SMS Notification Tutorial

An SMS notification is a message that you can send to an MSISDN (phone number) over the SMMP protocol to devices that have opted in for a specific sender ID (long or short code). SMS messages appear in recipients' native SMS clients.

See the SMS Notification Reference for options and settings details.

Resources:

 Tip

You can save this message as a Composer Favorite — a reusable message with preset settings and content. You can use Composer Favorites instead of recreating commonly used messages. See: Use Composer Favorites.

  1. Open your messaging project, then click Create and select Message.
  2. (Optional) Add a message name and/or flag the message as a test.
    1. Click in the header.
    2. Enter the name.
    3. Enable the Test toggle.
    4. Click outside the box to close it.
  3. Under Channels, select SMS.
  4. Select your message audience, then click Content in the header to move on.
     Note

    If your project has multiple senders, you can target specific users belonging to a Sender ID to determine the sender that the message comes from and ensure that your message only goes to members of your audience subscribed to that sender.

    • All Users: Sends the message to your entire audience.
    • Target Specific Users: Create a recipient group based on segmentation data. See: Target Specific Users.
    • Test Users: Predefined recipient groups. After choosing Test Users, select from the Test Groups dropdown menu that appears. See: Test Groups.
    • Upload Users: Upload a list of users just before sending the message. Select this option if you want to include merge fields in your message. See: Upload Users.
  5. Enter your message text, and click Delivery to move on. The character count and the total number of SMS notifications update as you type.

    • If your project has MMS support, you must select Text Message (SMS) before you can enter your message text.

    • Include merge fields if you selected Upload Users for your audience. The character and notification counts do not account for the varying lengths of merge values, so they should only be used as an estimate when using merge fields.

    • If your message includes links, you can enable or disable Link Shortening Converts HTTP/HTTPS URLs in your SMS messages to unique, shortened URLs for your recipients. The shortened URLs reduce the total number of characters that links consume and produce 'click' tracking metrics for your SMS messages. . The character and message counts update when you check/uncheck the box for link shortening.

  6. Select a delivery type and Optional Features, then click Review in the header to move on.
  7. Review the device preview and message summary. To make changes, click the associated step in the header. When you've made your changes, return to Review.
  8. Click Send Message or Schedule Message. If you chose Upload Users in the Audience step, click Upload & Send, then:
    1. Click Choose File, and select the file that contains your list of users. Uploaded merge field names will be verified against the merge fields set in the Content step.
    2. Click Send Message.

Send an MMS Notification

You can send multi-media messages (MMS) to your SMS audience. MMS messages include a fallback, ensuring that users who can't view the original MMS message still receive a message that makes sense.

When sending an MMS message, you provide the URL for your image. If using Airship as your CDN, you can choose to upload your media rather than entering a URL.

MMS messages must be:

  • .gif, .jpeg, .jpg, or .png format.
  • Hosted over HTTP or HTTPS (for media not hosted by Airship).
  • Smaller than 2 MB (or 1 MB for .gif) — though you should use the smallest media possible to ensure that your audience receives messages quickly, regardless of connection quality.

See the SMS Notification Reference for options and settings details.

  1. Open your messaging project, then Create and select Message.
  2. (Optional) Add a message name and/or flag the message as a test.
    1. Click in the header.
    2. Enter the name.
    3. Enable the Test toggle.
    4. Click outside the box to close it.
  3. Under Channels, select SMS.
  4. Select the radio button for your desired message audience, then click Content in the header to move on.
     Note

    If your project has multiple senders, you can target specific users belonging to a Sender ID to determine the sender that the message comes from and ensure that your message only goes to members of your audience subscribed to that sender.

    • All Users: Sends the message to your entire audience.
    • Target Specific Users: Create a recipient group based on segmentation data. See: Target Specific Users.
    • Test Users: Predefined recipient groups. After choosing Test Users, select from the Test Groups dropdown menu that appears. See: Test Groups.
    • Upload Users: Upload a list of users just before sending the message. Select this option if you want to include merge fields in your message. See: Upload Users.
  5. Enter your MMS message Content.

    1. Select Image Message (MMS).
    2. Provide the media for your message.
      • URL: Enter the address of your image, beginning with HTTP or HTTPS and ending with the image extension.
      • Upload: Click Upload Media and select your image.
    3. (Optional) Enter a Subject and/or Text Message to accompany your image, including merge fields if you selected Upload Users for your audience. The subject appears in bold, but it might not appear if you are sending from a toll-free number.
    4. Enter SMS Fallback Text. Users who cannot receive your MMS message will receive this text along with the image URL. If your message includes links, you can enable or disable Link Shortening Converts HTTP/HTTPS URLs in your SMS messages to unique, shortened URLs for your recipients. The shortened URLs reduce the total number of characters that links consume and produce 'click' tracking metrics for your SMS messages. for text fields.
    5. Click Delivery to continue.
     Note

    There is no guarantee as to the order in which media and text appear to users. Media and text send separately.

  6. Select a delivery type and Optional Features, then click Review in the header to move on.
  7. Review the device preview and message summary. Click the arrows to page through the MMS and SMS fallback previews. You can also select a preview directly from the dropdown menu. To make changes, click the associated step in the header. When you've made your changes, return to Review.
  8. Click Send Message or Schedule Message. If you chose Upload Users in the Audience step, click Upload & Send, then:
    1. Click Choose File, and select the file that contains your list of users. Uploaded merge field names will be verified against the merge fields set in the Content step.
    2. Click Send Message.

Send a Templated SMS or MMS Notification

You must use the Upload Users option to send a notification using a template. You should have the user list that you want to upload ready before you begin this tutorial.

If your template includes dynamic content operators, your user list can also include the data that you want to pass into your message when you upload users. For more information, see Dynamic Content.

  1. Open your messaging project, click Create, and select Message.
  2. (Optional) Add a message name and/or flag the message as a test.
    1. Click in the header.
    2. Enter the name.
    3. Enable the Test toggle.
    4. Click outside the box to close it.
  3. Under Channels, select SMS and deselect all other channels.
  4. Select Upload Users and then click Content in the header to move on. You will upload your list of users just before sending the message.
  5. Select Text Message Template (SMS) or Image Message Template (MMS) depending on the type of message you want to send.
  6. Select the template you want to use and click Continue with Selected Template.

     Tip

    You can customize a template-based message by clicking and selecting the corresponding non-template content type after you select your template. For example, after you select your email template, click and then select Custom HTML to edit your template-based message.

    Customizing a template-based message does not save changes to the template itself.

  7. Click Delivery in the header to move on.
  8. Select a delivery type and Optional Features, then click Review in the header.
  9. Review your message. If you are ready to send it, click Upload & Send.
  10. Click Choose File, and select the CSV file containing your list of users and merge fields.
  11. Click Send Message.

Upload Users

If sending an email, SMS, or open channel message, you can Upload Users in the Audience step of the composer. This provides a means to register new users and send them a message at the same time.

 Important

Upload Users can only be used with a single channel at a time. Make sure you have only Email, SMS, or a single Open Channel enabled.

Complete the rest of the composer like normal, and you will upload the list during the Review step. The Send Message button will instead be labeled Upload & Send. After clicking the button:

  1. Click Choose File, and select the file that contains your list of users.
  2. Click Send Message.

See Audience Lists: Inline Lists for file format requirements and general information about Inline lists.