SMS Template

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Use Twilio Engage to build SMS message templates to include throughout your marketing campaigns.

You can build an SMS template and include personalized content in messages based on user profile traits. Once you build the SMS, Twilio Engage saves the template for you to preview, maintain, and reuse.

Use personalized SMS messages to connect with users in real-time, as they reach a specific step in a journey.

Build an SMS message template

You must first configure your SMS service with Twilio to build an SMS template in Engage. Visit the onboarding steps for more on how to connect a Twilio account.

To build an SMS template, navigate to Engage > Content and click Create Template.

  1. Select SMS, then click Configure.
  2. Add a template name and description.
  3. Select a Twilio Engage messaging service to use.
  4. Add the body of your text message. To personalize your message based on user profile traits, include merge tags.
  5. Include an opt-out message in the body of your text. For example, “Reply STOP to unsubscribe.” See SMS Best Practices for more information.
  6. Test your personalized SMS with relevant user profiles.
  7. Click Create SMS Template.

Use the SMS Templates screen to preview and update existing SMS message templates.

Test your SMS template

Send a test SMS message before you include it as a step in your Journey.

  1. After you build your SMS template, click Test SMS.
  2. Enter recipient phone numbers for the test message.
    • The profile that you send test messages to must have a userId in Segment.
  3. Click Send Test SMS.

If a recipient replies “Stop” to the test SMS, Twilio unsubscribes their phone number and sends an opt-out confirmation.

You can also test SMS templates directly within Journeys before you send them.

Personalize with merge tags

Personalize SMS content in Engage using profile traits as merge tags in your messages.

To personalize an SMS, click Merge Tags in the SMS builder and select the profile traits to include in your message.

Engage inserts the selected traits inside merge tags based on cursor placement in the message. This allows you to personalize each SMS you send to recipients.

To learn more about profile traits, visit Segment’s Computed Traits and SQL Traits documentation.

Clone an SMS message template

You can clone existing SMS templates to edit and use in your message campaigns.

To clone a template, navigate to the Templates page (Engage > Content). You can also clone from the Overview page of an individual template.

  1. Click the icon.
  2. Select Clone.
  3. Enter a template name.
  4. Click Clone to save the template.

After you clone a template, you can edit it from the Templates page.

SMS best practices and limitations

Include an SMS opt-out message

When you build an SMS, it’s important to include an opt-out message in the body of your text that informs recipients they can unsubscribe from a message channel.

When an SMS recipient replies “Stop” to an SMS, they’ll receive an opt-out confirmation, and Engage updates their phone number subscription status. Visit the User Subscription States documentation to learn more about user subscriptions in Engage.

SMS character limit

Note that there’s a 1,600 character count limit for SMS messages. Visit Twilio’s SMS Character Limit documentation for more information.

Next steps

Use the Templates screen in Twilio Engage to build personalized email templates.

This page was last modified: 07 Mar 2023

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