User Guide

Voice Broadcasts

Last Updated: Feb 10, 2017 06:04PM PST
Telerivet's voice broadcasts feature makes it easy to send text-to-speech calls, recorded audio messages, or interactive voice response (IVR) call flows to multiple contacts or groups.

For example, voice broadcasts can be used to quickly send alerts to employees, customers, or community members, or to send automated voice polls to collect data.

Before sending a voice broadcast, first import your contacts into Telerivet (Contacts > More > Import contacts), and add them to a group (for example, "Subscribers", "Customers", or "Employees").

Sending Text-to-speech Calls

On the top-right of the Messages page, click the Call dropdown, then click Text-to-speech call.
In the To field, enter the recipient phone number(s) or group.
In the Content section, select the language and gender of the voice and enter the content of the call.

If you plan to send the same message repeatedly, click Templates to save it as a template; then click Templates again the next time you want to send the message.

Click Variables to dynamically insert variables in the text-to-speech message such as the contact name or custom contact fields. If your text contains variables, you can click Preview before sending to view the text after inserting variables.

Text-to-Speech Voices

The text-to-speech voice is generated by your voice provider (e.g. Nexmo or Twilio), not by Telerivet itself.  Depending on the content of your message, the provider may or may not be able to say the text correctly. Currently Telerivet does not have the ability to preview the audio in the web browser, so we recommend sending a call to yourself first to test the audio before sending it to a large group.

The current text-to-speech languages supported by Telerivet are English (US), English (UK), English (Wales), English (Australia), English (India), Danish, Dutch, French (France), French (Canada), German, Icelandic, Italian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Russian, Spanish (Spain), Spanish (US), and Swedish.

However, your voice provider may not support all of these text-to-speech languages or support both a male and female voice for each language. If the language selected is not supported by your provider, Telerivet will show an error when you try to send the call. If provider doesn't have a voice with the selected gender, Telerivet will still send the call but will use another gender.

In order to avoid needing to select a text-to-speech language and gender each time you send a call, you can set the default text-to-speech voice on the Project Settings page (Dashboard > Edit Settings).

Sending Recorded Audio Calls

Recorded audio calls are similar to text-to-speech calls, except that you provide the audio recording instead of the audio being generated automatically by your voice provider.

On the top-right of the Messages page, click the Call dropdown, then click Recorded audio call.

Next, select the source for your audio. You can record audio directly in your web browser, upload an audio file, link to an MP3 file at an existing URL, or select a file that you previously recorded or uploaded:

The first time you click "Record audio", your browser will ask you to allow Telerivet to use your microphone. Allow Telerivet to record audio by following the prompt (typically at the top of the screen). If no prompt is displayed, you may need to click an icon on the left or right side of the address bar to allow Telerivet to record audio.

Note that telephone lines compress audio, so the audio quality will be worse during the phone call than what you hear if you play the file in your web browser. In particular, music will usually sound poor when compressed for the telephone line, so we recommend that your voicemail message only contain speech.

You may wish to test how your audio sounds in a telephone call by sending a call to yourself before sending it to a group.

Custom IVR Call Flow

To send voice broadcasts that allow user interaction, you can create an IVR (interactive voice response) call flow.

To create a new IVR call flow for outgoing calls, click the "Call" dropdown on the Messages page, then click New IVR call flow....

You can add actions and conditions in the drag-and-drop editor to create your call flow. For example, your call flow might start with a "Play audio" action, followed by a "Prompt for key press" action. After the key press is received, you can add conditions for each available key press. For example:

The example above shows the technique of placing the main message into a subroutine named play_message so that the flow can repeat the message later depending on the key press.

For more information, see Custom Call Flows

To send an IVR call flow, select it from the "Call" dropdown on the Messages page (alternatively, find the service on the Services page and Click "Send call..."). Enter the recipient phone numbers or group in the To field:

Scheduling Voice Broadcasts

Like text messages, voice broadcasts can be scheduled for a particular date/time, and can be sent on a recurring schedule or a schedule relative to a custom contact field.

In the "Send Call" dialog, click "Schedule..." to view the scheduling options.  For more details, see Sending and Scheduling Messages.

Answering Machines / Voicemail

Telerivet doesn't automatically detect answering machines because it is difficult to reliably determine whether the call was answered by a human or by an answering machine, and even attempting to do so would require adding a long pause at the beginning of the call.

If your call is answered by an answering machine, your message will start playing immediately when the answering machine picks up and starts playing the greeting, but before it is ready to record the message.

Both text-to-speech and recorded audio calls have an option to allow repeating the audio message once. This setting makes it possible for the answering machine to record your entire message, as long as your audio message is longer than the answering machine greeting.

Any call that is answered will appear as "Delivered" in Telerivet regardless of whether it was answered by a human or an answering machine. If you want to make sure that your call was answered by a human, you can create a custom call flow with a "Wait for key press" action -- if the contact presses a key, you know that the call was not answered by an answering machine.

Legal Compliance

Note that many governments prohibit automated voice broadcasts under certain conditions. For example, depending on your country, it may be illegal to use voice broadcasts for marketing or solicitation purposes without previously receiving explicit consent from each contact. In addition, Telerivet's terms of service prohibits using Telerivet for unsolicited advertising.

As a user of Telerivet, you and your business are responsible for ensuring that your use of voice broadcasts and other Telerivet features comply with all applicable local and national laws. You and your business also would be liable for any fines or other punishments resulting from non-compliance. Telerivet's software does not enforce legal restrictions or "do not call" lists for any particular country or location.

Telerivet is used worldwide and does not provide legal advice for particular locations. We encourage you to search the internet for local regulations applicable for your use case.

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