Groups, tags, labels and store codes - what are they and how to use them

Groups, or "Send Tags" (a proprietary TextPower feature) are labels that you can use to tailor bulk message sends to a specific subset of an Opt-In list.  They are assigned to phone numbers through the use of an API or our AlertManager application.  Phone numbers can contain zero, one or multiple tags. 

Groups (or "tags" - they are used interchangeably on the TextPower system) can be any combination of letters and numbers up to 75 characters long per tag.  Any individual phone number can contain multiple tags of unlimited cumulative length.  

Punctuation, spaces and symbols are NOT ALLOWED. Files that are uploaded with tags containing any of these characters will be automatically converted. For example, “Substation 7” will be converted to “Substation7” and “New Customers 12-25-20” will be converted to “NewCustomers122520”. 

Also note that you can have a tag that starts with alpha characters and then has numbers such as “RatePlan005” but not “005Rates.”  The tag will exist but will not be visible in AlertManager. Almost every phone number gets a meter or account number assigned when integrated with an outage management system (OMS).  Showing all of those in a dialog box of group names would cause tens of thousands to appear, negating any benefit of having tags at all.

If you are a utility, for example and want to be able to send a text message to everyone on a particular circuit you could assign all of the numbers that are associated with accounts that are along that circuit to a group (e.g., "TrunkLine7).  When a planned outage is scheduled and you want to inform everyone in that particular area about it you don't have to send a message to the entire list of numbers that have opted-in to receive updates - just send a message to that group.

Alternatively tags can be used as an individual identifier.  For example, a tag containing a location ID assigned to a meter (electric, water, gas) can be unique to the phone number to which it is assigned.  

Store codes are similar in function but can be used a bit differently.  First, they are always numeric. A store code is just a special type of a send tag and it's used to make it easy for someone to Opt-In to a particular store in a chain - for example instead of texting just "pizza" they could text "pizza678" to designate that they are opting into the messaging services for store number 678 in a chain.

These groups, tags, labels or store codes - whatever you wish to call them - can be easily assigned when uploading a file or within AlertManager by individual numbers.  See the other FAQs about how to assign these helpful tags to learn how to add them to your numbers.

Any tag associated with a phone number remains in the system until it is proactively removed by a TextPower customer (not the end-user; they cannot remove tags).  Tags can be removed in several ways such as by uploading a file, using AlertManager's List Maintenance function, using an API call, etc.  Note that only alphanumeric tags, not numeric-only tags such as location IDs, are displayed in the "Group" lists in AlertManager.  AlertManager is designed to send messages to groups, not individuals, so displaying location IDs that are associated with just one or two phone numbers is not permitted in AlertManager.