Before you get started: Make sure you've signed up for Mobile Messaging. Here's instructions on how to do that.
Go to the People tab in the Start Organizing menu and select Mobile Messages.
If you do not have a default group set, you will be asked to choose which group you want to create this mobile message for.
Next you will reach the create page, where you will write your mobile message. Use the toggle in the top right to choose a Text SMS or an Image MMS. Give your mobile message an administrative title, which is for internal use only.
If you selected Image MMS, you'll also see a box to put a link to your image. Put a link to your image here or click Upload and upload the image from your computer. If you choose a link, the link should start with http:// or https://. You can use clips/liquid in your image links too. More on clips here.
Now you can write your mobile message. If you're using SMS, keep an eye on the character count in the lower left corner. SMS messages over the character limit (160 characters) will be split into two messages. Most phone carriers will deliver the messages in order, but some will not. Messages with non-GSM-7 characters in then (like emojis) are limited to 67 characters before they are split. MMS messages have a 1600 character limit.
You can add emojis to your mobile messages, but note that this will adjust the character count. Emojis will halve the amount of characters available before a message is split, but note that this is not reflected in the character count displayed in the message. If you're using emojis, double check your character count on another tool (you can google a bunch of free ones, or use this free one from Twilio!)
You can also add clips to your mobile message, which will allow you to insert personalized content, like someone's first name or highest previous contribution. More here. Note that clips and other liquid content will contribute to your character count.
You can add links to your mobile message, though note that the links will automatically be shortened when the message sends. Links are automatically shortened to actn.et/numbersandletters but you can set up custom (vanity) short links for an additional $200/month, more here.
You can test multiple mobile message bodies, which lets you test your text. Below where you write your original mobile message body, click the green plus button to ‘add alternate body’. This will copy your original body over to the alternate, where you can fully edit the body. Give your alternate body a name, which will appear on the ‘test results’ tab of your mobile message manage page. If you want to remove an alternate body, delete the content and leave the alternate body blank.
Saving and Previewing
You can save and preview your mobile message, which allows you to see what your message would look like without sending tests (though we still recommend sending yourself and colleagues tests!). This is useful for testing your personalized clips, without saving and sending the test as another activist. Click the red Save and Preview button in the lower right. A pop-up, similar to the one on the preview page of your mobile message, will appear. Type in the mobile number of the person you want to preview the mobile message as, and click Go. The preview will automatically refresh to show what the mobile message will look like as that activist.
Saving and Testing
When you're done writing, click Save and Refresh in the bottom right to save your mobile message as a draft. You should also test your mobile message — enter a mobile number (or multiple, separated by commas) and click Save & Send Test in the bottom toolbar to send a test to the mobile number you entered. We will send you a test for each alternate body so you can test them all.
Text didn't get delivered? Make sure you've had us set up and upgrade your Twilio account, more here.
You can even send a test to yourself but as another activist. This is useful for testing clips -- the mobile message will be delivered to you but use their data, so you'd see their first name outputted, for example. To use this feature, click the "Send As Another Activist" button and enter the mobile number of the activist you want to send as. That activist will need to be subscribed to your list to work correctly. Click save, then send your test, and we'll deliver the test to you (or whoever you enter in the test box) using their data in the clips.
When you're ready, click "Save and Target" to move on to the next step. More on targeting your mobile message here.