Using SMS in Playbooks

Because texting is a modern communication method, Reps can send and receive SMS messages directly from Playbooks. Multi-channel communication has also been shown to increase response rates.

Reps will see the Ad Hoc SMS button when they open a people or task record in Playbooks. Before sending the message, they should confirm which phone number to send the message to. And messages should be kept short since SMS protocol limits messages to 160 standard characters (all Latin characters A-Z, digits 0-9, and few special characters). If special characters are used (i.e. special symbols, emojis) then messages are limited to 70 characters.

If the contact replies to the SMS message, and the contact’s record is still enrolled in Playbooks, the Rep will get a pop-up notification in Playbooks. Clicking the notification will open the people record in Playbooks, or they can browse to the people record at anytime and access the SMS thread by clicking the SMS button, then respond as appropriate.

The record MUST be enrolled in Playbooks for the Rep to see the SMS response.

Double Click: Using SMS

As you saw from the carousel above, replying to messages is done from Playbooks, NOT a user’s mobile phone. Users must access the SMS feature from the Playbooks record, that also means “Click-to-Text” directly from the CRM record isn’t available. Users must be viewing the record in Playbooks to access the SMS feature.

In order to leverage this form of communication, a unique Direct Inbound Number must be assigned to each rep. Earlier in this course, you learned that Direct Inbound Numbers can also be assigned to reps in order to accept Inbound calls through Playbooks. Reps would use the same number for SMS and inbound calls. These are not numbers that will route calls to the whole team. These numbers are “personal” and can be advertised on business cards and email signatures as the personal, direct, and text phone number.

XANT must configure Direct Inbound Numbers for SMS messaging. A Support ticket can be submitted to enable this functionality, and the phone number must be assigned to a rep from the Playbooks Manager App.  Once the phone number is SMS enabled and assigned, reps will see the option to send SMS messages in Playbooks.

Earlier in this course we also described how Direct Inbound Numbers must be owned and maintained by XANT in order for Playbooks to take part in the call. This makes XANT the service provider for that phone number and the SMS service. There is a nominal cost for each phone number, as well as an added cost for SMS service per person. Talk to your Customer Success Manager about SMS if you are interested.

Note: DIN phone numbers must be local phone numbers, not Toll Free. However, Playbooks Administrators/Managers specify the geographic locations they would like at the time of request. For example, a rep in California is assigned a territory in Texas, and therefore, assigned a local Texas phone number.

Legal Compliance

Playbooks is a valuable, powerful tool for communicating, but there are federal and local compliance laws that must be taken into account when you communicate with customers and prospects, especially when sending SMS messages. You are strongly encouraged to discuss compliance with your company’s legal team for guidance. Below are some basic principles to be aware of, but they do not replace your legal team’s guidance.

  1. Playbooks was NOT designed for mass communication, but rather thoughtful interactions (phone, email, SMS, swag) with consumers. Other platforms specialize in marketing campaigns to mass communicate with a broader audience.
  2. Opt-In is ESSENTIAL. If you are engaging with a buyer on a late-stage opportunity and emails are going back and forth, ask if they prefer to communicate by text. If they say yes, be sure to save that conversation to your notes.
  3. Respect Opt-Outs. Playbooks will no longer send your messages if the recipient responds to the SMS message with “STOP” or “UNSUBSCRIBE”. See what that looks like Playbooks in this Help Center article.

If you plan to use the SMS feature in Playbooks, we strongly encourage you to learn more about SMS Compliance in the Advanced Telephony (201) course AND speak with your company’s legal team.

Download: Guide to US SMS Compliance
Download Twillio’s Guide to US SMS Compliance. This guide is not intended to replace the advice of your organization’s legal team.
SMS Limits
Yearly Messages Varies
Consult your contract.
Geographies U.S. & Canada
Direct Inbound Numbers must be local phone numbers (no Toll Free numbers)
Related Article: Introduction to Playbooks SMS
Learn more about SMS, or share the article with a team, manager, or admin.

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