Let us introduce you to the new channel for customer communication: SMS through ManyChat! Below you'll find the description of the feature and how to use it.
SMS is available for usage on a Pro plan only.
Note: For now you can access it only if you are in the United States or Canada, or your customers are from there. As for the other countries, there's no ETA for now, but we're working on finding it out.
The SMS tab is displayed in Settings of Free pages too, but only the owners of the Pro pages will be able to use it.
NOTE: For now SMS feature is available for US and Canada numbers only.
What can be sent via SMS?
You can send Text and Multimedia Messages via SMS.
Text messages contain text, emojis, and links that you send to your subscriber. Multimedia Messages contain images, GIFs, text, emojis, and links you want to send to your subscriber. Any inappropriate, drugs, weapon-related or pornography content can't be sent via SMS according to the law.
How do I start sending SMS through ManyChat?
1. First off, activate SMS integration under Settings -> SMS tab.
Once you send your first SMS, we will provide you with FREE the US phone numbers (10 DLC commercial long code by Verizon).
Based on CTIA Messaging principles and Best Practices, the market suggests not to send SMS to more than 1000 subscribers from 1 phone number (long code) per day, because it may lead to the telecom carrier filtering. To bypass this, the chatbot will automatically use 1 phone number to reach out to every 1000 subscribers of your bot.
2. Get consent for receiving SMS and phone number. For this, you have 2 new System Fields to store this data: 'Set SMS Opt-in' and user's mobile number.
Check out this sample flow: https://manychat.com/flowPlayerPage?share_hash=523129064851971_cca3c6f38b1a722bb71d191b39acc42ca21f6ba1
It provides an example of how to collect phone numbers and consent from your subscribers. You can edit the text in your version of the flow sample as you wish within your bot.
In the example, you can see that we ask for a Phone Number first with a "User Input" block that has a "Phone" field type. After that, make sure that you're saving the "User Input" value into the SMS System Field (just like in the example) and after that, you can ask for the confirmation from the user to be able to receive SMS messages. That is done with an "Action" block that uses the "Set SMS Opt-in" action.
- It's important that the phone number looks like +12345678901 or 12345678901 for them to work correctly. If the subscriber entered the number incorrectly, for example, with brackets or dashes, it will still be added to System Field. ManyChat will clean out unnecessary characters and prepare the number for sending SMS.
If you want to send test SMS messages to yourself, you need to Preview this Flow or just make sure that you are in the audience that will get it. Don't forget to fill all the fields and provide a confirmation to receive SMS messages, because without following these steps you won't be able to test SMS Messages. Moreover, SMS Message block might not appear in your Flow Builder before you'll provide a confirmation for these actions.
3. Add SMS Messages to flows.
SMS Message is a new type of a block that can be accessed here:
You can use an SMS Message block in a similar way as all other ManyChat blocks. However, there are some exceptions:
- You can generate a link automatically. That can be done by clicking on the "Link to another step" button and choosing another block.
- The character limit for one Text Block is 640 characters. 640 characters will be shown as one big Text Message in your mobile device. However, Text Messages have a 160 characters limit and because of that ManyChat counts 160 characters as one Text Message and charges in a similar manner. For example, 640 SMS will be charged as 4 Text Messages. (IMPORTANT!!! When using Emojis, your per-one-Text Message character limit drops from 160 to 70; more on that can be found here: https://www.quora.com/Why-does-using-emoji-reduce-my-SMS-character-limit-to-70)
- Multimedia Messages contain images, GIFs, text, emojis, and links you want to send to your subscriber. A single Multimedia Message can contain up to 10 pictures (maximum of 4.9 MB in total file size) and text up to 480 character. It is important to place all the pictures above the text so we will merge everything into 1 Multimedia Message.
4. Send SMS broadcasts.
You can send bulk SMS messages to your subscribers with SMS opt-ins. To do that, you need to go to Broadcasting -> Broadcasts section of ManyChat:
When clicking the button, you will be asked to select the channel you want to start with.
Choose either an SMS or a Multiple Channels option (in case if you want to mix Facebook messages and texts in a single flow).
After all setting up is finished, simply click on the "Send now" button. You'll be able to see the SMS Broadcast event in the "Live Chat".
NOTE: If you want to test this SMS Broadcast beforehand, click on the "Preview" button.
Learn more about different types of broadcasts from this article.
What can affect SMS delivery?
When writing a copy for SMS, carefully examine the content and pay special attention to these “red-flags”:
- Overuse of capital letters
- Overuse of emoticons
- Overuse of exclamation marks and informal words like “hey”, “pssst”, “yooo”,
- Spam words like “free”, “won”, “now”, “only”, “sale”
- Links processed by URL shorteners
Used properly, those things can increase your CTR, but be careful! Here are some examples of texts at risk of being marked as spam:
Get a FREE box NOW with any purchase of another box. ONLY TODAY ???
Click link below to add to cart. https://jdkshb.at/s/t3HTiL,1
Hey %%first_name%%, YOU WON!!!!!
Click here to claim your FREE t-shirt https://abcsd.at/s/r44gCC,1
Yoooo bro, GREAT BURGERs and TASTY WINE ???
If you wanna to learn more, simply click the link below. See you SUNDAY!!!!!
HURRY UP and get $10 coupon for BURGER BAR https://dkslkdlklh.at/s/Jh_617,1
How much does it cost?
$ 0.01 per Text Message
$ 0.02 per Multimedia Message
Place your pictures above your text and we will try to merge them into 1 Multimedia Message to optimize your costs.
All incoming messages are FREE. Plus during the first month of using the page is granted with 50 free messages. The month starts when you sign up Terms of Service.
ManyChat SMS is a 'pay as you go' feature. ManyChat charges your account partially: we bill you when you reach a 10$ credit limit.
The charges are taken from the same card that is connected to the ManyChat page. If the payment fails twice, the channel will be turned off until payment is received.
Why can the price be "approximate"?
If you use Variable Fields like “First Name,” the price is approximated because different subscribers will have different numbers of characters in their name.
If you use a Dynamic Image Block the price is approximated as well since we don't know the total file size of the image you are sending.
The following is the BETA version of pricing.
To learn more about pricing, check the Billing section at Settings Page.
Your Billing history is also divided into 2 sections: subscription Invoices and Service payments.
Subscription Invoices for your PRO plan (in Messenger). Service payments for your service payments for SMS/Email.
Where can I see my statistics?
You can see statistics in the SMS block for a specific SMS. Unlike Messenger, the SMS channel does not show open rates.
– ManyChat successfully validates phone numbers for all countries. Despite SMS is working only with US and Canada for now, we’d recommend collecting numbers for all countries to have a database for future openings. We highly recommend adding phone numbers with country codes. It will help you to make your text messages delivered directly to those people who gave you phone numbers;
– You can now import your contacts into the Audience tab using their phone numbers. More can be found here.
- In order to get info on your clients' opt-ins, you can always write to our friendly support! Read more here.