User Guide

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. We allow you to update or alert people with the added benefit that the message is received wherever the recipient is.

Messenger offers various interfaces to meet the needs of different users:

  • Via an easy to use web site.
  • From email systems such as Microsoft Outlook® or from normal email enabled automated servers and processes. Simply add @bulletinmessenger.net to the mobile number you want to send to (in International Format), and use this as the email address to send a short message. For example:
    • contact@bulletinmessenger.net, or
    • 642715414141@bulletinmessenger.net
  • Using a simple messaging API for basic integration into your systems. 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 Messenger Address Books and customized security settings.

Signing Up to Messenger

Before you start using Messenger you need to create a user. This can be created for free in seconds. Before you start you will need:

  • a valid email address
  • a valid mobile number

The email address is used to validate your new user login and can also be used to send SMS via email once you are in the system. The phone number is used to ensure we have a phone number to ensure SMS messages can be sent if you are not online.

Once you have these at hand visit https://www.bulletinmessenger.net 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 with useful information so read it 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 very 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 messaging needs.

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

Making your first payment

To make your first payment you will need:

  • a valid User login with Bulletin that 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 underneath your avatar, 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 secure 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 Sales.

The Messenger Menu appears to the left of the screen, with the currently active menu item clearly highlighted so you can see where you are at a glance.

Let's take a look at those Menu Items and get familiar with them.

Main Menu Item Section Description
Compose Send messages and view recent messages from all sources such as SMS via email, API, mobile or Web... all your recent messages are in one place and updated regularly.
Chat Send Chat Messages with your fellow Messenger users via Web, App or SMS.
Inbox A 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.
All Messages View all your messages.
Sent Messages A 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.
Scheduled Messages View a list of messages that you have scheduled to send.
Draft Messages We save your unsent messages regularly, just to be safe.
Templates Add, find and manage your message templates. These are messages you might send frequently.
Keywords Add, find and manage your keyword configuration. This is used to configure inbound processing, such as Group Opt-In. Admin Users Only.
Contacts Create, find and edit contacts in your online address books.
Groups Manage groups of recipients. Import/export contacts and access the bulk sender page.
Security Domains Partition your Contacts into Domains, to control which Users can see which Contacts.
Blocked Numbers Upload 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.
Contact Settings Configure properties about Contacts, including custom properties, STOP keywords, and ensure users can only send to Contacts rather than arbitrary numbers.
Settings User level settings allowing you define your name and contact details. Also define Account Alerting here.
Preferences User level settings allowing you customise your preferences such as Browser Notifications, Default Source Numbers, and your home page.
Email2SMS User level settings for Email2SMS. Define your Email signature and request email addresses here.
Company Limits Set and alter your companies settings to limit and control costs, functionality and user access. Admin Users Only
API Settings Allow Messenger to notify you when a message arrives, or a status changes. Admin Users Only
Email2SMS Control who can use Email2SMS in your Organisation. Import addresses via CSV files, add domains and adjust your companies security settings. Admin Users Only
Branding Options For White-Label Organisations, decide what you want to call Messenger. Admin Users Only
Colour Settings For White-Label Organisations, create your own colour-scheme. Admin Users Only
Users View a list of users in your company. Click a user to edit Messenger settings for them including Group access, Email2SMS, Reply to Mobile, Forward to Mobile and Long Message options. Admin Users Only
User Requests Grant Requests from your users, including requests for access to Email2SMS. Admin Users Only
Mobile Settings Control if you want to allow Reply to Mobile and Forward to Mobile. Admin Users Only
Top Up Pre-pay Customers can Top up their balance here. Admin Users Only
Reports View reports on your user group. Admin Users Only
Log Out Leave Messenger.

Searching

Messages, Drafts, Templates, Blocks, Contacts

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

Pet Food
Food fun
Fastfood

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

^food

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

Searching at the end of a sentence

fun$

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

Inbox Searching

Because of the performance overheads of searching large Inboxes, searches begin when 3 characters are entered into the search box.

Sending a Message

How to Send a Message

The simplest way to send a message is via the Compose page.

Step Explanation
Enter the recipients' number in International format.. If you are sending to an existing Contact or Group then you can enter the Name or Alias of the Contact - suggested matches will show as you type.
Press the 'plus' icon or hit the Enter Key. Your recipient will be validated and recipient list updated.
Enter your message into the message field. We'll indicate how many text messages are required to send your message.
Double check your message and then Send it or Schedule it to send at a later time.

Your message will be sent using our 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 contact Support. 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 sending a single message you can even import a list of numbers from Microsoft Excel using our Bulk Uploader functionality. You can also Schedule messages, use Templates and even use the Contacts and Groups from your Address Books. The recipient list allows a comma, space or semi-colon separated, list of numbers or Contacts from your Address Book. .

For example

john,6425484848,SALESTEAM

Although our 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. An additional setting is to lock access so only the Company Administrator can add Contacts. 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 desired Contacts or Groups.

Premium Service

Daily message limits apply until payments have been verified. For urgent changes after payment please contact Support.

Drafts

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.

Contact Meta Data

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

One of the things we know is that a lot of people do not know what International Number Format is. When you enter a recipient number we look up where we think it is likely to go and display a country flag. If you are only sending to your friends down the street or colleagues in another state then all your recipients are going to get the same flag. However, if you accidentally enter a wrong number this will be obvious so you change it before your message is sent.

As well as the flag, you can click the contact to view or edit the details and can even add new numbers to a Group.

In the example above we can see that the message has been composed for:

  • A number in the USA
  • A number we think is invalid, so it probably won't be delivered
  • A Contact called 'Charlie Chaplin'
  • A Group of numbers uploaded in a CSV file 'promo.csv'
  • A Group of Contacts called 'Celebrity Christmas Cards'
  • A number that has been blocked

Forward 2 Mobile

F2M messages are charged against your Account

Every forwarded message is charged at the standard destination tariff rate.

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 Management menu. 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:

Command Purpose

#STOP

F2M disabled for current conversation.

#STOPALL

F2M disabled for all messages associated with your User; effectively disabling it until a new message is sent with F2M option enabled.

#HOLD

  • The default message option is changed to ‘reply 2 web’ so new messages from the web platform are not sent with F2M option
  • F2M is disabled for all existing configured messages.

Scheduling Messages

Simple to set-up, Messenger allows you to Schedule your SMS Messages for a future time. 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 slightly different from sending a message immediately. Once you have composed your message you are ready to schedule it. Simply click the Schedule button rather than the Send button. You will then be able to pick a date and time for the 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 to 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 for a single message, you can even change a one-off message to a repeating one 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.

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 a Group, the recipients 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 Groups with new members, delete old ones and the next time the message is sent it will go the new set of recipients.

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 visa versa) until your period is selected.

Viewing Future Messages

You can view future messages by clicking the Scheduled Messages menu item. The list view shows your upcoming messages and allows you to click through to view recipients and edit the schedule.

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

Sending to Multiple Recipients

The power of Messenger is in the ease of use for group messaging and team communication. Generally the Groups 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 can copy a list of numbers directly into the Messenger compose page to box. If you are copying a column of numbers from Microsoft excel then it will work without any modifications. If you are copying from somewhere else then make sure there is a space or new line between each number.

Bulk Send

Alternatively, you can browse to your file of numbers by clicking the bulk send icon to the far right of the to field. Your file can simply contain a list of numbers in international format, with one number per line, or you may wish to use our more sophisticated 'SMS Merge' format, described below.

When sending any message you should consider the opt out responses. See the info box below for more information as it is especially 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 Group and cease to be sent any 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.

SMS Merge

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

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

You simply import a CSV file containing fields of data specific to each individual recipient, then add the fields to the message. This allows the message to contain personal information that could include the persons name, location, subscription preferences, favourite colour, clothing sizes, literally any information you have about your customers.

Step 1. 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 (Comma Separated Variable). This file becomes a list of your Recipients.

CSV File

A CSV file is a way to collect the data from any table or system so it can be imported to any other application. Microsoft Excel can read and also save your information as a CSV file. To save your file as a CSV file, select “CSV (Comma delimited)” from the Save As menu.

The top line of your CSV file should contain a list of all the fields you want to be able to add to your message, separated by a comma, for example 'Mobile,Name,City,Colour'. The first column should always be the mobile number for the recipients in international format.

Each line below the top line should list all the details for each individual recipient in the same order as your fields and again separated by a comma, for example '642715414141,Bob,Hamilton,Brown'

Mobile,Name,City,Colour
642715414141,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.

Using the uploader you can either select and upload your pre-prepared CSV file or simply drag the CSV file into the drag and drop area. Messenger will then check to make sure the file is a CSV file and has the above layout and import all your recipients details into Messenger ready for you to create your Message and send.

Step 2. Composing your Message with SMS Merge Tags

Once you have imported CSV file details you are ready to compose your message. To do this simply enter your message text into the Message field and when you wise to add recipient specific data click the insert tag button and choose the field you wish to add. For example you could enter "hello" and then choose name from the Insert Tags menu. Continue entering text and adding SMS tags until your message is complete.

SMS Merge Tags and Templates

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

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 your message.

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 losing your Recipients, or your Message Content.

Entering Merge Tags directly

Rather than adding Tags via the Insert Tag dropdown menu, more advanced users can simply type in a "$" symbol followed by the Merge Tag name in Parentheses. For example to add the Name merge tag a you would type `'${Name}''

Ready, Set.... Send

Once you are happy with your SMS Merge message and have checked how it looks using the Preview Mode you can send the message immediately, or schedule the message to be sent later.

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) or duplicate/copy them as required via a the Template Menu

Templates can be named so they are easily recognised in the template list when creating a message. If your profile allows it, templates 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 from the Templates Section. Alternatively, you can select a template from the drop down list from the Compose page and through a Quick Reply message.

Signatures

It's good practice to identify yourself when sending a SMS message. 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.

The Messenger Signature is unrelated to an email signature. When using Email2SMS 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 long email signature text from SMS messages.

Message Source and Reply Options

By default all messages sent via Messenger will use a pool of numbers designed to allow 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 you. 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 your defaults see the Preferences Section

Virtual Numbers for SMS

Users in the US can contact Support to request 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.

Alpha IDs

Contact Bulletin Support if you are considering setting up an Alpha ID. It will need to be less than 11 characters. 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.

The Inbox

Inbox and Sent Messages

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

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 real-time. This can be useful for monitoring activity (or use the powerful reporting interface)

You can set All Messages to be your home page by visiting Messenger Preference and changing the setting for Home Page.

Conversation

Messenger can show a 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 pie chart beside the message shows the delivery statuses of the message.

For each message you have several options available aside from simply 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 add a recipient 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 accidentally.
  • Delete - Use this to remove the visible reply from your inbox. All other replies will still be available.
  • 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

Quick Reply

The option to Quick Reply means that you do not need to change screen, 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 saved message templates - so you can use them in a Quick Reply.

Quick replies are billable SMS so count towards your 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 find your blocked number list in the 'Contacts' Sub-Menu '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 as they have been added at the explicit request of the recipient.

Block lists can be accessed on this page.

Unsolicited Messages

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.

Sent Messages

As with the Inbox, the Sent Messagessection 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.

In the list view you can see a colour coded pie chart showing the delivery status for each message. We base this on data we get 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 a simple visual representation of the success of your campaign. To get more information on the message status click on the info-icon to the right of the status label.

You can also perform actions based on the status. For example, blocking all numbers that were flagged as 'Unreachable'.

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 details and view or select a subsets 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 content 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 reports or you can contact Bulletin for customised Messenger reports (costs may apply).

SMS via Email

Email to SMS Messages

This feature allows you to use the email system you are already familiar with to send SMS messages. Simply compose your email normally and send; their replies will come straight back to your email.

You should address your emails to a contact alias or mobile number using the @bulletinmessenger.net domain. For example a.contact@bulletinmessenger.net if you have an existing contact in your email, or 642715414141@bulletinmessenger.net

For more information about SMS via Email see here

Reports

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

Complete documentation is available here

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 right person gets to see the reply as soon as possible.

See the Developers Guide for further details

Messenger Chat

About Chat

Messenger Chat provides an instant messaging “chat” solution ready to use today between users within a Company. Chat is a perfect solution for Business Chat with access and user management controlled by Company Admins on the website through Messenger User Management.

Web

Messenger Chat is supported on all modern web-browsers. Desktop notifications and sound are supported on Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer. Chat runs on any Windows, Apple, or Linux operating system with a supported web browser.

Android and iOS Apps

Native apps are available on both the Android and Apple platforms supporting Chat and SMS functionality. If data connectivity is lost during Chat, the app automatically reverts to SMS meaning you’ll never miss the message.

Chat Features

SMS Fallback

If Chat users are not available on Chat, to ensure the message always gets through, Bulletin will send a SMS message to the User's mobile device. This means no matter where your staff are, in the office or out, Messenger Chat always ensures the message is received.

Notifications

Customisable notifications are available on both the Web and Mobile App versions of Messenger Chat. Desktop Alerts, Sound and App pop up notifications mean Chat messages will never be missed.

Using Chat

Launching a Chat

If your company has Chat enabled it will appear under the Messages Menu on the left side of all Messenger pages. To begin a Chat simply click the Menu Item.

User Status

Users can indicate their availability (Available, Away, Do Not Disturb), and can also enter a custom state.

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The Chat Roster

The Recent tab shows new Chat messages you have received in chronological order. Like on the User tab, if you star any user on the Recent Tab the favourite users will appear at the top of the User list.

Users shown in the Chat Roster have a circular Avatar image that the User can specify. To add or alter your avatar image simply go to Settings in the main menu and upload an image to the Your Settings page.

Sending a Chat Message

The Chat conversation thread shows on the left hand side of the screen and lists the name, message and time sent. Each message added to the Chat is grouped in Chronological order with the newest message at the bottom of the chat thread. You can move up through earlier messages using the scroll bar on the right hand side of the screen.

To add to the Chat enter your message in the field that appears below the Chat thread and click the send button. To the left of this field is a character count as well as an SMS count.

Topics

There are situations when you may need to chat in real time with colleagues both in the office and out and about via their Mobile Devices. To do this we created 'Topics' as an extension to the standard one to one chat functionality, which allows communication between multiple recipients simultaneously.

To begin a 'Topic' navigate to your Chat page and click the Topic icon.

Users who have been added will appear in the Topic as shown below, and can be removed by simply clicking on the x to the right of the User's name.

Once a chat has been started the only person who can amend the participants is the user who initially created the chat. Topics can be easily identified in the Chat Roster as they all have the Topic avatar image rather than the User avatar image used in individual chats.

File Sharing

File Sharing allows you to share any type of file with your colleagues. Files can be accessed from any device with an internet connection. Shared files will be accessible for 24 hours.

To add a file to a Group or Individual Chat either click the paperclip on the Chat page and select the file you want to share, or simply drag and drop the file into the Chat message box.

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 t he 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 for 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, Messenger works not only in Microsoft© Outlook® but allows SharePoint 2010 to become TXT capable.

What you need to get started:

  • A valid Messenger login and password
  • Microsoft© SharePoint 2010
  • Access to the internet (some companies firewalls can 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

Going Mobile

Messenger can be used on mobile devices such as tablets, iPads, iPhones and Android devices via Custom apps, or via a Mobile-centric website; 'Touch2TXT'.

iOS and Android Apps

Apps can be downloaded from the Apple iTunes Store or Google Play by searching for "Bulletin Messenger".

Once downloaded you will login using your existing username and password.

Note that the app does request access to your local contacts, to enable you to send to them via the app. We do not use your device for sending any unsolicited messages and take your security and privacy seriously.

Mobile Touch2TXT

For a more optimal browsing experience on these types of devices access the https://m.bulletinmessenger.net/mobile site on your mobile device. Messages can be sent, contacts accessed and urgent replies read. Touch2TXT is ideal when you are out of the office and want to maintain contact with your team. Your Contacts are always available and your team is just a TXT away.

Compatible Devices

Touch2TXT uses jQuery Mobile, so most iPhone, Android, Windows, Kindle and iPad devices are fully supported. For further details see http://jquerymobile.com/gbs/

What you need:

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).

To send a MO message, compose an SMS on your phone in the following format:

GM [space] Alias [space] Message.

For example

GM team Weekly meeting delayed, see noticeboard

In the above example GM indicates to the service that you are sending a Group Message, where team is the alias for a Group in the online address book and the message to be sent to all the members of this group is Weekly meeting delayed, see noticeboard

Contact Management

The Contact Management section of Messenger is where you can define, group, and control access to, 'Contacts'; people you can send messages to.

Security Domains

Security Domains control which Users can access which Contacts. Every Contact must be in one, and only one, Security Domain.

By default Messenger provides two 'Security Domains' that can be used by your users; The 'Shared' Security Domain, that can be accessed by all users, and each user has a personal Security Domain where they can store contacts that only they can access.

What about Address Books?

If you have been a customer for a while you might be wondering what happened to Address Books, because Security Groups seem similar. We have more information on that subject for you here

We strongly recommend that you limit your use of Security Domains until you are completely comfortable with their behaviour, otherwise you may find yourself getting confused, especially if you start mixing Contacts from different Security Domains in Groups. Consider this example:

  • User Bob has created a 'VIPs' Security Domain that only he can access. This is for high-profile people who should not be visibile to other users.
  • User Bob creates a VIP Contact called Donald and puts him into the 'VIPs' Security Domain
  • User Bob adds VIP Contact Donald to an existing Group called 'Tsunami Alerts' which is in the normal 'Shared' Security Domain
  • When User Mary, who has no access to Bob's 'VIPs' Security Domain, views the membership of the 'Tsunami Alerts' group she will not see Donald.
  • When User Mary tries to compose a message to 'Don' the autocompleter will not include Donald in the search results.
  • When User Mary sends a message to the 'Tsunami Alerts' group it will not be sent to Donald.
  • Only when User Bob sends a message to the 'Tsunami Alerts' group will it be sent to everybody, including Donald.

When defining a Security Domain you must also select the Contact Properties that are appropriate for Contacts in this Domain.

If you decide you don't want a Security Domain, you can use the 'Merge' function to move its Contacts into another Security Domain.

Granting Access

Access to the Contacts within a Security Domain can be granted to Users individually, or more conveniently for large organisations, a Group of Users.

Access permissions are as follows:

Access Meaning
Viewer User can only view the Contacts
Editor User can edit the Contacts
None User has no access to the Contacts, even if they may be a member of a Group that does have access

An Access that is suffixed with (Default) tells you that no explicit Permission has been defined for the User, and that this is the default Access for the User that has been automatically determined based on the Groups they are a member of, and their Role.

Company Admin and Group Admin Users have Editor access to most Security Domains.

Access can be Granted when editing a normal User, or from the 'Accesses' tab when editing a Security Domain. In this screen shot we can see that Johnny B. Good is already an Editor of the Security Domain, and that we are about to add Peter Jones as a Viewer, and Sally Wills as an Editor. We just need to click 'Add Access'.

A Complicated Example

Some customers wish to tightly control who can access certain Contacts. Here's one approach that provides this flexibility in a manageable manner.

  • Decide how you want to categorise your Users. Perhaps in a Movie Magazine business you would have 'Sales', 'Marketing' and 'Editorial'.
  • Create a Group for each of those User categories in the 'User' Security Domain, and copy Users into their appropriate Groups
  • Decide how you want to categorise your Contacts. Perhaps in a Movie Magazine business you would have 'Artists', 'Freelance Writers' and 'Advertising Agencies'.
  • Create a Security Domain and Group for each of those Contact categories, and move Contacts into their appropriate Group.
  • Grant the User Groups access to the appropriate Security Domains. eg:
    • 'Sales' might have Viewer access to 'Advertising Agency'
    • 'Marketing' might have Editor access to 'Advertising Agency', and Viewer access to 'Artists'
    • 'Editorial' might have Editor access to 'Freelance Writers' and 'Artists'
  • Now when you create a User, simply put them into their appropriate Group(s) and they will automatically get access to all appropriate Contacts.
  • Now when you create a Contact, simply put them into their appropriate Group.

Going forward you can also easily change access for entire Groups of Users, rather than having to update many individual Users.

As an aside, notice that you can now also send a message to all 'Marketing' staff, because they have their own Group.

Granting Access to Groups, not Users

Granting Access to Groups, not Individual Users, gives you far more flexibility when controlling access to Contacts.

Contacts

Contacts are people you want to be able to send a message to. All Contacts have to be placed into a Security Domain, so we can control which users can see the contact, and also must be placed into a Group. Contacts are defined on this page.

Other, less obvious, fields you may wish to provide include:

  • An Alias, which can make the Contact easier to refer to when using Email2sms.
  • A Public Identifier, which can help larger organisations who regularly import data from their own computer system.
  • A Group. A Contact must exist in at least one group. You can put the Contact into more groups on the Group Membership tab.

If you have defined custom tags, such as position, location, or pet, these are also able to be defined here. You can customise displayed tags on the contacts page by editing the Security Doamin 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 Groups then contact your Group Administrator as they may have set higher security settings.

See Importing Contacts for bulk management options.

Contact Groups

Groups are primarily collections of Contacts, although a Group can also contain Users, and other Groups. Creating a Group is very similar to creating a Contact. Groups are defined on this page of the Application.

You have the additional ability to control the types of 'Contacts' allowed in a Group:

Type Purpose
Contacts Only Only allow Contacts in the Group
Users Only Only allow Users in the Group
Users and Contacts Allow Users and Contacts in the Group

System Identifier is a read-only property that can be used when importing Contacts programmatically. More information available here

The Group Membership tab allows you to view the Contacts, Users, or other Groups, that are Members of this Group. A quick view of a Group's Members can also be accessed by clicking through the Group's name when it appears as a recipient on the Compose Page.

Mixing Security Domains

We strongly recommend that your Group only includes member Contacts and Groups that belong to the same Security Domain.

Importing Contacts

There are two methods to import Contacts into a Group. The first is an online process done via the website. The second can be automated to upload from a CRM system or HRM system.

The online import can be found when adding or editing a Group, 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.

File Format

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

The first line of an import file is the header row. The minimum import is a file with a number header, followed by a number on each line after:

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

You can import any field within the Messenger Contact - including 'tags' such as email, company, position, function, city, department, country. For example:

Number,Name,Alias,Group,Email,Department
9898840240,a111112,a12357,TESTINGGROUPS,foo@foo.com,Sales
211601037,a111113,a12358,TESTINGGROUPS,foo1@foo.com,Marketing
64211601038,a111114,a12359,TESTINGGROUPS,foo2@foo.com,Finance
64211601039,a111115,a12360,TESTINGGROUPS,foo2@foo.com,IT

Restrictions and Rules

When importing a Contacts it is important that the file meets the following criteria:

  • Comma delimited format (CSV file)
  • Header row with the applicable values of "number", "name", "alias", "email", and "group". Check the spelling of the header rows!
  • Each row must have the same number of fields, blanks are acceptable.
  • Phone numbers must be valid and should be in International Format.
  • Name values must be less than 70 characters long.
  • 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).
  • Email address must be 254 characters or less. Longer values will be truncated.
  • Multiple groups can be defined by pipe-delimiting the "group" field.

Merge Mode

When importing Contacts into a Group you must decide if you are fully defining the Group membership, or if you are simply adding or updating Group Membership -- call this 'Merge Mode'.

Merge Mode Description
Enabled Merge all members of this group with the records defined in the import file
Disabled Replace all members of this group with the records defined in the import file. Any existing records that are not in the import file will be deleted.

Choosing a Key

When using Merge Mode (ie: you want to update existing Contacts) you must choose a 'key' so we can identify the Contact.

The best key to choose is the one least likely to change for your Contacts. If you have an external system with an existing identifier, you should provide a 'public identifier' with your imports and use that, but for most people 'Number' works fine.

Importing via HTTP POST

As well as being able to import Contacts interactively, we also offer the ability to import Contacts via an HTTP POST to the https://www.bulletinmessenger.net/abimport.jsp URL.

The http parameters are as follows:

Parameter Meaning

username

Your Messenger user login

password

Your Messenger user password

absid

The System Identifier of the Group you wish to import into. (Recommended)

abalias

The Alias of the Group you wish to import into. (Alternative to absid)

abname

The Name of the Group you wish to import into. (Alternative to absid. Not recommended, because it will fail if the Group is renamed)

abid

The legacy 'Address Book Id' of the Group you wish to import into. (Alternative to absid. Not recommended, and will not work for newly created Groups)

merge

Do you wish to use 'Merge Mode' or not? Valid values: 'true' or 'false'. Defaults to 'false

key

Which field would you like to use as the Import Key. Defaults to you Company's 'Contact Key' as defined in 'Contact Settings'. Options are:

  • number
  • name
  • email
  • alias
  • publicid (ie: Public Identifier)
  • systemid (ie: System Identifier)

This is best illustrated via an example using cURL:

curl -k -F 'username=foo' -F 'password=bar' -F 'absid=G#272478' -F 'key=number' =F 'merge=true' '-F 'file=@test.csv' https://www.bulletinmessenger.net/abimport.jsp

Exporting Contacts

Contacts can be exported from the Group management screen. Upon clicking Export you will be prompted for a local location and filename to save the Group Contacts to.

When exporting you have the option of also including 'Public Identifiers', which is useful if your organisation imports Contacts with this value defined.

The Exported File contents are fully compatible with the Import File format. Column headings are as follows:

Column Purpose
Type Indicates the type of contact. Options are: contact, user, or group.
Name The name of the Contact, User or Group
Number The phone number of the Contact or User
Alias The alias of a Contact or Group. The login name of a User.
Public Id The public-identifer for the Contact or Group
Group The pipe-delimited list of Groups that the Contact, User or Group is a member of
Group Public Ids The pipe-delimited list of Public Identifiers that the Contact, User or Group is a member of

Optional properties such an 'Email', or other Custom fields, are also exported as columns if they are enabled on the Security Domain used by the Group being exported.

In the following example "Joe Famous" is in two groups; "Authors" and "Directors":

"Type","Name","Number","Alias","Public Id","Group","Group Public Ids"
"contact","Anglea McFiction","770000001","ang","C342334","Authors", "G0001"
"contact","Joe Famous","770000002","bigjoe","C724421","Authors|Directors", "G0001|G007"

Group Opt-In

Group Opt-In allows a Shortcode and an Opt-in Keyword to be set on a Group. This means if any Contact sends an SMS with your selected Opt-In Keyword to your Group's Shortcode number, Bulletin will automatically add the contact to the Group. This allows Contacts to add themselves to your Groups without any action required.

Admins can also define an Opt-In Message that is sent to a contact who has opted in to a Group. We recommend including instructions on how to Opt-Out from the Group in this welcome text.

If Contacts decide for any reason they no longer wish to receive SMS messages from the Group they just need to send the Group keyword followed by STOP. For example if your Opt-in Keyword is 'MOVIE' to Opt-out Contacts just send 'MOVIE STOP' to the Shortcode.

If your company has a Company-level Stop word this will continue to remove the contact from ALL Company messages.

NOTE: Default STOP keywords are ‘STOP’ ‘CANCEL’, ‘QUIT’, ‘UNSUBSCRIBE’ or ‘END’.

How to Configure Opt-In:

  • Create a Group you want Contacts to be able to Opt-In to (eg: 'Movie News')
  • Create a Keyword ('Messages' Menu)
  • Choose a Keyword for your opt-in (MOVIE in the example below)
  • Choose the Group you want Contacts to be added to ('Movie News' in the example below)
  • Enter appropriate messages to send:
    • When they send 'MOVIE' to 4040
    • When they send 'MOVIE STOP' to 4040
    • When they send 'MOVIE HELP' to 4040

Once you have configured a keyword against a Group, you can quickly access it from the 'Group Keywords' tab when editing a Group

Want to get Group Opt-In setup? Have a chat to Sales about getting a Shortcode or Virtual Number.

Customising Messenger

Settings

Most of your personal options are maintained and managed by a Company Administrator. However, your personal information can be managed on your Settings page.

Field Name Purpose
Name Your name is visible to other users within your company 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 help you set 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).
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 set your billing currency. It cannot be changed at this time and you must contact support
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.
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

A User can control some of their prefered behaviour, such as the 'Home' Page they see when they log in, on the Preferences page.

Field Name Purpose

Home Page

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

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.

Message Length

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 increase this limit 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 and Mobile Source Number

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

Email/Outlook Source Number

If you have multiple numbers, alpha tags or reply to mobile numbers assigned to your User 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.

API Source Number

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

Notifications

Decide the type of notification, if any, you want to receive when a new message arrives for you in Messenger

Email2SMS

These settings are shown only if Email2sms is enabled for your user by your Company Administrator.

Field Name Purpose

Email Signature Separator Regex

If you are sending long messages 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. More information available in the Email2SMS Documentation

Addresses and domains enabled for SMS via Email

If the User is allowed to send SMS via email then any addresses verified and assigned to this User are also listed on this page.

Request an additional Email2SMS address

Clicking this link opens a dialogue 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.

White Labelling

White Labelling allows organisations to customise colours of buttons, text, upload logos and change the product name. Emails from the system also have branding rules applied. The application can reside at your own domain name or on an available Bulletin subdomain.

White-labelling is ideal for larger business use, reselling or partners.

Please contact Sales to enquire about these features.

If you already have Custom Theming enabled, learn more about how to configure it here

Company Administration

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

All online signups have full administrative access. Administrators can add sub-users or other Administrators. Sub-users do not have administrative function.

If you are a postpaid customer usually the nominated individual in the organisation becomes an Administrator User within Messenger and then administers the company.

FAQ

For answers to common questions see the comprehensive FAQ section.

Support

See the Trouble Shooting page for some common answers to questions, but please feel free to contact Support with the details, and we will help you out.