The majority of the contents in this guide apply to both StudioPlus Spectra AND myStratus Desktop.
In most cases, instructions referring to "Spectra" also apply to myStratus Desktop.


Home > Optional Add-Ons > SMS Text Messages > Getting Started with SMS Text Messaging
Getting Started with SMS Text Messaging

NOTE: This feature is available in the Standard, Professional, and Enterprise versions of both Spectra and myStratus Desktop.

SMS text messaging is a powerful tool, very similar to email. Use SMS marketing as another way to connect with your customers. These touch points are important. The more touch points you have with a customer, the more likely they will buy and re-buy. Use this feature to add that extra dimension of instant communication. Most people have their cell phones on them these days so SMS text messaging is a much more reliable means of communication than email. Plus, you now have a leg up on competitors as you can effectively and efficiently contact customers with mail, email, and text messages!

With the StudioPlus SMS text messaging service, you can send individual texts to clients, send bulk texts to a large group of clients, or send triggered texts based on status updates. Replies sent by the client are also received directly into Spectra (or myStratus) and attached to the client's record. Use text messages to inform prospects of special promotions, to trigger session or order pickup reminders, or carry on a two-way texting conversion with a bride-to-be. 

Start Here!

Use this topic to set up SMS text messaging and get familiar with some of the key features of SMS text messaging. Once you get things set up, take a look at these topics:
  • Sending SMS Texts - Learn how to send individual text messages, text a whole group, and how to set up texts to go out automatically.

  • Creating SMS Templates - See how to use the Form Letter Builder to create templates for your most commonly used text messages.

  • Managing Your Messaging Plan - Find out how to track your text message volume and how to adjust your plan.


All StudioPlus clients use a common texting number. This is called a ‘shared long-code’ and is recognized around the world. NOTE: You should never list a number in your marketing materials, as you cannot receive unsolicited text messages. However, your clients can reply to any messages you send to them through Spectra or myStratus. Those messages will arrive in your Messages hub as new unread messages.

Setting up SMS Text Messaging

  1. Sign up! Go to our website to sign up for an SMS text messaging plan. 


    You can change your SMS plan at any time! Down the road, if you decide you need a plan with more or fewer text messages, simply come back to this page and re-fill out the form. You are billed on the first of the month for the previous month's activity. This means any changes made to your plan before the next billing date will apply to the current month. For example, a change made by 5:00 pm Central Time on the last day of June will apply to your SMS activity for the month of June. See also: Managing Your Messaging Plan

  2. Activate SMS texting in your software. Once your account is established you will receive an email with your account number and password. Enter your account number and password on the General Info page in Company (Studio) Preferences to activate text messaging in your software. Note for myStratus users: These fields should already be filled in. If not, contact tech support.

  3. Enter your country code. You'll need to enter your Default Country Code (‘1’ for US) on the Phone Calls page in Company (Studio) Preferences. The software needs this code when sending domestic messages.  


    If you wish to send a message outside your local country, simply enter the client’s mobile number as ‘+’ followed by their country code and their mobile number (it should look like ‘+61 123456789’). Click here for more information on Out of Country Clients.  There's no need to add the country code for clients who are in your country, our software will behind-the-scenes add it when messaging.

  5. Enable incoming texts. If you're using Spectra, you must also enable a new job in your Control Center to receive incoming text replies from your clients. See Control Center topic for information on setting up the Control Center if you have not done so already. With the Control Center set up, simply enable the SMS Text Inbox Processor job to run every 5 minutes. Note: This step is not needed for myStratus users...we manage this for you.

  6. Allow Marketing Checkboxes - In order to send SMS, you need to check the box "Allow Text Marketing" on the client record.  See more about this on our blog.

  7. Start using the SMS client checkbox! In order to send automated and group texts, the software needs to know which phone number(s) can be used for SMS texting. Open one of your clients and take a look at the phone number section. The SMS checkbox indicates whether or not a phone number can receive text messages. It's important to accurately record this information for each of your clients! The software will send a separate text to each of the client's phone numbers that are marked with a check in this box. If none of a client's numbers are marked, they won't receive any of the bulk or automatic texts you send. 


Tracking your SMS Usage

The home page in your software is the best place to track how many texts you're sending/receiving. The Services panel on the home page has a section titled SMS Texting.

This section shows you how many SMS text messages you have sent or received, both for the past month and for the current month. Use this information to decide if you are signed up for the best messaging plan for your usage. If you max out your limit too soon, then choose a higher volume plan. Remember, you can change your SMS plan at any time by revisiting our website. See Managing Your Messaging Plan for important information about changing your plan. 


When sending texts greater than 160 characters, they will be sent as one whole text to the client. However, the system logs text messages per 160 characters. So if you send a text with 300 characters, you will be charged for 2 text messages.

Also, if you have not entered your account number and password into Company (Studio) Preferences or if your account has not been created, the Services panel on your home page will say that “You have not enabled SMS Text Messaging.”


Viewing Texts on the Messages Hub

The Messages hub displays of all your sent and received messages. This includes emails and text messages. You can sort incoming and outgoing messages by clicking Inbox and Sent Items in the Search section. You can also choose to show unlinked messages, such as those single text messages sent from the File > New menu. See also: Messages Hub


Unlinked text messages are any messages (sent or received) that are NOT linked to a specific client. You can always link an unlinked message by clicking the Linkage button on the ribbon of the text message.

Out of Country Clients

When sending texts to clients, Spectra/myStratus will automatically add the country code that is set in the Company Preferences. However, should you wish to send an SMS message to a client who is outside of your country, simply add a + to their phone number along with their country code and the rest of their phone number. 

Additional Information

Regulations require you to provide a way for your clients to opt out or stop receiving text messages. The StudioPlus SMS service is fully designed to support these regulations. If any recipient replies to a text with the keyword “stop,” StudioPlus will no longer send messages to them.  If they've replied "stop" but want to cancel it, just have them text "start" and they will now receive SMS messages again.

See also

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