Automated List Processing (ALP) Can Keep Your Data In Sync

One of the most common questions we receive is "how do we keep our opt-in list updated?"  If your CIS is providing data to an OMS, for example, you'd want to keep the same list of numbers on your TextPower opt-in list as you have in your OMS.  

There have always been ways to do this.  The ManageOptin API call can be used to opt numbers in or out, suspend or reactivate numbers (more below) or check the opt-in status of a number.  Also, you can upload a properly formatted list of numbers through the TextPower customer portal.  This upload process, while functional, requires some manipulation of the information in the file after which the user must manually go to the portal, click a few links and submit the file for processing that conforms to a TextPower-specified format.

The API calls work extremely well and are relatively simple to master.  The manual file formatting and uploading works very well, too, and is available to all customers at no charge (other than the opt-in processing fee for any new numbers that haven't appeared on lists before).  It has been the TextPower standard method of mass enrollment, in addition to the API call, for years.  

Now another option exists that makes keeping lists in sync simple, reliable and automatic.  The Automated List Processing (ALP) service allows you to set-it-and-forget-it and your data via an FTP submission.  It is simple to set up:

  1. You provide TextPower with a sample file and a "field map" indicating which fields (or columns, if you see it in spreadsheet format) contain phone numbers and tags.  
  2. We create a custom import configuration for your file based on that mapping.
  3. We process the test file using an internal system and send you the properly formatted import file for approval. 

Once you've approved the test file we save the configuration and offer you two methods of uploading the files:

  1. An FTP site where you can "drop" the file.  We give you secure credentials once you have approved the test file allowing you to upload files automatically as frequently as you wish.  (Note that for your own protection we have implemented a lockout on FTP access.  If there are four (4) failed attempts at logging into the FTP site within a 20-minute period your IP address will be blocked for one hour.  It will automatically release after the hour expires.)
  2. You can upload the unformatted file using our FileUploader app.  You will not have to manipulate, format or change the file in any way; this option is designed for users that may not want to, or may not have the technical skills to, program an FTP application to upload the file on an automated schedule. FileUploader allows you to assign file uploading tasks to anyone in your organization while restricting access to any other functions.  It is simple and intuitive.  Just go to FileUploader, select the file you want to upload from your computer and click "Submit."  If you want to upload a file for a special purpose, such as sending an important message to a list of numbers that you "tag" to form a group, that's easy too.  Just select the "Preformatted" option from the dropdown menu in FileUploader and upload a file that contains the numbers in Column A and the tags in Columns B, C, D, etc.  You can use that anytime you have the need - there is no setup required and no additional charge for the option.  

There are various options for how to handle the numbers in your file.  There is no charge to utilize the first option (1).  Other options may require an additional fee depending on your service plan.  Please contact our support team or sales department to see if your plan includes the use of the other options.  :

  1. Pre-Formatted File: A no-processing, no handling pass-through function that allows you to submit a file in the TextPower standard format (all phone numbers in Column A, all tags in Columns B, C, D, etc., no other information allowed) via the FileUploader app or FTP and have it processed just as it would be as if you went to the customer portal and submitted a file using the standard upload method. The only difference is that you have the option to submit the file via an FTP upload and thus automate it instead of having to click through all of the steps on the portal. There is no charge for this service and we will be glad to provide a set of credentials for this option upon request.
  2. Append only:
    1. Numbers in the file that are not currently opted in will be opted in (presuming they are mobile numbers and have not previously opted out).  No numbers will be opted out even if they do not appear in the file.
    2. Adds tags assigned to these newly opted-in numbers to those numbers. 
    3. Tags assigned to numbers that are already opted-in and that appear in the uploaded file that are not already assigned to those numbers will be added to those numbers.
    4. No tags are removed from any numbers. 
  3. Append with Tag Management:
    1. Opts-in any numbers on the submitted file that are not already opted in. 
    2. Adds tags assigned to these newly opted-in numbers to those numbers. 
    3. Appends tags assigned to numbers that are already opted-in and that appear in the uploaded file that are not already assigned to those numbers. 
    4. Tags that are assigned to opted-in numbers that do not appear assigned to that number in the uploaded file are removed. 
  4. Append with Soft Opt-Out
    1. Opts-in any numbers on the submitted file that are not already opted in. 
    2. Adds tags assigned to these newly opted-in numbers to those numbers. 
    3. Appends tags assigned to numbers that are already opted-in and that appear in the uploaded file that are not already assigned to those numbers. 
    4. Opted-in numbers that do not appear in the uploaded file are suspended (suspended numbers are the functional equivalent of opted out numbers with one key exception - they can be opted back in through a variety of methods, including the ALP upload process, without requiring an MO containing the keyword to be sent). 
    5. If the number appears in another file upload it will be reactivated and begin receiving messages again.  There is no end-user interaction required as there is in a Hard Overwrite.
    6. This soft overwrite function does not affect any numbers that are opted out by the end-user texting STOP, QUIT, or CANCEL to our system.  That is a hard opt-out and cannot be overridden by file upload process.
  5. Append with Soft Opt-Out and Tag Management
    1. Opts-in any numbers on the submitted file that are not already opted in. 
    2. Adds tags assigned to these newly opted-in numbers to those numbers. 
    3. Appends tags assigned to numbers that are already opted-in and that appear in the uploaded file that are not already assigned to those numbers. 
    4. Tags that are assigned to opted-in numbers that do not appear assigned to that number in the uploaded file are removed. 
    5. Opted-in numbers that do not appear in the uploaded file are suspended (suspended numbers are the functional equivalent of opted out numbers with one key exception - they can be opted back in through a variety of methods, including the ALP upload process, without requiring an MO containing the keyword to be sent). 
    6. If the number appears in another file upload it will be reactivated and begin receiving messages again.  There is no end-user interaction required as there is in a Hard Overwrite.
    7. This soft overwrite function does not affect any numbers that are opted out by the end-user texting STOP, QUIT, or CANCEL to our system.  That is a hard opt-out and cannot be overridden by file upload process.
  6. Append with Hard Opt-Out (previously called "Overwrite")
    1. Opts-in any numbers on the submitted file that are not already opted in. 
    2. Adds tags assigned to these newly opted-in numbers to those numbers. 
    3. Appends tags assigned to numbers that are already opted-in and that appear in the uploaded file that are not already assigned to those numbers. 
    4. Tags assigned to opted-in numbers that do not appear assigned to those numbers in the uploaded file are removed. 
    5. Suspended numbers that appear on the uploaded file are reactivated.
    6. Opted-in numbers that do not appear in the uploaded file are opted out. 

Reminder: There is a one-time setup and configuration fee for all options other than "Pre-Formatted Files."  Depending on your contract with TextPower there may be a  monthly fee.  Be sure to check with Support@TextPower.com to find out if there is a monthly cost to you.