Information About Working With SMS in Elvanto

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How does it work?

Elvanto allows you to send SMS text messages to people and volunteers within your account. This includes general, everyday messages and also when a volunteer has been scheduled on to a service. Volunteers can also reply to messages to accept or decline being scheduled on the service.

Basically, you sign up to a free account at your chosen SMS integrations website, and purchase credits. We then integrate with that account to send SMS Messages to your people and volunteers. Most SMS integrations give you some test credits, so you can run some tests from Elvanto before committing.

Can I use a Sender ID?

Some SMS integrations allow you to specify a Sender ID. So, rather than the SMS coming from a random mobile number, it can come from your church name. The only downside to a Sender ID is that these messages cannot be replied to. You have an option to turn this on or off when sending an SMS from Elvanto.

How do I track failed messages?

Because you are using an SMS gateway, we can track if an SMS fails to send and notify you so that you and your team can rectify the issue.

How much does it cost?

Using an SMS integration is not free, and you generally pay on a per-SMS basis. They do offer competitive rates, however, which you will find cheaper than sending SMS Messages from your mobile phone in some countries.

Which SMS integration is best for me?

Elvanto integrates with a number of SMS companies. Each company offers different features, some more than others. It all comes down to what features you require and what the cost per SMS will be. We have created a chart below that highlights the features of each SMS integrations we support to make this decision easier.

For more information on the terminology we have used in the table below, view this article about different types of SMS messages.

Company Offices In Supported Countries Multi-part GSM Extended Unicode
Inspirus Australia Australia, New Zealand
and parts of Asia
No Yes No
BulkSMS USA, UK, South Africa, Spain International Yes Yes Yes (costs more)
Bulletin New Zealand International Yes Yes Yes
SMSGlobal Australia, New Zealand, UAE, UK International Yes Yes Yes
SMSBroadcast Australia Australia Yes No No
Twilio USA and UK International Yes Yes Yes
ViaNettSMS Norway International Yes Yes Yes

2-way SMS Messages & Limitations

All our SMS integrations allow ‘2-way messages’. What this means is that you can send an SMS message to your volunteers who are scheduled on a service and they can reply YES to confirm or NO to decline directly from their mobile phone. Even general SMS messages that are sent to people can be replied to. When our system receives the reply, it is then emailed to the original sender.

There are some limitations that can occur when utilizing 2-way messages in Elvanto. We’ve written a separate article that has more information on this.

How do I set it up?

To use an SMS integration in Elvanto, select one from Integrations area in Settings. Each will give you set up instructions and also a link to their website to compare prices.

Last Updated: 19th April, 2017

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