In this article, you’ll learn how to set up your SMS Marketing program.
Before you start
Here are some things to know before you begin this process.
- This article covers the setup process of SMS Marketing. 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 the Essentials plan or higher. To change your plan type, visit the plans page in your account.
- You must be an account Owner, Admin, or Manager to set up an SMS Marketing program. Learn more about the different user levels in Mailchimp.
- SMS Marketing allows you to set up your program with a single Mailchimp audience.
- At this time, you can only send text messages to mobile numbers based in the US.
- This article shows you how to set up an SMS marketing program. This process isn’t required for transactional SMS.
- Use Mailchimp Inbox to manage responses from your subscribed SMS contacts and send your own replies.
Submit your SMS Marketing application
To send marketing text messages with Mailchimp, you need to submit an application and get approved.
The SMS Marketing application has 6 steps: Compliance, Business Information, Program Information, Phone Number, Terms & Conditions, and Credit Subscription.
There are 2 options to complete the Terms & Conditions step. If you have existing terms and conditions published online, make sure that they mention SMS, then add the URL. If not, use our pre-filled template to help you set these up.
To submit an SMS Marketing application, follow these steps.
Compliance, Business Information, Program Information, and Phone Number
- Click Campaigns, then click SMS.
- Click Start application.
- On the Business Information step, review the S.H.A.F.T. guidelines, then type your information in the required fields. The fields vary based on where your business is located. Where possible, we pre-fill information from your Mailchimp account. In the Website field, add a direct link to your website and not a redirected URL. Use the CP-575 letter for your business to fill in the Legal business name and Tax ID (EIN) fields. This is the letter you receive after you apply for an Employee Identification Number (EIN) with the IRS. A social security number (SSN) can't be used in place of an EIN.
- When you’re ready, click Next.
- On the Program Information step, type your information in the required fields. If you have more than 1 audience, choose the one you want to work with from the Audience drop-down. If you have a single audience, your audience will be automatically selected. At this time, Mailchimp’s SMS Marketing allows you to set up your program with a single audience.
- When you’re ready, click Next.
- On the Phone Number step, click Next to move forward with the auto-generated number, or click Pick a different number to choose one in your desired area code. This phone number is the one your subscribed SMS contacts will receive your messages from.
Terms & Conditions with a template
Online terms and conditions are required for your SMS Marketing application. Use our template to help you create your SMS terms and conditions if you don’t already have them. We’ll populate your business information for you. If you have existing terms and conditions published online, you don’t need to customize the template and may choose Add link to existing instead.
The Mailchimp template does not constitute legal advice and is used at your own risk.
To use a template to create your terms and conditions, follow these steps.
- On the Terms & Conditions step, click Customize sample template.
- Review the legal disclaimer, then click I agree.
- Review the terms and conditions and make any changes you need. To remove the content and insert your own terms and conditions, click Clear template.
- When you’re ready, click Next.
Terms & Conditions with a URL
Online terms and conditions are required for your SMS Marketing application. If you already have terms and conditions published online, make sure they mention SMS, then add the URL to link them to your SMS Marketing application. If your terms and conditions don't mention SMS when you submit your application, it may remain in a pending state. You don't need to add a URL if you customize the Mailchimp terms and conditions template.
To add a link to your existing terms and conditions, follow these steps.
- On the Terms & Conditions step, click Add link to existing.
- Enter the URL into the Link to existing SMS terms and conditions field, then click Next.
Before you submit your application, set up your monthly SMS credit subscription. You don’t pay for SMS credits until your application is approved.
Here are a few things to keep in mind.
- SMS credits are required to send text messages.
- Text messages cost an average of 1-3 credits to send.
- Your first SMS credit subscription purchase will be prorated based on the number of days left in your billing cycle.
- The payment method on file for your Mailchimp account is automatically used to purchase your monthly SMS credit subscription.
- Your SMS credit subscription renews each month at the same time as your pricing plan.
- You can change your monthly SMS subscription at any time.
To set up your monthly SMS credit subscription, follow these steps.
- On the Credit Subscription step, click the How many SMS subscribers do you have? drop-down, then select the range that corresponds with your SMS audience size. After you select a range, a suggested number of SMS credits appears in the We think you’ll need: section.
- If you don’t yet have an audience of subscribed SMS contacts, select I’m just getting started. To learn more about how Mailchimp suggests an SMS credit subscription for you, check out About SMS Marketing Credits.
- If you’re satisfied with the suggested amount of SMS credits, click Select and submit to set up your monthly SMS credit subscription and submit your application. The credit option you select will be automatically set up as your monthly SMS credit subscription.
- If you want to select a different number of SMS credits, click Change amount.
- In the Change my credit amount pop-up modal, click the Select a monthly credit amount drop-down, then choose the number of SMS credits you plan to use each month.
- Click Save. The number of SMS credits you select appears in the You chose a custom amount: section.
- When you’re ready, click Select and submit to set up your monthly SMS credit subscription and submit your application. The credit option you select will be automatically set up as your monthly SMS credit subscription.
If you want to sign up for text notifications about your SMS Marketing application status, enter your phone number in the text box in the Congrats, you are on your way to texting! pop-up modal. Review the terms, click the checkbox, then click Confirm. If you want to only receive email notifications about your SMS Marketing application, click Close.
Excellent! You’ve submitted your SMS Marketing application for review.
The average carrier processing time for an SMS application is typically 2-5 business days. We’ll send an email to the primary contact of your Mailchimp account after your application has been processed. You can view your application status in the progress bar on the SMS overview page.
After your application is approved, you’ll be charged for your first monthly SMS credit subscription purchase. Your payment method on the Billing information page is used for monthly SMS credit subscription purchases. Manage your SMS credits on the SMS overview page or the SMS settings page. To learn how to purchase a one-time credit refill, check out Create and Send an SMS Marketing Message.
While your application is processing, you can import contacts to your SMS audience. Although, other SMS features are unavailable until your application is approved. Once approved, you can access all of the SMS Marketing features. If your application is denied, update or revise the requested information and resubmit your application.
After you submit your application, you’ll see your application status and a progress bar on the SMS overview page. There are 3 application statuses: submitted, processing, and approved.
It can take several minutes for an application to move from a submitted status to a processing status. It typically takes 2-5 business days for an application to process. If approved, we’ll send a notification to the primary email address associated with your Mailchimp account. Then, you can send marketing text messages.
If there’s an error with your application, you’ll see a notification in your account and receive an email to update or revise the business information you provided. Once you resolve any errors and resubmit, your application will return to the processing status, then undergo another review.
- List the information your business collects
- Describe the reason you collect this information
- Explain how your website collects this information
- Discuss how you’ll use the information you collect
View your SMS Marketing settings
Your SMS settings contain the details of your SMS Marketing program. You can add or manage credits from the SMS settings page. For compliance reasons, the rate limit and quiet hour settings are informational and can't be edited.
To view your SMS Marketing settings, follow these steps.
- Click Campaigns, then click SMS.
- Click Settings.
- On the SMS Settings page, view the SMS Pricing Details, SMS Rate Limits, and SMS Quiet Hours sections. To return to the SMS overview page, click Back to SMS.
You’ve set up your SMS Marketing program. Now what? Here are some ways to kick-start your SMS experience.
About SMS Marketing Credits
Learn how SMS credits work and how to calculate the right amount for your marketing.
About SMS Marketing with Mailchimp
Learn about rate limits, quiet hours, and more.
Import SMS Contacts to Mailchimp
If you have contacts who have already opted in to 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.
Create and Send an SMS Marketing Message
Learn how to create and send marketing text messages to your subscribed contacts.