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Create and send SMS messages in HubSpot

Last updated: February 21, 2024

Available with any of the following subscriptions, except where noted:

Marketing Hub Professional, Enterprise

You can draft and send SMS messages to your contacts to drive your marketing efforts and help you engage more directly with customers who opt into communication with your business. The SMS editor in HubSpot allows you to personalize content sent to your recipients, schedule your message for a specific time or date, and analyze 

To use the SMS tool in HubSpot, your business must meet the eligibility requirements, and you must purchase the SMS Access add-on. Consult the Add-ons section of the Product & Services Catalog for more details and pricing information.

Before you send an SMS message to a contact, you must secure their explicit consent to communicate with them using SMS. Learn more about collecting and managing consent in this article.

Create an SMS message

After you purchaseYou can personalize the content of your messages, schedule messages to be sent at specific times, and allow recipients to opt out automatically. After you send your message, you can analyze which contacts opened your text and clicked on any links in the message.

To draft your message:

  • In your HubSpot account, navigate to Marketing > SMS.
  • In the top right, click Create message.
  • On the left side of the editor, edit the content of your message:
    • At the top of the rich text toolbar, you can click the link icon link to insert a link, click the emoji icon emoji to insert an emoji, or click the special character icon specialCharacter to add a symbol (e.g., a currency sign or mathematical symbol).
    • You can also add personalization to your message by clicking Personalize:
      • Click the Type dropdown menu, then select the type of personalization token to insert.
      • Click the Property dropdown menu to select which property value to pull into the message body.
      • Enter a default value that can be used for any contact without a value populated for the property, then click Insert.
insert-personalization-token-into-sms-message
    • By default, an opt out message will be appended to the body of your message. Recipients who respond with STOP will automatically unsubscribe from receiving SMS messages from your business. You can unselect the Include default opt-out text checkbox to specify the opt-out prompt text in the body of your message manually.
  • On the right side of the editor, you can review how the text message will appear to your recipients.
    • If you included any personalization tokens in your message, click the View default preview message dropdown menu, then select a contact to confirm how your token will render in the body of your message.
    • Click the T downCarat dropdown menu and drag the slider to preview how your message may appear on devices with different font sizes.
    • Click Turn on dark screen mode to preview how your message will appear to recipients who've turned on dark mode on their device.
    • The current character count and the estimated number of message segments you'll use will also appear above the preview of your message. Learn more about message segments and how usage is estimated.

updated-sms-preview-message-with-segment-estimate

  • When you're done drafting your message, click the Settings tab. In the settings tab, configure the following:

 

Send a test message

To send a test message to yourself or a member of your team:

  • In the top right of the editor, click Send test message.
  • In the right panel, click the Choose one or more numbers dropdown menu:
    • Select the phone numbers of any of your colleagues who've added their number to HubSpot. If one of the numbers you select hasn't yet been verified, you'll be prompted to add a label to the number and verify the number.
    • You can also enter a phone number manually, by entering the full number including the country code.
  • If you included any personalization tokens in your message, you can click the Receive SMS as a specific contact dropdown menu and select a contact to confirm how the token will render in the test message.
send-test-sms-message

Send or schedule your message

When you're ready to send or schedule your message, click the Send or schedule tab.

Configure your recipients

To configure your recipients:
  • Click the Send to dropdown menu and select any lists or individual contacts to add them to the recipient list.
    • Keep in mind that contacts must be set as marketing before you can send them SMS messages. Learn more about setting contacts as marketing using a workflow in this article.
    • HubSpot will only send an SMS message to a contact with a valid US-based phone number for the Mobile phone number or Phone number contact property, and the contact has granted explicit opt-in consent for the subscription type associated with that phone number.
      • A phone number is considered valid if it starts with +1, and is a total of 11 digits, including the +1. For example, +1-800-555-5555 is a valid US-based number.
      • If a contact's Mobile phone number and Phone number properties are both valid and they've opted-in to receiving messages to both numbers, then HubSpot will defer to sending the message to the mobile phone number.
  • Click the Don't send to dropdown menu and select any lists or individual contacts to exclude them from the recipient list.

Customize sending options

Choose when you want to send your message by selecting a sending option:
  • Send now: your message will be sent immediately.
  • Schedule for later: send your message at a specific date and time. By default, messages are sent based on your HubSpot account's time zone. To manually configure the optimal sending time based on a specific time zone of your recipients, you can use a time zone converter.
  • In the upper right, click Review and send or Review and schedule if you scheduled your message for a later date.
    • In the right panel, you can address any errors or warnings you need to fix before sending your message.
    • You'll be provided with an estimate of the number of message segments that you'll use when sending your message. A warning will appear if usage meets or exceeds 60% of your message segments for the month. Learn more about message segments and how usage is estimated.
    • When you've fixed errors and read through any warnings, click Send, or Schedule message if you scheduled your message.

Message segments

When you send an SMS message that contains more than 160 characters, the message is split into smaller messages for transmission. Large messages are split into 153-character segments to include a required data header in each segment. These segments are then sent individually, then re-assembled by the recipient's device.

For example, a 161-character message will be sent as two messages: one with 153 characters and a second with eight characters.

If you include non-GSM-7 characters, such as emoji, those messages will be sent using the UCS-2 encoding. Messages containing one or more UCS-2 characters can only contain up to 70 characters in a single, non-segmented message. UCS-2 messages of more than 70 characters will be split into 67-character segments.

For example, a message segment is equal to 160 characters of plain text, or 70 characters if an emoji or special character is included. When SMS messages are split into multiple segments, they will still appear as a single message on the recipient's device.

Links and opt-in language

Links take up 36 characters each, but do not change the message encoding (i.e., the caveats mentioned in the section above that describes the details of UCS-2 encoding).

Opt-in text (such as START or SUBSCRIBE) does count towards the total character count for message segments. Learn more about managing opt-in consent in this article.

Factors that increase message segment size

As you draft your SMS message, keep in mind that the following content may increase the number of message segments:

  • Personalization tokens (e.g., a contact's first name)
  • Emojis (e.g., 🐈)
  • Special characters (e.g., unicode characters, symbols, etc.)
  • Quotation marks (e.g., "). Note that you should opt for apostrophes instead of quotation marks, when possible.

Estimating message segments

Since there are multiple factors that influence message length, HubSpot can only estimate how many segments will be used for a specific message. This estimate will then be influenced by how many recipients you're sending to.

For example, if HubSpot estimates that a message will use 3 message segments, and you're sending an SMS message to 300 recipients, the campaign would use approximately 900 message segments.

If you insert personalization tokens into your message, HubSpot provides the following breakdown of character counts when estimating message segments:

  • If you use the default value or global default value in the SMS editor and the value is populated, HubSpot uses the number of characters configured for that property.
  • If you use the global default value in the SMS editor but the value is empty, HubSpot will provide a fixed estimate of 15 characters for each token.

Message segment pricing

When you purchase the SMS add-on, you'll get a specific number of message segments you can use within a month; any unused monthly message segments will not roll over. If you need more message segments, you can buy a limit increase.

Please note: limit increases are based on the contract and subscription renewal date, not date of purchase. For example, if the renewal date is Aug 5th, and limit increase is purchased Aug 15th, the limit renews on September 5th.

View SMS activities on the contact timeline

You can review the historical SMS messages you've sent to a contact on the record timeline:

  • In your HubSpot account, navigate to Contacts > Contacts.
  • Click the name of the contact.
  • Int he middle panel, in the Activity tab, click the Filter activity dropdown menu.
  • Under Contact activity,  select the Marketing SMS checkbox.
  • You can click the name of an SMS message to navigate directly to the post-send performance page of the message for further analysis.

sms-activity-on-contact-timeline

Analyze message engagements

To review how contacts engaged with SMS messages you've sent:

  • In your HubSpot account, navigate to MarketingSMS.
  • At the top of the page, you can filter your messages based on certain criteria:
    • Campaigns: click the All campaigns dropdown menu to filter SMS messages based on the HubSpot campaign they're associated with.
    • Sending method: click the All sending methods dropdown menu to filter by automated messages sent via a workflow or regular sent messages.
    • Users and teams: click the Users and teams dropdown menu to filter messages based on which users or teams have been assigned access.
  • To analyze the performance of an individual message, click the name of a sent message.
  • On the Performance tab, review how your message reached your contacts:
    • Delivery rate and click rate metrics are available at the top of the page.
    • You can also analyze the engagement funnel and time series charts to better understand how and when contacts engaged with your message.
    • At the bottom of the page, you can see whether certain recipients opted out of receiving future SMS messages from your business.
analyze-individual-sms-message-metrics
  • Click the Recipients tab to filter between the SentNot sentNot deliveredTotal deliveries, and Total clicks views for the message's recipients.
  • In the left pane, you can review the contents of the original message.
    • Above the preview, you can click the Actions dropdown menu then select Delete to permanently delete the message, or Archive to archive the message in case you want to save the message and the associated data. 
    • Below the preview, you can also click Clone to duplicate the message and make additional tweaks or send to a new set of recipients, or you can click Compare to check a side-by-side view of the message's performance metrics compared to other messages you've sent.

You can also analyze the aggregated data and trends for all messages you've sent:

  • In your HubSpot account, navigate to MarketingSMS.
  • Click the Analyze tab.
  • At the top of the page, you can customize the date range for the reporting data, then you can review your aggregate engagement metrics in the Overview section. You can also analyze the deliverability funnel data, as well as engagement and opt-out behavior over time.
analyze-aggregate-sms-metrics

 

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