Introducing Zoho Campaigns' SMS gateway

Businesses are now moving towards modern marketing methods to establish strong brand names, and as an email marketer, you’ll always be on your toes as you learn and implement another modern email marketing strategy that will offer great advantages.

One widely used modern marketing strategy that works to rapidly grow your email marketing reach is to include an SMS campaign in your email marketing campaign.

Linking your SMS campaign to your email campaign

Zoho Campaigns takes email marketing one step further and caters to the needs of businesses who are looking to include SMS campaigns to level up their email marketing game.

As a first step to achieve that, we’re here to introduce Zoho Campaigns’ very own SMS gateway.

Additionally, we’ve crafted a simplified user experience that will help align your SMS campaign creation process with that of our current email campaign creation process.

Zoho Campaigns’ SMS gateway

Selecting an SMS gateway is the very first step in the SMS campaign creation process and we’re hoping to improve your user experience by offering an SMS gateway exclusive to Zoho Campaigns.

With this update, you don’t have to integrate with a third party SMS gateway solution to send out your SMS campaigns.


Effective contact number management system

We’ve introduced a few changes to the SMS creation process such that now you can store and retrieve contact numbers with an organized and efficient system.

Let’s take the example of Lisa, who regularly uses Zoho Campaigns to send SMS campaigns, so that we can understand the new SMS creation system.

a) Contact numbers will be mapped to the mobile number field

Your contacts’ number is the key to running your SMS campaign successfully. Hence, to ensure there’s a single dedicated place to store and retrieve contact numbers, we’ve set mobile number as the default field. This means users don’t have to select a phone number during the SMS creation process.

Case A: Multiple marketers from Lisa’s team import contact numbers into Zoho Campaigns. They haven’t decided on a standard field name for importing the contact number; each contact uses a different custom field. During every SMS creation process, they have to select each phone number manually.

Case B: With the introduction of the default mobile number field, all the marketers in Lisa’s organization start to store the contact numbers in a single default field, making it much easier to identify and retrieve contact numbers.

b) Including the country code in the mobile number field

We’ve introduced a system that can automatically recognize the contacts’ country from the country code included with the mobile number.

We therefore recommend that our users update their contacts’ phone numbers to include the country code in the mobile number field so they can send SMS campaigns without any hiccups.

Formatting the mobile number field

The number entered into the mobile number field should be formatted as +1 1234567890, where the country code precedes the number. Numbers like 1234567890 will be added to the field, but won’t be included in SMS campaigns since the country code is missing.

We have also eliminated the requirement to select the country during the SMS campaign creation process in order to simplify the SMS creation process overall.

Case A: A few marketers from Lisa’s team import contact numbers into Zoho Campaigns without the county code, while a few others used to import them with the country code. All the marketers had to select the country during the SMS campaign creation process.

Case B: One set of marketers from Lisa’s team can still add contacts without a country code, but they won’t be able to send SMS campaigns to those contacts. They need to update the country code of all the contact numbers and then send the SMS campaign. The other set of marketers who already imported contact numbers with country codes included can now execute the SMS campaign creation process with fewer and simpler steps.

c) Unsubscribe from all SMS marketing communication

Zoho Campaigns ensures that email recipients have complete control over acceptance and rejection of email campaigns through the unsubscribe option.

We’ve implemented similar best practices in the SMS campaign process with the introduction of an unsubscribe option for SMS messages. With this, contacts can easily opt out of receiving SMS communications.

Case A: Lisa can’t launch an SMS campaign to all her contacts because she can’t identify and segregate interested contacts from those who aren’t interested.

Case B: While crafting an SMS campaign, Lisa adds an unsubscribe link by which users can choose to unsubscribe if they aren’t interested. As a result, she’s now able to identify contacts who aren’t interested in her SMS campaign and send targeted campaigns only to those who are interested.

d) Option to add sender address during the SMS creation process

The sender’s address is the first thing a receiver looks for to ensure that the communication is received from an authentic source.

To streamline this, we now support long code and alphanumeric sender address formats in this update. Soon, we’ll also support short codes. Short and long codes are supported in the US and Canada, whereas in India only alphanumeric sender ID is supported.

SMS campaign users can now select the sender address format supported in their respective country.

We’ll help our users obtain the appropriate sender address format during the registration process.

Case A: The contacts who used to receive SMS campaigns from Lisa’s organization can’t identify who the SMS campaign is from or differentiate between authentic and unauthentic SMS campaigns. Hence, most of the users don’t engage with the SMS campaign from Lisa’s organization.

Case B: Lisa’s organization is situated in the US and she obtains a long code sender address to send her SMS campaign. Her SMS campaign engagement rate improves, as now the users can easily identify that the message was sent by Lisa’s organization.

e) Prepaid, add-on-credit-based pricing

We will be following a pre-paid credit based pricing model for SMS. The user has to separately purchase the required add-on credits to send SMS Campaign.The credits will be automatically added on a recurring basis after every billing cycle.The purchase of credits from 1K to 1M can be made online. Know more

Final words

With the introduction of Zoho Campaigns’ SMS gateway and new contact number management system for SMS, Lisa enjoys the following benefits:

  • Don’t have to integrate with a third party SMS gateway solution to send out SMS campaigns.
  • The identification of phone numbers is easier
  • SMS message recipients can unsubscribe from future campaigns at will.
  • Data processing time has been reduced.
  • Contact numbers are now easily stored and traced.

We hope, with the new updates you experience these benefits and level up your SMS campaign game!


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