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In order to use two way messaging, you need to have a virtual mobile number (VMN), a dedicated shortcode, or a rented keyword on the fastsms shortcode. Any of those three allow you to receive messages.
You can send and receive messages using NetMessenger, fastsms’ web-based SMS solution. Every account is automatically able to send messages. You just need to purchase credits for the amount of messages you want to send.
To receive messages in NetMessenger, you can purchase a VMN, shortcode or keywords on our shortcode. You can rent a keywords and VMNs right from within your dashboard anytime you determine you need to have two way messaging.
Other options for using two way messaging with fastsms are email to SMS, SMS to email, and integration with other applications using our API. All of these still require you to have VMN, keywords, or a dedicated shortcode.
Examples of two way messaging are: person to person, opt in campaigns, contests, and customer support. Person to person is probably what most people think of as text messaging. Opt in campaigns are when people send in a keyword to a VMN or shortcode in order to sign up to a marketing list. Usually the business sends a response confirming the requested opt in prior to starting marketing messages.
SMS contests usually involve people texting in a keyword to either a VMN or shortcode which will give them a chance at the draw. Some contests request people to text in a picture to enter the contest. These latter types of contests are actually using MMS messaging and not two way text messaging per se.
Customer support using SMS can either be an automated process or a manual, live, exchange. An automated example is someone texting a keyword to their bank to receive their current balance. A manual process could involve a customer support agent answering questions about an account or product.
Another purpose for two way messaging is maintaining compliance with the ICO regulations regarding electronic marketing. Every person who opts into a list needs to have a clear and easy way to opt out. While there are different mechanisms you can use, a simple keyword customers can send as a reply is one of the easiest. It takes two way messaging to implement this approach.