Introducing the new Telerivet

To kick off 2014, we’re excited to announce that beginning today, customers around the world will have access to the most powerful, intuitive, and visually stunning version of Telerivet we’ve ever built. And it’s not just a facelift—it’s an entire engine overhaul.


Customer feedback has been central to our work over the past several months as we redesigned and rebuilt Telerivet. Thank you for all of your suggestions, comments, and ideas (keep ‘em coming!)


We think you’ll love what we’ve done. Here’s some of what’s new:


Redesigned layout and easier navigation


On every page of the new Telerivet web app, you’ll notice a slick, intuitive layout that makes navigation incredibly simple. The main navigation menu is now on the left, enabling content to fill the window. Actions specific to the current page—such as sending a message or adding a new contact—are shown at the top and remain visible when you scroll. We also increased the size of many elements, making Telerivet more usable on tablets and high-resolution displays.


Watch the video to see how it works:




Faster, leaner, and real-time


The new Telerivet is now more responsive and faster than ever before. We’ve made hundreds of under-the-hood changes to our JavaScript and HTML code, so that you can spend less time waiting for pages to load. This also means Telerivet will now work even better on low-bandwidth connections.


Many Telerivet components now update in real-time without you having to refresh the page. All pages that update in real-time have a “Live updates” icon in the bottom-right corner of the screen. Try it out on the new Dashboard page — when you send or receive a message, the Dashboard will update your message statistics and graphs in real time, as shown in the video below:




Improved Android monitoring


If you use an Android phone to send and receive SMS with Telerivet, the new Telerivet makes it even easier to ensure your Android phone is working and troubleshoot any problems. The new Phones page updates in real time to show Android phone connection status, battery level, queued messages waiting to be sent, and any errors sending messages. If your phone has a problem, the Phones page shows recommendations for how to fix it.




Enhanced user permissions


The new Telerivet makes it even easier to share access to your mobile messaging project with other people in your organization. When inviting others to your Telerivet project, you can now easily assign users to common roles such as "Organization administrator", "Project administrator", "Project contributor", or "Project viewer" (instead of manually selecting several different permissions). You can also grant user permissions for all projects in an organization.


Simplified pricing for NEW customers (current customers are unaffected)


In order to provide a service that meets the needs of organizations around the world, we’ve simplified our pricing into three distinct plans:

  • The Free plan offers 100 contacts—10x our previous Free plan—and 100 messages per day so that users can try Telerivet on a larger scale before they buy.

  • The Standard plan ($30/mo) offers up to 10,000 contacts and 5,000 messages per day.

  • The Premium plan ($125/mo) offers unlimited contacts and up to 20,000 messages per day.

If you're a current customer, you can continue using your existing plan without any changes (and of course you can switch to one of our new plans if you like).

If Telerivet adds more than a dollar a day in value to your organization, we encourage you to upgrade to a paid plan. If it doesn’t, please get in touch.


And Lots More…


The new Telerivet has hundreds of other changes—too many to describe in a single blog post! If you already have an account, log into Otherwise, get started at


Let us know what you think and stay tuned for even more features coming soon!

New updates to contacts, groups, and dates

We just launched four new updates to Telerivet to make it even more user-friendly and efficient. Read on, try them out, and let us know what you think!


Dates in your local format

Does 10/9/2013 mean October 9 or September 10?

At Telerivet headquarters in San Francisco, we write dates in mm/dd/yyyy format, so Telerivet has always formatted dates that way too. But if you’re not from the US, Canada, Belize, Palau, or Micronesia, that’s probably not how you normally do it.

Now you can specify the order of the month, day, and year in dates within Telerivet. Just click on Settings and then choose your preferred date format.

When entering dates in Telerivet, feel free to use either slashes, dots, or dashes.

By default, your date format should be set to the most common format used in your country. If we picked the wrong date format for your country, let us know!


Editing contacts without leaving the page

When you’re using Telerivet to track contact information for hundreds or thousands of contacts, every few seconds spent editing each contact can easily turn into hours.

To save valuable seconds each time you need to edit a contact, we just changed our contact editor to open in a modal dialog — meaning you can edit contacts without ever leaving the page you’re on.

Each custom contact field has a "gear" icon if you want to edit the field name, type, or variable name. Previously you could edit those settings by clicking on the field name, but that wasn’t very obvious!

You’ll also notice that editing contact groups now uses a tag-based text field with autocomplete, instead of having a checkbox for every group. If you have dozens of groups, this really makes a difference!

But what if you’re on the Messages page, and you want to save details from messages into contact information? Previously you had to leave the Messages page in order to update contact information, so if you needed to do that 100 times in a row, it was not very fun.

So now, you can edit contact details without ever leaving the Messages page. Just “long-click” on the contact name next to any message — in other words, click and hold the mouse for at least half a second.

Less back and forth means more time for everything else you want to do.


Viewing group sizes at a glance

When you’re sending a message to a group, you’ll probably want to know how many people you’re sending to — it makes a big difference if you’re sending to 10 people or 1,000.

Now, the “Send SMS” dialog shows the number of contacts in each group you're sending to, so you can easily see how many messages you're about to send.

Also, you can now see all your group sizes at a glance on the Contacts page  – there’s no need to click on each group to see how many contacts at has.


“Set contact variable” rule

If you’re using Telerivet’s Rules Engine, one of the things you may often want to do is update contact information automatically from an incoming message.

This has always been possible by using the “Set variable” rule, but the “Set variable” rule is perhaps a little too powerful — if all you want to do is update contact information, it requires a few too many clicks.

In order to make this easier, we just added the “Set contact variable” rule to the Rules Engine (underlined below):

For example, to set the contact’s email address from the content of an SMS message, you could create a “Set contact variable” like this:


Try these improvements out, and let us know what you think!


Our Polling Feature – New and Improved

A year ago, we first added SMS polls and surveys on Telerivet. Since then, hundreds of organizations have used Telerivet to conduct mobile polls and surveys in dozens of countries around the world — including small businesses collecting customer feedback, radio programs polling their listeners, and NGOs conducting surveys.

This summer, we reached out to many of our customers to get ideas on how to improve Telerivet, and one common request was to improve our SMS polling feature. We live for feedback, and implementing features that our customers ask for is one of our favorite things to do. So today, we’re happy to announce a big batch of new improvements to Telerivet’s SMS polling feature that make it even more powerful, efficient, and easy to use.


More intuitive and efficient poll editor

When editing a poll, a lot of important actions used to be hidden behind a small blue “gear” icon that let you edit settings for each choice in your poll. It wasn’t always obvious what the gear icon meant, and often you had to click a bunch of different gear icons to make the necessary changes.

We’ve moved things around so that it’s a lot more obvious what actions are available, so now editing your poll requires a lot fewer clicks than before. Here’s what it looks like:



To create synonyms for any response choice — for example, “yes” and “y” — you no longer need to re-enter all the settings for each synonym. Simply click the “+” icon next to each choice and enter all the words you want to accept:



If your survey has many similar questions, you no longer need to re-enter each question separately. Now you can just click the “Duplicate Question” icon shown below to quickly make a copy of any question:




Quick and easy, right?


Flexible keyword matching

The first version of Telerivet’s SMS polls made it easy to test for exact matches of SMS keyword responses. But respondents often don’t follow instructions exactly, and might send other words besides the exact text you want. Now you can easily configure flexible match conditions, like “has word” or “starts with”:




And if you’re asking questions with numeric responses, you can also easily sort your numeric data into ranges by using comparisons like “less than” or “greater than.”


Add custom actions anywhere in your survey

Previously, for each response choice in your survey, Telerivet only allowed a few basic actions, such as sending an SMS reply. Now you can use Telerivet’s Rules Engine to add custom actions for any multiple choice response — such as sending an email, posting a tweet, adding the contact to a group, updating contact information, or even notifying your own application via the Webhook API:





Insert variables into questions and actions

With the new poll editor, you can easily personalize your survey by inserting variables like the name of the current contact. The old poll editor actually allowed variables, but it didn’t show you what variables were available, so few people knew that it was even possible!




In addition, for anyone who conducts SMS surveys with multiple questions, we’ve added a new set of variables that make it easy to refer to the current respondent’s answers from earlier in the survey. For example, [[response.q1.code]] is the code assigned to the contact’s response for question “q1”, and [[response.q1.text]] is the full text of the SMS response.


Try it out!

If you’ve already created a poll on Telerivet before this update, it should continue working the same as before. For example, the text of the SMS responses will still have to match the multiple choice questions exactly unless you change it. To try out the new features, just go to your Services page and click “Edit service”.

If you already have a Telerivet account but haven’t created a poll yet, try creating a survey with the new and improved poll editor.  

And if you haven’t started using Telerivet yet, try it out.

We hope you find Telerivet’s SMS poll feature more intuitive, more efficient, and more powerful than before. Try it out and let us know what you think!


New feature: Message Routes

Telerivet has always made it easy to connect multiple phones to your Telerivet account, whether you’re sending messages to multiple countries, taking advantage of in-network SMS rates, or sending more messages than a single phone can handle.

We know that being able to send messages from multiple phones gives you more flexibility and reliability with your communications. But it has required manual effort to choose the right phone to send each message.

So we’re happy to announce our new, long-awaited Message Routes feature!

Any Telerivet user with more than one phone connected to their Telerivet account can now easily create custom routing rules to determine which phone to use to send each message. Whether you utilize Android phones, virtual numbers, or a combination, it’s now easy to choose which phones send which messages.

Here are our top three reasons why you should try out Message Routes:

1. Make your SMS sending more reliable

 If some of your Android phones are disconnected, Message Routes can send messages using any active phones. And if one of your phones has an error sending a message, Telerivet can automatically transfer the message to another phone.

2. Decrease your SMS costs

If it’s cheaper to send an SMS message to another phone on the same mobile network, you can easily use phones on different mobile networks to send messages to different contacts.

3. Send more messages than a single phone can handle

 Message Routes can automatically distribute messages among multiple phones. If your phoneshave a lot of queued messages, Telerivet can automatically choose the phone with the shortest queue.

Better yet, Message Routes work everywhere in Telerivet, including Telerivet’s web app, automated services, and the developer API.

Sounds pretty great, right? When you’re ready to try it out, here’s how to do it.


Creating Routes

In your Telerivet project, go to the Phones page, and click on the "Routes" tab. Then click the "Add new route" button to set up your routing rules.

If you’ve used Telerivet’s Rules Engine, then you already know how to create a Message Route. Each message route is just a collection of one or more “rules” —  either an “if … then …” condition, or a rule choosing the phone(s) that can be used to send the message.

Depending on what you want your Message Route to accomplish, you can add rules in different ways. Below we’ll describe how to create two different types of Message Routes: Load-balancing routes, and Least-cost routes.


1. Load-balancing routes – Distributing messages among multiple phones

To create routes that distribute messages among multiple phones, all you need to do is click “Add rule…” and click "Choose phone(s) to send message":



Then add all the phones you want to use. Click the (+) button on the right hand side to add more phones:



That’s it! Just click “Save route” and you’re done.

Now, when you use this route to send messages, Telerivet will automatically distribute messages among all the of phones you list:

So, how does Telerivet choose which phone to use for each message? When you send a message, Telerivet calculates a numeric score for each phone in the list, and then chooses the phone with the highest score.

Curious how Telerivet calculates the score? Here’s how we do it:

1. If the phone has connected to Telerivet’s servers in the past half-hour (+1000 points)

 2. The number of errors sending messages in the past hour (-5 points per failure)

 3. The number of messages waiting to be sent (-1 point per queued message)

 If multiple phones have the same score, then Telerivet will just choose a phone at random.

If a phone tries to send a message and it fails (e.g. if airtime runs out on one of your phones), Telerivet will also retry sending the message via another phone in the list.

By creating a route with multiple phones, it’s easy to send SMS reliably, even if some of your phones are temporarily out-of-order.


2. Least-Cost Routing — Using different phones to send SMS to different contacts

The other big use case for Message Routes is when you want to send messages to different contacts using different phones.

To create a Message Route with this behavior, start by creating an "if … then …" condition for each of your phones, and then add a "Choose phone(s) to send message" rule underneath each one:




The next step is to actually define each of the if/then conditions, to specify which messages get sent via which phones. There are a few different ways you could do that:


Option 1. Look at first digits of the phone number:




Option 2. Create a custom variable for each of your contacts:



Option 3. Add contacts to a group:




If you can determine which phone to use from the first digits of the phone number, that’s usually the easiest option, since you don’t need manually import or organize your contacts.

It's possible to create a route that doesn't assign every phone number to a phone. If you try to send a message that is not routed to any phone, you'll just get an error message.


Using your routes

Once you’ve created your routing rules, using them is easy. After you create a route, it will show up anywhere in Telerivet where you select a phone to send a message:




If you click the "Set as default route when sending messages" checkbox when creating or editing your route, then it will be selected by default.

You can use custom routes on the Messages page, in polls, in the rules engine, and even in the Developer API.

To use your routes in the Developer API, visit the API page for your project to get the Route ID. Any time you send a message from the API, simply use your Route ID for the phone_id parameter. See API documentation.


Overriding the default route for each contact

Like before, there is also the ability to override the default route for each contact, but now you can also disable that functionality.

On your project settings page, there is now a checkbox labeled "Allow customizing sender phone for each contact":



If this setting is enabled, then you can set the "Default Sender Phone" (or route) separately for each contact, the route selected by default will show up as "Default phone" — which just means to use the default phone (route) for each contact.

For backwards compatibility, existing projects with multiple phones have this setting enabled by default, but new projects will not. So if you don’t need to have a different default route for each contact, you might want to disable this setting.

Try out the message routes feature and let us know what you think!


New expansion packs – Increase your message capacity

We just released a new version of the Android app that lets you send even more SMS messages per hour. We just added 7 additional SMS expansion packs, giving Telerivet Android app users access to download 16 SMS expansion packs total. With these additional expansion packs, you can now send up to 1,020 SMS an hour on Android 4.1+ and 1,700 SMS an hour on older versions — assuming your phone can keep up.

For Telerivet users who send a lot of SMS messages through their Android phone, expansion packs are necessary because Android limits the number of messages each app can send per hour. This rate limit is meant to help you by preventing unscrupulous apps from sending a lot of SMS messages without your knowledge and wasting your airtime. But when when you actually want to send a lot of SMS messages, Android’s rate limit becomes more of a hindrance than a help.

As a result, we created the SMS expansion packs as a way to help you get around that limitation —  each expansion pack can send 30 SMS messages every 30 minutes on Android 4.1+, and 100 SMS messages per hour on older versions.

If you’ve been running into the SMS rate limit with Telerivet, and want to install more expansion packs, here’s how to do it:

  1. Open the Telerivet app on your Android phone.
  2. If there is a prompt that says a new version of the app is available, install the newest version of the Telerivet Android app.
  3. Click “Increase SMS Rate Limit.”

  4. After installing the 9 original SMS Expansion Packs, if you still need additional capacity, click “More SMS Expansion Packs.”

  5. Install up to 16 expansion packs.

The 7 new expansion packs aren’t available from Google Play, so if this is your first time installing an app that wasn’t downloaded from Google Play, you’ll need to follow the instructions to allow installing  apps from “Unknown Sources”.