SMS Messaging

Unlock the most personal marketing channel for your cross-channel strategy and elevate your customer journeys to the next level with Sailthru’s SMS.

Getting Started

Send promotional or transactional messages with Sailthru SMS. The setup and campaign creation process are the same for both types of message; the difference is in the content and the audience. To learn more about transactional messages, see the Transactional SMS section.

Before Creating an SMS Campaign

Create a list in Audience Builder before designing your SMS campaign. You can create your SMS message directly in the SMS Campaign workflow and see the same preview as you would in the SMS template builder.

Create an SMS Campaign

Creating an SMS campaign is very similar to getting started with an email campaign. Select Campaigns from the Messaging menu in my.sailthru. This takes you to the Campaign List page.

  1. From the New Campaign dropdown menu, select SMS Campaign.
  2. A new SMS campaign screen opens. Rename your campaign first. Select the Edit icon next to New SMS Campaign.

  3.  An editable text box opens. Enter your campaign name.

    Save your work as you go.
  4. Select an existing template or create a new message in the Message section. You’ll also see a preview of your message. 
  5. Select an Audience. The preview will show how many users you’ll message. 
  6. Schedule your message. You can send immediately, select a day and time to send your message in the recipient’s local time, or schedule a specific day and time in your account’s local time. 
  7. Select Schedule Campaign send immediately or schedule your message.    

SMS Campaign Builder

The SMS Campaign Builder is a single screen workflow. The Message and Audience sections include a preview window, so you can see what your message will look like before you send and how many people you’ll message. 

Message 


From the Message section, select an existing template from the dropdown menu or create a new message. The message box allows Zephyr, so you can personalize your messages. After you select a template or as you create a new message, a preview shows. 

Message Preview

The preview window shows: 

  • Your SMS message as your recipients will see it (including any Zephyr). 
  • An approximate character count. One SMS message is roughly 160 characters. 
  • Approximately how many SMS messages will be sent per subscriber based on the character count. 

Personalize with Zephyr

The same Zephyr variables that work in email messaging also work in SMS messaging. 

In the following preview, example@example doesn’t have a first name in the Sailthru system. 

The previewed message included a simple Zephyr statement to pull a first name from a user profile. 

Hi {firstName}

Test Message

To keep users from seeing a blank field instead of a personalized message, include a fallback value:

Hi {firstName ? firstName : 'Valued Reader'} 

Test Message

Audience

Create an audience for your SMS message in Audience Builder.

  1. From the Audience Builder page, select your base list (see Audience Source in the Audience Builder documentation). 
  2. Select the Profile Key filter from the User section. 
  3. Select IS for the profile matching and SMS from the dropdown. Your filter should resemble the following image:

  4. Select Done, then Save as Smart List. Give your name a unique list and save it. Note down the list name. 
  5. Use this list while building your SMS campaign. Select it from the drop down menu under Select Audience on the SMS campaign builder page. 

Audience Preview

When you select an audience, an Audience Preview loads on the right side of the screen. This shows how many profiles in your audience have a valid number.  

Schedule

There are three ways to schedule your SMS message.

Send Now

Selecting Send Now allows you to send your message as soon as you confirm it.

Select Send Now to open the Schedule campaign modal window.

Check that the information in the Schedule campaign modal is correct and select the checkbox to acknowledge that all recipients have given explicit consent. Once you select the checkbox, the Send Now button turns blue. Select the button to send your message. 

Recipient’s Local Time

Select Recipient’s Local Time when you want to send a message at a specific day and time for all recipients. Using this options means that everyone in your audience will receive the message at, for example, 9:00 PM in their own time zone. 

Note: If Sailthru doesn’t have a local send time for the profile or the local send time has passed, send time defaults to the account’s sending time.

Use the date and time pickers to select the date and time. 

Select Schedule Campaign to open the Schedule campaign modal window.  

Check that the information in the Schedule campaign modal is correct and select the checkbox to acknowledge that all recipients have given explicit consent. Once you select the checkbox, the Schedule For Later button turns blue. Select the button to schedule your message. 

Specific Time

Select Specific Time if you want a message to be sent on a specific day and at a specific time based on the time zone for your Sailthru account. You will always see what your account’s local time zone is when you select this option. 

Select Schedule Campaign to open the Schedule campaign modal window.  

Check that the information in the Schedule campaign modal is correct and select the checkbox to acknowledge that all recipients have given explicit consent. Once you select the checkbox, the Schedule For Later button turns blue. Select the button to schedule your message. 

Transactional SMS

The differences between a promotional SMS and a transactional SMS are the content and to whom it can be sent. Transactional messages contain information or updates for subscribers about a transaction or are sent to facilitate a transaction.

Transactional messages include: welcome messages, order confirmations, shipping notices, appointment confirmations, one-time passwords, or safety messages like information about warranties, recalls, or account security.

To send transactional messages, you must have implied or express consent, for example a subscriber providing a mobile number for verification purposes when making a booking so they can receive a confirmation text.

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