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What is a Distribution List?

Distribution lists allow Agents to send a message to multiple mobile numbers simultaneously and can be named and saved for reuse.

With regard to distribution lists, it’s important to keep in mind that the application’s primary function is one-to-one conversational messaging. Therefore, text chats take delivery precedence over other delivery functions in order to support an experience for recipients that is as interactive and close to real-time as possible. Because of this, other delivery functions may experience message delivery delays during peak one-to-one usage to accommodate conversational delivery. Non-conversational delivery functions include Distribution Lists (both ‘send now’ and ‘scheduled’), the forwarding of a message to an Agent’s email address and Text-Based Auto-Replies (time-based auto-replies are not impacted). These functions will wait in line to allow conversational messages through first. In the telecommunications industry, this is referred to as “traffic shaping” using queue management systems and is a common practice for message delivery, used frequently by carriers to prioritize chats over bulk message sending, among other things.

List Size

The type of sending number determines the size of the distribution list to which a message may be sent. Keep in mind that these limits are not a technical constraint but are instead based on carrier best practice guidelines for proper usage on each route:

+1 Standard Numbers (Non-Toll-Free): Default 0.

+1 8XX (Toll-Free) Numbers: Default 0.

U.S. or Canadian Short Codes: Default 0.

Note: UniTel Voice sets this setting to “0,” to restrict users from sending to distribution lists.  Send an email to support@unitelvoice.com to receive permission to activate Distribution Lists.


New Features

The Distribution List was originally designed as a lightweight tool for simply sending broadcast messages with reusable lists of mobile end-users. However, based on feedback from customers, we have recently updated the Distribution List to integrate with an expanded database, enabling the application to capture, store and expose relevant and useful metadata associated with each broadcast.

Auto-Assignment: When a customer replies to a broadcast message, that reply can be auto-assigned to a Group or Agent via a rule specified in the Distribution List settings.

Broadcast-seeded Conversation Tracking: Track which conversations were initiated from the Distribution List feature. An internal memo generated by the system will specify this in every thread.

Visibility to Original Sender: You now have visibility to the business number that sent the original broadcast message from the “Previous Messages” view.

Inbox-Excluded Outbound Message Captures: When you choose to exclude outbound messages from your inbox in the setup for your Distribution List, these outbound messages can now be captured for reporting purposes. These messages are captured via backend file exports, the Conversations Reseller Report API and the reports available through the application user interface.


View Distribution Lists

To access your distribution lists:

1. Go to “Settings.”

2. Click “Distribution Lists.”

3. Add Distribution Lists

4. The cut and paste method is a quick and simple way to create a new distribution list:

Paste the mobile end user numbers into the cut and paste field at the bottom of the New Distribution List page (or the Edit List page if you already have a list that you want to update). Note: Numbers must include country code (e.g. 13095551212) and cannot include special characters such as ( ) - . or spaces. Note2: Numbers can be separated by line returns or commas.

5. Check the box named “Add All New Phone Numbers to List”. This is a required step!

6. Click the Save button.


Distribution lists can also be created manually:

1. Click “NEW DISTRIBUTION LIST.”

2. Create a friendly name for your list.

3. Select the “Add to Inbox” option. (Note that this option impacts only the outbound message display within the application. Selecting “Yes” includes the outbound message in the Message Center’s preview as “Open” status. When “No” is selected, the outbound message will not be displayed in the Message Center’s preview. Inbound messages arrive in the Open” status regardless of whether this option is set to “Yes” or “No.”)

4. Select the end-users you wish to include in the list.

5. Add any additional, non-registered users in the “Add New Phone Numbers” text box.

6. Click “SAVE.”


Edit Distribution Lists

To edit an existing distribution list:

1. Locate the existing list you wish to edit on the Distribution Lists page.

2. Click the “EDIT” button on the right-hand side that corresponds with the desired list.

3. Edit as needed.

4. Click “SAVE” to save your changes.


Send to a Distribution List

To send a message to multiple users via distribution list:

1. Go to the “Distribution Lists” page under “Settings.”

2. Locate the list to which you wish to send your message.

3. Click the “COMPOSE NEW MESSAGE” button on the right-hand side that corresponds with the desired list.

The recipients of the message will be pre-populated by your list. Select the number from which you wish to send your message.

4. Enter the content of your message.

5. Click “SEND” or to schedule for a future date, use the calendar and time option, click “DONE,” then “SEND” for it to send at the scheduled time.*

Note: The date picker for this feature utilizes your computer’s time zone - not the time zone set to the Agent’s profile.

Previous messages are visible at the bottom of the “compose message” page.

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