If your AMS+ account has a VoIP (voice over internet protocol) phone number, you can send SMS text messages to schedule appointments and send other reminders to Agent, Individual, and Sales contacts.
Note: Every AMS+ account comes with 1 free number. Learn how to add and set up your number.
IN THIS ARTICLE
Account setup for texting
- Purchase a VoIP number through AMS+ or port your own. Every AMS+ account comes with 1 free number. DO NOT use the default number in your account for texting, or you may experience issues with receiving and forwarding text replies.
- Set your time zone. You can change your time zone on the My Account > Servicing > My Info tab.
- Set the times allowable to send text messages from AMS+. You can change these times on the My Account > Sales > Account tab.
- Set up caller ID. AMS+’s SMS service is built upon the FCC's regulations. Visit the FCC Site for full information on the FCC’s regulations. Due to these regulations, your SMS messages are not allowed to have masked caller IDs. The caller ID must be associated with the provider that the message is being sent from. If you have a VoIP phone number with AMS+, you can choose which numbers have the SMS caller ID. Otherwise, your caller ID will be a default number associated with your AMS+ account.
How to send SMS text messages
The FCC requires that you have permission to send SMS messages, so you will need to have a valid opt-in to text them. You should also check your state regulations as well. Once you've obtained their consent, document it in a custom field or analytic field, and put the person’s cell phone number in the ‘Cell’ field of their record.
Text messages are not sent to phone numbers in the ‘Phone’ field. If the recipient replies with ‘STOP’, they will stop receiving Automated Workflow text messages and direct ones, effective immediately.
You have several options for texting:
- Direct text messages from an Agent or Individual Record
On Agent and Individual Records, there's a Detail tab with a Contact Info section. If the record has a Cellular number in the Contact Info section, select the arrow icon to show a dropdown menu. Choose the 'Send Text Message' option to initiate a text.
- Direct text messages from a Sales Record using the “SEND TEXT” button
Inbound and outbound text messages will be displayed on the Sales Record’s ‘Notes’ Tab. You can also create text templates for frequently used messages such as “Here’s my calendar to choose from #AGENTCALENDARLINK# -#AGENTNAME# in TEMPLATES.” Learn more.
- Automated Workflows
You can create Automated Workflows to send text messages when something happens in AMS+, such as a Sales Record’s status changing or a lead turning 26 or 65. Learn more.
Please keep in mind that you can only send texts to Agents, Individuals, and Sales contacts that have valid cell phone numbers on their records.
Recipients can opt out of text messaging by replying with any of the following keywords: STOP, STOPALL, UNSUBSCRIBE, CANCEL, END, or QUIT. You should include verbiage like, "Reply STOP to Unsubscribe" in your text messages so recipients know how to opt out. They can opt back in using the keywords START, YES, or UNSTOP.
Each SMS message is limited to 160 characters. Messages longer than 160 will be split into multiple messages, called segments. Messages that include emoji’s and other special characters will automatically use multiple segments.
See the table below for some examples.
|# of characters
|# of texts
How to view message history
If you have the “Agent Can View All SMS Messages” permission, you will see an SMS icon in the AMS+ app header. If you don’t have it, you may need to contact the Account Owner or an Admin at your agency for this permission. Learn more about user permissions.
Select the icon and choose the ‘Messages’ option in the dropdown menu to access your SMS messaging history.
<imgclass="screenshot" src="/hc/article_attachments/20948869373595" alt="Screenshot showing the SMS Message History"> </imgclass="screenshot">
Also, inbound text messages will be associated with existing Sales Records if we can find a matching cell phone number. The message history will be visible on the Sales Record’s ‘Notes’ tab.
How to test your SMS text messages
When testing text messages, DO NOT TEST with your own cell number because it will confuse the system if you have your cell number in your agent details and in an Agent, Individual, or Sales Record. If you're sending a test text to a family member, colleague, or friend, write them a realistic message.
“Hi #FIRSTNAME#, Hit me back when you get this message. Thanks! #AGENTNAME#”
Note: If you write something like, "TEST" or "SAMPLE", the recipient's carrier might mark it as spam and block it.
How to forward text replies to your cell phone
By default, sent texts are recorded in the Message Center and Sales Record Notes. If you want text replies to be forwarded to your cell phone, follow these steps:
- Select the ‘Profile’ icon in the corner of your screen and go to My Account > Sales > Notifications.
- In the Email Notifications section, go to the Notifications tab and enable the ‘SMS replies to your cell phone’ setting.
- Make sure the box is checked.
- Add your cell phone number to the ‘Cell Phone #’ field.
- Do NOT enter a cell number that is already linked to a record in AMS+! Doing so could cause a texting loop and trigger the cell carrier's spam filters, blocking all texts to that number.
- Select the ‘SAVE UPDATE’ button.
How to create SMS text message templates
Please note, you can use templates when sending direct text messages. You can’t use them for Automated Workflow texting actions.
- Go to Settings > Sales and filter on "Template" to find the ‘Marketing Templates’ setting, and select the 'Edit' button.
- Select the ‘Add Text Message Template’ button.
- Name the template so others will know what it is used for and enter the messaging.
- Your text templates will allow you to save time, having messages you send regularly pre-typed. Personalize the template with Snippets and Merge Tags. Learn more. An example would be a name of, “Calendar Availability”, with a message of, “Here’s my availability to choose from #AGENTCALENDARLINK# or you can reply with when would be best for you.”
- (Optional) Check the ‘This message is available for all users’ box if you want to make it available to other users.
- Otherwise, only you will be able to use it.
- Select the ‘Submit’ button to save your changes and finish creating the template.
Then you can go to an Agent, Individual, or Sales Record and start a text. You can either type a completely unique message or you can select a template and send as is or you can customize it.
Can I reply to forwarded text messages on my own device?
No. You will need to reply in AMS+.