Getting Started with Conversations

Learn about the components and functionality of the Conversations module.

Michael Stephenson avatar
Written by Michael Stephenson
Updated today

Overview

Use Conversations to communicate 1:1 with students through the following channels: Messenger (Live Chat), SMS, Email, and In-App Calling.

Conversations are different from Campaigns, which are designed to send bulk, scheduled messages to a broad group of users. For more information on Campaigns, click here.

This article will divide the Conversations module into three sections—inbox, conversation, and conversation information—as illustrated in the screenshot below. It will cover how-to topics such as:

  • Starting a new conversation or replying to an existing one

  • Changing the conversation assignee

  • Disabling BoltBot

  • Favoriting a conversation

  • Closing a conversation

  • Adding private notes

  • Translating inbound messages

  • Accessing a contact's profile and associating a contact to a conversation

  • Adding + removing participants

  • Adding + removing tags

  • Gain additional insight and context related to the contact

Accessing Conversations

Navigate to Engagement > Conversations > All Conversations.


Inbox

The Conversations module's left panel displays an inbox, or list, of all conversations from all channels with search and filter functionality. Each thread, or box, provides at-a-glance information about the specific conversation using formatting and icons.

In a separate article, we cover inbox formatting, icons, searching and filtering conversations, performing bulk actions, threading conversations, and connecting shared email inboxes.


Conversation

The Conversations module's middle panel displays the conversation you are reading (the one you selected from the inbox). It contains the conversation thread where you can communicate 1:1 with the contact, update the assignee, add private notes, close the conversation, translate, and more.

Assignee

  • The assignee is indicated in the center of the conversation panel.

  • When conversations are first started, they are unassigned.

  • To select a new assignee, click Select Assignee, and all users will show in a dropdown menu. Select the user you wish to assign to the conversation.

💡Tip: Use a conversation rule to assign users to conversations automatically.

BoltBot

  • If you are a BoltBot customer, you can turn on/off the feature on the conversation level by clicking the bot chip with the pause sign.

Favorite Conversation

  • Click the star ⭐️ to mark a conversation as a favorite. Then, use inbox filters to view favorite conversations easily.

  • Favoriting conversations can also be performed in bulk by selecting more than one conversation thread. To learn how, click here.

Close Conversation

  • After completing a conversation, click the check mark ✔️ to close it.

  • After closing a conversation, it will remain in your inbox with a Reopen Conversation button at the bottom. Click the button to reopen the conversation.

  • Closing conversations can also be performed in bulk by selecting more than one conversation thread. To learn how, click here.

Hide Conversation Info

  • To hide the right panel, click information ℹ️.

Start New Conversation

  • Click on the three vertical dots icon to display additional actions.

  • Click on New Conversation to start a new conversation with the external participant of the message you are currently viewing. To create a new conversation with a different external participant, click the blue + New Conversation button in the top right corner.

Switch Channels

  • Click on the three vertical dots icon to display additional actions.

  • Click Switch Channels to communicate with the external participant of the message you are viewing using a new conversation channel.

Delete Conversation

  • Click on the three vertical dots icon to display additional actions.

  • Click on Delete Conversation to permanently delete the conversation

  • Deleting conversations can also be performed in bulk by selecting more than one conversation thread. To learn how, click here.

Join Conversation

  • In conversations where you are not a participant, you can join by clicking the "join conversation" button at the bottom of the conversation panel. Once you join the conversation, you can reply or add private notes.

Reply: Compose or Edit Message

  • To reply, make sure the reply/note toggle is on reply and use the text box to type your message to the external participant.

  • Use the toolbar to enhance your message with the following:

    • Attach pictures or files

    • Insert emojis

    • Insert a saved reply (to manage your custom replies, navigate to Engagement > Conversations > Settings > General > Custom Replies)

    • Use Copilot to generate your message

    • Send recorded videos using Covideo or Loom (additional fees and subscriptions apply)

    • Use Copilot's writing assistant to improve your writing, fix spelling and grammar, shorten your message, expand your message, change the tone of your message, or translate your message.

Adding Private Notes

Private notes can be added to any conversation. Within that note, you can tag an individual or team. When you add a tag, the individual or team will be notified. Please note that private notes are visible to any internal user with the proper permissions but are NOT visible to the student or external participant.

To add a note to a conversation:

  1. Change the message toggle from Reply to Note (directly above the message reply text box).

  2. Type your note in the text box.

  3. To tag an individual or team in the note, type “@,” and a list of your users will populate. Select the user you would like to tag.

  4. When you're finished, click the Add Private Note button.

Private notes can only be added using the note tab within the individual conversation. You must use the process above to add a private note.

Translating Inbound Messages

Element451 allows you to translate inbound messages to English and Spanish. To translate a message:

  1. Hover over the message you wish to translate.

  2. Click on the three vertical dots icon.

  3. Select whether you want the message translated into English or Spanish.

Note: Translations are only visible internally, meaning your external participant will not see the translated message.


Conversation Info

The Conversations module's right panel has three tabs—Profile, Manage, and Related—that provide additional information about the conversation and external participants.

Profile Tab

Accessing a student's information quickly is essential when conversing with them. The profile tab provides quick and easy access to the student's profile information.

  • Known Participant (if Element451 can identify the participant):

    • Upon opening the tab, you will see the contact's first and last name, email address, and phone number.

    • To access additional information about the participant, click on the View Full Profile button. This will open a slide-out sheet with more details, including the assignee, territory, and application information.

    • Click the Open User Profile button on the slide-out sheet to view all user information.

  • Unknown Visitor - Messenger Only (if Element451 is unable to identify the participant):

    • Associate Existing User: You will be provided with a search field to associate a user with the conversation. Search for the student's name and confirm the association.

    • Create a New Profile: If there is no existing record for the visitor, you can create one easily. Gather the visitor's contact information and fill out the necessary fields. Once you have added the required email field, a blue button will appear, allowing you to create a new profile record.

      • When entering the email address, if Element451 associates it with an existing record, you will be prompted with an Associate User button.

    • Note: For instances where the user is using Messenger and we cannot identify them, we will request their email address to attempt to identify them.

Manage Tab

  • Participants: A participant is someone who is either contributing to or following a conversation. Participants receive notifications in the Element451 instance AND via email for ALL external participant responses. At this time, these email notifications cannot be turned off. We understand your inbox can get crowded. Consider leveraging your email provider's rules or filters to keep your notifications organized.

    • To add a participant:

      1. In the conversation, click on the Manage tab

      2. If the conversation has no participants yet, click on Select Users

      3. If a participant already exists in this conversation, click in the area near the existing user chip(s) to open the user selector

      4. Search and select the user(s) that you wish to add

    • To remove a participant:

      1. In the conversation, click on the Manage tab

      2. Click in the area near the existing user chip(s) to open the user selector

      3. Click the X next to the user you wish to remove

  • Custom Conversation Name: You can assign each conversation a unique name if you choose. This can help reference and search conversations at a later date.

  • "From" Phone Number, Email: The "from" phone number or email address will be listed for SMS and email conversations.

  • Tags: As your number of conversations grows in Element451, it becomes increasingly important to be able to search through them efficiently. One way to achieve this is to tag conversations with relevant categories, such as financial aid or recommendations. This will allow your team to sort conversations based on their content and streamline communication quickly.

    • To add a tag:

      1. In the conversation, click on the Manage tab.

      2. If the conversation has no tags yet, click on Select Tags.

      3. If a tag already exists on this conversation, click in the area near the existing tag chip(s) to open the tag selector.

      4. Search and select the existing tags from the list that you wish to add.

      5. If you wish to add a new tag, click Add at the bottom, name your tag, and save.

    • To remove a tag:

      1. In the conversation, click on the Manage tab.

      2. Click in the area near the existing tag chip(s) to open the tag selector.

      3. Click the X next to the tag you wish to remove.

Related Tab

The related tab allows you to gain additional insight and context related to the external participant by providing links to:

  • Previous Conversations

  • Submitted Applications

  • Sent Campaigns


Creating a New Conversation

  • Option 1: Click the + New Conversation button in the top right corner.

  • Option 2: Click the Conversations button in the profile of the student you wish to message.

The corresponding help article provides instructions for creating new conversations by channel. Click the button below for more information.

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