Before you begin
In order to successfully create and send an SMS, you will need to have created a Consent list in Audience. Moreover, a section must also have been set up in Data Sections; this, however, is an admin user task to perform.
Use SMS messages to briefly communicate with your subscribers. They will allow you to do this efficiently, reaching them wherever they are at the reach of their fingertips.
Continue reading this article for in-depth instructions on how to successfully create your first SMS.
If you leave the wizard at any point, your SMS will appear in the Drafts tab.
All changes will be saved automatically.
Create and Send an SMS
1. Head over to the SMS tool. You can do so from the shortcut on the calendar page or from your Tools page.
2. Click Create a New SMS.
3. The conversation wizard will open. Follow the steps on the left side of the screen, and you'll be ready in no time.
Continue scrolling through this article to follow through every step.
Click on a step on the left side navigation to fast-forward.
This is the very first step of the Conversation Wizard. All fields marked with an asterisk (*) are mandatory. Let's get started!
1. Enter the Working name you wish to give this particular SMS. This name is internal.
2. Expand the drop-down menu and select a section. Once you choose a section and click next, it will not be possible to change section for this activity. The section will determine which consent lists and topics will be available for this activity.
3. Click Next.
At this point, you can create a message for your audience that will spark their interest, or communicate those exciting news you can’t wait for them to hear.
1. Enter a sender name for your SMS.
It must be no longer than 11 characters. The accepted sender name characters are the following: A-Z, a-z, 0-9. Additionally, the sender name may not be only numbers.
2. Write your SMS text in the SMS message field.
You may add links to your SMS as www.heartland.com, http://heartland.com or https://heartland.com.
The link will be turned into a short aps.is/ link upon sending.
Writing SMS Content
Your character limit per SMS is 160 characters. Consider this as an opportunity to be short and sweet. Longer messages will be sent as multiple SMS, and the use of special characters will affect the maximum character count per SMS.
There are a few things to consider if you're new to sending SMS campaigns, perhaps you'd like to read more about writing SMS content.
2. Use Data tags to add a person's details. Read more about attributes...
To quickly insert a default data tag, type ## and choose a data tag from the drop-down menu. you may also expand the Data tags drop-down on the bottom left corner of the input field.
About Data Tags
Wherever a data tag is added, the tag will be replaced with the data that corresponds with the tag. Example: A tag like ##firstname## should look like a recipient’s name when received (e.g. Maria). Consider these depend on what the Admin has decided to track in your Data Sections...
Regardless of actual length, all data tags will count as 7 characters in the SMS Content step. When your message is ready to be sent, the real character count will be calculated per SMS and the credit price of your SMS sending will change accordingly. The reason for this is that the character count for each individual SMS will inevitably differ, depending on the members of your Audience and their corresponding data.
Data tags are also handy to allow recipients to perform certain actions. For example, recipients must always have the choice to unsubscribe from your SMS communications, so make sure that you always have the ##Unsubscribe## data tag included in your message.
Adjust your SMS Settings before you continue. There you will find Details and Unsubscribe Settings.
Click on Settings in the Bottom bar to review your SMS settings.
Expand an item below to read more:
Here's where you can manage some of the details of your SMS
You may edit the sender name under Sender name.
If you added a link to your SMS, you may choose not to track it. If you tick this box, profiles who click the link in their mobile phone and other corresponding information will not be a part of the SMS Report.
For all kinds of communications, your subscribers will have the option to opt-out or unsubscribe.
This will happen when they click your unsubscribe link in your SMS. This link will lead them to a landing page where they can confirm their wish to unsubscribe; depending on your options, you will either display a confirmation message or lead them to a page of your choice.
1. Make sure that your ##Unsubscribe## data tag is added into the message.
2. Clicking the unsubscribe link will take them to a landing page, start by entering a headline for that page.
3. Enter the message for your landing page. This message could be a question, asking them whether they are sure they'd like to unsubscribe or if they're there by mistake.
4. To confirm that they wish to unsubscribe, they will have to click on a button. Enter the text for that button under Button.
5. Let's adjust the confirmation settings.
Click the drop-down menu to choose between Message, to show them a confirmation message, and Redirect Link to take them to another page of your choice. Regardless of the page you choose to redirect them to, clicking the button will effectively unsubscribe them from your SMS communications.
Click on an item below to expand:
1. Click the Confirmation type drop down menu and select Message.
2. Enter a message for the landing page under Confirmation message.
1. Click the Confirmation type drop down menu and select Redirect Link.
2. Enter the URL of that page under Redirect Link.
1. Click Preview on the Bottom bar.
2. You can now see how the SMS will be shown on a smartphone!
Click Back on the Bottom bar to head back to the SMS Editor.
1. Click Test in the Bottom bar to test your SMS.
2. Enter the mobile numbers you want to test the SMS on.
The data tags will not show up as intended in the test message, but they will once they reach the real recipients.
3. Done? Click Send.
Did you test your unsubscribe link?
It's important to always include an unsubscribe link in your SMS messages. When testing an SMS, you can test the unsubscribe link to make sure that it takes you to the unsubscribe landing page and that your settings are correct.
Feel free to click the unsubscribe link in the SMS, and then the button in the landing page. And don't worry, since it's only a test SMS, no actions will be recorded and nobody will be unsubscribed based on the link in the test SMS.
If your SMS looks good, go ahead and click Next step in the Bottom bar to proceed.
In this step, you will be choosing the recipients of your SMS.
1. On Send this SMS to this Consent list, choose a list in the drop-down that contains your desired recipients.
2. Choose which Topic in the list that describes your recipients best. Check the boxes that apply. Unsure of what this is about? Read more about Topics...
Time for some segmentation! In this step, you will choose the segments that best describe your desired recipients.
A segment is a number of profiles grouped based on a condition. Segmentation will help you make sure that your SMS reach your desired audience. There are two fundamental segmentation settings: Topics and Segments. You will need to have previously created at least one Consent list in order to proceed.
Does this sound a bit complicated? Head over to Audience for more detailed information.
1. Under Included or Excluded Segments, click Add included segment or Add excluded segment, depending on what you wish to do. You may include and exclude segments in this step.
2. Choose a segment that works for you from the drop-down menu.
3. Choose if you wish to send the message to those who match all or any of the segments by clicking on the drop-down menu. Repeat these steps until you've added all your segments.
4. Click on the x to remove an included or excluded segment.
5. Click Next.
Once you click Next, the following popup will appear if you've included special characters in your SMS:
As mentioned above, if your message exceeds 160 characters, it will be sent as two or more SMS. The length of each will be diminished due to the link space. Read more...
Super! You've made it this far. It's now time to decide when your SMS is meant to be sent and review the credit cost.
1. Choose a time for your SMS from the drop-down menu.
Choose Send now to send your SMS right at the end of the Wizard, or choose Scheduled to choose a date and time.
2. If you chose Scheduled, pick a date from the calendar.
Use the arrows on the top right of the calendar to scroll between months, and click on a date once you've found it.
3. To see how many credits your sending will cost, click on Calculate now. This process can take a few minutes, since it needs to fetch the data from all the profiles that will receive the SMS.
4. Your credit cost will be displayed. If you need to buy more credits, click on the buy more credits link.
Questions about credits?
We want this activity to be as smooth as possible, so we created a special section about how SMS credits work, how we calculate the cost, and how the amount of characters affect your SMS message.
Jump over to the About SMS Credits section!
5. Click Next to take a last look at your message details. Almost there!
Congratulations on creating your SMS!
Here at Overview, you get to see how your message will appear to your recipients, your sending preferences and credit cost.
1. Take a last look at your message.
If you would like to edit it, click SMS on the left hand menu to go back to the SMS creation step.
2. Once you're satisfied, click Send now to send your message or Save as draft to save it and send it later.
You can find your SMS in the Sent tab in the SMS tool, after you click the Send button. Otherwise, if you click Save as draft or leave the wizard, it will be in Drafts.