All Collections
Special Topics
Using SMS Notifications
Using SMS Notifications

Read this article to learn about the usefulness of SMS Notifications in Aspire. Configure SMS messaging to customers and for employees!

Aspire Software avatar
Written by Aspire Software
Updated this week

Table of Contents


SMS messages are another form of Notification Type available in Aspire. Sometimes, you have customers that don't read emails, or they prefer a short message to notify them directly about service without clogging their inboxes. Reach these customers with an SMS notification!

The types of Notifications for SMS messages are Visit Reminder, Work Ticket Complete and Absentee Notification (Internal).

Visit Reminders are used to remind your customers about an upcoming visit for services that your team will be performing when they are onsite.

Work Ticket Complete notifications are sent depending on the trigger type set up when configuring the notification. Notify your customers when the work ticket reaches Complete status in Aspire Mobile, when it is completed in the Subcontractor Portal, or when it is marked as complete on Aspire Desktop.

SMS Absentee Notifications are for internal use only, and alert you when there is no clock in for a work ticket visit after your designated start time. This is helpful when monitoring your onsite teams to stay on track with your daily workflows and ensure that your teams are performing service in a timely manner.

Check Before Using SMS Notifications

Before setting up a SMS Notification, you must confirm that you have:

Assigned the correct user role permissions to Manage Notification Settings.

✅You’ve set up your Contact records to receive Notifications.

📑If you have not yet done this step, go back and read the Notification Overview, here.

Important Things About SMS Notifications

Listed below are some recommendations and things to know about SMS Notifications.

🧠All messages should state the name of your business.

🧠Messages that are over 160 characters will be sent as two separate messages by the carrier.

🧠It is strongly recommended to include opt-out instructions with your messages that direct customers to text STOP, Stop, or stop to your toll-free number if they want to stop receiving messages. Go to the Opt-In section of this guide for more information.

🧠Enter text and add tokens that will best communicate important information to your customer.

🧠There is a max character limit of 320 characters. The purpose of this limitation is to ensure that the message is concise. You can create a more detailed message using an Email Notification.

  • The character count of each token will be to the right of the token name.

  • The character count represents the maximum length of that specific token field.

  • In an effort to reduce the number of messages that are sent, a token will only pull in the maximum number of characters specified for each token.

  • The character count of a token will count against the characters that are remaining in your message.

Opting In and Out

⚠️ All SMS messaging is required to comply with applicable laws and regulations including but not limited to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). This is why there is additional opt-in functionality around SMS functionality.

  • The TCPA is a US federal law that outlines telemarketing communication regulations.

  • Users must explicitly state that they want to opt-in to SMS Message

    • CTIA is a trade organization that represents the wireless communications industry in the U.S. They create and maintain lots of great resources to help understand industry guidelines.

Once you have clicked Save, your customer will be sent a message to confirm they want to receive SMS messages from your company. You can view their opt-in real-time status in the Notifications column next to their contact name on the Property Details screen.

⚠️ The warning icon indicates that the customer has not opted-in yet:

✔️ Green checkmark indicates that the customer has confirmed their opt-in:

  • To opt-in, your customer must reply with START, Start, or start to the opt-in message you send.

  • To opt-out, your customer can reply or send a message to your toll-free number stating STOP, Stop, or stop at any time.

  • To opt back in, the customer will need to send a message to the toll-free number by sending a Start or unstop message.

📌 Note: If the customer's number is updated, the customer's number will be opted out since the API will read that as a rejection. The customer will have to re-opt-in by sending a message to the toll free number. This also includes reformatting numbers such as 123-456-7890 ➡️ (123) 456-7890

We strongly recommend not using Bulk Actions for SMS Notifications. Please read the below disclaimer to learn why.

Updating Multiple Contacts for Notifications Through Bulk Action

⚠️ DISCLAIMER: We do not recommend using Bulk Actions for the SMS Notification Contact without the prior consent of your customers.

This is because, if your customers were unaware of the opt-in service, and 20% of those contacts that were bulk assigned reported your initial message as SPAM, the telephone providers could flag your toll-free number and block it. This would discontinue your use of SMS Notification Type Messaging.

To update multiple contacts:

  • Select multiple properties that apply to your update

  • Select Bulk Actions in the top right

  • Select Change SMS Notification Contact

  • The top options in the menu will be Primary Contact, Billing Contact, and Email Invoice Contact.

    • Selecting Primary Contact will enable email notifications for the Primary Contact on all of the properties selected.

⚠️ Be careful as you can potentially associate contacts with a property they shouldn’t be associated with.

Creating an SMS Notification Template

To create a SMS Notification Template, from the New Notification screen, you'll configure the following fields, test, and then save your notification.

In this example, we will use the Visit Reminder SMS notification type.

  • Select Manage Notifications under Notifications.

  • Click New and then click Add SMS Notification.

Notification Name

  • Create a naming convention that states the purpose of the visit reminder.

    • Example: St Louis - Weekly Maint - Weekly Reminder


  • Select the branches that will have the visit reminder available.


  • This is an optional field but associates your visit reminder with a time-based or sequenced route.


  • Choose the division(s) to associate with the visit reminder.

Service Type

  • Select the service type(s) to which the visit reminder should be applied.


  • Select the service to which the visit reminder should be applied.

Notification Type

  • Select Visit Reminder.

Trigger Type

  • This is a read-only field. For Visit Reminders, the default is Work Ticket Visit Scheduled.

Delivery Time

  • This is a read-only field. The current option is Day Before.

Delivery Time Details

  • Set when the visit reminder is sent to the customer.

    • You can set the minutes to one of the following 15-minute intervals - 00, 15, 30, or 45.

    • The time is in the 12-hour clock format (HH: MM).

Message Body

You can manually type out the message you want your customers to see and add message tokens to automatically display specific key information.

🧠 Manually typed text and tokens count towards 320-character count maximum.

  • To add Tokens to the Message Body, click on the Search icon in the message body in the upper right corner to see a list of tokens to add.

📌Note: You must set a time-based route under the Route(s) field to use Time-based Visit Tokens in the Message Body field.

  • Once all of your settings have been made, you can then Test your notification to make sure that everything looks correct when the Visit Reminder notification is sent to your customers.

Testing your SMS Notification

Click the Test button in the upper right corner to send a message preview to a number belonging to a Test Recipient before you save the notification template. Taking this step allows you to view how the message tokens you use will reflect on the end of your customer.

  • Enter the phone number of your test recipient and check the attestation box in the field to acknowledge consent.

  • All required fields on this screen must be entered before you can Test a notification.

  • After clicking Send Message, you will get a confirmation that the test message was successfully sent to a valid phone number.

  • You will be redirected to the Visit Reminder detail screen so that you can make any changes before you save the notification.

⚠️Information added in the template fields will be retained after you click Test, but you still need to click Save to add the notification to the advanced search list!

  • Select Save once you are satisfied with the Visit Reminder template.

Copying Notifications

While displaying a notification on the Notification screen, you can copy the notification to use it as a template for a new notification.

For example: a system administrator could use a main notification template then individual branch managers could copy the template and use it for creating branch-specific notifications.

Go to the Notification you would like to copy.

  • Click the triple dot menu in the upper right.

  • Select Copy.

This will copy the notification and can be updated with more specific wording based on the need.

Receiving a Visit Reminder SMS Notification

Once you have configured and enabled your visit reminder, your customer will receive a Visit Reminder the day before the visit at the time you set in your template!

Things to Know About the Visit Reminder Notification Type

  • You can not duplicate a visit reminder. If you want your customer to receive more than one visit reminder the day before their visit, copy the original template you created and change the Delivery Time Details in a new Visit Reminder template.

    • You can also do this if you need to create a visit reminder that is similar to an existing reminder.

  • If you set a visit reminder and then schedule for the next day after the time you set for that reminder, the visit reminder will not be sent to your customer because the notification will not be triggered.

    • A good example to understand this concept would be if you set your Visit Reminder to go out at 1:00 PM on Tuesday. If you scheduled a work ticket visit after 1:00 PM on Monday, the reminder would not be delivered to your customer.

Canceling a Visit Reminder

If you delete a work ticket visit, a cancellation notification is triggered to be sent to your customer.

  • The cancellation notification will be sent to your customer within 15 minutes after the work ticket visit is deleted.

  • All cancellation messages are formatted the same and look like this:

    • [Service Name] originally scheduled for [Date/Time] has been canceled. Please contact [Company Name] if you have any questions.

      • Currently, this automated message can not be modified.

📌Note: Cancellation notifications will not go out if a visit is canceled or rescheduled before the visit reminder for a visit is triggered to be sent to your customer.

Visit Reminders for Rescheduled Tickets

If you update the date or the time of a scheduled work ticket, a Reschedule Notification is triggered.

  • The Reschedule Notification will be sent to your customer within 15 minutes after the work ticket visit is rescheduled.

  • If a visit is rescheduled for a future date, your customer will receive two notifications.

    • The first will be the Reschedule Notification, and the second will be the visit reminder reflecting the date or date/time for the newly scheduled visit.

  • All Reschedule Notification messages are formatted the same and look like this:

    • [Service Name] has been rescheduled to [Scheduled Date]/[Schedule Date/Time]. Please contact [Company] if you have any questions.

      • Currently, this automated message can not be modified.

  • If you change the sequence under which a rescheduled visit occurs but the exact date or the date & time of the visit remain, a Reschedule Notification will not be triggered.

Using the SMS Absentee Notification Type

Absentee Notifications are useful when your team needs to track clock ins of onsite crew members for work tickets that are scheduled. This notification type is set to be sent to your internal team members when users fail to clock in to a work ticket after the designated start time of the scheduled work ticket.

To begin, you'd create the notification template, and ensure that your employees have opted-in to receive notifications to their mobile devices.

  • From the New Notification screen, configure the following fields, test, and then save your notification.

  • Select Manage Notifications under Notifications.

  • Click New and then click Add SMS Notification.

  • The New Notification for SMS appears.

  • Name your notification for easy identification when managing notifications. Absentee Notifications are similar to the Visit Reminder set up, with the exception of Recipient(s), Additional, Recipient(s), Grace Period, Trigger Type, and Delivery Type.

Recipient(s), Additional Recipient(s), and Grace Period

  • The Recipient(s) and Additional Recipient(s) fields are used to assign who on your internal team will receive the Absentee Notification when triggered.

  • The Grace Period field allows you to designate a time frame that is acceptable to pass before the absentee notification is sent to your internal team.

    • This period is measured off of the Work Ticket's Visit Start Time.

    • Options are 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 minutes.

Trigger Type and Delivery Time

  • Trigger Type is defaulted for Absentee Notifications to Job Not Started in Mobile.

  • Delivery Time is defaulted for Absentee Notifications to Immediately.

Setting up your Employee Contacts to Receive Internal Notifications

For your team to receive Absentee Notifications, employees must have the Opt-In Internal Notifications checkbox selected under the Mobile Phone number field on their contact record.

  • After enabling Opt-in Internal Notifications, employees receive an SMS message that states: Aspire would like to send you SMS Notifications for your company.

    • They must reply START to finish opting in.

🧠 You can also opt in multiple employees to Internal SMS notifications under Bulk Actions in the Contacts module.

Receiving an Absentee Notification

When an Absentee Notification is sent, only one message will be sent per message template. If an employee is a recipient for templates that have the same Branch and Route but a different Grace Period, separate messages are sent for each Grace Period.

📌 Note: A message can only be received when the device to which it will be delivered is online.

More References on Notifications

SMS Notifications are just one option of Notification Type that Aspire offers. If you are looking for Email Notification information, click here to read Using Email Notifications.

Did this answer your question?