Setting up SMS can be completed in a few steps. Once Twilio is added as a Sender account into Iterable, you can begin sending SMS campaigns to your users.
Do I Need a Twilio Account?
If a customer would like to begin sending SMS messages, please contact your Account Manager. We use Twilio to send and manage SMS capabilities.
Long Codes vs Short Codes
Long codes are general use phone numbers available for a smaller daily use. They typically work with voice, SMS, and MMS. These are normally available for purchase immediately and can be used to send up to 1 message per second. The majority of customers will use long codes. There is a recommended limit of 250 sends per day with long codes.
Short codes are 5 or 6 digit numbers bought for a large volume of SMS/MMS sends and replies, and require a lease for national registry for a minimum of three months. This process may take 8-12 weeks to complete and costs more than long codes.
Customers with a much larger user base, who also desire higher sending limits (30 messages per second by default) may consider purchasing short codes.
Iterable does not currently provide support for sending voice messages or Inbound MMS sent to your phone numbers from your users.
User Fields Required
After setup is completed by you or your Success Manager, your users must have a User Field with the name "phoneNumber".
Phone numbers must also be in the proper format and must include a country code. If my phone number is (650) 392-6753, "650-example", then the phoneNumber field must be added in the format of 16503926753.
A sample json payload might be:
Will result in your user's profile field looking like this:
From here, you can go ahead and send yourself or others a test SMS message.
Sending/Receiving SMS Messages
You can create SMS templates quickly and simply.
Handlebars will work in SMS templates as they do in Email templates.
You can send an SMS message through blast campaigns, triggered campaigns, and within workflows. If a user does not have the phoneNumber field, that user will be ignored by the SMS send.
All users' responses can be viewed by going to the Users --> Inbound SMS page.
If you would like to set up a workflow to respond to these messages, use the "Received An SMS" trigger in workflows. All filters and actions are available to use as normal in response. Using these features, you can set up a number of different automated responses based on the user's response.
For example, if the user's SMS message contains "Yes", further filters can be used to see if they have a "Free_Pizza" event associated with that user. This could be used to determine who is eligible for a coupon or promo.
Q: Does Iterable provide phoneNumber validation?
A: Iterable does not provide validation, but you can use Twilio's free tool to validate your users' phoneNumber fields. Check out the tool here.
Q: Can I send images along with my text messages?
A: Yes, Iterable accepts URL's to .png's, .jpeg's, and .gif's, just insert the URL of the image into the "Image Url" box in the SMS template editor.
Q: Can I send videos, or other file types in my messages?
A: Yes! As long as the file is 5mb or smaller, and as long as you have a link to the supported file type, you can include that in the "Image Url" section of the template editor to send the content. Accepted file types are here (example video URL - https://www.w3schools.com/html/mov_bbb.mp4, courtesy of W3).
This also includes VCard info, such as this sample URL (http://www.w3.org/2002/12/cal/vcard-examples/john-doe.vcf)
Q: What metrics can I use with SMS?
A: Learn more about SMS metrics here.
Q: Why would an SMS message bounce?
A: Bounces can happen if a number doesn't exist or if part of the setup is incorrect. At this time we do not unsubscribe users when they bounce. An exhaustive list of possible error codes can be found here.
Q: How do users unsubscribe from messages?
A: They can do this by texting one of the following words:"stop", "stopall", "unsubscribe", "end", "cancel", "quit".
Q: Is there a minimum number of SMS sends I will use before requesting SMS capability?
A: Yes, our starting SMS packages include a volume of 25,000 SMS messages per month.