Excel to SMS

Textlocal is a leading provider of SMS messaging. The Textlocal online platform is a free tool that enables users to send personalised SMS to thousands of users per second. It includes features such as SMS ticketing, mobile web pages and mobile surveys, as well as rich reporting and a host of other features.

This guide walks you through a few simple steps that are required to set up Email to SMS in your Textlocal account. For information about the other features in Textlocal, please visit our product pages.

Download the Excel to SMS plug-in from Microsoft

1. Sign up for an account with Textlocal

Sign up for a free Textlocal account today. Our online SMS platform is free for life and you only pay for the credits that you use.  Sign-up and activate you account and follow our easy to use wizard to set the default ‘Sender Name’ you’ll use to appear on recipients’ phones when they receive your texts from Excel.

Add credits to your Textlocal account

To send SMS from Excel to SMS you must have credits on your Textlocal account. One credit is used per message of up to 160 characters. You can see your existing credit balance in the top right corner of the Textlocal dashboard. To purchase credits, click the Buy button when you’re logged in to the platform.

Set up auto-top up

Never run out of SMS credits again with our auto top-up feature. Tick the ‘Auto Top Up’ check box to replenish your credits when you run out.

2. Add Sender Names

If you want to add more Sender Names to your Excel to SMS account, you can do this by clicking Send on the ribbon at the top of the page.

This will take you to the Send Messages page of Textlocal. In the right-hand box, go to the Sender Name drop-down menu. At the bottom of this menu you have the option to Add Sender Names.

Your Sender Name can be up to 11 digits long.  Add it in the box in the New Sender Name window, then click Create.

Your Sender Names will appear in your Excel to SMS window when you next open your spreadsheet.

3. Connect to Textlocal

The first time you use Excel to SMS, you need to connect Excel to Textlocal.

You do this using an API key, which is generated in your Textlocal account.

In your Textlocal account:

  1. Click Settings > All settings > API keys
  2. Click on Create New Key
  3. In the Notes field, give your API key a recognisable name, for example; Excel.Click Save New Key

Your API key will be an alphanumeric string in the format

XXXvIElXXXEha4FWmXXX5HWMiL5IuGuXXX16XXXX

When you first install the plug in, you will be prompted to add your API key in to the Textlocal window in Excel.

Click Enter to connect Excel to your Textlocal account.

4. Writing your message

After you have downloaded and installed the Excel plug in and entered your API key, you can then begin writing your message.

Manual messages

You can use Excel to SMS to manually write messages. No personalisation can be applied with this method.  To manually create messages, set Use Selected Cells to No.

Select Compose Message and type your message in the pop up window. When your message is ready, click Save.

Next, manually add your phone numbers into the Numbers field. You need to Return after entering each number – you will see that the number turns blue once it has been accepted into the system.

You can send this message to as many numbers are you want and every recipient will receive the same message; no personalisation can be applied with this method.

Automated messages

If you want to personalise your messages, select the cells you want to use in your message, set Use Selected Cells to Yes and confirm your selection by clicking OK in the pop up box.

Select Compose Message.

When you want to add personalised content in to your messages, use the Columns drop-down menu to select the information you want to add to your message then click Insert Placeholder.

You can also add in personalised information without using the drop-down menu, by typing the column header in { } brackets, e.g. {Pet} is due a {Treatment}. If you use this option, you MUST observe the same spelling, spacing and capitalising as in your column headers.

When your message is ready, click Save.

Next, you must tell Excel to SMS which of your columns contains your phone numbers. Use the Numbers column drop-down menu to do this.

Scheduling messages

Use the Date and Time field to schedule your message send. if you want to send your message ‘now’, you must schedule it to go out in one or two minutes’ time.

5. Sending your message

When you hit Send you will see a summary of your message.

This window will show you the content of your message and the Number of Messages you are sending (this is the number of contacts you are sending to, NOT the number of 160-character SMS credits you are using).  You can also review the Date and Time scheduled for your send.

The Calculate Cost function shows you the number of SMS credits that your send will consume. The actual cost of these credits depends on your purchase price, and the countries you are sending to.

To send your message, click Confirm.

6. Hiding or removing Excel to SMS plug in

If you want to hide the Textlocal panel in Excel, simply use the Minimise arrow in the top right corner of your spreadsheet.

You can use this button to Maxime the Excel to SMS panel when you are ready to use it again.

Use the Logout to logout of Excel to SMS completely. If you do use this function you will need to reinstall the app, and reconnect to Textlocal using your API key.