Sending Messages

Sending a New Message

Keep your customers in the loop by connecting with them via text message or email. If sending via text message, messages should be short and sweet, and we recommend keeping them below 160 characters. If a message is over 160 characters, the text message will likely be split into multiple messages.

To send a new message:

  1. Go to Inbox.
  2. Click the New Message icon. 
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  3. Enter both the first and last name of the customer.
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  4. If the customer is already a contact in your account, select them from the list; otherwise, click New Contact.
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  5. Enter the customer’s mobile number or email address.
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  6. Create a message.
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  7. Click Send & Close or Send.
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Best Practice: We recommend using Send & Close for most messages. Send & Close will send the message and move the conversation into the closed inbox. You should use Send when you’d like to keep the conversation in your Open inbox.

Replying to Messages

Communication with customers works best when it’s personal. You can enter your own custom message, choose a default or template message, and use variables to further customize messages with important terms like your business name.

To reply to a message:

  1. Select the message you want to respond to.
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  2. Create your response.
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  3. Optionally add images, videos, and PDFs by clicking Attachments. To learn more read, "Attach media to a message." 
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  4. Click Send & Close.
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Attention: Depending on your account's permissions, you may not have access to view some conversations. A user with account owner permissions can update your permissions to view conversations that aren't your own. For more information about user roles, read "Set up Roles & Permissions."

Attaching Media to a Message

If you are sending a message via text, you can also include images, videos, and documents through Podium. Email messages do not support attachments at this time. The following file types are supported:

  • Images: .png, .jpg, and .gif
  • Videos: .mp4, .mpg, .mov (Quicktime), M4V, .wmv, .avi, 3GPP, .mp2t
  • Text: .pdf; .csv; .rtf; .txt; .zip; .doc and .docx (Microsoft Word); .xls and .xlxs (Microsoft Excel); and .ppt and .pptx (Microsoft PowerPoint)
  • Audio: .mpeg, .ogg, and .wav
Attention: Image files can’t be larger than 5 MB; videos and documents can’t be larger than 100 MB.

Personalizing Messages with Variables

You can make your messages more personal and engaging by adding variables in your messages. For example, you can begin a message by greeting the individual by their first name or you can include your company name and location. Variables store important information about your business and customers. To use a variable in a message, enter a colon, the variable name, and another colon. Here’s a list of available variables:

Variable Name Value Description
:contact: First name Each user you add to Podium has a profile which includes first name, last name, and phone number. This variable uses the first name.
:location: Location name Your organization might have multiple locations in your Podium account. Including this variable will automatically populate the name of your specific location in the message.  
:user:  Sender’s name This variable populates the first name of the person who is sending the message.
:review_invitation: Review link Generates a one-time-use link that a customer can use to leave a review.
:contact_card: Contact information Sends your business contact information, including location name, phone number, and business address.
:organization: Organization name This is the name of your organization, as determined by the Account Owner. 
:time_picker: List of times (Apple Business Chat only.) This variable includes a list of possible appointment times.
:list_picker: List of options (Apple Business Chat only.) This variable includes a list of possible options determined by the sender. 
:payments: Apple Pay request (Apple Business Chat only.) This variable will insert a request to pay via Apple Pay. 

Using a Template

Instead of recreating the same message multiple times, you can use templates to send common messages such as appointment reminders to your customers.

To use a template:

  1. Go to Inbox.
  2. Click the New Message icon.
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  3. Enter both the first and last name of the customer and select the contact.
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  4. Click Templates.
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  5. Select a template.
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  6. Click Send & Close.
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To learn how to create a template or edit a template, read “Creating & Editing Templates.”

Using Email

You can communicate with your customers through email the same way you can message them using other methods in Podium. You can compose custom messages, use templates, send payment requests, and send review invitations.

To send an email: 

  1. Go to Inbox.
  2. Click the New Message icon.
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  3. Enter the email address of the customer.
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  4. Enter the first and last name of the customer, if needed.
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  5. Enter the subject of the email.
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  6. Create the message, then click Send & Close or Send.
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