When should I use each type of message?

Message offers four ways to engage your contacts via texting: One-to-One, Bulk Message, Programmed Messages, and Virtual Advisor. Each type of messaging can be very powerful when used in the right context. But what exactly is the right context? I'm glad you asked. 

One-to-One: This is the most straight-forward way to text an individual contact. If you need to communicate information relevant or sensitive to only one person, or if a contact responds to a message with a personal question, one-to-one messaging is your best friend. 

Bulk Message: Bulk Messages allow you to search for contacts that meet certain criteria, and send them a message all at once right within the platform. With these messages, you will still be able to personalize the text with the contact's first name or other data, but this is usually a one-time announcement or question for a specific audience. Some examples of common Bulk Messages are invitations to on-campus events, reminders to fill out a certain form, or announcing an annual giving day. You can leverage your custom fields or use the group segmentation to identify the right audience for these messages.

Programmed Messages: Programmed Messages are our most robust texting campaign feature. These are the messages you can schedule in advance to be sent over time, either triggered by a date/event, or when a contact meets specific criteria. You can set advanced "and/or" filtering on the criteria, hyper-segmenting your data to make sure the right text gets to the right person. These messages also allow for custom message branching to help direct contacts to relevant resources based on their response. Any messaging you want over time for an audience that meets certain criteria should be crafted as a programmed message. Note that the Message team needs 2-3 days to program in these messages, so be sure to work with your Implementation or Account Manager to use the message template correctly.

Virtual Advisor: Our Virtual Advisor is an AI-powered tool that's really the Message version of a  chatbot to help answer the common questions you or your staff has to answer a thousand times a day. These commonly asked questions are already set up to be understood and you and your team can personalize the answers to fit your institution's needs. 


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