Two-way SMS messaging and Opt-out keywords

This feature is currently in BETA version.

Two-way messaging and Opt-out keywords bring our Sinch SMS integration to the next level!

Two-way messaging allows your customers to reply directly to the text messages received from your campaign. This can be useful for use cases, such as collecting NPS responses or customer feedback by SMS. Most importantly, paired with Opt-out keywords, they provide customers with an easy and user-friendly way to unsubscribe from all SMS communications by an SMS reply, such as “STOP”. This is especially important for businesses based in the US that need to comply with US regulations in regard to unsubscription.

How keyword opt-outs work

Exponea handles incoming SMS messages and unsubscribes the customer if there is a match to a predefined opt-out keyword.

When a customer replies to an SMS message to the client's dedicated phone number, the integrated SMS provider will forward the mobile-originated message to Exponea, where it is recognized and tracked as a campaign event. If the message contains the keyword, Expoena will reject all SMS related consents for the matching customers.

Once the message is received by Exponea, the phone number is blacklisted immediately and will not accept any more SMS messages. On an hourly basis, these blacklisted numbers are processed and events are tracked: consent reject and campaign incoming message.

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TIP

Other than opt-outs, a practical way of using two-way messaging is also for, e.g. collecting NPS responses or customer feedback by SMS.

How to set up keyword opt-outs

Requirements

  1. Sinch SMS integration is necessary
    1.1. Request Sinch integration and Two-way messaging from your CSM or technical consultant. Read more about Sinch integration.
    1.2. You must also request a short or long dedicated phone number (for customers to send messages to). Customers cannot reply to alphanumeric senders.

  2. Consent category/ies for SMS communication is/are created
    2.1. Define which consent categories are used for SMS communication. A maximum of 5 categories can be selected.

  3. Phone numbers must be in the international format with double zeroes, e.g. "00421905123456"

Configuration

  1. Enable a new account module called “SMS Two Way Messaging”. To do this, contact you CSM.

  2. Go to Project Settings > Channels > SMS

  3. Here, make sure that Sinch SMS is set as your default provider.

  4. Under 2 Way messaging, enable Track incoming messages and the use of Opt-out keywords.

  5. Next, you will have to define your keywords and consent categories. To do so, simply start typing into the relevant text field, as shown in the picture below. Especially when setting up your own keywords, it might be useful to consider our guide below.

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Using consents

It is recommended to use Consents, not Legitimate interest as a consent category for SMS campaigns. When legitimate interest is used the phone number blocking works also for newly created customers: if a new customer is created with a phone number that was unsubscribed, the sending messages will be blocked until explicit consent accept is tracked.

A guide to keywords

SMS Opt-out keywords in Exponea have the following traits:

  1. Case insensitive
  2. Accents and whitespaces are ignored
  3. Match only if the message starts with the keyword
  4. Max 100 opt-out keywords allowed, each keyword up to 20 characters

Example with opt-out keywords: "stop" (English) , "arret" (French)

  1. Messages that WILL trigger opt-out: "STOP", "Stop", "stop", " stop", "šťóp", "stopwatches", "Arret", "ARRET", "arret", "arrêt"

  2. Messages that will NOT trigger opt-out: "Please stop", "Unsubscribe me", "Garret", "barret"

Using the keyword opt-outs

Now that you set up all the necessary technicalities, you are ready to start using the SMS keyword opt-outs within your campaigns. To properly implement them in your scenario, make sure that within your SMS action node, you put the acquired dedicated phone number into the “Sender” field. Then set up your SMS node as you would do normally.

To test the functionality of your newly set up keyword opt-outs, you can set up a simple scenario containing a single SMS action node and send that message to yourself. Upon receiving the message, reply to the message with one of the keywords. Wait 1-2 hours and in Data & Assets > Customers you should find that the customer has a consent event action = reject, and campaign status = incoming_message, as shown below.

More profiles with the same phone number

A maximum of 10 customers with the same phone number will be unsubscribed if there are more customer profiles matching the same phone number. The incoming message is tracked only to one of the matching customers based on which profile received the last sent SMS. For example, if there are 2 customer profiles with the same phone number, and both are used in an SMS marketing campaign, the recipient will receive 2 SMS messages. If the recipient replies "STOP", both customer profiles are unsubscribed, both customer profiles have a consent rejection event tracked, but only one customer profile has an incoming message tracked as an event.

Event tracking

Inbound message tracking

SMS action tracks the campaign event or custom event configured in mapping.

Event property

Value

Description

status

"incoming_message"

/

action_type

"sms"

/

timestamp
(event timestamp)

message.received_at

When the system received the message.

message

message.body

The text of the received message.

sender

message.from

The sender's (customer's) phone number from which the message originates.

recipient

message.to

Your dedicated sender phone number.

More technical information on inbound messages can be found within the external Sinch documentation: Sinch SMS / Inbounds Endpoint.

Consent tracking

The consent event is tracked to all customers with a phone number matching the sender's number.

Event property

Value

Description

timestamp
(event timestamp)

message.received_at

The time at which the SMS was received by the operator.

imported_timestamp

The time of consent tracked.

action

"reject"

/

source

"sms_reply"

/

category

consent category

The consent category specified in the SMS opt-out configuration.

identification

message.from

The sender's (customer's) phone number from which the message originates.

identification_type

"phone"

/

message

message.body

The text of the received message that triggered the unsubscription.

Send SMS tracking

A new status is tracked when attempting to send SMS to a phone number that has been blacklisted but the unsubscription is still being transformed to consent events. There is a delay between immediate phone number blacklist and consent events being generated to a customer profile. If an SMS campaign runs during this small time window, this special event is tracked.

Event property

Value

Description

status

"enqueue_failed"

/

message

"Phone number is blacklisted by an opt-out keyword."

/

Updated 21 days ago


Two-way SMS messaging and Opt-out keywords


This feature is currently in BETA version.

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