The inbox allows you to view all inbound messages over the past 90 days, and is a highly effective way of managing conversations with your contacts in real time, to provide an organic engagement experience to your customers. Let's take a look...
Navigating your Inbox
The inbox is located in the main menu on the left side of your messaging Web Portal.
When you open the inbox it'll look like this:
There are some features here to help you manage your inbox effectively:
1. Open messages tab - this is the default tab where all of your "open" or "active" messages are found. When you are finished with a conversation and no longer want it to appear in the open tab, you can mark the message as closed.
2. Closed messages tab - this tab is where all "closed" or "archived" messages are found. Even if a conversation has been closed, you can still send messages or receive a reply. Any new activity on the closed conversation will automatically move it back into your "open" messages tab.
3. New message - this button will open a new message. You can either type in a phone number or search for a saved contact in the To: field. If you have an existing open or closed conversation with the recipient from the last 90 days, the Web Portal will automatically bring up that thread and you can pick up where you left off.
4. All Read - use the ellipsis (three dots) to "Mark all as read" or to "Close all read". Selecting to close will move all read conversations to the "Closed" tab.
5. Read status filter - filter your conversations by "Unread" messages only. This is helpful when managing larger campaigns and you need to quickly identify messages requiring a response. You can select "All" to remove this filter and return to all messages.
6. Inbox Search field - you can search your inbox for conversations relating to specific contacts, numbers, or keywords, by entering the information here and clicking on the search icon.
Navigating your Conversations
If you have any unread messages in your inbox, a flag will be displayed in 2 places:
- In the left-hand navigation pane - the flag next to "Inbox" in the main menu will indicate the number of contacts with unread messages.
- In the Inbox - the flag displayed next to the sender will indicate the number of unread messages their conversation.
You can set up desktop notifications to alert you to every new inbound message, check out this article to learn how.
To open a conversation, simply click on it and the message thread will open on the right and look like this:
There are more features here to help you manage the conversation:
1. Search field - you can search the conversation for specific information. This is especially helpful when you need to go back and find specific messages containing important information, e.g. reference numbers or email addresses.
2. Contact Management shortcut - there are 2 options available when you select the ellipsis:
- Close action - clicking on this will close the conversation. Once the conversation is closed, this option changes to "Open", whereby you can re-open the conversation should you wish to respond further.
- Unsubscribe action - clicking on this will put the contact in an unsubscribed status, meaning that they will no longer be able to receive messages. Once clicked, this action changes to "Subscribe", whereby you can re-subscribe the contact.
3. Collapse & Expand contact profile window - the contact profile window is essentially a shortcut to the information you have saved in the main contacts section of the Web Portal. You can use this window to create a new contact using the phone number from the message sender/recipient if is not already saved, and then populating the additional fields and pressing "Save" on the bottom right. If the contact already exists and you need to update or edit the details, you can toggle the button next to "Modify", make the changes, and press Save.
Note - If the contact responds to a message with one of your opt-out keywords (and you have the Automatic Opt-out feature turned on in the account settings), they will automatically become unsubscribed and you will not be able to send further messages without first re-subscribing the contact.
4. Broadcast Name - if a message is sent as part of a broadcast, the name of the broadcast will be displayed above the message so you can easily see which broadcasts your contacts are replying to. When you send a broadcast to multiple contacts, the message will automatically appear in each individual recipient's conversation window, and any replies between you and each recipient will remain specific to that contact (i.e. sending a reply back will only go to the contact who sent you the response, not the entire contact list).
5. Conversation window - outbound messages are coloured and appear on the right, and inbound messages appear on the left in grey. By hovering over an inbound message, you will see three dots appear next to it. Clicking on these will present the option to mark a message as unread:
This is especially helpful if you have multiple people managing the same inbox and you want someone else to be aware of this message, or if you simply want to leave it unread to remind yourself that it requires attention later on.
6. Sender ID - if you have more than one sender ID set up for your account, you can use this dropdown box to specify which one you want to send your message from. You don't have to choose a number every time you send a message, the system will just automatically send it from your default sender ID. If you want to change your default sender ID, this article can walk you through the steps. If you're sending via the shared number pool, even though the recipient will receive each message from a different number, but the conversation will stay in a single thread in your inbox.
7. Templates - if you have any saved templates, you can select them from here to add to your message.
8. Character counter - use this counter to track how many characters your message is using.
9. Message content - just click anywhere in the box to drop in the curser and start composing your message, or you can add a template by using the dropdown above.
10. Close Conversation button - this button will close the conversation and move it from your "Open" inbox, to "Closed" inbox. If you want to reopen the conversation, locate the message in the closed tab, and select the same button - the label on the button will now say "Open Conversation". Any in or outbound activity on the conversation will also automatically re-open it and move it to the open tab.
11. Send button - this button will be greyed-out until you populate the message content window, once you've typed your message (or selected a template), you'll be able to click this to send your message.