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 that allow for one-to-one communication with your customers.

Watch this introductory video on the SMS Campaigns.

Build Your SMS Campaigns

SMS campaigns can be created in two ways:

  1. Scenario with an SMS node
  2. SMS campaigns module

Send 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 (start with either "00" or with "+").

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If you plan to send SMS to US numbers, please contact your CSM first.

Provider

The provider is CM Telecom, Sinch SMS, and Infobip SMS. You may find more information concerning the provider on their website. If you 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 15 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 > Campaigns > Channels > SMS / MMS. Senders are immediately available after the setup in the SMS action node of the scenario. When you use predefined senders, it helps to create more effective and less 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. If you include your brand name in all the SMS you send it helps you establish trust, increase your brand recognition, and stay compliant!

To start each message with your brand or company name, set the brand name in Project Settings > Channels > SMS/MMS.

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

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USA Requirement

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 also supported.

Language Versions

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

Size of the SMS

There is a limit on the size of one SMS - 160 characters or 70 characters if you use 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.

If multiple messages are allowed, you 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 to resend the campaign to the rest of the target segment if your budget still allows it, or consider to use 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

Emojis in SMS/MMS

Emojis help create emotional and visual interest in text messages, which makes them more fun and engaging. They can also be used to break up long messages and make them easier to read.

How To Add Emojis to Text Messages?

  1. Open the emoji picker in the bottom-right corner of the message field.
  2. You can find your desired emoji by scrolling, selecting a category, or typing the name of the emoji.
  3. Select the emoji, and it will appear in the message field.
  4. You can see how the emoji will look in the live preview on the right side of the page. Please note that emojis will be displayed differently on different devices and platforms. You can learn more about how each emoji may be displayed at Emojipedia.

How Do Emojis Impact Character Count?

The standard length of the SMS message is 160 characters when a basic text character set is used (known as GSM-7). If you use emojis, it is outside this basic text character set, which changes the single SMS segment to a 70-character limit.

If you use more than one segment it will decrease the length of each of your segments. For messages with emojis, it will be decreased by 3 characters. See the details in the table below:

Message Type# of characters per SMS segment
One-part SMSUp to 70 characters
Multi-part SMSUp to 67 characters

Highlighting of Special Characters and Personalization

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

  • Jinja personalization - shown in blue - 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 green - 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 you send 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.

TCPA Laws

To use SMS as a marketing channel in the US, you must comply with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). This federal law regulates telemarketing calls, auto-dialed calls, prerecorded calls, text messages, and unsolicited faxes.

Under the TCPA, businesses in the US must meet the following SMS compliance requirements:

  1. Obtain written, explicit opt-in from subscribers for SMS marketing, separate from email marketing.
  2. Clearly inform potential subscribers about the message types they will receive and provide a clear opt-out method.
  3. Respect opt-out requests.
  4. Avoid sending text messages during designated "quiet hours" determined by federal and state regulations.
    • Use the feature Silent hours to comply with this requirement. Read up on it in the next section or here.

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Learn more about the TCPA laws and SMS best practics in this article, especially in the section 'SMS Marketing 101: The Essential Steps for Success.'

Consents and Policy

You can define your consent categories for your SMS communications, from which customers can unsubscribe separately, if you use 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. They cover 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 the Project settings > Campaigns > Mapping > Campaign events.

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Permissioned Access to Campaign Event Settings

Campaign settings now have permission access. Any change to mapping can be executed only after a discussion with Account Managers.

Sending Links in SMS

Transfer Identity

If you want Bloomreach Engagement to identify the customer when you send 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.

The default setting β€˜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.

Use the default setting for security purposes and to prevent the corruption of customer data. You can also select an option to disable all identity transfers (meaning that a click 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 do not use a link shortener, you can also manually add the identity parameter via Jinja. For example, to build a URL with a transfer identity that links to https://bloomreach.com/, you can add the following Jinja to your link:

https://bloomreach.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.

Contact Cards

Contact Cards provide a quick and convenient way to share your business name, number, logo, and more with your SMS subscribers so they save you in their contact list. You can create a bigger emotional connection with your subscribers through SMS and reduce the potential of filtering your messages by third parties. Learn more about Contact Cards here.

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 here.

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.