Get to know Magpi

You'll start by gathering data with Magpi via the Forms tab. The Design tool is simple, letting you focus solely on the data you want to collect and using the default form design on connected devices to style the form. Along with plain text fields, you can ask for integers and decimals, and set up multiple choice questions with drop-down, radio button and checkbox fields. You can also pick up the GPS location of the user, and insert labels in order to separate sections. With its new Magpi Plus apps, you can also scan QR and bar codes, drag-and-drop answers into the order you want, and gather data from NFC tags.

Each form field lets you add a custom prompt and name, with the option to require a response. For more complex forms, Magpi offers logic-based fields. These let you skip questions or send a message based on previous answers, and numbers entered in other fields can be used in calculations. Inputted data can be viewed and analyzed in separate tables, and you can set up responses to send to folks who complete the form.

There are four ways to publish your form. Smartphone users can simply download the Magpi app, and Structured SMS lets users return their answers in a single text message, using formatted answers instead of data fields as a bot of sorts. Alternatively, you can collect data via SMS in automated back-and-forth conversations, or create an IVR voice activated menu that lets you gather data from people over a phone call with a menu that can ask questions, collect answers, and send followup data over SMS. And once you've gathered data, you can visualize it in the app with lists, image collections, map views, and more.

Then you can followup with messages, where under the Messaging tab, you create your first message via a pop-up window where you enter up to 160 characters. You can send the message as a regular SMS, or have Magpi read out the text in a call—in 17 different languages. Alternatively, you can record your own audio message.

Magpi lets you import multiple messages in a spreadsheet, and it offers a similar function with contact lists. You can also add people individually and set up groups. To schedule a message, you simply select some of your contacts and pick any future date. The message can be sent just once, or repeated on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis.

The more advanced Dynamic Message Timing tab lets you send repeat messages to contacts in a certain group and with a specific tag. For instance, you could create a group of support staff, and send daily updates only to the people with the tag "On Call." You can see the upcoming schedule in a separate tab, and even enter holidays to take them out of the schedule.

Whether you are a marketer looking to reach a new audience, or a project manager with a global team, Magpi makes it really easy to stay connected. You can contact anyone automatically, gather data on the go, and expand your reach to everyone with a phone—not just those with smartphones.

Learn more about gathering data with forms in our free Ultimate Guide to Forms and Surveys book.

Originally published April 27, 2016; Updated November 15, 2016 with info about IVR menus, and April 4, 2018 with new screenshots and features.

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