An inbound number is a requirement for sending text messages in certain countries, such as the USA, Canada and France, so the contacts can unsubscribe using STOP keywords. However, they can also be used to collect other information, such as email addresses or customer feedback.
As a quick reminder, here is the onboarding video about Inbound SMS:
Every country has its own specific regulation for dedicated numbers. Also, depending on the service you want to provide, toll-free numbers, short codes, or long codes can have different advantages from your business' perspective. It is your responsibility to understand and adhere to the industry and legal requirements of your destination countries (see Further compliance and best practice information).
If you have doubts or questions regarding your local regulations, discuss with your legal or compliance team.
If you plan to send to a country which requires an inbound number, or want to use one for other purposes, please contact Emarsys Support to enable this tab.
If you are not required by local regulations to use an inbound STOP keyword, we strongly recommend using the unsubscribe link as your opt-out method. Not only is it cheaper for you, but you can also track the unsubscribe rate of each campaign.
Once this feature is enabled you will see the Inbound SMS tab, which has the following functionality.
Unsubscribed using STOP keyword
Here you can see all the contacts who have successfully unsubscribed using a recognized STOP keyword. They will not be able to receive marketing SMS messages from you any more.
Please note that it is not possible to know exactly which SMS campaign the contact was replying to, although you can estimate this from the reply timestamp.
Here you see all the messages that were not recognized as STOP keywords. These can include misspelled keywords, simple questions or data you have specifically requested.
- Inbound email addresses – If a contact sends their email address via an inbound message, Emarsys will automatically update the database with this information.
Inbound event setup
On this tab you can create inbound events that will link a keyword sent to your SMS inbound number with a defined action in Emarsys.
The events you create here are listed on the External Events page and can be called via the Emarsys API external events endpoints. They are also available for selection in the Automation Center External Event node.
Inbound events are listed with the following naming convention:
- SMS <inbound number> Autoresponder: <event name>
When you create an event you must define the following:
- Event name – The suffix of the auto-generated name shown above.
- Keyword(s) – These are the keywords to trigger the action. You can define as many as you like and they must consist of at least two alphanumeric Latin characters (a-z, A-Z, 0-9). Keywords are not case-sensitive.
- Type – Here you select from the predefined event types (see below).
- Inbound number – This is the inbound number that will receive the reply.
Emarsys SMS comes with the following predefined event types. If you require additional events, please contact Emarsys Support.
- inboundResponder – Use this if you simply want to respond to an inbound message, without creating a contact or updating a database field.
- inboundJoinResponder – Use this to create a new contact with the mobile number used for the reply, and to subscribe them to future SMS campaigns.
- inboundEmailHandler – Use this to create a new contact with the mobile number used for the reply and the email address contained in the message. This event will add an email address if the contact already exists.
- inboundInboxHandler – Use this to save the text following the keyword into the SMS inbox.
- inboundUnsubscribeHandler – Use this to opt the contact out of all SMS campaigns sent from the given inbound number (this is a useful way to comply with regional regulations governing different STOP keywords).
f you want to give contacts who register via SMS the option to receive an email confirmation of this, you could create an SMS message with:
“Text CONFIRM to 90210 to receive a confirmation of your registration via email.”
You would then create a suitable inbound event:
This event will now appear in the External Events node as:
You can now create a welcome email with all the registration details, and link this to the event in an Automation Center program:
Now the contact will trigger an email when they send the keyword Confirm to the defined inbound number.