SMS Campaign - Online Help | Zoho Campaigns

SMS Campaigns

Zoho Campaigns has added an in-house SMS gateway for users. You can send SMS campaigns to Canada and USA using this gateway. We are planning to support sending SMS campaigns to more countries in the future. 
You can purchase SMS credits on the pricing page to use Zoho Campaigns SMS gateway. The credits will be a monthly recurring add-on which can be purchased separately.
SMS marketing can boost your business as:
  1. SMS is one of the channels with the highest engagement rates. It is the most preferred mode of communication compared to all other communication channels.
  2. Coupled with automation, you can send automated messages according to the context and increase your outreach
  3. Manage both email and SMS campaigns under a single platform
  4. Segment your contacts based on their response to SMS messages like opens, clicks, and more
  5. Rely on SMS compliance provided by us. We provide SMS compliance adhering to the global messaging regulations. 

New update

For users signing up after August 18, 2022, they will be able to access this gateway by default. Existing users can migrate to the latest version of the SMS campaigns feature in 45 days.
Here are some of the advantages and highlights of this new SMS gateway: 
  1. A default Zoho Campaigns SMS gateway to send SMS campaigns. No need to integrate with or add your data to a third-party SMS gateway solution.
  2. Straightforward SMS pricing add-ons
  3. Effortless contact management while using this gateway by:
    1. Mapping contact numbers to the Mobile number field.
    2. Adding area codes along with the contact number.
  4. A brand new SMS unsubscribe feature.
  5. Sender address addition during the SMS creation process.
Note: You can also integrate Zoho Campaigns with some third party SMS gateways.

 Pre requisites 

  1. You need to purchase SMS credits to send SMS campaigns using Zoho Campaigns.
  2. You need to register an SMS sender address to send SMS campaigns using Zoho Campaigns' in-house SMS gateway.

Create an SMS campaign 

Zoho Campaigns makes creating SMS Campaigns easy by segregating the creation process into three parts.
  1. Choosing recipients for the campaigns
  2. Choose Sender address
  3. Creating content for the campaign

Choose the recipients for your SMS campaign

  1. Click Add Recipients.
  2. Choose from list or segment.
  3. Select the lists/segments you want this campaign to be sent to.
  4. You can add new recipients to a list/segment. 
  5. Click Save.
    select s
  6. You can exclude contacts from the chosen recipients so they don't receive your SMS campaigns.
  7. Click the Exclude Contacts link.
  8. Choose to exclude contacts based onlist/segment. and / or campaigns they have received.
  9. Select the campaigns and / or list/segment.
  10. Click Save.

 Contact fields for your recipients   

Contact fields for the recipients will be selected by default. Country and phone number details will be taken from the "Mobile" field automatically.
Ensure that you have updated your recipient details in that field in the proper format.
Accepted format for "Mobile" field :  +1 967899090
  Numbers like 9189098909 will be added, but won't be included for campaign sending as country code is missing.

Sender address

If you have registered or purchased sender addresses under Settings, those will be listed in this section. You can choose the preferred sender address while sending an SMS campaign. Learn more about purchasing or registering sender address.

Create content for your SMS campaign

 DLT  Registration

DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology) is a registration system. It is a platform launched by TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) to regulate SMS sent out for marketing purposes in India.
According to TRAI, marketers are required to be registered with DLT to send out bulk marketing SMS. This requirement is aimed to control SPAM SMS sent out to customers from the marketing firms.  

Relevant updates in Zoho Campaigns

Owing to the latest changes in TRAI regulations, there is an update in the SMS campaign feature in Zoho Campaigns. This is a step taken from our end to encourage and support you while you adhere to the regulations.  While you configure SMS campaign content, you are supposed to enter the DLT template ID of the content that you're about to send. 
Note:  Entering DLT Template ID is mandatory only when sending SMS to Indian phone numbers.

To configure content

  1. Click Configure Content.
  2. Enter DLT Template ID.
  3. Add content for your SMS within the 500 characters limit allowed.
  4. Use merge tags to personalize your message. Press Control+M to add the specific merge tags.
  5. Select if you want to send this message in multiple parts.
  6. Click Save.

Note: Zoho Campaigns allows only a limit of 500 characters for every message to allow emojis to be included in the content.

 Multi-part messages 

When the content of your SMS exceeds 160 characters in a text-only message or 70 characters in a Unicode message, the text message will be split into two or more parts and sent to the user.

 For more clarity, let's look at the different types of SMS:

 Normal messages

Text-only messages in the English language are known as normal messages, which comes under the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) character set. GSM character set includes English letters, Latin characters, digits, and a few special characters. The character limit per SMS in this type is 160.
Sample normal message:
Please check out the new arrivals in Zylker and shop all you want in discount prices! 

Unicode messages

This type of messages includes text in multiple languages, including emojis. This includes all characters that are not included in the GSM character set. The character limit per SMS in this type is 70, which is lower compared to normal text messages.
Sample unicode message:
Please check out the new arrivals in Zylker and shop 🛒  all you want in discount prices! 

Character limit for multi-part messages 

When a message is split into multiple parts, a few characters of the first part are reserved for the message header that comes in the second part. This means the maximum character limit is changed and adjusted when it comes to multipart messages.
Regular SMS
Multi-part SMS
Normal message
160 chars
153 chars
Unicode message
70 chars
67 chars

How does SMS unsubscribe work?

Recipients who opt out using the unsubscribe link in SMS will not receive further SMS and email communications from the account. These contacts will be marked as opt out from all marketing communications on our end. 

Add SMS unsubscribe to your message

You can add an unsubscribe link to your SMS campaign by enabling the  Add Unsubscribe link toggle under Configure SMS content section.
Add Unsubscribe link toggle


You can enable  Add Unsubscribe Link for all SMS broadcast under General Settings. Navigate to Settings, click Overview under SMS to proceed.
General Settings

Send your SMS campaign

Once your campaign is reviewed, you can either choose to send out the campaign immediately or schedule it for later.
send campaign


To view a detailed report for your SMS campaign:
  1. From the Navigation toolbar, select Reports and choose SMS Campaign-based Reports.
  2. Select the SMS message for which you want to see the reports for.
  3. You can view the following types of reports for the SMS campaign you have sent :
    • Sent SMS
    • Campaign Activity
    • Campaign Performance

Sent SMS

Hover over the SMS campaign you want and and click on the name to view a report. You can view the following information here :
  1. Report Summary
  2. Recipient Activities
  3. Failed Cases
  4. Ignored Cases
  5. List-based Summary
Report Summary 
Under Report Summary you will get detailed information about : 

Real-time campaign data 
  1. SMS messages sent : Number of recipients the SMS message has been sent to.
  2. Delivered: Number of messages delivered to the recipients.
  3. Bounced : Number of recipients the message that were not sent due to some reason. Bounces can be classified as hard and soft bounces.
    1. Hard bounces are due to permanent errors like inactive number or sender marked under Do Not Disturb.
    2. Soft bounces are due to temporary issues like network errors, handset errors, and so on.
  4. Clicked : Number of recipients the SMS message has been clicked.
  5. Unsubscribed : Number of recipients who have unsubscribed.
Campaign Details
View the name of the SMS gateway used for the SMS along with its creation date and time.

SMS Message Preview
A preview of the SMS message will be displayed in this section.

Recipient activities 
This section lets you view lists of recipients your SMS message was sent to, those it was successfully delivered to and those it wasn't delivered to. Zoho Campaigns lets you can export these lists.

Failed Cases
Note: This section will be visible for campaigns sent before  August 18, 2022.

In this section you can view the list of recipients, SMS sending failed for, due to one of the following reasons :
  1. Gateway configuration failure : An error that occurs due to a failure in fetching data. This could be due to an error inputted by the users.
  2. Gateway internal failure : This failure indicates issues in your third-party SMS accounts.
  3. Content errors : This might be due to some content-specific restrictions applied by your third-party services.
  4. Network errors : This error might occur if there is some issue with the network carrier you use.
  5. Handset errors : This error occurs when your contacts have activated the 'Do Not Disturb' feature in their handset or they may be out of network coverage.
  6. Others : Errors that don't belong to any of the above categories.
List-based Summary
View a summarised report based on the mailing lists the SMS message was sent to.

Campaign Activity

This section lets you view user activity in the campaigns that have been sent to your contacts. You can choose to view details such as the the Top five campaigns, Delivered campaigns, Sent campaigns and campaigns where link clicks have occurred.  This information can be retrieved for the campaigns sent in the last month, three months, six months, past one year and past two years. Also, every campaign's delivery and click percentage and count respectively will be shown in this section. 
Campaign activity

Campaign Performance

A bar chart denoting the yearly comparison of the campaigns sent for every month will be shown in this section. Hover over the bars to view the number of campaigns sent, number of campaigns delivered, number of link clicks in each campaign and number of campaigns failed to be sent. 

Clone an SMS Campaign

If you want to use an existing SMS campaign for a new mailing lists or new contacts, you can make use of the Clone option provided by Zoho Campaigns. To clone a campaign :
  1. From the Navigation toolbar, choose Campaigns and select SMS Campaigns.
  2. Hover over the SMS campaign you want and click the Clone icon on the right-corner or select the campaign you want and click the Clone icon on the top-right.
  3. A cloned version of the campaign will open up. Click the Edit icon on the top-left next to the name of the previous campaign and edit the name of the campaign.

Delete an SMS Campaign

To delete a campaign :
  1. From the Navigation toolbar, choose Campaigns and select SMS Campaigns.
  2. Hover over the SMS campaign you want and click the More icon on the right-corner or select the campaign you want and click the delete icon on the top-right.
    Delete SMS campaign

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