Change the time zone to alter the way times and dates are displayed in the web site. This does not alter the time displayed on SMS messages (on the handsets) but will give you freedom to be able to view the website in a local time zone.

Country

Your country affects operation of the product, our smart number helper uses your country to work out the correct destination number formats. Country is also used to derive billing currency. It cannot be changed at this time and you must contact support

Account Alert Balance (Prepay Only)

Prepay users are able to set automatic email alerts when their account balance reaches a defined threshold. This is useful as a top-up/refill reminder.

 

 

 

 

Preferences

Home Page

If you'd prefer to have a sequential expanded list of messages - like the old Messenger - select All Messages and that will be the default option after login or after a send.

Inbox is the standard

Conversational Message Threading

Conversational Message Threading groups all messages within a related thread under a single conversation much like Gmail/Outlook and similar.

With this box unchecked, threading will be disabled and all inbound messages regardless of conversation will be shown in your Inbox as well as your sent folder.

Long Messages

By default Messenger is configured to restrict you to sending one message part (160 char ascii or 70 char if the message contains any special characters). You can configure your account to allow more than this here.
This long message setting will be applied to all your sent messages (email, web and API) to allow longer messages if you require them.
While each message part is one SMS and will be billed as such, the recipient will generally receive and see one long message (carrier and handset dependant) and each long message counts as a single message towards any company/system message limits.

Keep Messages

This sets the time period after which messages are automatically trashed/deleted. Useful if you want to keep your inbox manageable or are an Email2SMS user only.

Web/Touch2TXT Sender ID

If you have multiple numbers, alpha tags or reply to mobile numbers assigned to your account you can choose to set a default for all messages sent via the Web or Mobile Application.

Email/Outlook Sender ID

If you have multiple numbers, alpha tags or reply to mobile numbers assigned to your account you can choose to set a default for all messages sent via Outlook Messaging or Email2SMS. This allows you to set the source on Email2SMS traffic which is not possible over email itself.

Desktop Notification

If you are using Google Chrome (http://chrome.com) as your browser you can enable desktop notifications so that your task-bar will notify you each time a new SMS/reply is received. It's how we roll. As more browsers start to support this type of alert we will roll it out to those ones too.

Disable desktop notifications within the Chrome Browser Settings.

 

Email2SMS

These settings are shown only if email2sms is enabled for your user by your company administrator.

Signature Separator
If you are sending long messages (see above) then you should consider reducing the risk that long messages sent via email will contain standard signature/footer text included by corporate email systems. The Signature separator setting allows you to define a custom string that will be stripped (along with all text after it) from the email when it is forwarded by SMS. By Default, the service uses accepted Internet standards to determine where an email signature is included, looking for '-- ' (dash dash space) unless another is defined in your Messenger Settings.

Addresses enabled for SMS via Email
If the account is allowed to send SMS via email then any addresses verified and assigned to this account are also listed on this page.

Request Additional
Clicking this button opens a dialogue (see image on right) permitting you to fill out a request for an additional email address to be activated by your administrator. Your administrator will receive a request for this within their Action Items list and can approve it with a single click.

 

 

Theme Options

Messenger has a selection of built-in themes so you can brighten (or darken!) up your day. 

Both users and company administrators can set themes. If a company administrator has set a custom theme for the company, user themes will be disabled.

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Reports

The powerful reporting interface permits accurate drilldown on the usage of the platform including the ability to export and search.

To view the documentation click here

 

Company Administration

All online signups have full administrative function - and you can add sub-users or other administrators. Sub-users do not have administrative function. If you are a postpaid offline customer usually the nominated individual in the organisation gets an administrator account and then administers their own user base.

Company Administrators have additional options including security settings, limits and user management. To view the documentation on company administration click here.

FAQ

For answers to common questions see the comprehensive FAQ section

Support

See the Trouble Shooting page for some things we have heard might happen and if all is not well login and contact us with the details, we are here to help.

Message Limits

The Administrator may set some messaging limits for their group. This limits apply across all accounts within the group/company. For example, with three accounts and a message limit of 500 then when the combined total for all three accounts reaches 500 no further messages may be sent.

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Other Products

 

Bulletin Campaigner

Bulletin Campaigner is a simple interface to a powerful SMS query management system. With Campaigner you can set up automated responses to dedicated keywords with enhanced media management you can deliver 3G contact, calendar, video, audio and real-time internet information. Routing options include SMS to email and mobile aliasing. Bulletin Campaigner supports short codes and premium billing options.

With the global connectivity of Bulletin API and the extensive experience of Bulletin in this arena, Campaigner is positioned as a low cost, easy to use system for SME, SOHO and growing corporate businesses.

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Bulletin API

Bulletin API provides your company with a simple and powerful way to communicate with mobile devices. A few lines of code are all that is needed to send and receive SMS messages through networks all over the world. Bulletin specialises in direct carrier connectivity to ensure the widest range of features are available to our clients.
Our patented temporary addressing technology enables real two-way messaging. Replies are correlated with outgoing messages, enabling sophisticated SMS applications like dispatch systems, auctions, ordering, and chat. We support a wide range of message features, including multi-part messages, business cards, calendaring, and internet push.

Bulletin API; we take care of the details so that you can get on with business.

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