The SMS channel allows you to send SMS texts to contacts as batch or automated messages using Cordial's native SMS solution.
Please contact your CSM for details about enabling the SMS channel for your account. The short code provisioning process may take anywhere from 8-12 weeks to complete due to the mobile carriers' requirements.
Once your short code has been approved and SMS channel enabled for your Cordial account, you will gain access to SMS Settings directly in the Account Settings page.
To access the SMS channel settings, log in to your Cordial account and open the dropdown menu in the top right corner. Navigate to Account Settings and select the SMS Channel link from the left navigation menu.
Let's explore the available configuration options in more detail.
Configure Your SMS Program
This is where your general SMS program details can be configured. Much of this information will be populated on your behalf by your CSM during the initial SMS channel setup.
- SMS shortcode - Your SMS short code. Must be an approved and active short code.
- Program name - Enter the name of your program. Learn about using the SMS program name via the API.
- Program keyword (optional) - Enter one or more keywords that contacts will text to your short code in order to subscribe to your SMS program. If not specified, the default opt-in keywords will still apply (YES, Y, OPTIN, OPT-IN).
- Brand name - Enter your brand name.
Customize Your Messages
Your SMS channel is automatically configured to support the double opt-in signup method. The double opt-in workflow requires contacts to confirm their intent when signing up to receive SMS messages.
In this section, you can customize your opt-in, confirmation, and help messages. All three messages can be edited at the same time.
Opt-in, confirmation and help messages can contain up to 160 characters per message. When the character count exceeds 160, the message in question will be processed as two or more separate messages, depending on length. Additionally, the following extended characters will count as two characters instead of one:
Your contacts will receive the opt-in message immediately after texting any of the program keywords to the short code. Note that contacts are not subscribed until they confirm their intent, or double opt-in, by responding with one of the approved opt-in keywords. The subscribe status is set to pendingDOI while Cordial waits for a response.
Be sure to include keywords for OPTIN, HELP and STOP.
Opt-In Confirmation Message
The opt-in confirmation message will be sent to contacts who confirm their subscription following receipt of the opt-in message. This is the conclusion to the double opt-in workflow and the contact is now subscribed to receive SMS messages.
Learn more about SMS subscribe status.
Based on SMS messaging best practices, your confirmation messages should include the following information:
- Program name and purpose - Provide the name of your SMS marketing program along with a brief purpose.
- Number and frequency of messages - Inform your contacts of message quantity and send frequency they should expect (number of messages/frequency).
- Message data & rates disclosure - This is the required verbiage reminding your contacts that their mobile carrier may impose data and messaging fees.
- Opt-out instructions - Include valid opt-out keywords such as STOP, QUIT, and OPTOUT. Learn more about SMS subscribe status and default keywords.
- Help and stop keywords - Let your contacts know which keywords to text for support and to cancel further messages, such as the HELP and STOP keywords.
You can also customize the message contacts will receive when responding with the HELP keyword.
Your help message should include one or more assistance outlets such as a support email address or a customer service phone number. The help message should not result in a dead-end without any recourse.
Default Stop Message
Your contacts can unsubscribe from receiving further SMS messages at any time using any of the approved opt-out keywords such as STOP. Contacts will be unsubscribed immediately upon texting an opt-out keyword and will receive the following message:
Brand Name: You are unsubscribed from Brand Name alerts. No more messages will be sent. Reply HELP for help.
Contacts can also be unsubscribed via the API.
Test and Preview Your Setup
You can live preview your opt-in, confirmation, and help messages individually by sending tests to a mobile phone number. Open the Send Test modal and choose which message to test, enter the recipient's phone number, and click Send Test Now.
When you are satisfied with your SMS channel settings, you can begin creating messages using the SMS channel.
SMS marketing: Do's and Don'ts
Do identify your brand
Always include your brand name at the beginning of all outgoing SMS messages. Your contacts will be less likely to opt out when they know the message sender.
CordialThreads: Take an extra 20% off any online purchase http://s.cordial.com/w5mHvo
Do be compliant
Requirements in the Call-to-Action (where contacts sign up for messages):
- Product description
- Messaging frequency or recurring messages disclosure
- Terms and conditions or link to terms and conditions
- STOP keyword (this can appear on a separate page in the terms and conditions)
- “Message and data rates may apply” disclosure
Do provide a way to opt-out
It’s also good practice to give your contacts a way to opt out by including Help, Stop and Msg and data rates may apply messaging once a month in the SMS message.
CordialThreads: Take an extra 20% off any online purchase http://s.cordial.com/w5mHvo
Msg&data rates may apply. For help, text HELP. Txt STOP to end.
Do use Cordial’s link shortener
While keeping your SMS messages to 160 characters to avoid sending double SMS messages, include shortened URLs with Cordial's SMS link shortener to track clicks and revenue.
Do limit your use of emojis
Emoji use is supported in SMS messaging. All Emojis are treated as Unicode characters which will reduce the remaining character count of your SMS message to 70.
Do share pending traffic spikes
If you’re planning to run a very large SMS campaign and you expect to have significantly more traffic than usual, notify your CSM so that Cordial can ensure throughput is configured correctly.
Don’t send during quiet hours
Text messages for marketing purposes can only be sent between the hours of 8 am and 9 pm (local time of the receiver). In short, the TCPA prohibits text messages sent to a mobile phone from an auto-dialer unless (1) the contact previously gave consent to receive the message in off hours or (2) the message is sent for emergency purposes.
Don’t send sweepstakes, contests or surveys without carrier approval
It’s important as a brand to ensure your sweepstakes, contests and surveys are legally compliant. Before starting this type of SMS program, mobile carriers require a review of your sweepstake, contest or survey rules. Along with your company’s legal information, the rules contain details about eligibility, the promotional period, how to enter, and the prizes awarded.
Don’t send too many SMS messages
Your contact gave your brand permission to send a certain number of messages per month based on their opt-in agreement. Don't send more messages than is expected by your contacts.
Don’t change your opt-in, help or stop messages
Your brand's opt-in, HELP and STOP messages were approved by the mobile carriers. If you want to update the language, submit a revised SMS submission form to Cordial to be resubmitted to the mobile carriers for approval.
Don’t send prohibited content
Mobile carriers will not allow the following types of SMS messages to be sent:
- Risky financial services or investment opportunities
- Loans: auto, mortgage, student, payday or short term-high interest
- Get rich quick schemes
- Work from home programs
- Debt forgiveness, consolidation or reduction
- Credit repair programs
- Illegal substances: cannabis, CBD, all schedule 1 & 2 drugs
- Fraud or scams
- Deceptive marketing
- Lead generation (All Affiliate Marketing must be carrier approved)
Notes on SMS Functionality
Subscribing a contact
A contact's SMS marketing program subscription status will be set to subscribed when they reply to the opt-in message with one of the confirmation keywords (not case sensitive):
Unsubscribing a contact
A contact's SMS marketing program subscription status will be set to unsubscribed when they send a message to your short code with any of the following keywords (not case sensitive):
Supported regions and countries
Currently, only U.S. issued short codes are supported. Your U.S. based short code cannot be used to send messages to non-U.S. phone numbers and over non-U.S. carrier networks.
SMS short codes use one-way communication
SMS short code messages are used for one-way communication and cannot be used for conversational purposes. For example, you can send an SMS to promote a shoe sale, but contacts will not be able to respond with questions regarding the sale or request information on a recent order.