How to Use Autoresponder and Create Autoresponses
Text Request’s autoresponder is available on all accounts, and can be accessed by Administrators or Managers under the Autoresponder menu of the Settings menu. (For more on permissions levels, view our User Permissions page.)
When active, the autoresponder automatically sends a preset reply to all inbound messages. Below we’ll cover two different types of autoresponses, how to create and set both of them, best practices for using autoresponder, and more.
When Should You Use an Autoresponse?
Autoresponder acts as your out-of-office text message. If someone texts you while you’re unavailable, the autoresponder sends an instant reply with whatever information you want people to have.
The feature is flexible, and can be used for many reasons. We recommend using it when your team isn’t able to manually respond to messages quickly, such as after business hours, on weekends, and during staff meetings.
How to Create an Autoresponse
You can create as many autoresponses as you want. Just follow these steps, and repeat as needed:
- Go to the Autoresponder menu under your Settings menu.
- Click the Create New button.
- Enter a name for your autoresponse (e.g. After hours, Holiday special, etc.). This name is for internal use only, contacts will not see it.
- Enter your response. (It’s best to keep it under 160 characters. For more on message length, view our SMS 101 page.)
- Choose for your response to be either “Manual” or “Scheduled.” (For details, see below.)
- If Scheduling an autoresponse, choose which times on which days you want it to run.
- Click Save to create your new response.
Scheduled vs. Manual
An autoresponse can be set to one of two states: Scheduled or Manual.
A Scheduled response will run on a schedule, turning itself on and off based on the time slots you’ve set up. A response that is set to Manual will send 24/7 if the response is Active.
An autoresponse will be labeled as Scheduled or Manual inside its box on the main Autoresponder page.
Click Edit to toggle a response between Scheduled and Manual. Be sure to save any changes.
When should you use which?
Scheduled Autoresponses are great for regular intervals. E.g. if your team leaves the office every day at 5pm, you might want a response that automatically kicks on at 5pm and turns off at 8am the next morning.
Manual Autoresponses are great for specific events, like staff meetings where you just need to step away for an hour, or when the person who normally monitors texts is out sick.
Active vs. Inactive
Every response will either be Active or Inactive. Active responses are currently running (turned on) and will send out based on their scheduled settings. Inactive responses will not send (they’re turned off) until you switch them to Active.
The default setting for manual autoresponses is Inactive, while the default setting for scheduled autoresponses is Active. You can toggle responses to be Active/Inactive from your Autoresponder page as needed.
When a Scheduled Autoresponse is Active, it will run as scheduled. When a Manual Autoresponse is Active, it will run perpetually (until you turn it off).
Notes for Creating Your Autoresponse Schedule
Scheduled autoresponses have to have a schedule for when they should and should not go out. Here are a few things to keep in mind when creating your schedule.
- You can create multiple time slots for the same day (e.g. 12pm-1pm and 5pm-11:59pm).
- To schedule a response over night, you will need to create two time slots - one for the evening, and one for the following morning (e.g. Monday, 5pm - 11:59pm; Tuesday, 12am - 8am).
- Time slots cannot be edited once created. Just click the “X” beside it to delete the error, and then create a new time slot.
- Schedules run based on the timezone they were created in.
- Remember to save any changes you make to a schedule.
Multiple responses can be set to run simultaneously (if their schedules have overlapping times, or if a Manual response is on during a Scheduled response).
However, only one Autoresponse will send at a time. If multiple responses are set to run simultaneously, the response higher on your Autoresponse list will go out.
You can adjust a response's priority by moving it up or down on the list using the arrow buttons.
How to Delete an Autoresponse
From the main Autoresponder screen:
- Click Edit on the response you want to delete.
- Hit the Delete button at the bottom of the screen.
- Confirm the delete.
If you have any questions or need help with your autoresponder contact us!