Note: This product is an add-on to your BLOX website, for information about adding it please contact your regional sales rep. If you are not sure who your sales rep is, or you do not have their contact information, please contact TownNews Customer Support by submitting a ticket through your BLOX CMS admin (for more information see Ticket Workspace) or by going to the TownNews.com Customer Support page. Or you can call 800-293-9576.



Note: A site administrator at each company will have the power to create / delete groups, and add / remove group access for their employees. TownNews.com is not responsible for managing groups or staff access.

Note: You can contact TownNews Customer Support by submitting a ticket through your BLOX admin (Support / Ticket for more information please see the Ticket Workspace doc) or by calling 800-293-9576.


Table of Contents

Overview

A Whisper Number is a local phone number that can be purchased from our business partner, Twilio. When the Whisper Number is dialed, the call is automatically forwarded to the business's primary phone number so that the dialing customer does not have any indication that an alternate number is being used. Usage of the Whisper Number can then be tracked through Statistics / Analytics (for more information see Analytics: Whisper Numbers so that the owner of the Business Directory listing knows how many calls the listing or ad has generated.

Whisper Numbers can also send customized SMS (text) messages to a business's customer base promoting sales and specials, and leads from those texts can also be tracked using identifiers sent in the message. For example, a text may say "$4 off medium pizzas today at Juno's! Mention "Juno's July Jubilee" to take advantage of this deal!"


Note: Whisper Numbers are commonly used by Businesses for SMS Lists to send text messages with coupons and track customer phone calls to their company. Newspapers can also use them with SM Lists to send breaking news items to their readers who have provided phone numbers to the newspaper. This is a great way to get time critical and/or emergency information out to your community..



Note: This doc only covers setting up a Whisper number. If you need a Short code number please contact your reginal sales rep.

If your short code number is set up and you need to set up SMS Lists see SMS Lists Workspace.



Note: If you are not sure who your regional sales rep is you can contact TownNews Customer Support by submitting a ticket through Support / Ticket in your Blox CMS admin or by calling 800-293-9576. For more information see Ticket Workspace (Flex) (Zen).


ACCESSING APPLICATIONS

From the drop-down in the the upper left choose Settings / Whisper numbers...


NOTE: Not sure how to access BLOX Applications? Click here


This opens Manage Whisper Numbers window. 

Here you can Buy New Numbers, create and Send SMS messages, Edit Number information, or Cancel Numbers entirely.

Whisper Numbers


Note: Toll-free numbers are an add-on product that can be purchased for your BLOX site. An additional contract will be needed.


Note: For information about adding 800 numbers please contact your regional sales rep. If you are not sure who your sales rep is, or you do not have their contact information, please contact TownNews Customer Support by submitting a ticket through your BLOX admin (Support / Ticket for more information please see the Ticket Workspace (Flex) (Zen) doc) or by calling 800-293-9576.


Buy new number


Note: There are two options for types of phone numbers you can purchase:

Local phone number and Short codes

Local phone numbers will be in your area code and can be used with Businesses as a whisper number and with SMS Lists to send text messages at the same time (if a business wants to track how many calls are coming into their business and want to be able to send text message advertising as well). They are limited to one SMS message per second, but are relatively inexpensive.

This means that if you have a list of 500 users, it would take 8 minutes to send all of the texts. If you had 7,000 text alert subscribers, it would take almost 2 hours to send a breaking news alert (which would not be acceptable for most breaking news situations).

Short codes can only used for text messaging through SMS Lists, but can send 30 messages per second. Short codes are much more expensive than Whisper numbers, but they can be shared among many customers in a group allowing that cost to be shared. If you are interested in more information about Short codes please contact your regional sales rep.

This means that if you have a list of 500 users, it would take less than a minute to send all of the texts. If you had 7,000 text alert subscribers, it would take you approximately 4 minutes to send a breaking news alert.


A Whisper number can be used by a business to send text message advertising through SMS Lists amd to track call stats through Whisper numbers and Businesses.

Short codes can only ne used to send text messages throgh SMS Lists.



Note: If you are not sure who your regional sales rep is you can contact TownNews Customer Support by submitting a ticket through Support / Ticket in your Blox CMS admin or by calling 800-293-9576. For more information see Ticket Workspace (Flex) (Zen).


Click Buy new number.

Select Click To add a phone number.

There are three options for performing a search:

Options:

  • Area Code - example 563
  • In state - example IA for Iowa
  • In postal code - example 52761

Click on Search. This will bring up a list of phone numbers that are available for purchase.


There may NOT be a local phone number available to be selected. These numbers are made availabel by our partner vendor, Twilio, and TownNews has no control over what phone numbers are made avaialble to us.


Note: Rate Center, State, and Postal Code will be blank for all 8XX toll-free numbers as they do not apply.  The filters for State and Postal Code should be disabled, but you should still be able to filter by area code.



Note: Toll-free numbers are an add-on product that can be purchased for your BLOX site. An additional contract will be needed.


Note: For information about adding 800 numbers please contact your regional sales rep. If you are not sure who your sales rep is, or you do not have their contact information, please contact TownNews Customer Support by submitting a ticket through your BLOX admin (Support / Ticket for more information please see the Ticket Workspace (Flex) (Zen) doc) or by calling 800-293-9576.


Click the checkbox for the number you want to purchase.

Click OK.

Assign number to a business

There are two methods for assigning Whisper numbers to businesses. If you are adding it from Settings / Whisper numbers...

Click Click to add business (optional).

Search out the business that this whisper number should be assigned to. For more information see Businesses Workspace (Flex) (Zen).

Click the desired business listing to highlight.

Click Add Selected Businesses.

If you are adding it from Marketplace / Businesses...

The business will already be assigned. Check to make sure you are working in the correct business. Also check the outgoing number to make ssure it is the phone number the business wants this Whisper number to call to.

The Outgoing Phone Number should be auto populated when you select a business to assign this number too. If you are not assigning this number to a business, or the incorrect number was assigned, type/paste the number you want these calls forwarded to.

If Enable Recording is checked, all calls placed through this number will be recorded.

Under Options you can set the Recording format these calls will be recorded as.

Options:

  • .mp3
  • .wav (default)

For more information see Options.


Note: SMS LIsts does not use the number for call tracking, so if this number if for an SMS List you do not need to enable call recording. For more information see SMS Lists Workspace (Flex) (Zen).


Click Review and Purchase.  

Review the information to make sure everything is correct. If you click Purchase you will be assessed a fee to activate the whisper number.


Note: For information about product charges or billing please contact your regional sales rep. If you are not sure who your sales rep is, or you do not have their contact information, please contact TownNews Customer Support by submitting a ticket through your BLOX admin (Support / Ticket for more information please see the Ticket Workspace (Flex) (Zen) doc) or by calling 800-293-9576.


 

Edit Number

To edit the business or outgoing number associated with a Whisper number, double click the number, or click the number and click Edit number

In the Edit Phone Number: 1-XXX-XXX-XXXX popup you can change the business associated with a number by clicking on the current business name, and choosing a new business to assign this number to. 

To delete the business entirely and not replace it with another, simply click on the red next to the business name.


Note: If the business listing is changed, the Outgoing Number will automatically update with the business. If the business is removed altogether, or there never was a business associated with the number, edit the Outgoing Number field by typing in the new number.


Send SMS


Note: This is for testing purposes only. To use a Whisper number with SMS Lists see SMS Lists Workspace.


To send an SMS (text) message to a phone, highlight the Whisper Number you want to send the message from and click Send SMS.

In the Send SMS popup type/paste recipient's cell phone number in Phone Number in an XXX-XXX-XXXX format. It is not necessary to enter a "1".

Enter the message you wish to send in Message. A maximum of 160 characters (including spaces) is accepted.

Click Send message.


Note: Repeat this process for each message you need to send.


Note: Whisper Numbers do not accept text messages. If customers reply to the text, neither your publication nor TownNews.com will be made aware of it.


Cancel Number

Once a Whisper number has been purchased, the only change that can be made to the number itself is to cancel it entirely.

If neither the business nor your publication have a need for the number and wish to cancel it highlight the line for that number and click Cancel number.

In the Are You Sure You Want To Cancel? popup select Yes to confirm the cancellation or No to stop the cancellation.

Options

In Options you can set the Whisper text that businesses utilizing a Whisper Number will hear when they answer a call forwarded to them by the Whisper Number (the system/service converts the text message to an audio recording).


Note: A message is not required, but it does help your businesses to be aware of the number of calls their ads in your publication generate. It is not possible at this time to add a unique message to each Whisper number, the text entered here will be heard by all users of Whisper numbers.


Note: When a message is entered, simply select Save to make it active on all calls. If you've made a change but wish to revert back to the previous message, click Reset and the previous message will be re-inserted. This will only work if Save has not yet been clicked on the modified message.


If you clicked the checkbox to Enable recording, you can set the format these calls are recorded as.

Options:

  • .mp3
  • .wav (default)

For more information see Enable recording.