How to set up a Graduation Year
To have a Graduation Year show up as a drop-down selection on your Contact details page:

  1. Create a group named “Graduation Years”
  2. Create a sub-group in the Graduation Years group called “Class of 20nn”
  3. Select Graduation Year from the Subgroup Type drop-down list
  4. Repeat step 2-3, as needed, for additional graduation years

How to set up a School
You use a similar process to set up a School in the drop-down list, just a little different:

  1. Create a group named “Schools”
  2. Create a sub-group in the Schools group called “Johnson Jr High”
  3. Select School from the Subgroup Type drop-down list
  4. Repeat step 2-3, as needed, for additional schools

Is there another way to do it?
Yes, you can add a School or a Graduation Year, to any existing group you have, you just need to be sure to set the Subgroup Type to “School” or “Graduation Year”.

How To: Text-To-Join

Basic Workflow
To activate a keyword, you’ll need to do 2 steps:

  1. Reserve your keyword (or multiple keywords)
  2. Purchase the keyword (or keywords)

Reserve your keyword(s):
You can reserve one or more keywords using the following steps:

  1. Click “Add New” link from the Dashboard screen; or, click on “Communicate” tab in the header area, click “Keywords” in the sub-nav, and click the “new keyword” button (on the right)
  2. Type in the keyword you’re interested in, hit the Tab key
    Note: When you click the tab key, the system will show you if that keyword is available or not.
    Note: If the keyword is available, then assign the keyword to a group or sub-group. If the keyword is not available, then you’ll need to try a different keyword
  3. Pick either “Assign to a Group” or “…or to a Subgroup” option.
  4. Once you pick this option, click the drop-down next to the option and select which Group (or Sub-Group) you want

Ooppps, I have a keyword that I’m not sure I want to purchase. How do I delete a keyword from my list of Pending keywords

To remove a Pending keyword, click on the keyword, click the “delete” button on the bottom of the screen.

Purchase your keyword(s):
Once you have the keyword (or multiple keywords you want), use the following steps:

  1. Click “purchase pending keywords” button (found on Communicate > Keywords home page).
  2. Verify or enter your card information, click “Update” button
    Note: if you want to exit the process, just click the “Cancel” link.
  3. Review the charges
  4. Agree to the new monthly total (the checkbox right under New Monthly Total)
  5. Agree to the charges being made today (the checkbox in the Charges Today section.
    Note: The charge is a pro-rata charge based on your monthly billing cycle
  6. Click “Make Payment”

How do I add a keyword?
Log in to your account. You will see a new Dashboard. On the right side of the Dashboard screen, you will see the list of current keywords. Click on “Add” and walk through a few screens. If you have any trouble, email our reliable support team: support@symthelp.us.

Who do I call for questions about keywords?
Email our reliable support team: support@symthelp.us.

How much does it cost?
$10 per month per keyword. No contracts. No shenanigans.

Can I pay annually?
As with the TOOLS, keywords are billed monthly.

Is there a demo period for Text-2-Join?
Because the keyword is immediately active, there is no trial period. If you go to the Dashboard, you will see an “Add a Keyword” button…click that and walk through the screen. Super easy.

How many keywords will I need?
Keywords are optional, it depends on your needs. You can have none, one, a dozen, or however many your ministry needs.

How many keywords can I have?
There is no limit on the number of keywords, which means you can have as many as you’d like or need.

Can I change the number that people text?
Our short code (40650) is a code assigned to TOOLS, so you will not be able to change the short code. You will be able to select your keyword and assign an identity that your contacts will recognize. Sweet huh?

How often can I change my keyword?
In the system, you can change your keyword as often as needed, though we recommend maintaining a consistent keyword for your group identity.

How do I find out if the keyword I want is available without buying it yet?
Click “Add” and you’ll be able to enter a keyword you’re interested in. When you hit Tab (to move out of the field), the system will automatically check availability and will inform you if that keyword is available. Don’t be bummed if the one you wanted isn’t available, use your creativity and pick another one.

Important: There is currently an outgoing identity associated with your account (the From Name on the “Settings” screen). This word/phrase has been reserved for your account for 60 days. You do not have to buy this keyword, but it reserved so that your current “identity” is preserved and available as your keyword. You can walk through the process to claim that word or try for something else; it’s up to you.

If I deactivate my keyword, how soon can someone else take it?
Deactivated keywords will not be available for anyone else’s use for 60 days.

Do I get a discount if I have other TOOLS?
Not currently. As the TOOLS suite expands, pricing discounts are under consideration.

How do I use my keyword? What do I tell people to text?
To use your keyword, you can instruct potential contacts: “To be added to our list, text ‘JOIN [KEYWORD]‘ to 40650″

Why do you ask for their first name, then their last name?
This allows you to refer to the contact as a person not a number. We can’t guarantee that the contact will respond with their first and last name, but we ask.
Please note that we have added a section in the Dashboard where all new contacts will be listed. This is like an “Inbox.” You can work these contacts or just mark them as complete and the entries will disappear.

Is there a contract?
As with the other TOOLS, there is no contract. No shenanigans.

How many people can text into each keyword?
The number of people that can text into the keyword corresponds to the number of “Communicate” TOOL contacts you have in your “Communicate” plan.
For example, the large plan has a maximum of 250 contacts. If your account already has 100 Communicate contacts, then you’d be able to accept another 150.

With my current “Communicate” TOOL, I need to know the carrier of the contact. Will that change?
Yes, one of the system-wide changes is that you will no longer be required to provide the carrier. This applies to the Web Sign-Up pages and when you enter contacts directly. As with the “Text-2-Join” addition, we’ll send a confirmation text to the contact whenever they are added to “Communicate”.

What are the rules for the keyword?
Use any letters or numbers. No special symbols allowed. Sorry symbol fans!I have a contact who is texting the right way — ‘join [keyword]‘ — but isn’t getting a text back to opt in; how can we fix this?Verify that they are texting to the right short code: 40650. If they are still having issues, contact support (support@symthelp.us).

Can I create a texting poll with this?
Not currently, but with the short code in place, polling is something that’s under consideration.

Why is this so much less expensive than what other people charge?
Because we love youth workers and it is our passion to serve you with great resources at a great value.

When a contact texts into a ‘keyword,’ what Group or Subgroup are they automatically added to?
When you create the keyword, you are required to assign a keyword to a specific Group or Subgroup. Those contacts that are texting to that keyword will be added to the Group (or Subgroup).  You will still be able to assign the contacts to other Groups or Subgroups using the available TOOLS.

Can a keyword addition be added to more than one Group at the time of the add?
No. The keyword represents one Group or Subgroup. You will be able to assign the contacts to other Groups or Subgroups using the available TOOLS.

Can two or more keyword additions be added to the same Group or Subgroup?
Yes, you can do this.Is my keyword case-sensitive?No, it is not case-sensitive. You can enter it in small caps or ALL CAPS; we’ll translate it, behind the scenes. Our programers know many languages. Do you Ruby?

Can I reserve a keyword and pay for it later?
Yes, if you start the keyword purchase process, any available keyword you select will be reserved for 72 hours. After 72 hours, the keyword will be released back for reserving by any other account. Poof!

Why do the “C” and “T” icons have different colors on my Contact List?
The “C” (and “T”) icons will change colors depending on the status of the contacts.

  • Grey: Not enabled in Communicate
  • Yellow: Communicate is pending; contact must respond with “YES” to be enabled
  • Green: Contact is enabled in Communicate
  • Red: Contact has specifically opted-out of Communicate

Keyword Posting Rules

If you have purchased a keyword, there are a few measures that we must ask you to take if you plan on publishing your keyword to a blog or a website that you control.

Here are the key elements that you’ll need to include:

  1. The proper join statement: “To be added to our list, text ‘JOIN [KEYWORD] to 40650′”
  2. A link to the Simply Youth Ministry terms of service (https://secure.symt.us/terms/index)
  3. A link to the Simply Youth Ministry privacy policy (https://secure.symt.us/terms/privacy)
  4. The following statement: “Message frequency may periodic.”
  5. The following statement: “Msg & Data rates may apply”
  6. The following statement: “To cancel your subscription, send STOP to 40650 at any time.”
    (Note: the word “STOP” must in be ALL CAPS and BOLD).

Items #2-#6 are actually regulatory requirements that are demanded of us by the CTIA, which is the governing body that covers all things related to text messaging.

Here’s an example of what these elements on your web page can look like:

“To be added to our list, text ‘JOIN [KEYWORD] to 40650″
Message frequency may periodic.  Msg & Data rates may apply
To cancel your subscription, send STOP to 40650 at any time.

If you want to display an image, visually enticing the contact to sign up, that’s a great idea.

However, you will need to include an asterisk or symbol somewhere in the image. That asterisk or symbol should direct the viewer to read the details outlined in the above example. In other words, these statements can not be be buried in small print.

Can I create an event?
Yes!  With this new addition to the SYM Tools suite, you can…
1) Create public and private events
2) Share the event links online (e.g., Twitter)
3) Email invites to Contacts
4) Have attendees register online
5) Manually register attendees
6) Monitor your event stats, leading up to event
7) One-touch check-in
8) Check-in Kiosk mode
9) Monitor Attendance results (new attendee ratios, absentee ratio, etc)

Can you attach files to events (like permission slips)?
Yes.  When you create the event, you can upload files.  These files will downloadable to for attendees.

Will new attendees at my events be able to check into the event?
Yes.  If a new attendee comes to the event, we have built in tools that will help capture their contact information.  Also, we will highlight the new attendees for the event on that event’s report.

What will an event report show?
After each event, a “one-page” report is available that shows you the details about the event, including special section for New Attendee attendance.

Is there an iPad app for Events?
Not currently, however, the Events tool looks really awesome on an iPad (using iPads Safari browser).

This page will explain the contact’s status at the given stages.

The legend below can be accessed at any time by clicking the colored “C” next to the given contact.

Communicate Contact Status Legend

Status & Colors: Explained

Below is an explanation of each status:

  1. On (Green): The contact has received the required opt-in and they have replied with “Yes”, giving us permission to send them messages.  When a contact has a Green C, you can send them text messages.
  2. Off (Light Grey): The contact is not currently Enabled for Communicate (to receive text messages).  To enable the contact, go to the Contact Detail (for that contact) and check the box “Check to Enable Communicate”.
  3. Opted-out (Red): The contact has opted out of receiving text messages from your account.
  4. Unsupported (Dark Grey): The contact’s phone carrier could not be decoded or their carrier is not a supported carrier by our system.
  5. Pending (Yellow): The contact has been sent the required opt-in messages and they have yet to reply with “Yes”.

NOTE: For any of these statuses, you can still send the contact emails (assuming, of course, their email is connected to their contact record).

How can I deal with Pending?

If a contact is in the Pending status, you can do two things: wait or Resend Opt-In.

To resend the opt in message:

  1. Go to your contact list
  2. Click the box next to the contact name (note: you can pick multiple contacts, if needed)
  3. The “action bar” (right above the contact list) will light up
  4. Click the “Resend Opt-In” link in the action bar

How can I deal with Opted-Out?

A contact is opted out of messaging any time they reply to a text message with: STOP, END, CANCEL, QUIT, or UNSUBSCRIBE.  We are required to a) confirm to the contact that they have been removed and b) stop sending them messages.

If a contact has Opted-out on purpose, you need to honor their request.  If the contact wants to get added back, they have options.

The contact can be added back via Keyword:

  1. The account needs a keyword activated
  2. The contact can text “JOIN [KEYWORD] to 40650″ to re-join the contact list
  3. The contact will receive an opt-in message again (required) and need to reply with “Yes”
  4. They will be activated on the list

The contact can re-subscribe themselves via a Web Signup Link:

  1. Each group has a Web Sign up link
  2. The contact can click on any of the account’s Web Signup links
  3. Enter they’re information
  4. The contact will receive an opt-in message (again) required and need to reply with “Yes”
  5. They will be activated on the list

How can I deal with Unsupported?

Unsupported occurs when the contact’s given carrier is either a) not decoded correctly during the initial transmission(s) or b) the carrier’s network is not supported by our text messaging servers.

You can try to manually set the carrier by:

  1. Go to the Contact Detail page
  2. Next to the Mobile Number field, click “Edit Carrier”
  3. Review the carrier listing and select the carrier
  4. If the carrier is not listed in this list, then the contact can not be sent messages

Addressing TracFone, Net10 and similar Pay-go mobile phones

There are a variety of “pay-go” phone services available on the market, such as TracFone, Net10, and the like.  These phones are not actual carriers; rather, these companies buy blocks of phones from major carriers (such as AT&T, Verizon, etc) and sell the phones.  Our decoding process will often detect these underlying carriers; however, it’s less successful than a phone issued directly from a known carrier.

If you have one of these phones and the system does not decode, please email our support team:support@symthelp.us.

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