How does SMS Chat work?
SMS Chat is a widget that goes on your website. Website visitors can click the chat icon and enter their information to send you a message.
All messages come into your Text Request account, where you and other users can handle them like you do any other text. Your responses go to that person’s cell phone as a text.
How do I add SMS Chat to my website?
For all websites, excluding Squarespace and Wordpress (which we'll cover further below), follow these steps:
1. Login to your Text Request account
2. Go to the Integrations section of your menu (note that only account Administrators and Managers can do this)
3. Select Customize now on the SMS Chat tile
4. Double check which text line you’re viewing (because this will become the one the SMS Chat messages come to)
5. Configure your settings and preferences
6. Click Publish Settings to save your changes
7. Copy the code snippet at the top of the screen
8. Paste the code directly into your site’s HTML, in the Footer just before the closing </body> tag
9. Under Master Controls, turn SMS Chat On to see it live on your site
You can change your settings at any time without having to touch the code again. Just make your changes and select Publish Settings anytime you want to make an update.
Add SMS Chat to Wordpress
To add SMS Chat to your Wordpress site, follow steps 1-7 above, then:
8. Login to your Wordpress account
9. Go to Plugins
11. Open the plugin
12. Paste your SMS Chat code into the plugin
13. Click Save
14. Inside the SMS Chat screen in Text Request, under Master Controls, turn SMS Chat On
SMS Chat will now be live on your Wordpress site.
Add SMS Chat to Squarespace
To add SMS Chat to your Squarespace site, follow steps 1-7 above, then:
8. Log into your Squarespace account
9. Navigate to your Home Menu Settings
10. Select Advanced and then select Code Injector
11. Select Footer, and paste your SMS Chat code
12. Select Save
13. Inside the SMS Chat screen in Text Request, under Master Controls, turn SMS Chat On
SMS Chat will now be live on your Squarespace site.
How can you customize your SMS Chat?
1. Use Your Own Branding:
By default, you’ll see Text Request’s colors on your SMS Chat widget, but you can change them to match your brand. To change the colors of your button, text, and header, select the corresponding Edit button in the Appearance section of your SMS Chat screen.
You can choose any color under the sun using hex values (here’s a quick reference for those). Once you’ve added a color, select Apply. You’ll see a preview on the right of whichever colors you choose. Select Publish Settings to make the changes live on your site.
2. Add a Prompt
Chat widgets that use prompts start more conversations than those that do not use prompts. Why?
Because you’ve already started the conversation. All the viewers has to do is respond - and that’s why we recommend asking a question that has a simple answer.
For instance, Text Request’s prompt is “Welcome! What can we help you find?” People come to our site looking for something specific, and this gives them a fast track to finding it.
If you’re a staffing agency, you might ask “What kind of job are you looking for?” A home service business might say, “What can we help you fix?” or “clean” or “build.”
To create your prompt:
1. Go to the Prompt section of your SMS Chat page
2. Select Edit beneath Display Text
3. Type your prompt and click Save
4. Select an image or icon for your prompt (we recommend either a representative’s head shot or your company logo)
5. Choose your Delay, or how long viewers spend on the page before your prompt is shown (we recommend a shorter delay, like 5 seconds, so you can engage viewers more quickly)
6. Make sure to toggle your prompt On inside the Prompt section
7. Select Publish Settings to see changes live on your site
3. Include a Prefilled Message
The less someone has to work to engage with you, the better your results are going to be. That’s why we recommend adding a prefilled message to your SMS Chat form.
That way, viewers can just enter their personal info and click send. They don’t have to worry about articulating their needs.
For reference, our prefilled message is, “I’d like to learn more about Text Request.”
To add a prefilled message:
1. Go to the Form section of your SMS Chat page and select Edit under Message Prefill
2. Add your message and Select Save
3. Make sure to toggle the message prefill to On
4. Select Publish Settings to see changes live on your site
4. Customize Your Form Fields
You’ll get more engagement by using fewer form fields. That’s why we only require viewers to enter their name, number, and message. But you can add and customize additional fields to suit your needs.
You might want to add a field for Email, Customer ID, Type of Conversation (sales, service, etc.), property size, or some other variable that will help your conversation - and perhaps your marketing. To add custom fields:
1. Select Add Field under the Custom Fields header of the Form section
2. Enter the Field Name (this is what will appear inside the SMS Chat form field)
3. If you want people to have to complete this field to send you a message, select the Required checkbox
4. Select Add
5. Select Publish Settings to see changes live on your site
You can uncheck the Required box at any time, click the Field Name to edit your form field, or select the X next to it to delete it. Note, you can only add two custom fields to SMS Chat.
5. Change Display Options as Needed
SMS Chat will by default show up on all pages of your site for all device types. You probably won’t need to change this, but the option can be helpful. For instance, you might spin up a landing page with a free offer, and want to remove your SMS Chat so viewers stay focused on the free offer.
Here’s how you’d do that:
1. In the Display Options section of your SMS Chat page, click Add Page under the Exclusion List
2. Paste the URL on which you do not want the SMS Chat displayed, and select Save
3. Select Publish Settings to see your changes live on the site
4. Repeat as necessary
In the same section, you’ll also see the option to display your SMS Chat on desktop devices, mobile devices, or both. By default, it will show on all devices, but you can change this as needed.
6. Add Google Analytics Tracking
If you regularly use Google Analytics to track your website traffic, we recommend connecting your SMS Chat to your Google tracking ID number. Doing so will allow you to track users and events through SMS Chat, including the page they were viewing when they submitted the chat, the Source and Medium they came through, and all the other goodies you want to dig into in Google Analytics.
To find your Google tracking ID number:
1. Go to Google Analytics
2. Select the Admin button
3. Go to Property Settings
4. Copy the number beneath Basic Settings (this is your tracking ID, and it'll look something like: UA-12345678-1)
If you do not have a tracking ID in you Property Settings, you have a Google Analytics 4 property and will need to follow these instructions to create a Universal Analytics property. Once you've done that, you'll have a measurement ID (which will work as your tracking ID).
To find your measurement ID number:
1. Go to Google Analytics
2. Select the Admin button
3. Go to the Property column, select Data Streams, then select your web data stream
4. Copy the number in the upper right portion of the panel (this is your measurement ID)
Once you have your Google tracking or measurement ID number, go back to the SMS Chat section of your Text Request account. Then follow these steps:
1. Scroll down to the Analytics section
2. Select the Add ID number
3. Enter the ID number you pulled from Google Analytics, and select Save
You'll then be able to go back to your Google Analytics account and track things like what page of your website a person used the SMS Chat on, where they came from originally, etc..
To find that information in your Google Analytics:
1. Go to the Behavior section
2. Select the Events sub-menu
3. Select Overview
4. Select Text Request SMS Chat under Event Category