Echo Mobile

            Tips in Handling Unsolicited Messages

            As you can use different mobile engagement tools (SMS, USSD, Interactive Voice Response and Sensors), these channels become a communication mode which is affiliated to your organization, brand or project and which your contacts will use to communicate accordingly. This is particularly important for organizations that have invested in private services (SMS, USSD, IVR) on the Echo platform as these are communication channels that are licensed JUST for your company unlike shared services which are common channels shared among many of our clients.
            Want to know more about using private services vs shared services? Send us an email at support@echomobile.org or for a chat us if you are logged into your account!
            As these private services are generally set up to facilitate two-way communication, incoming messages or USSD dials from contacts cannot be blocked but you can choose how the platform responds to such incoming messages.

            Unsolicited Messages vs Spamming Messages

            Spam Messages (mostly is observed on SMS) refer to messages that are unusual, unwanted and suspicious from unknown contacts. Sometimes a phone number may generate high amounts of incoming traffic repeatedly over a short period of time that will be directed to your private service. Such messages can be identified on the Echo platform through our anti-spamming feature which blacklists the phone numbers and stops any incoming messages.

            Unsolicited Messages (mostly is observed on SMS) refer to unexpected messages that come from contacts who are inadvertently sending messages to your private service  e.g. unrelated messages received as a result of a call to action from a radio program advertising which is promoting a shortcode with the same prefixes as your private service.

            How to Handle Unsolicited Messaging

            Based on your engagement plan and primary goal on using mobile engagement tools, you can choose to use the contacts that are sending in the unsolicited messages to build your contact database or disregard the messages coming through. 

            Next, we shall explore how to go about both approaches using various features on the Echo Mobile Platform.
            Disclaimer: Client will be fully responsible and liable for all aspects of managing its account on the Echo Mobile platform. These responsibilities will include, but are not limited to, setting up surveys and responding to messages received on the platform. In the event of any set-up errors and resultant unanticipated consequences, including large volumes of messages or incentives sent, or large volumes of responses received, Client will not hold Echo Mobile responsible or liable and agrees to indemnify Echo fully of costs or any responsibility for set-up that leads to system abuse or large usage volumes.

            As groups are used to manage and segment contacts within your account, you can track the contacts that send in unsolicited messages. For private services, any new contact who sends in a message that is not a group name (keyword) or a trigger word and is not responding to a survey or quiz question will be treated as a new contact and will be registered into your default group. For accounts on a private service can create up to 10 groups names/keywords and one of these groups must be the default group.

            These contacts will be tagged with an automatic label know as "ORPHAN" to indicate that the contact registered into the default group as they did sent a message that was not a group name (keyword), trigger or their message was not tied to an ongoing survey or quiz

            How do I know my default group? Read more on how you can manage your groups and set up your default group in our Managing Groups article

            Choose to Engage with Contacts Sending Unsolicited Messages

            You can engage with this contacts by doing the following:
            1. Choose and set up your default group. This can be sometimes referred to as a CATCH group. This will be a group that you define within your current list of groups to hold in contacts who would register in the event they send in a message which is not a group name (keyword) or a trigger word and is not responding to a survey or quiz question.
            2. As these contacts will not be registering into your set default group, you can configure your group registration and response settings  to have a reply survey that can ask these contacts a set of questions e.g How did you hear about us? Would you like to know about us? e.t.c.
            3. You could set up a scheduled event that runs every day/week/month or certain number of days after contacts with the label "ORPHAN" registered into the default group to gather data from these contacts.
            4. You could set up your inbox auto reply that is default setting enabled within a group to send out a survey or notice to the contacts who are registered in the default group who keep on sending in messages even after receiving the registration survey/notice

            How will this engagement affect my costs?

            This approach will affect your cost as it will increase your usage of the platform (dependant on the cost of outgoing messaging) as these new contacts that are getting into the group and will be sent the survey, quiz or notice that have been onfigured on the default group

            Choose Not to Engage with the Contacts Sending Unsolicited Messages

            You can choose not to engage with contacts sending unsolicited messages if you wish so. This can be done by doing the following:
            1. Choose and set up your default group. This can be sometimes referred to as a CATCH group. This will be a group that you define within your current list of groups to hold in contacts who would register in the event they send in a message is not a group name(keyword) or a trigger word and is not responding to a survey or quiz question
            2. Disable self-registration settings within the default group
            3. Disable inbox auto-reply settings within the default group
            This will not allow any of the contacts to be register into the default group and will not send out any messages to the said contacts

            How will this engagement affect my costs?

            This will approach will not affect your cost as no messaging will be sent out to the contacts
            Do you have further questions on unsolicited messages and how this impact you? Talk to us! Send an email to support@echomobile.org or for a quick connection to us, click on the support chat box if you are logged into your account!


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