Creating additional SMS notifications for users

If you're a heavy user of SMS and not always logged into Close or want to respond quickly during non-business hours, you may want to set up an additional notification for any incoming SMS.

This tutorial will cover the basis of setting up some additional notification types.

What you'll need

  • A Zapier account allowing for multi-step Zaps
  • A Close account
  • A Google Spreadsheet (if you want to forward SMS to a cellphone)

Step 1: Setting up your Zapier trigger

To set up this Zap, we're going to use the "New Inbox Item" trigger in Close. Under Type we will filter to only trigger on Incoming SMS items.

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New Inbox Item trigger in Zapier

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You can trigger on more than one type of item

If you wanted to set up notifications for more than one item type, simply click the + icon in the image below and add an additional type. Keep in mind that most of the items are already notifying your team elsewhere, so make sure you avoid overloading them with notifications.

Once you have a sample SMS to use, we're ready to move onto the next step.

Step 2: Decide how you'd like to notify your users

Your next step is decided how you would like users to be notified of a new incoming SMS. The two most common ways are either by sending an additional email notification to the user (similar to receiving a voicemail) or forwarding the SMS over to the user's cellphone.

Below are instructions for setting up both methods.

Step 3 (Option 1): Send an email notification

Get Gmail emails for new SMS messages in Close

Follow these instructions if you want to notify your users via email.

Use the Find User search action in Zapier

If we're going to send an email notification to our user, our first step is to determine which email address we need to send our message to. We can do this using the Find User search action in Zapier.

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Send an email using any email tool

Once we have the user's email address, we can set up an action to send the email to the user. In general, you should choose the email provider that you are currently using, as most (Gmail/Outlook) will have a "Send Email" action available.

If your email provider does not have a Zapier integration, you can use the built-in Zapier emailing tool.

Once you have your email account connected and the Send Email action selected, you should be able to specify the email address from Step 2 in the To: field and move to the next step.

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You'll want to specify the Subject and Body of your email. You can use this opportunity to include any additional fields in your message as well.

For example, in the message below, we use the lead's name in the Subject line, that way the user might now whether or not the message needs immediate attention.

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Once you configure the message, go ahead and turn this Zap on!

Step 3 (Option 2): Forward an SMS to their cell phone

If you want to send users an SMS notification, follow these steps.

Create your Google Sheet lookup table

The first step in creating this zap will be to create a lookup table containing each member of your team and the number you would like the notifications to be forwarded to.

Here's an example:

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Lookup table with team members and numbers

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You'll need to keep this updated

As you add new team members, you'll have to add them to this table in order for them to receive the additional notifications.

Use the Zapier Action for Lookup Spreadsheet Row

Once you have your table configured, you'll set up the Lookup Spreadsheet Row Google Sheets search action to find the correct phone number to send the notification to based on the user that received the SMS.

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Google Sheets Lookup Spreadsheet Row action in Zapier

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Google Sheet lookup to find the correct number to notify

Once you have the number you need to notify, you're ready to move on to the next step.

Use SMS by Zapier to send the notification

Zapier has a built-in SMS utility that you can use to send the notifications.

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Using the Send SMS action in Zapier

First, you'll need to enter a number and validate you have access to it.

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Verifying a number in Zapier

Once you've validated your number, you'll want to specify the number that will appear to the user. It's a good idea to choose a number on the list so that the messages to your users are as consistent as possible.

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Selecting a From number for your SMS

Then you'll simply specify what you would like the SMS to say. It's a good idea to include the contact and lead name so that your team knows exactly who sent the SMS.

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Customizing the notification to your team

Here's how the notification will appear to your team.

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SMS notification for your team

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The full message may not be displayed

Depending on the length of the message, it's possible that some of the message will be cut off when forwarding via Zapier SMS.

Once this is set up - you can go ahead and turn on the Zap!

Step 3 (Option 3): Send a Slack message

If you want to send a ping in a Slack channel as a notification for a new SMS, you can follow these steps:

The action in Zapier you are looking for is 'Send Channel Message' in Slack. I have created a channel called #newsms:

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Under the 'Message Text' field you can choose how your Slack channel notification will look. For example I have selected the message to be displayed as:
New SMS from {Contact Name} at {Lead Name} for {Close User Name}: {Text}

You can pull in whichever fields from Step 1 you are looking to include in this notification - date, phone number, contact title etc.

Under the 'Bot Icon' field you can select with Slack icon you want the notification to appear from. I have gone ahead and used :iphone:.


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