The Ins and Outs of Two-Way Messaging

November 29, 2010

Clickatell’s two-way messaging functionality lets you have dynamic text conversations with your customers, suppliers and employees.

From Application to Mobile, and back!

Two-way messaging (also known as bi-directional messaging) refers to messaging from an application to a mobile handset (application to person, or A2P, messaging), and vice versa.

When two-way messaging is discussed, there are two concepts that have to be understood: Mobile terminated (MT) messaging and mobile originated (MO) messaging.
Clickatell's Two-Way Messaging

MT messaging refers to messages that are sent from an application, and terminate on the recipient’s handset. In other words, they stop there.

MO messaging refers to messages that have originated from a mobile handset, and will be received by an application.

Activating Two-Way Messaging

Activating two-way messaging from within any of the Clickatell products is simple and straightforward. You’ll just need to log into your account and follow the instructions.

Note: Two-way messaging APIs can be used in conjunction with one-way APIs that are already in place.

Clickatell’s Communicator 2

Activating two-way messaging is easy. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Log into Communicator 2
  2. Go to the ‘Messaging’ tab
  3. Under “My Two-way” on the left, click ‘Activate’

It’s that easy!

Activating two-way messaging in Communicator 2

Clickatell’s Central Platform

Two-way messaging through Clickatell’s central platform requires the completion of a two-way number application form.

Follow the easy 3-Step process to apply for your number:

Step 1: Find out if you need a long code or short code as your ‘from’ number…

Short Codes

A short code is a 3 to 6 digit number that is memorable and easily recognisable. It is the crème de la crème of sender IDs and is typically used for messaging campaigns that require great visibility.

Read more about short codes on our Short Code Coverage page.

Long Numbers

A long number can be 10-15 characters in length, but may be more cost-effective than a short code. Navigate to Clickatell’s Standard Coverage Using MO page.

Australia Standard MO Table

Select the country and region (where applicable) that your messages will be sent to.

Once the tables have updated, determine which long number range (from the top row) will suit your messaging requirements.

Example: Jim wants to send text messages to 1000 of his best customers. They are distributed throughout Austrlia, across all major Australian mobile networks.

From the table Jim determines that he can register a +61 two-way number to reach his customers. Jim, however, notices that it will be 3 credits per message across all networks.


Being cost conscious, Jim decides to also register a +44[A] number to reach customers on Telstra, Vodafone and YES Optus as well as a +44[B] to reach customers on Vodafone Hutchinson.

Step  2: Determine what your rental and monthly subscription fees will be.

The setup and monthly rental fees for long numbers are listed on the Two-Way Costs page. Short code setup and monthly rental fees can be found on the Short code Costs page.

Step 3: Apply for your two-way number…

  1. Log into your Clickatell Central account, and select ‘Manage my Products’
  2. Click on ‘Two-Way Application’ under ‘Application Forms’
  3. Select your API product. Remember,  only the HTTP/S, SMPP, FTP and SOAP APIs can do two-way messaging
  4. Select the Country you wish to send to
  5. Using the results from Step 1 and Step 2 above, choose the Setup Type that’s best for your business
  6. Choose the Services that apply to your messaging campaign. If they aren’t in the list, just fill them into the text box
  7. Read the Terms and Conditions. You can agree to them by ticking the check-box
  8. Click ‘Next’
  9. Enter your expected inbound and outbound Message Volumes
  10. Select the Start and End dates of your campaign
  11. Click on ‘Complete the Application’

Once the application process has been complete, click on ‘Central Home’ on the top menu. A new block will show on your Central Home dashboard entitled “Two-Way Number Status”. Click on ‘Pay’ to complete the payment and queue your application for processing.

Note: Your two-way number application will only be processed once payment has been made.

That’s all there is to it! Once your application has been processed, you’ll be able to hear what your customers have to say and assist them with their queries, wherever they may be.

If you have any questions relating to two-way messaging, post a comment below to have it answered.

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