Sending SMS Messages from the ActiveTrail System

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Studies show that 90% of SMS messages are read within three minutes of receipt. This, in itself, is good enough reason to make use of the ActiveTrail SMS system for marketing, organizational and other needs.

If you would like to send last-minute SMS messages, such as notifying your subscribers of a sale that is about to end, the last tickets available to a concert or a one-hour delay in an important conference, text messages are the way to go.

With ActiveTrail’s, it is simple to create SMS messages and send them to thousands of your subscribers. You can also add an unsubscribe link, a link to your website and more.

a. Creating a New SMS Message

To create a new SMS message, click on “SMS”, and then on “New SMS”.

Only three steps are required to create a message from your computer

i. SETUP:

setup

In the Setup section, define all of the properties of your SMS campaign.

  • Campaign name:  You are the only ones who see this name and it is meant for system uses only. Give your campaign a name related to the SMS message, to make it easier to identify and find at a later stage.
  • From: Here you can enter a name (in English) or a phone number. You can identify yourself using your company name, to avoid recipients thinking that your message may be SPAM. If you enter a phone number in the From line, recipients will be able to respond to your message or to call the number that you entered.
  • Message: Write whatever you feel like. The content will be automatically entered into the preview window at the bottom of the Properties page. Pay attention that the system counts the number of characters you have entered. If you enter over 70 characters, the number of expected messages will change accordingly (for instance, 130 characters will be spread across two SMS messages).
    Keep in mind! If you are interested in a personalized message, before writing your  SMS content, choose the ‘Personalize’ option and scroll down to you preferred personalization for the message (first name, last name, etc…).
  • Add unsubscribe link: When marking the option to add an unsubscribe link, ActiveTrail will remove any subscriber that asks to unsubscribe, and your mailing list will be updated automatically. You can also add texts regarding the removal as you see fit. For example: “Click on the link to unsubscribe.”

campaign name

Right before you continue choosing your contact group for the campaign and deliver it, you have a new option of sending a ‘test’ to any phone number, to make sure the content and visibility of your campaign message looks perfect.

Choose the ‘Send test’ option above the campaign setup, and enter the phone number you wish to send you ‘test’ message to, separate the numbers using a comma (,).

smscampaignscreenshot3

 

ii. CONTACTS:

contacs

In the Contacts section, you input delivery settings and to whom the campaign will be sent.

You have two options for adding contacts:

1. Manually:

Click on the “Click here to enter phone numbers manually (copy&paste)”. This will open a new, manual entry window.

Enter phone numbers manually in the appropriate text box. If you have a few numbers, enter them separated by commas.

Clicking on “Add Numbers” will add the numbers you entered to your distribution list and the system will mark which numbers are valid and which are not. Please note, that incorrect numbers are those that do not have a country code. You do not need to add the code manually. To add the country code, just select the country from the list and it’s code will be added to every number entered into the system.

Do you have a well-organized list in Excel on your computer? One option is to copy the column with the phone numbers and paste it into the system. In this case, there is no need to add commas, as the system will recognize that you are entering separate numbers.

add numbers

When you have finished building your list of contacts, specify when your campaign is to be sent. You can send it immediately, or schedule it to be sent based on your customers’ daily schedule, on the nature of the message, or on some other day and time of your choosing. If, for instance, you are sending a message regarding last minute tickets to this evening’s show, you will probably want to time your message to be sent in the morning hours, to give your customers enough time to deliberate, purchase the tickets and find a babysitter without being stressed for time

schedule

In the case of manual entry, you will not be taken through the Summary stage (see ‘iii’ below).

You can view your campaign’s opening, removal, and click-through rates, in ActiveTrail’s advanced reporting system (see chapter 6.1).

2. Select Existing Contacts:

Instead of entering numbers manually, you can select your SMS recipients from your existing mailing lists.  Simply click on the list you want to use, and the SMS will be sent to all members of the list who have phone numbers on file. You may also import or manually add new contacts to a mailing list from this window.

group

When you are done, click on “Next” to advance to the Summary stage.

iii. SUMMARY:

summary

In the final section, you can review the settings of your SMS campaign, and choose whether to send it immediately or schedule it (as in the manual entry option).

sms details

Click on “Send” or “Schedule” (depending on which option you chose, one of the two will be displayed) to complete your campaign.

Important! Right before scheduling or sending the message, be sure to choose the correct time zone

sms guide

b. SMS List

View the full list of your SMS messages, those that are still in draft state and those that have already been sent, in a single table. You can use this table to duplicate and reuse any campaign, erase campaigns, and individually open campaigns to view, edit or resend them.

C. Transactional SMS messages

Transactional SMS messages require the most reliable and immediate solution. ActiveTrail has developed the best channel for SMS messages that are not necessarily marketing campaigns such as password resets, coupon codes, invoices and more. Using the RESTful API you can now be sure your transactional SMS messages will reach all contacts immediately.  

Learn more about RESTful API >> 

Have you sent a survey to your customers to see how they feel about you?
Learn how to create a survey with ActiveTrail’s survey system.

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