Introduction to Cascade SMS

Cascade SMS allows you to provide a very flexible SMS service using keywords with either shortcode or long numbers and a range of actions to build an automated workflow for each inbound SMS received. The configuration is completely controlled by you, providing your business with an extremely flexible tool to interact with your customers, team members, suppliers etc. Should you wish to make a change to the configuration, the Cascade SMS module allows you to quickly add or remove keywords, actions, contacts and groups as required. 

The below guide is here to help you through setting up a Cascade SMS and creating basic configurations.

Dedicated Numbers: Cascade SMS requires a dedicated inbound number provided by VoodooSMS, this will give you the flexibility of having as many, or as few, keywords as you require, without the limitations of a shared inbound number where keywords may have already been taken by another customer. A dedicated Virtual Mobile Number (VMN) can be purchased from VoodooSMS for £10 a month plus VAT. 

More information on purchasing a VMN can be found HERE

How to Enable Cascade SMS

To enable cascade SMS contact your account manager who will be happy to discuss with you your requirements and enabling a VMN on your account should you not already have one.

There are nine options that you can select from the Cascade SMS:

  • Lookup in Cascade Group: Providing a match or no match facility, you can control the outcome of this action if the Sender ID is known or not known.  
  • SMS Response: Reply to the originating Sender ID with a preset message, great for confirmation that the message has been received.
  • Forward via SMS: Send to a specific number or numbers the original message, or a different message. The dynamic content builder allows you to control what is sent.
  • Send to Cascade Group: The main function of the Cascade Solution, send a message out to all, or a specific group of contacts within the Cascade Contact List.
  • Send an Email: Insert the inbound message into an email, along with the sender ID, time etc and forward it via email. 
  • Call an API: Integrate your IT systems with Cascade SMS to build an extremely powerful solution. 
  • Add to Contact List: The main function of the Cascade Solution, send a message out to all, or a specific group of contacts within the Cascade Contact List.
  • Blacklist: If the SMS Sender wishes to be removed, setup a specific keyword and use this to unsubscribe etc. 
  • Do Nothing: For the rare occasions where you do not wish to reply, or for inactive keywords which you simply want to monitor for any activity, do nothing can be used. Messages will simply be stored on the platform for future reference. 

Cascade Contact List and Cascade Groups 

The Cascade Contact list holds all the mobile numbers which you wish to use within the Cascade module. These numbers can then be assigned to one or more group configurations, such as; Managers, tech team, account managers or any grouping you can think of! These groups can then be harnessed with the keywords to create an extremely powerful SMS solution. Each number can be easily added to one or many groups very easily in several different ways. Either when uploading the contact list, by manually selecting the contacts and adding them to a group, or individually managing each number. Removing a contact from a group is also extremely easy and this is all explained in more detail later in the document. Each contact can be assigned to one or many groups allowing you to build the group membership as you require. 

Basic Configuration Example

Once the Cascade module has been enabled on your account, it takes just a few minutes to set and then you are ready to use it. 

Once logged into the portal, navigate to Cascade -> Configuration . Here you will be able to add, remove and control the function of each keyword using the pre-built actions. 

This section will guide you through setting up a very basic Cascade configuration. For the purposes of this test we will use the keyword ‘ACCOUNT’ and add an action to this keyword to send back a response to the phone number that send the original SMS.  

NOTE: The numbers displayed within this section are dummy numbers which do not work, your account will have at least one real number assigned to it. 

1. Click on ‘+ Cascade Configuration’ to start configuring the Cascade SMS feature.

2. Enter the required keyword and click search. e.g. ACCOUNT.

TIP: If you wish to not use a keyword, please enter an asterisk, (*) . This will not stop you from adding other keywords later, but it will provide you with the ability ‘capture’ messages which do not match other keywords. 

3. The platform will then return a list of available numbers where each keyword can be configured. 

If the keyword has already been configured on a different number within your account, that number will still be shown, however the status will be ‘Taken’.

4. At this point, the keyword has been added to the selected number and you can add in a description for the keyword to remind you later, or quickly explain its functionality to other members of your company at a later date. 

TIP: Remember to click on ‘Save’ to ensure any changes that have been made are preserved. 

In this example, we are going to add an action to the keyword ‘ACCOUNT’ and respond back when an SMS is received with the matching keyword, with a simple message. To do this, click on ‘Add another action’ and in the action dropdown select ‘SMS Response’.

5. To configure the the SMS response, two pieces of information are required, the Sender ID and the message to reply with, for this example we will select the dedicated inbound number as the Sender ID and enter ‘This is my first Cascade response’ as the SMS response, feel free to change this as you wish!  

6. Once the 1st Action looks as above, click on Save. 

Test It Out

Congratulations! You have completed the basic configuration of Cascade SMS. 

Now try testing out your configuration by sending a text message with message body ‘ACCOUNT’, so that the keyword match will be used, then send it to your selected inbound number. 

You will receive the configured response message back, and you will be able to view the inbound message via Cascade -> Report 

This means you have configured your keyword correctly. 

If at any time you have a question, or can not get it to work, please email support@voodoosms.com or contact your account manager for assistance. 

Cascade Actions

Send to Cascade Group : This action will send the inbound message received to a selected cascade group. You can opt to insert information before the SMS body or after it as you wish.

SMS Response: When an inbound message is received, a response will be sent as configured here.

Forward via SMS: This actions will send the inbound message received to a specific number or numbers. You can opt to customise the SMS body as you wish.

Call an API: If you require the portal to interact with your CRM, Sales platform etc you can configure the portal to call your API with the relevant information using the dynamic fields to insert the values required.

Send an Email: When an SMS arrives, this will forward the message via email. You can build the email like a dynamic broadcast by adding the dynamic fields into the email body. The information will then be inserted into the email body when it is sent.

Lookup in Cascade Group: This action will check a selected Cascade Group to see if the mobile number is a member of the Group. Alternatively, you can check all contacts, ignoring the group membership. 

There are then 2 actions: 'IF MATCH FOUND' and 'IF MATCH NOT FOUND' , this provides you the ability to treat the Inbound SMS differently if the mobile number is known, or not known. 

Add to Contact List: This will add the mobile number that the message is received from, to the selected Cascade Group (if it does not already exist). 

Blacklist: This will insert the number into the Blacklist and no further messages will be sent to this number. 

Please note, using the Blacklist feature will stop messages from being sent to the entered number via any Send SMS method within your account, including QuickSMS and Broadcast etc. 

Do Nothing: This will simply store the received messages, you can view them via the Reports Section.

Group Manager

Group Manager allows you to manage group names and assign contacts each group. Contacts and Groups have one-to-many relationship, which means that a single contact can belong to multiple Groups if required. 

Each group can then be associated with a configuration using the ‘Lookup In Cascade Group’ action. 

How it Works?

Click on the ‘Cascade Group’ button to start creating Groups. You simply need to enter a unique Group name and Group description in order to create a group.

You can perform actions on individual Groups as well. 

These are the actions available: 

Manage - You can edit Group details here. You can also assign any unassigned contacts to a Group using the Manage action. If you have not uploaded a Contact List or created Contacts yet, then please view Contact List. 

Quick SMS - using this option you can send, or schedule to send a Quick SMS to all the Contacts in a particular group. Click on Quick SMS button, and enter the Sender ID you want the SMS to appear from, the SMS body and the time you want the SMS to be sent to the Group Contacts. 

Delete - this option gives you an ability to delete a Group from your Group list. Using this option will not delete the Contacts assigned to the Group, you can still view all the Contacts from Contact List, but the Group will be deleted. 

Test It Out

Send a Quick SMS to your new Group. Use the Sender ID ‘Test’ or any other custom ID if you want. Type in a custom message and select the ASAP checkbox. Clicking on the Submit button will send the SMS through to all the contacts in the Group. All the Contacts in the Group should receive the SMS you sent.

Contact List

You can upload, download and manage all your contacts through the ‘Contact List’ menu. You can also see the last time the list was updated and the username which updated it. 

How it works?

If you wish to update a specific contact, or you want to view which contacts belong to a group, you can use the filter bar. This will allow you to limit the results displayed as required, by Number, First Name, Surname or Group membership. 

You can perform actions on individual contacts as well. These are the actions available:

Edit - you can update the Number, First Name, Surname and Group Membership of an individual contact. 

Search - you can track the history and the recent activity related to the contact using Search option. You will be able to view the log of Inbound SMS sent by the contact and also any SMS sent to this numbers using the Cascade module. 

Delete - this option gives you an ability to delete a contact from your Cascade list. Please be careful in using this feature as you will lose all the history related to the contact once you delete it.

Add an Individual Contact:

Press ‘+Contact’ button and enter the details as required. From the list of Available Groups, select the group(s), then press the Save button. This will save the new contact in your Cascade Contact List.

Update your Contact List: 

If you want to add multiple contacts using CSV, XLS or XLSX format, press the Update List button. The new contacts you wish to add via a CSV, XLS or XLSX can have these columns: Number, First Name, Surname and Group. Each of the contacts should have the relevant Group names. If you are doing this for the first time, please make sure you have created the relevant groups. See below

Delete List: This option will help you if you have decided to remove all contact(s) from your Cascade list. Using this option will remove all the selected contacts permanently from your list. Please be careful in using this feature as you will lose all the history related to the contacts once you delete them. If you are unsure about this, then please create a backup first. (See Below)

Download CSV:

Using this button will download all contact(s) in your Cascade list in a CSV format.

Test it out

Let us now perform the above mentioned actions on a test contact. Click on ‘+Contact’, enter First Name ‘Mark’ and Surname ‘Foster’ and enter your mobile number in Number. From the Available Groups select a Group and click ‘<’ icon to add it to Group Membership. Now press the ‘Save’ button. This should create a new record on Contact List with the details you entered. 

Now under the actions column, click ‘Edit’ and change the First Name to ‘Karl’ and Surname ‘John’ and change your mobile number in Number. Click ‘Save’, this should show updated details on Contact List. 

Click on the X icon under the Actions column to remove the contact. This should remove the contact from the Contact List.

Contact Manager

The Contact Manager can be used to get a full picture of a contact’s membership, messages received, and messages sent. 

How it works?

Enter a phone number or name in the search fields and press the Search button. This will search all the Contacts within the Cascade module and return the relevant contacts. If your search returns multiple results, you can click on ‘View’ for more details.

The details show you the complete history for the selected Contact. If you want to update the Contact details, click on ‘Edit’. This will open up a popup where you can update the contact number, name and assign to Groups. Click ‘Save’ button to confirm the changes, if you have made the changes by mistake, you can click ‘Undo’ button which will revert the changes you have made.

‘Contact Number’ EXISTS IN ‘x’ CASCADE GROUPS - click ‘Show’ to view the details of the Groups the selected Contact belongs to. Here you use further two actions, ‘Edit’ and ‘Remove’, to update group membership or to remove group membership. 

‘Contact Number’ HAS SENT ‘x’ CASCADE MESSAGES INBOUND - click ‘Show’ to view the Cascade Inbound Messages that have been sent by the selected Contact. The use of Keywords by the selected Contact is also shown in this tab.

‘Contact Number’ HAS RECEIVED ‘x’ CASCADE MESSAGES - click ‘Show’ to view the Cascade Inbound Messages that have been received by the selected Contact. Other details regarding the Messages received like the Sender ID, Message Body, Time Sent and the Delivery Status can be viewed.

Report

You can view a report of all messages that have been sent in to or sent from the Cascade Module via Cascade -> Report . 

This will initially display the inbound messages, which you can then drill into, allowing you to view any message sent outbound upon receipt of the matched inbound keyword. The main page will show you the delivery statistics on the sent messages, broken down as follows : 

Sent – the number of messages sent outbound

Delivered – the number of messages which have been delivered to the mobile phone

Pending – Any message which has not been rejected by the network, e.g. Vodafone, but is still pending delivery to the mobile phone. This may occur when a phone is out of signal range, switched off, roaming etc,

Failed – Messages which will never be delivered. This occurs when a number is not valid, no longer is active, the message box is full, or another failure. If you have any queries about the failure messages, please contact VoodooSMS Support for further assistance. 

Backup & Restore

This area allows you to take complete backup of Cascade SMS; this is like taking a snapshot of the Cascade module. This option will ensure there are no losses in data or configurations. You can take as many backups as you require. With the click of a button you are able to create a complete backup of the following settings and data:

Cascade Configurations

  • All the Inbound Numbers 
  • All the Keywords 
  • All Keyword configurations 
  • Actions associated with each Keyword 

Group Manager 

  • All the Groups and their details
  • All Group Memberships 

Contact List 

  • All Contacts and their details 
  • Contacts’ activity logs 
  • Group Membership of contacts Last updated logs 

Report 

  • All the records present in your Report 

You can restore your Cascade SMS module to a past snapshot using the restore feature. Using this will restore all settings and data to the backup and remove any changes that were made since.

How it works 

If you wish to take the backup of the Cascade SMS module, click on the ‘+Cascade Backup’ button. Remember to add a memorable Name and Description to the backup and click on Save. This will simply create a snapshot of the current state of Cascade SMS. Each time you perform the above mentioned action, a new record will be created. 

In the future, if you wish to go to a previous state your Cascade SMS module, you can do that by clicking the restore action. Using the restore action will restore the Cascade module to a previous state  and remove any changes that have been made after the backup was taken. If you are not sure what the restore action does, then please contact your Account Manager before you decide to use it. 

If you have any questions, require help or would even like a new feature added to Cascade SMS, please get in touch. 

Phone: 0800 971 7111

SMS: Text CALL to 88440 

Email: support@voodoosms.com 

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