SMS Campaigns

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This article will guide you through the needed prerequisites, elaborate on the message's size, show you how to customize SMS, elaborate on the consent policies, illustrate how to include links in your messages, and present an example of where SMS messages can be used to your advantage.

Bloomreach Engagement enables you to quickly run personalized SMS campaigns allowing one-to-one communication with your customers. SMS campaigns can be created using Scenarios by adding the SMS action node together with all of the other scenarios' capabilities.

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The SMS action node

Watch this short introductory video about this feature:

Sending messages

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Remember to send messages only to people who have active consent and have not unsubscribed.

What do you need?

To send an SMS through Bloomreach Engagement, it is required to have the customer attribute phone set to a phone number in an international format (either starting with "00" or with "+").

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If you are planning on sending SMS to US numbers, please contact your CSM first.

Provider

The provider is CM Telecom or Sinch SMS. You may find more information concerning the provider on their website. If you, by any chance, need to use another operator, you will have to use Webhooks.

Sender

Set the sender name or phone number, which will be displayed as the sender of the text message. You may input 3 to 11 characters long text in the Sender field. Now, you can select one of your predefined senders as the sender name. Those are stored in your Project Settings.

Predefined senders

To set up your predefined senders for your single project, go to Project Settings > Channels > SMS/MMS. After setting it up, senders are immediately available in the SMS action node of the scenario. The benefit of using predefined senders is that it helps to create more effective and error-prone SMS campaigns.

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Predefined sender in Project Settings

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Number of predefined senders

The maximum number of predefined senders that you can store is 100 per single project.

Brand name

Let your customers know your identity as soon as you start communicating. Including your brand name in all the SMS you send establishes trust, increases your brand recognition, and helps you stay compliant! To start each message with your brand or company name, set the brand name in Project Settings > Channels > SMS/MMS.

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Once you set it up, each new SMS action node will start with the brand name:

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It's a CTIA and carrier requirement in the US to include the brand name in each SMS marketing message.

Message

Specify the content (body) of the message. Cyrillic, special characters, and personalization are supported.

Language versions

You can set more language versions of one SMS campaign while designing and editing the SMS action node, as shown in the picture below.

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Size of the SMS

There is a limit on the size of one SMS - 160 characters or 70 characters if using special characters. However, Bloomreach Engagement provides an option of multiple messages, so your text will be sent in more than one SMS.

Message editor and preview highlight parts of the message that impact the final length and maximum number of message characters. If the previewed rendered message is too long, it explains why it will not be sent in the upper right corner.

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If multiple messages are allowed, users can define the maximum message parts a long message can be split into. The allowed range is from 2 to 8 message parts.

If a message was not sent due to this limit, a campaign event with the status enqueue_failed would be tracked for the individual customers. You can consider resending the campaign to the rest of the target segment if your budget still allows it, or consider using different templates or less personalization without Unicode characters for these customers.

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Pricing

Your provider will charge you for each SMS separately, however, your customers will see the message as a whole

Highlighting of special characters and personalization

Different characters are counted in a different ways. Be careful about this when writing your messages because they will influence how many messages you need to send.

  • Jinja personalization - shown in blue - resulting message size varies based on the customer's name (Tim vs. Jacob has a 2-character difference)
  • Unicode characters - shown in red - force the message to be unicode, which means that the whole message takes twice as much space
  • Extended characters - shown in yellow - those characters are counted as two characters.
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Personalized messages

Personalization that includes additional characters can result in exceeding the character limit and sending more messages than you had intended. The reason is that personalization is only added to the message after it is finalized. This means that additional characters from the personalization are not counted in the character count you see when sending the message. Also, if the personalization includes special characters, the character limit will be reduced to 70, but the visible character-character limit will not show you this reduction beforehand.

Consents and policy

You can define your consent categories for your SMS communications, from which users can unsubscribe separately, using our consent management. Under the Settings tab, you can then configure the desired consent category for each SMS campaign.

Frequency policy defines the number of campaigns of some type a customer can receive in a period of time. You can set the frequency policy for the SMS campaign under the Settings tab.

Campaign events

SMS campaigns generate campaign events with action_type = sms for all customers in the audience of the campaign, covering actions from the SMS being sent from Bloomreach Engagement to customers receiving the SMS. The full structure of the campaign events can be found in the System events article.

Events can be mapped to a different event name in Project settings > Campaigns > Mapping > Campaign events.

Sending Links in SMS

Transfer identity

If you want Bloomreach Engagement to identify the customer when sending personalized links via SMS, you can use the Transfer identity to URL links setting. Be aware automatic transfer identity only works if the Link shortener is enabled.

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The default setting ‘enable - only first click’ states that only the first click on your URL link will cause customer identification on your website (for instance, if your client shares this link among their friends, the original client´s customer properties will not be influenced). Therefore, for each scenario run, a unique token will be created per an individual email.
We highly recommend using the default setting for security purposes and to prevent corrupting customer data. You can also select an option to disable all identity transfers (meaning that clicking on a given link will not cause identification on your website) or enable all clicks (meaning that every time this link is opened through a different device, customers will be merged).

If you are not using a link shortener, you can also manually add the identity parameter via Jinja. For example, to build a URL with a transfer identity linking to https://exponea.com/, you can add the following Jinja to your link:

https://exponea.com/{{'?iitt=' ~ iitt}}

Campaign Link Shortener

Hyperlinks are often used in marketing campaigns to drive traffic to landing pages from different channels. However, the number of characters in an SMS is limited, and if you want to send personalized links, you will find out that these are too long and not very appealing in SMS messages. Link shortener automatically replaces all hyperlinks in the text of (the SMS) campaign with its shortened version. Every click on the shortened link is automatically tracked as a campaign event with status clicked. Learn more about the Campaign Link Shortener feature.

Two-way messaging and keywords auto-responses

Bloomreach Engagement now enables you to collect and track customer replies, and utilize these replies for two-way messaging and easy opt-out/opt-in management by defining special keywords auto responses directly within Bloomreach Engagement. Learn more about Two-way SMS messaging and Keywords Auto Responses.

Clone to another project

This feature allows you to clone SMS campaigns to other projects you can access. Read more about cloning.

Use Case example

There are various reasons why you would want to communicate with your customers via SMS messages. Check out our Plug & Play Use Case Abandoned Browse Flow to see such an example. The Use Case will show you how to remind customers about the products they viewed but did not purchase. Although it primarily focuses on email campaigns, modifications for SMS messages are also included.


What´s next?