Creating an SMS campaign

Creating an SMS campaign is only available to Ortto customers on the Professional or higher plans, with at least one SMS number configured.

Ortto’s SMS campaigns feature allows you to send SMS messages to your customers (i.e. an audience or people) either immediately or scheduled for a later point in time.

Your SMS campaign message may contain a link to a coupon, survey or confirmation question.

To create a new Ortto SMS campaign:

  1. On the Campaigns page, click New campaign.

  2. On the New campaign page, click SMS to begin creating your SMS campaign, followed by Next to commence the SMS campaign wizard.

SMS campaign wizard pages

This section describes each successive page of the SMS campaign creation process.

Template

On the Template page:

  1. In the Templates section, choose from one of the available templates that best suits the type of SMS campaign you want to create.
    Alternatively, choose Blank template  Start from scratch, if none of the existing templates are suitable, or you want to create your own SMS campaign.

  2. Click Next.

Setup

On the Setup page:

  1. Specify the Message name for your new SMS campaign. This name is only displayed within your Ortto account (not in any SMS messages) so that you and other users of this account can identify this SMS campaign.

  2. ( Professional or higher plan customers only ) To test different click rates, form submissions, survey responses, or total attributed revenue from two SMS message versions, click A/B test campaign. Learn more about this in A/B test your SMS campaign. If you clicked this option:

    1. For How should the winner be decided?, choose the criteria that determines the winning SMS message variant.

    2. Specify the period the A/B test runs for in How long should the test run for?.

    3. Choose What percentage of the audience should receive the test? using the sliding scale, where your chosen percentage is split evenly with each SMS message variant sent randomly and immediately to these split percentages of your total audience.

      After the A/B test period is completed, the winning SMS message variant is sent to the remaining percentage of your audience.
  3. Show advanced options:

    • Delivery load distribution — You can rate limit the SMS delivery and extend your send time by up to 48 hours. Rate limiting the SMS send to a large recipient base can help you manage expected recipient responses, such as a high website or call center demand following an event announcement.

      Max recipients per batch is the maximum amount of people that will be in a batch. For example, if you have an audience of 750 people, a maximum of 500 will be in the first batch and the remainder in the second.

      Due to the way Ortto handles message delivery, the minimum rate limit you can set is 500 recipients every 5 minutes. Should you wish to rate limit the send further than Ortto’s minimum limit, you could consider splitting your campaign audience into two, and rate limit the send to each audience, one after the other.

    • Tracking — Determine whether you wish to use click tracking and URL shortening:

      • To enable click tracking and URL shortening, select Enable click tracking and URL shortening.

        • If you have a Sender ID enabled, and:

          • click tracking is enabled, your SMS messages will include the opt-out link as usual.

            Or,

          • click tracking is disabled, your SMS messages will include "Reply STOP to <your account’s phone number> to opt out", because contacts cannot reply to a sender ID. This opt-out message will override your custom opt-out message (if enabled).

      • To automatically add UTM tracking parameters to links that don’t already have UTM parameters in your SMS campaign messages, select Automatically add UTM tracking to links to this SMS. Where a link has an existing UTM parameter, we won’t replace it. Learn more about UTM tracking parameters in these Wikipedia and Google articles.

      • To disable click tracking and have any URLs you add to your SMS message display in full, and not automatically add UTM tracking, deselect Enable click tracking and URL shortening.

    • Attribution — To attribute your SMS campaign to a custom (non-system) activity, select Enabled, and select the appropriate activity (and its attributes, if required) to be attributed by this SMS campaign.

      • This list is only available if an appropriate data source has been configured in your Ortto account.

      • If a custom activity is not specified on this page, then the default Activity to attribute specified through the Setup > Attribution page is used instead.

  4. Click Next.

Audience

On the Audience page:

  1. Choose between one of the following audience options (by clicking its tab) to select people to send your SMS campaign message/s to:

    • Audiences - choose the appropriate audience of people to send your SMS campaign message/s to, from the list of audiences. The number of people who will receive your SMS campaign is indicated in each audience box.

      • If the list of audiences is extensive, you can filter this list itself by typing one or more consecutive letters into the Search all audiences box, and any audiences whose names do not match these letters are dynamically excluded from the list as you type.

      • Clearing the Search all audiences box, or clicking X restores all audiences to the page.

    • Tags - choose the appropriate people tagged with one of the listed tags.

      • If the list of tags is extensive, you can filter this list itself by typing one or more consecutive letters into the Search all tags box, and any tags whose names do not match these letters are dynamically excluded from the list as you type.

      • Clearing the Search all tags box, or clicking X restores all tags to the page.

    • Filter ( best option for one-off SMS campaigns ) - click Filter to begin filtering the list of all people in your customer data platform (CDP).

  2. Click Next.

Design (A/B)

The Design (A/B) page allows you to customize your SMS campaign’s text, along with additional content. A preview of your current content is shown on the right, or via View more in mobile view mode.
(From mobile view mode, you can return to the Design page editing features by clicking the right arrow on the left from the preview.)

If you are A/B testing your SMS campaign, then you are presented with two Design pages (Design A and Design B), to create each SMS message variant.

On the Design (A/B) page:

  1. To change the Branded prefix that appears before the content of each of your SMS campaign’s messages, expand this section and click the Edit setup link, which opens the Consent, opt-out and default responses page.

    1. Edit the Brand prefix field.

      Using a Sender ID will replace the brand prefix in your SMS messages, as brand prefix is no longer required (unless you are sending to a country where sender ID is not supported, then the brand prefix will remain). Learn more about Sender ID in Consent, opt-out and default responses.

    2. Once finished, click Save on the Consent, opt-out and default responses page, followed by Back at the top of this page to return to the Design page.

  2. To add some introductory text to your SMS campaign, click Add content  Text.
    In the Text field, begin writing your Message. At this point, you can also insert any of the following items by first clicking the location (identified by your cursor) within the message to:

    • Insert a link:

      1. Click link insert link.

      2. In the resulting URL field, specify the URL to include in the SMS message.

      3. Click Insert to insert the link at your chosen location.

    • Insert an emoji:

      1. Click emoji insert emoji.

      2. In the resulting emoji popup, use the search field at the top or the category selector at the bottom to filter the list of emojis.

      3. Click the emoji to insert it at your chosen location.

    • Insert a field or activity's attribute value (also known as a merge tag):

      1. Click people insert field/activity’s attribute value.

        If you are selecting an activity attribute as your merge tag, we will use the latest activity for that person (contact). However, if you are editing a journey SMS message, and the entry criteria is of type X activity occurs, then we will use the activity that caused the person to enter the journey instead, even if more activities have occurred since then.

        The activity must have occurred within the last 30 days to be available. If you require the value to be available beyond this, we recommend saving the value into a custom field and use this as your merge tag instead.

      2. In the resulting popup, select the relevant field item or activity from the list:

        • For a field item:

          1. Select the specific field.

          2. Complete your chosen field’s remaining value options.

          3. Click Save to insert the field value at your chosen location.

        • For an activity’s attribute:

          1. Select the activity’s specific attribute.

          2. Complete your chosen activity’s remaining attribute value options.

          3. Click Save to insert the activity’s attribute value at your chosen location.

    • Insert AI-suggested text (only works if AI algorithm operates on detected text):

      1. Click ai suggestion insert AI suggestion.

      2. After a short wait, click your favored AI-generated text under the resulting AI suggestion section.

    In addition to inserting a field or activity’s attribute value (merge tag) above, you can also utilize Liquid template language syntax (Liquid syntax) in your SMS message text. Liquid syntax is useful when you need to use dynamic content and logic (such as control flows with operators) to handle merge tag content.

    For example:

    {% if people.city == 'Sydney' %}
    And since you live in Sydney, ...
    {% endif %}

    Will only show the text contained within the if section (i.e. "And since you live in Sydney, …​") if the recipient’s city field value is "Sydney".

    When utilizing Ortto’s merge tags with Liquid syntax, these merge tags must be written in their raw syntax format (indicated in the example above). Learn more about how to obtain the raw syntax for Ortto’s merge tags by determining this syntax through an email’s Design page.

  3. To add a coupon, survey, or confirmation question link (after your introductory text), click the respective Add content  Coupon / Survey / Confirm link.

    You can only add one of these links per SMS campaign.
  4. To add some concluding text to your SMS campaign (after the coupon, survey or confirmation link you just added), click Add content  Text.

    • Follow the instructions above to change the wording in the Message text box.

      If you add a new Text field to an existing one, then this new text field’s content is appended directly to the end of the previous Text field’s content. Therefore, you only need to add all your concluding text in a single Text field added after your coupon, survey or confirmation link.
  5. To change the Opt out prefix that appears at the end of each of your SMS campaign’s messages, expand this section and click the Edit setup link, which opens the Consent, opt-out and default responses page.

    1. Edit the SMS opt-out method field.

    2. Once finished, click Save on the Consent, opt-out and default responses page, followed by Back at the top of this page to return to the Design page.

    At this point, you can preview what your SMS campaign will look like to your customers/recipients (on the right), based on the following aspects:

    • Person - choose how this SMS campaign will appear to the customer/recipient chosen from this list. Ortto defaults to any random person from the customer data platform (CDP).

    • Message - consists of your configured brand prefix, introductory text content, coupon / survey / confirmation link, concluding text, followed by the opt-out prefix and link.

    • Coupon / Survey / Confirm - contains of your configured web-based content for this SMS campaign.

    • Thanks - if your campaign includes a Survey or Confirm page, then this web page shows how your customer/recipient sees the resulting "Thank you" page, along with any specific responses.

  6. Once you are ready to proceed, click Next.
    If you are A/B testing your SMS campaign, then repeat the Design process again to create your 2nd SMS message variant on the Design B page.

Review

The Review page allows you to review your SMS campaign before sending or scheduling it to be sent at a later point in time.

  1. On this page, review your current configurations for your SMS campaign in the following sections:

    At any time, you can preview the options on the right.
  2. Choose between one of the following send options by clicking its button:

    • Schedule - sends the SMS campaign at a future point in time. If you choose this option:

      1. Complete the options in the Schedule dialog, and then click OK.

      2. In the next Campaign scheduled dialog box, click OK to return to the Campaigns page, noting that your chosen audience may change between now and the time when your SMScampaign is sent.

    • Send - sends the SMS campaign immediately. If you choose this option:

      1. In the Ready for lift-off dialog, click Send to start sending your SMS campaign.

      2. In the next Lift off dialog, click OK to return to the Campaigns page.

A/B test your SMS campaign

A/B testing allows you to configure two different SMS message versions or variants (i.e. "A" and "B") for your SMS campaign.

Ortto randomly chooses between these SMS message variants to send equally to a specified percentage of your audience.

After a specified period, Ortto calculates whichever of the two SMS message variants achieved the most successful interaction (based on the criteria you selected) from the start of the campaign, and this winning SMS message variant is sent to the remainder of your audience.

The success of audience interaction between your two SMS campaign message variants can be based on the following criteria:

  • By click rate (requires a link) - the SMS message variant whose link receives the most clicks becomes the winning SMS message variant.

  • By total attributed revenue - the SMS message variant resulting in the most revenue spent. Ortto keeps track of people’s spending activities in your account’s customer data platform (CDP) (e.g. people’s ordering activity in a configured data source), based on the SMS variant they received. Therefore, the SMS message variant resulting in recipients spending the most money becomes the winning SMS message variant.

Add a coupon

You can add a link in your SMS campaign’s message to a coupon web page, which allows the recipient to access a coupon code that typically provides them with a discount or offer provided by your business.

From the point of adding a coupon on the Design wizard page and clicking Add content  Coupon:

  1. Under Coupon, click Add coupon.

  2. Choose to create a new coupon or select an existing one. If you choose to create new, you will be taken to the coupon Setup to create your coupon.

  3. Once your coupon is created, you can choose Select existing to use the new coupon.

  4. Configure the coupon details, including Store URL, and Redirect message. This is the content that a recipient will see when they click on the coupon link in the SMS message.

  5. When you have finished configuring the coupon, you can collapse the Coupon section by clicking ^ next to the section title.

Add a survey

You can add a link in your SMS campaign’s message to a survey web page, which allows the recipient to access a survey with custom responses.

By choosing any of these responses, the recipient is led to a custom secondary page, which can optionally provide the recipient with a coupon code or display an image.

From the point of adding a survey on the Design wizard page and clicking Add content  Survey:

  1. Under Survey, configure the survey text and responses. This is the content that a recipient will see when they click on the survey link in the SMS message.

  2. For the Responses, you can re-order them by clicking the re order re-order icon and dragging them to a different position. Edit the response text by hovering over the response text and click the edit (pencil) icon. Remove a response by clicking the trash trash icon.

  3. If you select Notify me when there’s a response, you can choose your Ortto account users to receive an email message when recipients submit the survey.

  4. When you have finished configuring the coupon, you can collapse the Survey section by clicking ^ next to the section title.

Add a confirmation question

You can add a link in your SMS campaign’s message to a confirmation question web page, indicated by Confirm in the user interface (UI).

This page allows the recipient to answer a question with either a "Yes" or "No" response.

By choosing either of these responses, the recipient is led to a custom secondary page, which can optionally provide the recipient with a coupon code or display an image.

From the point of adding a confirmation question on the Design wizard page and clicking Add content  Confirm:

  1. Under Confirm, configure the confirmation message text and responses. This is the content that a recipient will see when they click on the confirmation link in the SMS message.

  2. If you select Notify me when there’s a response, you can choose your Ortto account users to receive an email message when recipients submit the confirmation.

  3. When you have finished configuring the coupon, you can collapse the Confirm section by clicking ^ next to the section title.

SMS character limits

Each SMS message you compose has a limit of 1,600 characters. An individual SMS message consists of one or more SMS segments of up to:

  • 160 standard encoded (GSM-7) characters only, or

  • 70 universal coded character set (UCS-2 or 'non-GSM') characters (supporting non-European characters, emojis, etc.)

You can mix GSM-7 with UCS-2 characters in an SMS message. Be aware that if you start with a GSM-7 message and type a single UCS-2 character, your entire SMS message’s segments are re-calculated as though every character in your SMS message is UCS-2, which in turn affects the number of existing and remaining SMS segments calculated for your SMS message.

SMS messages are charged according to SMS segment usage. Learn more about this in SMS billing.

Schedule the SMS campaign

When creating an SMS campaign, you need to configure an audience, tag, or filter, consisting of subscribers/members of people to deliver your campaign to.

If you choose to schedule your SMS campaign instead of sending it immediately, then the subscribers/members of your SMS campaign’s audience, tag, or filter may change, grow, or contract between the time your campaign is created and the time your campaign is scheduled to be sent.

Therefore, Ortto automatically updates the people who will receive your SMS campaign, based on the subscribers/members of your campaign’s audience, tag or filter, at the time your campaign is due to be sent.