Use Mailchimp’s SMS Marketing to connect with your audience in a direct and personalized way. In addition to marketing emails, create and send SMS marketing messages to reach your subscribed contacts with an additional channel.
In this article, you’ll learn how to create and send an SMS marketing message with Mailchimp.
Before you start
Here are some things to know before you begin this process.
- This article covers how to create and send an SMS marketing message. To learn more about how SMS Marketing works, check out About SMS Marketing with Mailchimp.
- SMS Marketing is available as an add-on feature for customers in the United States with an Essentials plan or higher, a Legacy monthly plan, or Mailchimp Pro. To change your plan type, visit the plans page in your account.
- Before you can send SMS marketing messages, you need to submit an application and be approved.
- You must be an account Owner, Admin, or Manager to send SMS marketing messages. Learn more about the different user levels in Mailchimp.
- At this time, you can only send SMS marketing messages to mobile numbers based in the US.
- The average carrier processing time for applications is typically 2-5 business days. During this time, you can’t create or send SMS marketing messages.
- MMS is available to customers with a Standard plan, Premium plan, or Mailchimp Pro.
- To schedule SMS touchpoints in Campaign Manager, check out About Campaign Manager.
Tips for SMS marketing
SMS marketing messages are targeted text messages that offer some type of immediate value to recipients. If you’re selling a product or service, you may consider pairing a discount code or exclusive promotion with a link to your website. We recommend you use shortened links in your SMS marketing messages to save on character count. Within our SMS builder, you can check the Automatically shorten and track links checkbox to do this automatically. It’s also a good idea to keep your SMS marketing messages brief and relevant to your subscribed contacts.
Create an SMS marketing message
After your SMS application is approved and you have acquired opt-ins, you’re ready to create an SMS marketing message. You can only send SMS marketing messages to contacts who opt in to receive SMS marketing from you. To learn how to acquire proper consent for your SMS marketing, check out Create and Promote an SMS Marketing Signup Form.
To create an SMS marketing message, follow these steps.
- Click Campaigns, then click SMS.
- Click Create SMS.
- In the Message name section, click Edit. Enter the name of your SMS marketing message, then click Save.
- In the Recipients section, click Edit to select a segment, group, or tag in your SMS audience to send your SMS message to. The audience you select during the application process is automatically connected to your SMS program. If you want to send your SMS message to all subscribed SMS contacts in your audience, select All SMS Subscribers from the Send to drop-down.
- In the Content section, click Edit to access the SMS builder.
Enter your SMS copy in the Message text box. A preview of your message will automatically appear on the screen.
The character count for your SMS marketing message appears in the Message text box. If your copy exceeds the character limit, your SMS message will send as multiple messages that require individual credits. The number of messages required to complete your send is also shown in the Message text box. To learn more about SMS credits, check out About SMS Marketing Credits.
To add an emoji to your SMS message, click the Add emoji icon, then select the one you want to use. Emojis count towards character limits.
To add media to your SMS message, click the Media icon, select the file you want to add from the content studio or upload a new one, then click Insert. Depending on your pricing plan, you may not have access to this feature.
Here are some things to keep in mind if you want to add media to your SMS message.
- Your file needs to be a JPEG, PNG, or GIF.
- You can add 1 image to an MMS message
- For the best display, we recommended images that are 600KB or less with an aspect ratio of 2:3.
- When you add media to your SMS message, it automatically becomes an MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) message.
- MMS messages follow different carrier rate limits, and they have specific character limits.
If you want to shorten and track links in your SMS message, check the Automatically shorten and track links checkbox. If you want to add opt out instructions to your SMS message, check the Include opt out instructions checkbox.
If it’s been 30 days or more since you last contacted a recipient, opt out instructions should be included in your message. Opt out instructions count towards your character limit.
Click Save and continue, then review the number of credits needed to send or schedule your SMS message. Before you can send your message, you need to have enough SMS credits available or purchase additional credits. If you want to finish your SMS message at another time, click Finish later.
If you have enough SMS credits available to complete your send, click Send or Schedule.
If you need to purchase additional credits, click Buy credits. On the Manage Credits page, review your available credits, click the drop-down, then select the number of credits you’d like to purchase. This is a one-time credit refill purchase, and it won’t impact your recurring monthly credits. When you’re ready, click Next, enter your payment, contact, and billing information, then click Pay now.
Send or schedule an SMS marketing message
After you create your SMS message and confirm your available SMS credits, send your message immediately during an available time or schedule it for a future time. SMS marketing messages can only be sent between 8 am and 9 pm in your selected time zone. The hours outside of this time frame are considered quiet hours for your subscribed SMS contacts. Mailchimp's default quiet hours are the hours outside of 11 am-9 pm ET. If you want to set custom quiet hours, visit the SMS settings page.
To send an SMS marketing message, follow these steps.
In the Send or Schedule pop-up modal, click Send now to send your SMS marketing message immediately outside of quiet hours. If you’ve set custom quiet hours, you can send your message within your designated time frame. If you try to send an SMS marketing message during quiet hours, we automatically queue it to send at the next available time.
In the Send or Schedule pop-up modal, click Send later to schedule your SMS marketing message, then select a future date and a time from the drop-downs. You'll need to select a time between 8 am and 9 pm in your selected time zone or outside of the custom quiet hours you set. If you need to edit your timezone, click Edit.
When you’re ready, click Send or Schedule.
Excellent! You’ve sent or scheduled your SMS marketing message. The SMS credits required to complete your send are deducted from your available credit balance. If you schedule an SMS message, the credits required to complete the send are now considered scheduled credits. If you send an SMS message right away, those credits are now considered used credits.
After you send an SMS message, use Mailchimp Inbox to manage responses from your subscribed SMS contacts and send your own replies. To learn more, check out View and Manage Inbox Messages.
Manage your SMS messages
On the SMS overview page, you can view, pause, or delete an SMS message.
On the All campaigns page, filter by SMS message type or sending status, organize your SMS messages into folders you create, pause a scheduled SMS message, or delete an SMS message.
If you click a paused SMS message on the SMS overview page or the All campaigns page, you can edit it and resume sending when you’re ready.
Delete an SMS message
To delete an SMS message, follow these steps.
- Click Campaigns, then click SMS.
- Click the arrow drop-down next to the SMS message you want to delete, then click Delete.
- In the Delete SMS campaign pop-up modal, click Delete.
Edit a scheduled SMS message
To make changes to a scheduled SMS message, pause its sending, then unpause.
To edit a scheduled SMS message, follow these steps.
- Click Campaigns, then click SMS.
- In the Recent messages section, click Pause and edit next to the SMS message you want to pause.
- Make any changes you need, then click Resume campaign.
- In the Send or Schedule pop-up modal, click your preferred option and schedule a new send date if needed.
- When you’re ready to send or reschedule your SMS message, click Send or Schedule.
Nice! Your SMS message will show as Scheduled again in the Recent messages section of the SMS overview page and on the All campaigns page.
After your SMS message is delivered and your subscribed contacts interact with it, reporting becomes available. In the Recent messages section of the SMS overview page or on the All campaigns page, click View Report next to the message you want to view a report for.
In an SMS report, you'll find a table with the following information about your recipients.
- Phone number
- Clicks made in the SMS or MMS message
- Whether or not the SMS or MMS message was delivered
- Whether or not they unsubscribed
Here’s how to define the data points in your SMS report.
The number of subscribed contacts a message was sent to.
The number of messages successfully delivered.
Undelivered The number of messages that couldn’t be delivered.
The number of recipients who clicked any tracked link, any number of times, in a single message.
The total number of contacts who are opted in for your SMS marketing.
The number of recipients who opted out from receiving further messages.
The percentage of messages that were successfully delivered to a recipient.
The percentage of messages that didn't get through to your subscribed contacts' phone. A low undelivered rate means that messages are reaching the desired recipients.
The percentage of successfully delivered messages that registered a click.
The percentage of subscribers who unsubscribed from a successfully delivered message.
SMS credits are deducted from your available balance for each SMS and MMS message that you attempt to send. To optimize your SMS credits, we suggest that you maintain an engaged SMS audience.
To export a copy of your SMS report, click Export.
Now that you’ve created and sent an SMS message, consider these resources to optimize your experience.
About SMS Marketing with Mailchimp
Learn about rate limits, quiet hours, and more.
Import SMS Contacts to Mailchimp
If you have contact who have already opted in for your SMS marketing, import them to your Mailchimp audience with a CSV or TXT file.
Create and Promote an SMS Signup Form
Use an SMS signup form to add new subscribed contacts to your audience who want to receive SMS marketing from you.
View and Manage Inbox Messages
Use Mailchimp Inbox to view and manage 1-to-1 conversation threads with your subscribed SMS contacts.