For better or for worse, our lives have depended on digital connectivity this past year. Amid brick-and-mortar closures, phones have transitioned from convenient distractions to cornerstones of our operations. In a similar trend, more marketers are incorporating SMS texting into their marketing tactics to reach users who are increasingly inclined to engage with mobile outreach. 

Messaging isn’t new, but it’s constantly changing. However, the ages-old SMS keeps being the new revolution in this new normal. One of the reasons is, this form of conversational messaging has been one of the most effective but most minor channels utilized in marketing to date. In 2022, as these text marketing trends are poised to continue, the Zeta Marketing Platform is excited to introduce its SMS Campaigning feature.

ZMP’s SMS Personalization

This is already an existing feature prior to the new interface. It allows users to use people’s properties and personalize the SMS per recipient.

Here’s a glimpse of some of the best SMS practices:

This opens a side panel with tips when building SMS campaigns:

Enabling SMS Campaigns

With SMS character and segment counters, and the preview in place, marketers can now build their SMS campaigns and optimize the content that would most efficiently result in a conversion. Let’s quickly have a look at the newly added functionalities to SMS that allow for SMS Campaigning in the ZMP:

By default, the From field is not visible on an account inhibiting SMS campaigns to be sent. Users can enable sending of SMS campaigns in two ways:

  • Native SMS Service - When an account is integrated with the ZMP’s native SMS service which is From field is still not visible but SMS will now be processed and sent.

  • Twilio - The second option is to connect a Twilio account from the Settings > Integrations page. When an account is connected with a Twilio account, the From field will be visible and the user can select the sender number.

Character Counter

  • The raw/initial character counter will increment for each character (including spaces) that is added to the text field.

  • The denominator of the counter represents 1 text message and it could change depending on the characters added by the user:

    • 160 characters are the default limit for 1 text message

    • 140 characters would be the limit if the message contains any of these characters: € [ ] \ { } ^ | ~, except when these characters are used in liquid or merge tags

    • 70 characters would be the limit if the message contains a single character that is not in the ASCII charset. This includes symbols and characters from languages using non-english alphabets

The actual count of characters is displayed as the user types in more characters with 160 char as the recommended limit for GSM 03.38 charset and 70 for UCS-16.

  • The actual character counter field provides the count of characters of the text message as seen in the preview

  • When the text message contains no liquid or merge tags, then it would be the same as the raw character counter (detailed above)

  • If there are liquid or merge tags, the pulled data could change the character count and the denominator depending on the characters

  • There will be a green checkmark if the total count of characters is within the 1 text message limit (70/140/160)

  • There will be a caution icon if the total count of characters is beyond the 1 text message limit (70/140/160)

The estimated number of SMS segments is shown as user types in more characters. Refer to: https://twiliodeved.github.io/message-segment-calculator/ for segmentation.

Message Counter

  • The message counter field provides the count of text messages based on the actual character counts

  • For messages with 140 characters limit of 1 text message:

    • Messages are split if they are more than 140 characters.

    • If the message length is > 140 characters, each segment size is 133 characters to make room for the UDH header.

  • For messages with 160 characters limit for 1 text message:

    • Messages are split if they are more than 160 characters.

    • If the message length is > 160 characters, each segment is 152 characters to make room for the UDH header.

  • For messages with 70 characters limit for 1 text message:

    • Messages are split if they are more than 70 characters.

    • If the message length is > 70 characters, each segment size is 66 characters to make room for the 7-byte UDH header.

  • There will be a green icon if the total count of characters is within the 1 text message limit (70/140/160)

  • There will be a caution icon if the total count of characters is beyond the 1 text message limit (70/140/160)

NOTE: The above computation of message counts ONLY apply when the account is integrated with the Native SMS service of ZMP. Other integrations (e.g. Twilio) has different treatment of characters and message counts may differ.

SMS Preview

The preview shows the actual content of the SMS message to be sent to an applicable user. Preview works only when SMS campaign is enabled in an account, that is either via Native SMS Service or via Twilio.

  • Liquid tags display the actual user data applicable

  • The specific user used for the dynamic attributes is selected in random

  • The user used can be changed by refreshing the preview or by specifying a user-id

  • Preview should show the character count and segment count based on the displayed text

  • The Check & Preview button allows users to generate the preview

  • This interface shows the actual text message when received by a particular person

  • Messages that are composed of multiple text message segments are merged into one

The planning for the provision of MMS is in progress and will be deployed in the near future.