Campaign creation has five steps:
- Create and target
- Assign senders
- Write initial message
- Add recommended replies
- Add survey questions
- Review and launch
This article describes an approach to campaign creation where you add the senders at the end, which we call pre-loading. There are a few reasons why this may be useful. If you are planning in-person texting events, you will want to have all of your groups uploaded and campaigns created before the event, and then add your senders once they've arrived and gotten some training. Or, even if you're not doing in-person texting, you may have a bunch of campaigns you want to run but you aren't sure yet who is available to send the messages. In either case, we've made it very easy to add senders after the campaign has been created as a draft or launched.
Step 1: Create and Target
When creating a campaign, you'll start by specifying the following parameters:
- Name - Make sure to use consistent naming conventions
- Description - The description is visible to senders, so you can use it to give them brief instructions to guide their texting.
- Start date and time - Currently has no impact on when messages can be sent. Eventually sending will be restricted until after the start date.
- End date and time - Controls when initial messages can no longer be sent.
- Open and close time - Controls the hours during which outgoing messages may be sent, in the time zone selected for the campaign. Senders see a “closed for the night” screen outside the designated texting hours. Standard is 09:00 - 21:00 (9AM to 9PM).
- Time zone - The time zone where your campaign targets are located, which is used to determine when the campaign is open for messaging. The open and close times are calculated using the selected time zone, not the sender’s time zone. For example, if you select 09:00-21:00 (9 AM-9 PM) and set the campaign to Eastern Time, a sender on the West coast will be able to text from 6 AM-6 PM Pacific Time, which is 9 AM to 9 PM Eastern Time.
- Area codes - Selects the local area codes for the numbers from which messages will be sent. We recommend selecting area codes that most of the campaign’s contacts will recognize as local
- Allow Self-Assignment - Turning this on will allow message senders that have already been added to a campaign to add additional conversations themselves after they've completed an assignment.
Campaigns can be targeted at groups or at recipients of previous campaigns. You'll begin your targeting with a "base segment" and then can add and subtract from there. Make sure to "set" your base segment in order to move on to the next steps. For more on targeting, go here.
Step 2: Assign Senders
For pre-loading campaign creation, you can skip this step and simply press next, thus adding no senders to the campaign for now. You will add the senders in later.
Step 3: Write Initial Message
The initial message is how all of the conversations in your campaign will begin. You can insert any standard or custom field into the message by clicking on that field's title above the message creation box. We recommend always using the name of the recipient and the sender to personalize the interaction:
When writing your initial message, make sure to use the message preview section to check your work. The preview is exactly what contacts will receive, including pulling in the standard and custom fields you've selected. So any un-substituted variables in the preview means something has been incorrectly configured.
A note on message length: We encourage you to keep your messages to under 160 characters whenever possible. Messages of greater than 160 characters will technically be two separate messages. Some carriers are able to "reassemble" the messages to display them as only one message to a recipient. Other carriers may show them as two messages. And in some cases, the two messages can show up out of order. The only sure way to avoid these issues is to stay below the 160 character count.
Step 4: Add Recommended Replies
Recommended replies are Saved Replies that appear within the texter's reply screen. You can add as many recommended replies as you want to a campaign. Picking a relevant and easy-to-understand title is key to prompt texters to identify the proper recommended reply for each scenario.
Recommended replies are Admin created only, while an individual user can also set personal “Saved Replies” the recommended replies always appear first. Recommended replies created within a campaign can utilize data from your group uploads. Enter a title and body, validate the preview, and click "Create Recommended Reply" to save.
Step 5: Add Survey Questions
Survey questions are the data that you want your texters to collect. You can add as many survey questions as you want. Survey responses are not filled in automatically--texters must record responses based on their conversations. ThruText has four types of survey questions: Yes/No, multiple-choice (pick one), checkboxes (pick many), and freeform (fill-in-the-blank). Use the pulldown menu to select the type you want:
For multiple-choice and checkbox questions, you will need to specify the possible answers separated by commas:
Step 6: Review and Launch
During the review stage, you can double-check that everything looks good. If you want to make a change, just go back to that step--don't worry, your campaign settings will be saved while you edit. Once you are ready to go, scroll to the bottom to launch your campaign. Launching will notify your senders via email that they have an assignment and make the assignment visible when they log into ThruText.
Step 7: Adding Senders by Reassigning
Because your campaign was launched without any senders, all of the conversations in the campaigns will be categorized as "Unassigned." Here's what that looks like in the Conversations tab of a campaign that's been launched with no senders.
Once you know who you want to send the messages, go into the senders' tab on the campaign page and add the senders there.
You can only add senders who have a ThruText account and have accepted the invitation to your organization. You can search for senders by first name or last, and add them by clicking on their name or the plus sign next to it.
You can choose to paste a comma-separated list of sender email addresses to the box below the choose senders screen. Any emails in your list that match an email of a user on your account will trigger that user to be added as a sender on this campaign.
Once you've added your new senders, you'll then have to reassign the messages from "Unassigned" to the senders you've just added. You do this in the conversations tab of the campaign page:
Once you get to the conversations tab, here's what the reassigning process looks like:
Prefer a video? Click here for our Reassign Video