Create SMS

Overview

This page will give you step-by-step instructions on how to create and send an SMS.


 

Creating an SMS campaign is a four-step process.

Click SMS > Create SMS to open the SMS composition wizard and get started.

sms-navigation

Step 1: SMS Composition

Message Properties

Message properties are the basic details that differentiate this SMS from all the others you will create.

PropertyDetails
SubjectThe subject line on the SMS.
DescriptionAdd a description to identify the message in SMS listing. This won't be seen by contacts receiving the SMS, but will be used for reporting purposes.

Create SMS

Type the content of your SMS into the mobile phone diagram. The system allows you to send multi-part SMSes of up to a maximum of three joined messages. Multi-part messages have a character limit of 459 characters.

CharacterCounters

There are two counters at the top right of the screen, they show the following:

  • The remaining characters available in the current SMS.
  • How many SMSes your message will require when sending.

An unsubscribe link is inserted in your SMS by default ("to opt out reply stop"), this uses 21 characters. Contacts replying to the SMS with "stop" will automatically be unsubscribed from your SMS communications. You cannot remove this link as it is compulsory.

Attachments

SMSes are limited to one attachment. These attachments are tracked automatically. We recommend using link shortening as attachments add more characters to the SMS.

To add an attachment to your SMS:

  1. Click Add Attachment on the top bar.
  2. Click Browse Computer or Dynamic Attachments to upload the file from your computer or custom field.
  3. Click Done.
Using the re-create button on the SMS listing page also copies the attachment.

Personalisation

Personalisation options are available on main bar of the screen. You can personalise your SMS according to contact-specific information imported into the system. A standard personalisation is by contact name, such as "Dear John".

You can include a personalisation field by following these steps:

  1. Click your cursor in the text box where the personalisation will be inserted.
  2. Open the personalisation modal by clicking on Personalisation.
  3. Select the personalisation tag you'd like to include (e.g. Title or Name).
  4. Click Insert to add the personalisation tag to your message.

smspersonalisation

You can only use a personalisation field if that field is populated in your database. Some personalisation options available are:

OptionDetails
Contact fieldsPersonalise using any contact fields. Choose from Basic and Extended information.
ListPersonalise using any list fields, provided the list properties exist. Choose from Basic and Extended information.
Additional FieldsPersonalise using any date and time fields. Choose from the long, short or timestamp options available.

SMS Preview

Click Test > Send Test to view a preview of your SMS before you send it.

smscomposemessage

 

The Send a Test Message modal gives you the following options test message options:

smssendtestmessage

  • Basic preview without personalisation: Send a basic preview of the SMS without the personalisation tags.
  • Test personalisation with data from 5 random contacts: Send a preview of the SMS with personalisation to a specified number. The preview will display the personalised data from five random contacts in your list.
  • Specify 5 contacts whose data you want to use to test personalisation: Send a preview of the SMS with personalisation to a specified number. The preview will display the personalised data from five specific contacts in your list.

In all three tests above, you specify the phone number that the test SMSes will be sent to. The system will not send test messages to your contacts.

Step 2: List Selection

In this step you can define which contacts to send your message to. Check the checkbox next to the list name to include it in your campaign. You can send the message to multiple lists by checking each list you want to send to.

smslistoptions

 

Search & Filter

You can use the search box to find a specific list in your database. Once you've selected a list, you can then search for another one and the previously-selected list will still be displayed, even if the search criteria are different. You can also choose to search within a list group by selecting the group from the List Groups drop-down menu.

You can apply filters to individual lists (if you've already set up those filters). You can also create a new filter or use Import Filters.

Click Apply Filter to open the filters table. All the message filters you have created will be listed here. You can apply a filter to your list by clicking the radio button next to the filter name. You can also see the filter properties by clicking  the Properties button. Remove the filter by clicking Clear.

You can create a new filter by clicking the plus icon above the filters list. A Create Filter modal will allow you to create a filter right there. Enter the Name and Description, select the Filter Condition then click Save. You can now apply the new filter by selecting it from the list of available filters. Should you need to set more conditions, click Advanced Filters. This will take you to the Filters page where you can create a filter with all the conditions you need.

For more information on Lists, read Step 3: Select Lists of email composition. They work the same way.

Number of Recipients

When you select lists, a quick count of the number of recipients is shown on the top of the lists screen.

sms-contact-count

This quick count is an approximate number and isn't 100% accurate. If you want a more accurate number, click the refresh icon next to the estimated number. It may take a few moments to update the number because the system must query your database and count all the recipients in your chosen lists, taking filters into account. You may find that the total number of recipients is lower than the total number of contacts in your selected lists. This can be caused by two things:

  • A single contact may exist in more than one list.
  • You might have SMS contacts and email contacts in one list. If you're composing an SMS, the email contacts won't be counted as recipients.

Step 3: Delivery Options

smsdeliveryoptions

Sending Options: Choose the language to send your SMS in, and set up scheduling if you need it. The language you choose will be used in the opt-out link. This setting will not have any effect on the body of your SMS.

Tracking: Check the checkbox to track any links in the SMS. Enabling link tracking may increase the number of characters on links less than 30 characters long.

Scheduling: You can use message scheduling to send the SMS at a future date or specific time. Follow these steps to schedule the message:

  1. Check the checkbox to enable scheduling.
  2. Click the date and choose the date and time you want to send the SMS.
  3. Set the recurrence you want (daily, weekly, etc.).

Intervals: Send messages in batches for large contact lists. Check the checkbox to set up the intervals. Enter the email address where notifications will be sent, then set the intervals.

  • StaggerIf you're sending to a large list, you can set the system to pause after sending a specific number of emails (e.g. after every 1000 emails).
  • Rate Limit: You will have to restart the sending process manually after each pause if you choose this option. You can also set it to send batches of emails at specific intervals (e.g. 1000 emails every hour).

Step 4: Confirmation

The confirmation page shows a preview of the message with the options you've selected, as well as the number of contacts the message will be sent to. A preview of the message is shown on the left, this includes any personalisation tags you might have selected.

 

Click Send to start sending the message. Once you click send, the message is sent to your subscribers. Scheduled messages will automatically be sent out on the scheduled date. To locate scheduled messages that haven't yet been sent out, click on SMS > Scheduled.

You can view an SMS report for the message in the Reports section.

 

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