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Start text conversations using proactive campaigns for SMS

Overview

Proactive SMS Campaigns empower you to meet your customers where they are. Use them to initiate personalized, timely two-way SMS conversations at scale—conversations that increase engagement, encourage action, reduce CAC, and boost conversion across the customer lifecycle.

Requirements

To use Proactive SMS Campaigns, your Ada integration must have access to the following features:

  • Ada’s SMS channel

  • A Twilio account

Create a New Proactive SMS Campaign

To setup a new Proactive SMS Campaign:

  1. On the Ada dashboard, go to Build > Campaigns.

  2. Click New Campaign. The Create a new Campaign dialog appears.

  3. Click the Choose a channel drop-down menu, then select SMS from the list.

  4. Add a Name and Description to the corresponding dialog fields.

  5. Click Next. The dialog disappears to reveal your new Campaign’s configuration settings.

Configure a New Proactive SMS Campaign

There are a few configuration options available for your Proactive SMS Campaign. Let’s look at how to set them up.

Campaign Content

Campaign content is the messaging for your Campaign. There are two parts to Campaign content:

  • The Answer sent via SMS to your customers.

  • The unsubscribe message appended to the end of your Proactive SMS Campaign Answer.

To define the Campaign's Content:

  1. Click the Choose an Answer drop-down menu, then select and Answer from the list. If an appropriate Answer does not yet exist, click Create a new Answer.

  2. Review the unsubscribe messaging appended to your first SMS message of the Campaign. If your bot has multilingual functionality you can view the translated versions by selecting a language from the drop down menu of enabled languages.

Note

When chatters unsubscribe from receiving text messages they will receive a confirmation message. This message is configurable in Twilio.

You can view and manage unsubscribed chatters in Twilio.

Using Variables in Proactive SMS Campaign Content

A Variable is like a container for storing data. Think of a Variable as a placeholder for information that is unique to each person who interacts with your bot. Before you can send a Proactive SMS Campaign Answer that contains a Variable, the Variables must already exist, or you need to create them. More on Variables is available here:

There are two ways to create a Variable for use in a Proactive SMS Campaign Answer.

  • Test Webhook Call - Complete a test call to the Proactive SMS Campaign webhook. Include the metadata used to create new Variables. Send this test call to a test phone number. This test call creates the Variables in Ada that are then available to use in Proactive SMS Campaign Answers. More on triggering Proactive SMS Campaigns with webhooks in the next section.

  • Test Send to List of Customers - Manually enter or upload a CSV with test phone numbers and metadata content for Variables. This test send creates the Variables in Ada that are then available to use in Proactive SMS Campaign Answers. More on triggering Proactive SMS Campaigns by sending to a list of customers in the next section.

Confirm Compliance

Prior to sending a Proactive SMS Campaign you must confirm that you are complying with all relevant laws and regulations in your region. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to:

  • Obtaining customer consent to send a proactive SMS message.

  • Ensuring SMS messages are only sent at permitted times.

Important

Scheduling is not available for Proactive SMS Campaigns. Once you save a Campaign, the webhook will immediately trigger the Proactive SMS Campaign when called. The phone numbers on the uploaded CSV will automatically be sent the Proactive SMS Campaign content when you confirm the send. It is your responsibility to ensure you are only triggering Proactive SMS Campaigns during the permitted hours of the recipient’s region based on their area code.

To confirm compliance:

  • Click the checkbox, then click Save. You can now send your Proactive SMS Campaign to your customers.

Campaign Triggers

Campaign Triggers define the parameters in which the Proactive SMS Campaigns are sent to your customers.

Trigger with code

Each Proactive SMS Campaign has a unique webhook. This webhook can be called to trigger the Campaign and send SMS messages to your customers.

You can configure third party systems, like Shopify or Salesforce, to call the webhook and trigger the Proactive SMS Campaign when an event occurs. Events could be anything the system monitors, such as when there is a shipping delay, a new contact is created, etc.

The webhook defines the recipients of the Proactive SMS Campaign according to their phone number. The phone number field and the language fields are the only mandatory fields for calls made to the webhook.

The webhook can also send metadata, from which you can create variables to use in the Proactive SMS Campaign Answer content. For example, an airline that wants to provide customers an update on their flight departure time can create variables for flight number, original departure time, and revised departure time.

Authentication is required to access the Campaign’s unique webhook. To obtain your API key, see our documentation for the Proactive SMS API.

Note

You can send 30,000 proactive SMS sends every day via call to the external proactive SMS API endpoint.

Send to a list of customers

Proactive SMS Campaigns can also be sent to a list of customer phone numbers by way of manually entering the phone numbers or uploading a CSV file.

To send to a list of customers by manually entering phone numbers:

  1. Click Send to a list.

  2. Click in the Campaign recipients field.

  3. Manually enter the phone numbers and metadata to create or use Variables.

    1. The first row contains the column headers. phone_number, followed by any Variable names, each separated by commas.

    2. Additional rows contain the content. The phone number (including country code), and any Variable content, each separated by commas.

      phone_number,first_name,last_name
      15551234567,Jane,Doe
      15557654321,John,Doe
      15559876543,Jimmy,Doe
  4. Click in the What language should we send this Campaign in? field. Select the language for this Proactive SMS Campaign send. By default, it will be sent in English.

    Note

    A Proactive SMS Campaign can only be sent out in one language per send.

  5. When you are ready to send, click Send to these customers.

  6. Click Yes, send the Campaign to send the Campaign Answer to the provided phone numbers in real time.

To send to a list of customers via CSV upload:

  1. Create a CSV of customer data.

    1. Column A must contain phone numbers with the header label phone_number. Each phone number is a new row.

    2. Include the area code. If there is no country code provided, Ada will assume it is a US or Canadian number and assign it the country code of +1.)

    3. Additional columns contain metadata used to create Ada variables that can be used in Proactive SMS Campaign Answers.

    4. The header label is the name you want to give the variable in your Ada dashboard (ex. flight_number or first_name). It is not case sensitive and cannot include spaces.

      Each unique variable is a new column.

      phone_number

      first_name

      last_name

      15551234567

      Jane

      Doe

      15557654321

      John

      Doe

      15559876543

      Jimmy

      Doe

  2. Click Send to a list.

  3. Click Upload a CSV.

  4. Select the CSV file from the pop up window.

  5. Click Upload.

  6. Review the list of the phone numbers and metadata for each phone number.

  7. Click in the What language should we send this Campaign in? field. Select the language for this Proactive SMS Campaign send. By default, it will be sent in English.

    Note

    A Proactive SMS Campaign can only be sent out in one language per send.

  8. When you are ready to send, click Send to these customers.

  9. Click Yes, send the Campaign to send the Campaign Answer to the provided phone numbers in real time.

Note

You can send up to 10,000 proactive SMS sends every day via CSV upload.

SMS Campaign reporting

To view your Proactive SMS Campaign reporting:

  1. On the Ada dashboard, go to Measure > Reports.

  2. Select the Campaign Performance (SMS) report.

  3. Click a Campaign name to view the metrics for that Campaign. The available metrics include:

    • Attempted - Total number of SMS messages attempted

    • Delivered - Total number of SMS messages successfully delivered.

    • Engaged - Total number of engaged conversations.

Additional Notes

  • An Event included in Proactive SMS Campaigns only works if the Event is tracked within the bot conversation. This includes Events that are tracked with the Event block, or other Event trackable block such as the Request block, Link block, handoff blocks, or action blocks. A Proactive SMS Campaign included in an Event that is tracked on your website using the embed2 Javascript API will not work.

  • A Goal, which is made up of Events, will only work if all of its Events are tracked in bot conversations.

  • A/B Tests will work as long as the Event that the A/B Test is being measured against is tracked in a bot conversation with the Event block, or other Event trackable block such as the Request block, Link block, handoff blocks, or action blocks.

  • Prior to sending a Proactive SMS Campaign it is your responsibility to ensure that you are complying with all relevant laws and regulations in your region.

Third-Party Considerations

  • There is no cost for setting up a Twilio account, although there is a monthly cost per phone number. This cost varies based on client region and the type of phone number (Local Number, Toll-Free Number, Short Code).

  • There is a cost per SMS sent and received via Twilio. SMS pricing is based on the destination, type of message sent, and the carrier receiving the SMS. Consult Twilio's SMS Pricing page for pricing details.

Important

Changes to messaging regulations in Russia

Mobile operators in Russia are implementing changes in their Messaging regulation to prevent cases of fraud via SMS. Twilio is asking customers to opt-in via the Sender ID registration process by July 22, 2022.

The changes are as follows:
  • All Alphanumeric Sender IDs will require pre-registration. Registered Sender IDs must correlate to the brand sending the messages. No generic Sender IDs will be allowed.

  • SMS traffic via non-registered Sender IDs or numeric phone numbers will not be supported.

  • Subscribers need to provide consent to receive SMS messages (see details below).

  • Spam and phishing are not allowed; this includes advertising another legal entity other than the company registered.

  • Messages related to alcohol, tobacco, and pornography are prohibited.

  • Effective August 12, 2022, SMS to Russia delivered from numeric Phone Numbers and non-registered Alphanumeric Sender IDs will not be accepted for delivery.

What do you need to do?
  • If you want to continue sending SMS messages to Russia, you must opt in to pre-registered Alphanumeric Sender IDs by July 22, 2022.

  • If you are using a numeric phone number(s) or a non-registered Alphanumeric Sender ID(s), you will need to pre-register an Alphanumeric Sender ID(s). Due to the current situation, we’re only allowing existing customers and use cases related to the Twilio.org team to register. To register, please complete the Sender ID Registration form by July 22, 2022.

  • If your Sender ID(s) are already pre-registered, you must comply with three additional requirements: subscriber consent, spam and phishing control, and new content rules surrounding alcohol, tobacco, and pornography.

  • Additionally, if you’re using or need to use Multiple Sender IDs in a single destination country, each Sender ID needs to have its own Twilio Account SID. You can do this by creating sub-accounts and registering the new sub-account SID in the Alphanumeric Sender ID application form.

If no action is taken, SMS delivered to Russia from numeric Phone Numbers and Alphanumeric Sender IDs that are not pre-registered will not be accepted for delivery starting on August 12, 2022.

Sincerely,

Team Twilio

For additional questions, contact your Ada team—or email us at help@ada.support.