SMS Canned Responses

Jude Nickison
Jude Nickison
  • Updated

Overview: What are we talking about?

In Gingr you can create Canned SMS Templates which can be sent at will to your customers. Canned SMS templates are used in the 2-Way SMS chat bubble, SMS Auto-Replies, and for SMS Marketing. This feature requires the All-in-One Multimedia Messaging Bundle add-on.  

In our ever-connected mobile age, customers expect clear communication from the facilities caring for their pets. This feature allows your business to maintain clear lines of communication and to more efficiently and effectively communicate with your customers. These templates can have custom variables entered, which allows the system to pre-fill information such as customer name, animal name, and location information in order to more quickly reach out to your customers.  

 

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Related Articles:

Helpful Hints:

  • The maximum number of characters per message is 320. Variables count into this limit AFTER being filled in. So while "{first_name}" is 12 characters, if the owner's name is "John", then only 4 characters will be counted into the max. 

  • You must configure your permissions to allow users in your app to send SMS:
    • Navigate to Left-hand Navigation Menu: Reports & More » Groups.
    • For users to send 2-way or manually triggered SMS, the "Can Send SMS" user permission must be turned on for the user group they are in. 
    • If you have 2-way SMS enabled, for users to receive in-app notifications for incoming text messages, the user must have the "Notification: Incoming SMS" user permission turned on.

  • Gingr will send SMS to your customers from a custom, toll-free number. This phone number for your SMS can be found under Left-hand Navigation: Admin » System SMS

Pricing for SMS Functionality:

Using Canned SMS Templates requires the All-in-One Messaging Bundle.

There are additional SMS Features available on Gingr that are an add-on to the system SMS functionality. These include 2-Way SMS, Marketing SMS, and a bundle that also includes Multi-media Messaging, Canned SMS, and SMS Auto-Replies. Please see our articles on 2-Way SMS, SMS Marketing Campaigns, and SMS Auto-Replies for more information. 

Navigate to Left-hand Navigation: Admin » Manage Gingr Subscription and click Enable on the add-on you would like to subscribe to. Your billing period begins on the day that you enable this feature. 

The following is the pricing structure for these additional features:

All-in-One Multimedia Messaging Bundle:

This is required in order to access our Canned SMS feature. 

Includes:

  • 2-Way SMS
  • SMS Marketing
  • Multi-Media Messaging
  • Canned SMS Templates
  • Auto-Reply SMS

There is an annual charge as well as metered usage charges. 2-Way SMS is per incoming text. Marketing SMS is per outgoing text. For metered charges (see tiers below), a “SMS” is up to 160 characters. A SMS longer than 160 characters will count as multiple messages. This number resets each monthly billing cycle. The following pricing structure is for 2-Way and Marketing SMS COMBINED:

  • $199/subdomain/year
  • $0.00/SMS for 0-1000 sent or received per month
  • $0.04/SMS for 1001-2000 sent or received per month
  • $0.03/SMS for 2001-3000 sent or received per month
  • $0.02/SMS for 3000+ sent or received per month

If you were previously signed up for 2-way SMS and/or Marketing SMS, upon signing up for the All-in-One Bundle our system will provide a pro-rated credit to your next invoice (regular subscription or messaging bundle, whichever comes first). Metered usage numbers will reset with the upgrade, but usage costs will not get reimbursed if you upgrade mid-month. Please reach out to our support team if you have questions.

2-Way SMS:

Includes 2-way SMS capability. There is an annual charge as well as metered usage charges. Metered usage is per incoming text. For metered charges (see tiers below), a “SMS” is up to 160 characters. A SMS longer than 160 characters will count as multiple messages. This number resets each monthly billing cycle.

  • $150/subdomain/year
  • $0.00/incoming SMS for 0-500 messages received per month
  • $0.04/incoming SMS received over 500 per month 

Marketing SMS:

Includes Marketing SMS capability. There is an annual charge as well as metered usage charges. Metered usage is per outgoing text. For metered charges (see tiers below), a “SMS” is up to 160 characters. A SMS longer than 160 characters will count as multiple messages.  This number resets each monthly billing cycle.

  • $120/location/year
  • $0.00/outgoing SMS for 0-500 messages sent per month
  • $0.04/outgoing SMS sent over 500 per month  

 

How to: Create a Canned SMS Template

To create a new Canned SMS template:

  1. Navigate to Left-hand Navigation: Admin » Manage Custom SMS Templates.

  2. Click the blue Add button towards to right of the screen to create a new template
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  3. There are several fields you will need to fill out. Please review the following guide. Once these details are filled out you can click Save or Save and Add Another

Field Guide to Canned SMS Settings:

Field Name Description Helpful Hint
Variable Options Variables automatically fill in with the relevant information depending on the owner, animal, and location information. These can be entered at any spot within the message. 

Variables count into the 255 character limit AFTER being filled in. So while "{first_name}" is 12 characters, if the owner's name is "John", then only 4 characters will be counted into the max. 

You will be able to edit the message post-variable fill-in from the 2-way texting box to shorten the message as needed. 

If an owner has multiple pets, they will be separated by a comma by default. 

Choose Locations Select the location(s) where this template should be available. Which canned templates show will depend on which location the user is logged into while accessing the list.
Campaign Name This is the name of the template within your Gingr application and is not visible to customers. Make this name descriptive enough for easy access to choose the correct template.
Message

Enter the message to be delivered to customers. Up to 320 characters can be entered. However, if after the variables fill in the message is longer, then you will receive an error and must shorten the message.

Custom variables can be entered here which will automatically fill with the relevant information. See the top of the popup for a list of available variables. 

Be sure to enter variables exactly as listed or they will not populate. 

Emojis and images are not supported when using canned templates.

Media can be added to 2-Way SMS, however, you cannot have the template automatically add any media so you must do so manually at the time of sending. 

 

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How to: Send a Canned SMS Template

Once you have your template set up, you can access it from the 2-way chat box. To send an SMS, you will access the 'Conversations' area from the Top Right Chat Bubble Icon. The number displayed here is the number of unread messages for your location. You must have 2-way SMS set up in order to see this feature, which is part of the All-in-One Multimedia Messaging Bundle add-on.

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From here, you will see the entire SMS history log for Sent and Received text messages, as well as any unread messages.

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On the top right you will see a search bar and a + New message blue bubble.

  • The '+ New' blue bubble is what you will click to compose and send a new message.
  • If you would like to search for an existing number or owner name you've already been in contact with, you will use the search tool.

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Once you select an owner, to send a new message click the blue '+ Start Conversation' button:

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At the bottom of the SMS window, click the 3-bar icon to the left of the message box. Select Insert SMS Template

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A pop-up will appear for you to select the template you would like to add. Click + Add next to the template you would like to send. 

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Once a template is selected you can modify the message as needed. Optionally, you can add photos or files at this time as well. Please see the section on Multimedia Messaging below. 

 

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Once you click send, the SMS will be sent immediately and the new message will appear in the history of the Read tab for all owners and the Conversations page for the particular owner.

 

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How to: Add Multimedia Messaging

If you are subscribed to the All-in-One Multimedia Messaging bundle, you can add photos or files to your messages. You cannot attach files directly to Canned SMS templates. Instead, these images and files are added from the 2-Way SMS Conversation after you have selected to add the Canned SMS template. 

 

Adding Media to a Message

After selecting a customer to message, you can type your message at the bottom. From here, you can then click the 3-bar icon to the left of the text input. Clicking this button opens the option to upload files or take a photo directly on your device. You can also drag and drop files onto the text input to add them to the message. 

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Supported File Types for Multi-media Messaging

Gingr is limited to the file types supported and accepted by Twilio, our messaging service provider. Some file types can be displayed in line with the messages. Other file types can be sent and received but must be downloaded to access the content. 

 

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How to: Use Canned SMS Templates in Auto-Replies

In order to create SMS Auto-replies, you must have Canned SMS templates created. Once you have created your canned response, go to Left-hand Navigation: Admin » SMS Auto-Replies. Click to add a new auto-reply and then when filling in the details you will select the applicable Canned SMS template. Note: Canned SMS Templates cannot be edited from the SMS Auto-Reply Admin page. If you need to alter the template that sends do so from Admin » Canned SMS Templates. 

For more information on setting up auto-replies, please see our article on SMS Auto-Replies.  

 

How to: Use Canned SMS Templates in Marketing SMS

In order to use Canned SMS templates in your marketing campaigns, navigate to Left-hand Navigation: Owners & Pets » Marketing. Click the blue Create a New SMS Marketing Campaign button. 

Once on the new SMS Marketing Campaign page, click Insert Canned Template. This opens a popup with a list of all of your canned SMS templates. Select a template then modify it and add media as needed. 

For more information see our article on SMS Marketing Campaigns

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How to: View SMS History 

There are a couple of ways in which you can view SMS history. From the Owner Profile, you can access a tab with all the customer email and SMS communications in one place. If you are signed up for 2-Way texting, which is part of the All-in-One Multimedia Messaging bundle, then you will also have access to a complete SMS conversation history. 

Owner Communications Tab

In order to see a record of all communications with a customer, navigate to the Owner's profile and then click the Communications Tab. You will see a list of outgoing and incoming messages. Outgoing text messages and call records are listed on this tab. From this tab, you can also send SMS (if you have 2-Way texting enabled), send emails, create call records, add the customer to marketing campaigns, and more. Click each row to view details of the communication.  

For more information please see our article on the Owner Communications Tab

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2-Way SMS

With 2-Way SMS enabled, all System, Marketing, and custom SMS will be listed in the SMS conversations section. For more information please see our article on 2-Way SMS

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How to: Export & Print Templates

Exporting

To export/download a list of your templates, you can click the Export button at the top of your template list. This exports an XLSX file, which can be opened in Excel. 

 

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Printing

To print a list of your templates, click the Print button at the top of your template list. This opens your computer system print dialogue box. 

 

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