Sending and Receiving Multimedia with Telerivet

The Telerivet Gateway app now supports sending and receiving multimedia messages, including images, video, audio, and PDF files. With the Telerivet Gateway app, you can use an Android phone as an MMS gateway in any country, as long as your mobile network supports MMS.

To start sending and receiving MMS, install or upgrade to the latest version of the Telerivet Gateway app at https://telerivet.com/gateway .

To send a multimedia message from Telerivet, click New Message on the Messages page, then click Media, then upload an image, video, audio, or PDF file, or copy a URL to a file uploaded elsewhere.

To send multimedia messages via Telerivet’s REST API, first upload the multimedia files somewhere with a publicly accessible URL, then specify the files to send via the media_urls parameter. (View API documentation)

If your contacts send photos or other multimedia to your Android phone, you can view or download the files from the Messages page in Telerivet, or retrieve them via Telerivet’s developer API. 

Each mobile network has a limit for the maximum size of an MMS message. By default, the Telerivet Gateway app will automatically resize and compress large image files to be 599 kB or smaller, which should be supported by most mobile networks. (The maximum file size can be configured on the Messaging Settings screen in the Telerivet Gateway app.) The Telerivet Gateway app doesn’t automatically resize video, audio, or PDF files, so your messages may fail to send if the attachments are larger than the maximum size supported by your network.

Sending MMS requires Android 5.0 or above. Sending and receiving MMS is only possible if MMS is supported by your mobile network. Depending on your mobile network and plan, there may be additional data charges to send or receive MMS messages.

Link Shortening and Click Tracking with Telerivet

If you send links in SMS messages, you may have encountered the challenge of trying to fit the URL and the rest of your message in 160 characters.

Now, we’re happy to announce Telerivet’s Short Links feature, which makes it easy to shorten URLs and track clicks in your SMS messages. Telerivet will show you every contact who clicked the link (or didn’t click it), as well as overall statistics to help you optimize your messaging campaigns.

While composing an SMS message in Telerivet, simply type or copy/paste any URL starting with http:// or https://, and the Shorten links / track clicks checkbox will automatically appear below the message:

You can preview how the URL will be shortened and verify the character count before sending the message. (You can still send any URL without Telerivet shortening links or tracking clicks, simply by leaving the checkbox unchecked.)

By default, Telerivet sends short links with the domain rvt.me, and each contact will receive a unique URL in the format https://rvt.me/xxxxxxxxx (24 characters):

Telerivet adds “https://” for security, but you can remove it on the Messaging Settings page to shorten the link to 16 characters.

When any contact clicks the link, they will automatically be redirected to the destination URL, and the contact will show up as “Clicked” on your Messages page.

Although the Messages page shows the short URL like https://rvt.me/xxxxxxxxx, each contact actually receives a unique URL (not all x’s). This is different from link shortening services like bit.ly — if you send short links from a link shortening service, everyone would receive the same short URL, and you wouldn’t know who actually clicked the link.

The actual unique short URL is hidden from the Messages page, because if you opened it in your browser, Telerivet would count it as if the contact clicked the link. The Messages page also shows the destination link, which is not sent as part of the SMS, which you can click without being tracked.

Branded Short Links

Accounts on Enterprise plans can replace rvt.me with their own domain name or subdomain. To use a custom short link domain, contact support@telerivet.com for more information.

Link Previews

The Short Links feature supports link previews on iOS and Android. If link previews are enabled on the recipient’s phone, the SMS app may show a title, domain, and an image from the destination page, giving the contact more confidence about the short link. When a link preview is loaded, Telerivet marks the message as delivered, but does not count the message as clicked until the contact actually opens the link.

Click-Through Statistics

If you send a short link to multiple contacts, the Broadcast Details page shows the real-time click-through rate and total number of contacts who clicked the link, and a chart with the number of contacts who have clicked the link in 15 minute intervals.

When viewing a broadcast, the Short Link filters show who clicked the link, and who didn’t click it. Details about which links were clicked are also included when exporting messages to CSV.

Developer API Integration

For organizations sending SMS messages from their own systems, the Short Links feature works seamlessly with Telerivet’s developer API. When sending messages via the REST API, just set the track_clicks parameter to true, and Telerivet will shorten URLs and track clicks within the message content. If you configure a webhook URL for status notifications, Telerivet will also notify your webhook URL when the contact clicks your link, with clicked_time set to the timestamp of the click.

Availability

The Short Links feature is available to users on the Pro plan and higher Custom plans. To try it out, compose a new message and paste a URL starting with http:// or https:// into the Message box.

If your current plan doesn’t include this feature, you can upgrade to Pro to start shortening links and tracking clicks. To send branded short links, Telerivet’s Enterprise plans support replacing rvt.me with your own short link domain. To use a custom short link domain, contact support@telerivet.com for more information.

Message Review

Many organizations use Telerivet to let their teams send text messages and voice calls on behalf of the organization. However, giving more people access to send messages can also increase the risk of typos, incorrect messages, incorrect recipients, or other errors. If a broadcast is sent to hundreds or thousands of contacts in error, it could be costly, embarrassing, or worse.

To make it easier to prevent errors when sending messages, Telerivet is introducing a new feature called Message Review. With Message Review, your organization can designate reviewers to to approve, edit, or delete messages drafted by your team before the messages are sent out.

Administrators can enable Message Review on the Messaging Settings page, and can configure who gets notified by email when a message needs review:

When Message Review is enabled, any message with the specified number of recipients will be submitted for review, including scheduled messages. When composing a message, the “Send” button will automatically change to “Submit for Review”:

Clicking “Submit for Review” will trigger an email notification to the reviewer or reviewers:

When the reviewer clicks “Review message”, Telerivet shows a preview of the message content for several contacts so the reviewer can verify that any variables are inserted correctly:

The reviewer can click “Edit” to change the content, sender, recipient, or the time when the message is scheduled. (In this example, the reviewer should fix the typo!) If the message was scheduled for a certain time but wasn’t approved before the scheduled time, the reviewer must edit and reschedule the message.

When the message looks good, the reviewer can click “Approve” (or “Approve and Send Now”). If the message shouldn’t be sent, the reviewer can click “Delete”.

When a reviewer approves or deletes a message, an email notification is sent to the user who created the message, as well as to all reviewers.

Message Review provides a simple way to ensure that the messages your organization sends are actually what you want to send. To enable Message Review, visit the Messaging Settings page in your Telerivet dashboard.

Introducing Telerivet for iOS and Android

We are very excited to announce that Telerivet is now available as an app for iPhones and iPads, as well as Android phones and tablets.

You can use the app to send and schedule broadcasts, view and edit contacts, manage automated services, and more. Almost anything you can do from your web browser, you can do on the go.

In addition, the iOS and Android apps let you get (optional) notifications of incoming messages. If someone sends a text message to your virtual number, you can read the message and reply directly from your phone.

Since Telerivet runs in the cloud, you can switch back and forth between the smartphone app and the web dashboard at any time.

When using the app, text messages and voice calls are sent and received via third-party providers such as Nexmo, not via your personal phone. When you send SMS messages or calls from the app, your contacts will see your organization’s sender or caller ID (as configured in your Telerivet account), not your personal phone number.

The iPhone and iPad app supports iOS 10.0 and above. The Android app works on Android 4.4 or above.

To try it out, install the app on your phone below:

Two Telerivet Android apps

As you may know, Telerivet already had an Android app that turns an Android phone into a SMS gateway in any country.  The new Android app, however, does not turn your phone into an SMS gateway.

Telerivet’s original SMS gateway app is still available, and it will continue to be supported and developed. There are just two separate Telerivet Android apps now because they serve different purposes.

To avoid confusion between the two Telerivet Android apps, the original Telerivet Android app has been renamed to “Telerivet Gateway“. The Telerivet Gateway app lets you use Telerivet to send and receive SMS messages in any country via that Android phone’s SIM card. Typically, users will dedicate a phone specifically for the Telerivet Gateway app, and won’t use it as a normal mobile phone.

The main screen of the Telerivet Gateway app:

On the other hand, the new Android app is named “Telerivet Mobile“. Telerivet Mobile lets you access Telerivet’s mobile messaging platform from your phone, and receive notifications. Telerivet Mobile is meant to be used on your personal mobile phone — and if you invite your team to use Telerivet, everyone can install Telerivet Mobile on their phones too. (There are no limits on the number of phones that can run the Telerivet Mobile app.)

Any SMS messages that you send from the Telerivet Mobile app will be sent via the SMS gateway you have configured in your Telerivet account. This may be a provider like Nexmo, or it could be an Android phone running the Telerivet Gateway app. (It is possible to run the Telerivet Mobile app and the Telerivet Gateway app on different Android phones, or the same phone.)

We’re excited to hear your feedback on the new Android and iOS apps — let us know what you think at support@telerivet.com.

Introducing Telerivet Voice

In the past 5 years, thousands of organizations across more than 150 countries have relied on Telerivet to send and receive text messages. Today, we’re excited to announce the launch of Telerivet Voice, which organizations can use to automate voice calls with their customers, employees, and community.

Telerivet makes it easier than ever to build your own interactive voice response (IVR) menus and call flows, run voice polling campaigns, send automated voice broadcasts, and send voice calls using a virtual caller ID. You can do it all from your browser, with no programming required. In minutes, you can get a local virtual number in over 60 countries, and send and receive calls worldwide.

Businesses and non-profits can use Telerivet Voice for a wide variety of use cases, including customer support, data collection, market research, alerting, phone-banking, audience engagement, and more.

See it in action:


Whirlwind Consulting, a boutique political consultancy specializing in statewide initiative and candidate political campaigns, has been using Telerivet Voice to make outbound calls. “Telerivet allows our consultants to reach any of our clients, employees and even voters from one platform,” says Whirlwind founder Jordan DeCoster. “Its combination of light-weight interface and multi-channel options keeps each contact in one place, regardless of the method of communication (text and voice).”

For more advanced use cases, Telerivet Voice is developer-friendly. In Kenya, the Uliza project has been piloting an innovative IVR system that allows Kenyans to call in to a local virtual number and record a question in Swahili. A distributed, crowd-sourced team records an answer to the user’s question, and the system calls the user back with the answer. “We have been able to build a complex voice-data processing tool with the help of Telerivet’s voice features,” says Grant Bridgman, founder of Uliza. “We are particularly excited about the new JavaScript interface, which allows us to add greater flexibility to how our services interact with our clients.”

Get started in minutes

Telerivet Voice is integrated seamlessly into the same Telerivet web dashboard that users all over the world have relied on over the past 5 years.

To try it out, log in to your Telerivet dashboard (if you don’t have one yet, create a free account).

The Services page is where you can configure custom IVR call flows, automated voice polls, or simply set up call forwarding or voicemail. On the Services page, add a new service and click the Voice tab, then click the type of service you want to set up:

To see the full power of Telerivet Voice, create a Custom Call Flow. Click one of the examples on the top-right to explore how to create your IVR system using Telerivet’s drag-and-drop interface:

To see the different types of actions that you can use to create a call flow, click “Add action”. Call flows can play text-to-speech or recorded audio, prompt for a key press or multiple digits, forward the call, record audio from the caller, and much more.

To make outbound voice calls, go to the Messages or Contacts page and click the “Call” dropdown.

You can test Telerivet Voice in your browser even if you don’t have a voice-enabled virtual number, but in order to send and receive actual voice calls you’ll need to set up a virtual number on the Phones page.

(If you’ve been using Telerivet Android app as the SMS gateway, note that the Android app does not support Telerivet Voice due to technical limitations. You would need to add a voice-enabled virtual number in order to use the voice functionality.)

To learn more about how you can use Telerivet voice, visit https://telerivet.com/voice. For more details on how to use all the new features, visit the User Guide.

We are excited to hear your feedback, and discuss how Telerivet Voice might help your organization. Get in touch by emailing us at support@telerivet.com .