New features in April, 2018
- Deduplicate mobile phone numbers on launch list generation.
The Emarsys SMS product is found in the Campaigns menu, Emarsys SMS.
- The SMS Dashboard
- The SMS campaigns list
- Creating an SMS campaign
- Launching an SMS campaign
- Sending SMS using an Automation Center program
The SMS Dashboard
The Dashboard tab presents you with your usage statistics, as well as your current credit balance in the upper right corner.
You can select a date range for your report and see the total number of messages sent, their total cost, as well as a Breakdown by Country, which contains columns with information on the country, the total number of messages sent, the total number of SMS parts sent, the price per part and the total cost for the given country.
The SMS campaigns list
The Campaign tab lists all your existing campaigns that are currently in work, or have not yet been launched.
If a campaign has been scheduled or added to an Automation Center program, it will be visible here until it has sent its first messages.
Here you can search for existing campaigns, view, edit copy or delete them, and create new SMS campaigns.
The Type column indicates both the type and the status of the campaign:
- Draft batch – No recipients have been chosen. Please note that you cannot schedule the SMS campaign before choosing the recipients.
Sent batch – Recipients have been chosen and the campaign has been scheduled. In this case the following information is also included:
- Scheduled – The schedule date and time are shown in DD-MM-YYYY HH:MM format.
- Recipient source – In the form of Segment/Contact list: segment/contact list name – message name.
- Automation center campaign – The recipient source is defined as For Automation Center on the Recipient and scheduling page. Only campaigns that are saved with this recipient source are available for selection in the Automation Center SMS node.
Creating an SMS campaign
On the Campaigns tab, click Create New SMS to open the SMS creation wizard. This wizard has two steps, Message settings and Recipients and scheduling.
1. Message settings
Here you create the message content, include some of the additional features, and send test messages.
Creating the message content
You must fill in the following mandatory fields:
- Name – This will be the name of your campaign.
From name – This is the sender ID. This can be:
- a word, such as your company or brand. This is supported by GSM 7 only and must be between 3 and 7 alphanumeric characters long; no special characters or spaces are allowed (as these are not supported by all operators).
- a valid mobile number, if you wish to be able to receive replies. This can be up to 15 digits long.
Note: In case you need an inbound number for reply SMS messages, please contact Emarsys Support.
Message – This is the standard SMS text content. The character count shown above the text box is an approximation, as the final total depends on the encryption standard used to send the SMS.
- GSM 7 allows for a maximum of 160 characters.
- Other encodings (e.g. for Chinese characters) allow for a maximum of 70 characters.
If you exceed the maximum, the SMS will be sent in multiple parts and you will be charged accordingly.
Personalizing the content
These variables are estimated as seven characters when they are added but will of course affect the final character count according to the length of the value of the field in question, so bear this in mind when using them. If you are concerned that using variables will generate too many multi-part messages, you can always check the campaign summary before launch.
After selecting your field for personalization, you can also define how it is capitalized, and the alternative text to be used if no value exists for a contact in the given field.
Adding an unsubscribe link
Emarsys uses a short URL to add the unsubscribe link, and reduces the character count by 23. In addition to adding the unsubscribe link to the SMS, you can define the landing page which is displayed after the contact clicks the link.
Your message will be displayed in the live preview pane on the right as you create it. Click the Opt-out button in the preview to see how the landing page will display.
Sending test messages
To send a test message, simply enter the destination number in the field provided. This must be a full international number but without the leading 00 or +. To send test messages to more than one number, separate the numbers using a semi-colon (;). Please note the following if you send a test SMS:
- This does not reference the Emarsys database, therefore personalization will not work.
- Unsubscribe links will open the landing page that you have defined, but will not function as an unsubscribe.
- Test messages are billed at the normal rate and are also included in the Dashboard Usage report screen.
On the bottom of the page, if you click Save & exit, the message will be saved and displayed under the Campaigns tab on the SMS page.
Note: if you leave the page without saving, your SMS content will be lost.
2. Recipients and scheduling
Click Next to open the Recipients and scheduling step of the wizard. Here you can make the additional settings of your campaign, and the launch or schedule it.
The following fields have to be entered:
- Recipient source – choose between using a segment, using a contact list or using an Automation Center program (see below for details on using SMS messages in Automation Center programs).
- If you chose segment or contact list above, select the segment or the contact list from the drop-down menu.
- In the Scheduling section, select Launch now or Schedule an exact date for the launch.
Note: This just sets the type of launch and does not actually launch the campaign – see below.
- Click Refresh Segment in the right pane to see a summary of your campaign, with the estimated number of recipients, campaign costs, your balance after the campaign and other useful data.
If you activate the Deduplicate recipient numbers checkbox, Emarsys will check for identical mobile numbers in your list or segment. In the case of multiple entries with the same number, the first one on the launch list will be kept but all subsequent entries are excluded from the launch and are listed in the Campaign summary under Filtered duplicates. This will prevent the same message being sent multiple times to the same mobile phone.
For ideas on how to manage these duplicates, see our Troubleshooting section on a high number of filtered duplicates.
This section is one of the biggest advantages of Emarsys SMS. Not only can you calculate the exact cost of your campaign before you launch, but you can also get an instant overview of the launch list in terms of how many contacts are actually eligible to receive text messages.
Important note: If the total campaign cost exceeds your current balance, Emarsys will not launch the campaign, giving you the time to top up the balance and ensuring that no messages are sent that cannot be delivered.
Although we always insist on securing an opt-in for marketing messages, you may need to send some transactional messages (such as purchase confirmation or sending security/voucher codes) to contacts who have opted out of normal SMS campaigns.
You can therefore request from Emarsys Support to have the Ignore opt-in feature enabled. This feature ignores the opt-in setting and ensures that the message reaches the contact. To avoid accidental use in batch campaigns, this is only available for use in Automation Center programs.
Launching an SMS campaign
Once you have completed your campaign and are ready to launch, you simply click either:
- Launch – The campaign is launched immediately and it moves from the Campaigns tab to the Reporting tab.
- Save and Schedule – The campaign is scheduled for launch and its status on the Campaigns tab changes from Draft batch to Sent batch.
Note: Always make sure you have sufficient credit before launching your campaign!
Sending SMS using an Automation Center program
Triggering SMS messages from the Automation Center lets you benefit from the combination of multiple features, including cross-channel notifications and other, more complex marketing activities.
You can trigger time-critical SMS messages by selecting External Event as the entry point and linking the external event to the API call that triggers the message.
To add an SMS campaign to an Automation Center program, select this option in the Recipient source drop-down menu.
In your Automation Center program, add the SMS node wherever you want it.
After adding the SMS, double-click it to select the message content from the drop-down.
Once the program is active, all contacts who are eligible to receive SMS campaigns will receive the selected message when they reach this node.