SMS Marketing Campaigns

Kathryn Hamilton
Kathryn Hamilton
  • Updated

Overview: 

SMS Marketing Campaigns allow you to mass text your customers for facility alerts, updates, or special offers. Marketing Campaigns can be used for a wide variety of applications. If you need to send a text to more than a few customers or if you need to target a group for any communications, this is a perfect feature. This article will go through the initial setup, campaign creation, sending, and more. 

 

This article includes:

Related Articles:

Helpful Hints:

  • Only owner accounts with at least one active pet will receive SMS Campaigns. 

  • It is recommended that you only have one active (unsent) campaign created at a time.

  • Marketing Campaigns with 1,000 recipients or more cannot have their recipient list modified.

  • Marketing Campaigns are limited to 320 characters AFTER variables are pre-filled. If you are not using variables then you may enter up to 320 characters. If you are using variables and they will pre-fill with characters that exceed 320 characters total, you will receive an error upon scheduling to send. Shorten your message to accommodate for these variables. 

  • The {action_URL} variable provides a direct link to the Owner's Communication Settings on the customer portal. 

  • Customers can respond to SMS campaigns if the location is subscribed to the 2-Way SMS integration. For more information see our article on 2-Way SMS
    • If a facility does not have 2 way SMS the customer will receive this auto-response "You responded to an automated text message and the business will not receive your response. Please contact the business directly to communicate with them about your pets and reservations."

  • You must configure your permissions to allow users in your app to send SMS:
    • Navigate to Left-hand Navigation Menu: Reports & More » Groups.
    • For users to send Marketing SMS, the "Can Send SMS" user permission must be turned on for the user group they are in. 
    • If you have 2-way SMS enabled, for users to receive in-app notifications for incoming text messages, the user must have the "Notification: Incoming SMS" user permission turned on.

  • Gingr will send SMS to your customers from a custom, toll-free number. This phone number for your SMS can be found under Left-hand Navigation: Admin » System SMS

  • You can use the Owner's Communications tab to review all SMS communications with a select customer. Navigate to the Owner's profile, click the Communications tab, and optionally filter or sort the results to find what you need. For more information please see our Overview of the Owner Communications Tab

Pricing for SMS Functionality:

In order to send Marketing SMS, you must have the Marketing SMS or All-in-One Multimedia Messaging Bundle subscription add-on.

There are additional SMS Features available on Gingr that are an add-on to the system SMS functionality. These include 2-Way SMS, Marketing SMS, and a bundle that also includes Multi-media Messaging, Canned SMS, and SMS Auto-Replies. Please see our articles on 2-Way SMS, SMS Canned Responses, and SMS Auto-Replies for more information. 

Navigate to Left-hand Navigation: Admin » Manage Gingr Subscription and click Enable on the add-on you would like to subscribe to. Your billing period begins on the day that you enable this feature. 

The following is the pricing structure for these additional features:

Marketing SMS:

Includes Marketing SMS capability. There is an annual charge as well as metered usage charges. Metered usage is per outgoing text. For metered charges (see tiers below), a “SMS” is up to 160 characters. A SMS longer than 160 characters will count as multiple messages.  This number resets each monthly billing cycle.

  • $120/location/year
  • $0.00/outgoing SMS for 0-500 messages sent per month
  • $0.04/outgoing SMS sent over 500 per month 

2-Way SMS:

Includes 2-way SMS capability. There is an annual charge as well as metered usage charges. Metered usage is per incoming text. For metered charges (see tiers below), a “SMS” is up to 160 characters. A SMS longer than 160 characters will count as multiple messages. This number resets each monthly billing cycle.

  • $150/subdomain/year
  • $0.00/incoming SMS for 0-500 messages received per month
  • $0.04/incoming SMS received over 500 per month

All-in-One Multimedia Messaging Bundle:

Includes:

  • 2-Way SMS
  • SMS Marketing
  • Multi-Media Messaging
  • Canned SMS Templates
  • Auto-Reply SMS

There is an annual charge as well as metered usage charges. 2-Way SMS is per incoming text. Marketing SMS is per outgoing text. For metered charges (see tiers below), a “SMS” is up to 160 characters. A SMS longer than 160 characters will count as multiple messages. This number resets each monthly billing cycle. The following pricing structure is for 2-Way and Marketing SMS COMBINED:

  • $199/subdomain/year
  • $0.00/SMS for 0-1000 sent or received per month
  • $0.04/SMS for 1001-2000 sent or received per month
  • $0.03/SMS for 2001-3000 sent or received per month
  • $0.02/SMS for 3000+ sent or received per month

If you were previously signed up for 2-way SMS and/or Marketing SMS, upon signing up for the All-in-One Bundle our system will provide a pro-rated credit to your next invoice (regular subscription or messaging bundle, whichever comes first). Metered usage numbers will reset with the upgrade, but usage costs will not get reimbursed if you upgrade mid-month. Please reach out to our support team if you have questions. 

 

How to: Create a New SMS Campaign

To create a new SMS campaign:

  1. Navigate to Left-hand Navigation: Owners & Pets » Marketing » Create a New SMS Campaign. 

  2. Click Create a New SMS Campaign.

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  3. From the campaign edit page, there are several fields that must be filled out. Please reference the table below.

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Field Guide to SMS Campaign Settings:

Field Name Description Helpful Hint
Choose Groups When creating a new campaign, Groups determine what subset of customers will receive the campaign.

If you select multiple groups and an owner falls into multiple groups, they will only receive the campaign once. 

For a full breakdown of the available campaign groups, check out this article:
Marketing Campaign Groups

For instructions on how to create a custom group for a campaign, check out this article:
Creating Custom Campaign Groups

Choose Reservations Optionally select a specific reservation type to target for the campaign.  For example: Selecting the group Reservations in the Last 15 Days and selecting the Daycare reservation type will contact owners who have had daycare reservations in the last 15 days. 
Choose Locations Optionally select a specific location to target. for the campaign.  This is based on the owner's assigned home location on their profile. 
Campaign Name This is the name of the campaign within your Gingr application and is not visible to customers.  
Message

Enter the message to be delivered to customers. 

Custom variables can be entered here that will automatically fill with the relevant information. See the top of the campaign edit page for a list of available variables. 

Marketing Campaigns are limited to 320 characters AFTER variables are pre-filled. If you are not using variables then you may enter up to 320 characters. If you are using variables and they will pre-fill with characters that exceed 320 characters total, you will receive an error upon scheduling to send. Shorten your message to accommodate for these variables. 

Emojis are not supported when using Gingr's SMS Marketing feature. 

If you use the {animal_name} variable and an owner has multiple pets, they will be separated by a comma by default. 

Upload Files This section will only be available if you are subscribed to our All-in-One Multimedia MMS add-on. You can click here to upload or can drag and drop files.  Please see the section below for supported file types.

 

How to: Use Multimedia Messaging

Multimedia messaging (MMS) is a subscription add-on available through Gingr as a part of the All-In-One Multimedia Messaging bundle. If you are subscribed to this add-on then you will see the option to upload images or files to your campaign. Click the upload box to import from your device or drag and drop files directly onto the box. 

 

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Supported File Types for Multi-media Messaging

Gingr is limited to the file types supported and accepted by Twilio, our messaging service provider. Some file types can be displayed in line with the messages. Other file types can be sent and received but must be downloaded to access the content. 

 

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How to: Use a Canned SMS Template

Canned SMS Templates require the All-In-One Multimedia Messaging subscription add-on. From the marketing edit page, click Insert Canned Template. This opens a popup where you can click to add one of your canned SMS templates to the message body. The message can be edited thereafter as needed.  

For more information on setting these up, please see our article on Canned SMS Templates

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How to: Send an SMS Campaign

Once the campaign is ready to send out follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Left-hand Navigation: Owners & Pets » Marketing. 

  2. Click on the arrow-icon drop-down menu next to the campaign you would like to send.

  3. Optionally, you can Send a Test - you will be prompted to enter a phone number. You will receive the alert that "Test emails will be populated with dummy data such as "TEST First Name" and "TEST Animal Name." This is normal and variables ({first_name}, {animal_name}, etc.) will be properly substituted with real data when you send the campaign."

  4. Select SMS (Schedule & Send). 

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  5. In the resulting pop-up, enter the Send on date and time you would like this campaign to send. A summary of the campaign details and the approximate cost of the campaign will display.

    Important: Please schedule at least 5 minutes in the future to avoid sending errors.

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  6. Click Schedule & Send. The campaign will indicate it is queued for the selected date and time until it is successfully sent. If the campaign has not been sent after 30 or more minutes (depending on the number of recipients) you may click the "x" to cancel and try re-sending. 

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    Once the campaign has been sent, the status will update to "Sent".

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How to: Duplicate a Campaign

Follow these steps to duplicate an existing campaign. This will duplicate the recipient list from the original campaign. Note: the copy button will not be present if the SMS length is greater than 320 characters. Please shorten the message and try again.

  1. Navigate to Left-hand Navigation: Owners & Pets » Marketing. 

  2. Click on the Duplicate button.

  3. Confirm the action of duplicating the campaign. 

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How to: View SMS History 

There are several ways in which you can view SMS history. From the Owner Profile, you can access a tab with all the customer email and SMS communications in one place. If you are signed up for 2-Way texting (an additional Subscription Add-on) then you will also have access to a complete SMS conversation history. Finally, some but not all outgoing System SMS show in the "Outgoing Email Log." 

Owner Communications Tab

In order to see a record of all communications with a customer, navigate to the Owner's profile and then click the Communications Tab. You will see a list of outgoing and incoming messages. Outgoing text messages and call records are listed on this tab. From this tab, you can also send SMS (if you have 2-Way texting enabled), send emails, create call records, add the customer to marketing campaigns, and more. Click each row to view details of the communication.  

For more information please see our article on the Owner Communications Tab

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2-Way SMS

With 2-Way SMS enabled, your customers can reply to text messages sent from Gingr and you can respond with a custom message. A complete record of all SMS is also contained in the SMS Conversations section. You can select any customer at any time to send them a custom text message. Incoming text notifications are visible from anywhere in the app, and you can type up a custom response to send immediately to your customer. 

You can sign up by navigating to Left-hand Navigation: Admin » Manage Gingr Subscription and clicking Enable next to the Two-Way Texting (SMS) or All-in-One Multimedia Messaging Bundle. The All-in-One bundle also includes the ability to send and receive images, videos, and files as well as a subscription to the SMS Marketing feature. 

For more information please see our article on 2-Way SMS

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View SMS History in the Outgoing Email Log (Includes some SMS)

From Left-hand Navigation: Admin » Reports & More » History, you will see a button for the Outgoing Email Log. Out of the System SMS Templates, only Reminder SMS are recorded here. If you need to access any other records please do so from the Owner Communications Tab or the 2-Way SMS chat window. 

Note: Reservation Reminder SMS and Marketing SMS will also show in the main History list. 

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