To send a message to an individual phone number or a group, click the New Message button on the top-right of the Messages page.
This opens a dialog that lets you send or schedule a new SMS message to one or more phone numbers or groups of contacts.
The From field lets you select which route to use to send the message. The phone number or sender ID that your contacts will see is shown within angle brackets. If the route has a custom name, the name will be shown in the From field, but will not be visible to your contacts. If your project has two or more routes, the route selected by default can be changed by going to Messages > More > Messaging Settings.
The To field lets you select one or more phone numbers or contact groups to send the message to. It will automatically auto-complete contact names, phone numbers, and group names as you type. You can also copy/paste up to 500 phone numbers on separate lines directly into this field.
The Message field lets you type the content of your message. Above, Telerivet displays the total number of characters in your message. If your message is too long to fit in one single part SMS, this will also display the number of parts that your SMS message will be split into (learn more about the maximum number of characters per SMS part).
The Variables link lets you select variables to insert into the message, such as the contact's name or other custom fields you added for the contact.
If you know the variable name, you can also type variables directly into the Message field surrounded by double square brackets like [[contact.name]].
The Templates link makes it easy to insert messages that you send repeatedly, without having to retype them every time. This is also where you can save a new message template.
The Preview link lets you preview the messages that will be sent prior to sending them. If your message contains any variables, this lets you see what variables will actually be merged into the message. If you are sending messages to a group, it will show up to 50 contacts that the message will be sent to.
If Chattabox supports sending multimedia content (MMS) from one of your phone numbers, an Attach File link will be visible which lets you upload a file from your computer and attach it to your message.
The Labels... button lets you label your outgoing messages for better organization.
To send the message now, click the Send button.
Scheduling Messages to Send Later
To schedule a message to be sent later, use the same process described above, but instead of clicking "Send", click Schedule...
There are two different methods of scheduling messages: Basic and Relative.
The Basic method lets you specify a particular date and time to send the message. If you send a message to a group, all group members will receive the same message at the same date and time.
In contrast, the Relative method lets you schedule a message relative to a particular date field for each contact. If you schedule a Relative message to a group, each group member could receive the message on a different date. For example, you could send a message on a contact's birthday, or a certain number of days after they subscribed.
In order to use the Relative method of scheduling messages, your contacts first need to have a Date or Date/Time field.
Both methods of scheduling messages support repeating scheduled messages. You can schedule repeating messages at daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly intervals, and optionally stop the messages after a certain number of occurrences or after a certain date:
Importing Messages to Send from a Spreadsheet
If you want to send different messages to a large number of users, you can easily import them from a spreadsheet.
At the top of the Messages page, click More > Import messages to send.
On this page, you can copy/paste rows directly from a spreadsheet program such as Excel, or upload an Excel or CSV file, with phone numbers in the first column and messages in the second column.
Similarly, click More > Import schedule to copy/paste messages to schedule from a spreadsheet program, or upload a file. In this case, each row will need a third column containing the date (or date and time) to send each message:
If your "Scheduled Date" column includes a time, the date and time should be separated by a space (like the default date/time format used in Excel).
Sending Messages via API
If you want to send messages directly from your own software instead of the Chatabox web app, you can use the REST API.