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SMS in Marketing Automation

Getting Started

SMS sending in Marketing Automation needs to be enabled individually in each account. Until then, you will see the following notification on the Marketing Automation set up screen:

“It looks like SMS sending is not yet set up in your account.” 

Please reach out to support team if you would like to enable this feature. 

Sending outside UK, US and CA

Please note sending (or receiving responses – ‘2-way communication’) might not be available in some countries, so please enquire about countries you are planning to send to well in advance to confirm functionality.

What we need from you

To speed up the process, please send us the below information, when you request that SMS sending is enabled in your account.

  • Preferred area code* (eg. 117) 
  • Suggested initial sending budget (eg. £500)
  • Confirm SMS opt in you will use to manage subscriptions to SMS text messaging (you can change the selected Opt in question in your account directly at a later time)
  • Regulatory compliance documentation (**)
Sender formatting

* Long codes or short appear as standard 10-digit phone numbers and are available at lower cost to use. Some carrier filtering may apply with restrictions dependent on send rates and country.

Short codes are typically more expensive, with a longer time frame required to launch, but do not have carrier filtering.

Regulatory Requirements

** Due to country specific regulations, additional documentation might be required in order to purchase numbers in countries outside of United Kingdom, United States and Canada. Ask support team for details on purchasing specific country numbers.

Do I need to add any additional settings in my account to prepare for SMS sending?

Set up SMS Opt in

We recommend that you set up a separate Opt-in question to manage subscription to SMS messages. Click here to read more about setting up Opt-in questions in your account.

For all compliance requirements, please refer to Twilio’s guide of requirements by country.

Format supporters’ mobile phone numbers in a dedicated tagged field

Supporters’ mobile numbers should be stored in the tagged field called SECOND PHONE NUMBER in your Account Data Structure. Twilio handles mobile number verification for delivery, including filtering out landlines and inactive numbers.

Mobile number format

Make sure all mobile phone numbers are in E.164 format.  For example: +14155552671(US) or +442071838750 (UK)

To add a tagged SECOND PHONE NUMBER field, follow the steps below:

1) Go to Account Settings, in the Hello menu.

2) Go to Account Data Structure.

3) Check whether you have mapped the “Second Phone Number” field.  if you have mapped it, but it is not mapped to the supporter’s mobile number, you should update this mapping.

4) If you have not yet mapped the “Second Phone Number” field, click “Add Field” and give it a name (such as “Mobile Phone Number”) and map it to “Second Phone Number”

Adding SMS in your Marketing Automation

Once SMS sending is enabled in your account you will see an SMS sender setting in the EMA set up wizard. Click on ‘Manage’ to update associated Opt-in question and set your preferences for keywords and related response messages.

Configure your automated messages

Most of numbers are capable of 2-way communication which means that supporters will be able to respond to messages you send. It is possible to respond to subscribe, unsubscribe or request further information.

It is up to you to choose the keywords that will trigger automated responses and define the response message. 

Use the language tabs to provide language specific translations of keywords and response messages.

Adding SMS messages to your workflow

Two additional ‘actions’ will be available in the EMA builder menu once SMS messaging is enabled in the account. 

You can either send just SMS at the given stage of the journey or choose to send SMS and/or Email (as a fallback option).

If you drop ‘Send SMS and Email’ option into your workflow, you can choose between the following two options:

  • Send SMS text message if supporter has a valid mobile number. If mobile number is not present in supporter’s record, send email instead.
  • Send SMS text message and email message at the same time.

Create your SMS content

Enter your SMS content in ‘Text Message’ editor. You can use dynamic buttons (in blue) that allow you to insert special content into your block.


Make sure to include clear information on how to unsubscribe (as required to include opt-out option in every text) or how to request more information (eg. Text STOP to unsubscribe).




Insert campaign link

Links the selected text to an Engaging Networks campaign or donation page.


By using this insert tool, the number of clicks for each inserted link will be recorded and available for review in reporting.

Supporters’ details will also be pre-populated in the form fields on the landing page, providing that this supporter data is stored in your account (beyond email address).

Name: Add a reference name for the link that you are inserting.

Tracking id: If you have added tracking parameters to your actions, you can now link to specific tracked URLs. Select the tracking parameter and the dropdown below will update to display campaigns that are using this specific tracking id.

Campaign: Select the campaign you would like to link to.

Start page: Select the start page for your action: usually you will direct supporters to page 1 and pre-populate their data. But if you have a campaign that is 3 or more pages long, you can direct them to page 2 which will pre-fill page 1, which means they can continue without needing to put that data in again. Note: you cannot create “one-click” petitions.

Append custom URL parameters: If you want to add additional parameters to your link, such as transaction.donationAmt=10 to force a different default donation amount, you can do so here.

Insert external URL or static page

Links the selected text to a URL outside of the Engaging Networks system (e.g. your website).


By using this insert tool, the number of clicks for each inserted link will be recorded and available for review in reporting.

Name: Add a reference name for the link that you are inserting.

External URL: The external webpage you would like to insert a link to.


Static page: You can select a static page that is built and hosted within your Engaging Networks account.

Insert – user data

Select any of the user data fields from the dropdown and add them to the content by clicking on the insert button.

When the supporter receives the message, the tag will have been replaced with the relevant information. For example: first name, country, or city. You can also include “fallbacks“.


Mobile response conditions

Conditions are decision boxes that allow you to decide which branch of the journey supporter will be added to if they match the condition.

The ‘mobile response’ type of condition will look at whether the SMS was delivered to the supporter.


Updated on October 19, 2020

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