After you purchase a Community Connect account, your contact will use the email you've provided to create an admin login to the Community Connect portal. You will receive an email asking you to log in and set a password. Once you've done that, you'll be able to access our portal.
Create Your Message
The first step to engaging with your clients via text messaging is to plan the message or messages you want to send. When creating your messages:
- Keep the content as brief as possible! Remember, folks are reading these on their phones.
- Be clear how you want your clients to respond. If you expect a "Yes" or "No", say so.
- If you're asking for information from your clients, give them an example of how they should respond.
When you have an idea of the message you want to send, you'll use our flow functionality to build the message. Flows are visual representations of the messages you'll send your clients and include options to send customized messages based on uploaded information you already have or information collected during the survey.
To build your flow:
1. Click on 'Flows' in the top navigation, access the Flow page, and click 'Create Flow'. You'll see the following dialog:
- Your Flow Name should help you remember the content of the message you're sending. This is for your own internal use and won't be sent to your clients.
- If you already have your client's contact information and permission to contact them for this message, you can leave this section blank. If you don't have their information yet, you can use the optional Trigger Words to allow your clients to start the flow by texting a specific word to the phone number linked to your account.
- Select 'Messaging' here to send your message over SMS text.
- The default language for editing flows is English. Update if you'd like another default message.
2. Once you've finished the dialog, click 'Create' to create your flow. Now click on 'Create Message'. You'll see the following dialog:
- Select 'Send a response message' in the first dropdown.
- Enter the message you plan to send in the dialog box and hit okay.
3. Once you've entered your message, follow the instructions in the Flow Editor to drag the red box to save responses. You'll see the following dialog:
- If you just want to send a single message and save the response, select 'Wait for response' in the first dropdown.
- Chose a value for 'Save result as' that's connected to the message you sent. This is for internal use only and will help you when you view your responses.
- If you'd like to use branching logic to send further messages based on your client's response, use the bottom section and see our Response Rules article. If not, leave it blank.
4. If you want to send additional messages, drag the red box in the Flow Editor down and repeat the above steps. If not, you're done!
Now that you've written your message, you need to upload the contact information for the clients you want to contact.
You can do this in bulk via a .XLS spreadsheet upload or individually through our portal. We encourage you to import any information you may want to use to customize messages or campaigns in the future. Examples might be a contact's name, so they can be personally addressed, or their location, so you only send them information on programs in their area.
To upload your contacts:
1. Start by organizing the relevant information for the clients you want to contact in a .XLS file in Excel. You can use this template as an example. Add additional information in a column with a name to identify the information, like 'First Name'. Name the file with a description that helps identify your contacts.
2. Click on 'Contacts' in the top navigation, access the Contacts page, and click 'Import Contacts'. Follow the instructions to import your contacts. You'll see a confirmation that your contacts have been uploaded and added to a Contact Group matching the name of your file. Click the link to confirm the information from the contacts you've uploaded.
3. If you'd like to change the name of your contact group, select the Gear icon on the Contacts page.
- Once you've selected the gear icon, you can change the name of your Contact Group.
- You can also click into the records of individual contacts to change any information
4. Once you've confirmed your contact information is correct, you're ready to send your message!
Sending Your Message
1. Return to the Flows page and select the Flow you created earlier.
2. Click on the 'Start Flow' button in the top right portion of the Flow Editor. You'll see the following dialog:
- Select the option to 'Start flow immediately and send to selected groups or individuals'
- Select the name of the Contact Group for the contacts you uploaded previously.
- Because this is your first flow, leave the other two options unchecked
- Click the 'Ok' button to send your message!
Now that you've sent your message, you can use our Analytics tools to see how many of your clients responded to your message. Wait several hours after sending, then Click on 'Analytics' in the top navigation, access the Flow page, and select the flow you created above. You'll see a graphical breakdown of the answers to your message.