Ontraport Tutorial: 2-Way SMS Marketing Messages

Ontraport Tutorial: 2-Way SMS Marketing Messages

What’s going on Ontrapreneurs?

If you’re watching this video then you either use SMS marketing as part of your Ontraport campaigns or you’re thinking about doing so in the future.

Either way, by now you know that Ontraport is dead simple to use as your SMS marketing software solution right out of the box.

Just grab your complimentary SMS enabled phone number, add some credit to your account and drop the send SMS element into the visual campaign builder to supercharge your marketing efforts.

But what do you do when someone replies to one of your texts?

Savvy marketers know that an engaged prospect is much more likely to take the action you want them to so being able to take advantage of every channel possible is always top of mind.

In today’s ClickFix, I’m going to walk you through two different options for deploying a 2-Way SMS messaging flow into your business.

The first makes use of a simple visual builder campaign, one email or text message notification & the “one-off” SMS feature introduced in April of 2019.

So let’s jump into the campaign to take a look at how you’ll be setting this up.

Like with most visual builder campaigns we drop in the End element under the Manual trigger.

Then we drop an Inbound SMS trigger using the Ontraport SMS number we want to use to start a new stream. Make sure it’s set to trigger for any contact in the account and that it moves people back to the top every time they send a new SMS.

Next we tell Ontraport to Notify someone with an email. You could use a Notify with SMS element instead if you want, but that’s double credits and you’re going to have to use Ontraport to respond anyways. I chose to notify the contact owner, but you can use this to notify any user or any email you specify.

For the email message, I just created a very simple text block that is mostly made up merge fields that looks like this.

A new SMS was received from: [First Name] [Last Name]

They Said: [Last Inbound SMS]

Click here to respond: https://app.ontraport.com/#!/contact/edit&id=[Contact ID]

Finally I dropped one last End element and published the campaign.

Whenever someone sends an SMS, the campaign triggers and I get an email that looks like this with a hyperlink.

Clicking on the link takes me directly to the contact record where I can click the SMS icon from the action tray at the top.

Then I just click Quick SMS, write my reply & click Schedule & Send to fire it back to the prospect.

The PROS to this approach are in its simplicity and the fact that it doesn’t take anything other than a basic Ontraport account to enable this 2-way SMS marketing solution. You’ll be able to get it in place in less time than it took for me to shoot this video and it probably works well enough for most people who only receive a random incoming SMS here or there.

The CONS are that it isn’t scalable. First, every person on your team that you want to answer incoming SMS would have to be given access to Ontraport. So either individual users or a single user account, but there’s no way around them needing to be in the back end if you want to use the same phone number for both incoming and outgoing messages.

Second, imagine trying to maintain even 5 simultaneous conversations with this method. Between swapping back and forth between email and Ontraport and no easy way to see the whole conversation at once, you can imagine how easy it would be to make a mistake or to get frustrated with the process. Sure, you can look through the contact log to piece together the info, but personally I’m too lazy for that 😂.

That’s why I asked the ClickFix dev team to come up with a way for us to extend Ontraport’s SMS capabilities into an easy to use interface that makes it simple to keep the conversation going.

It integrates with your account in via an API Key and a custom campaign that handles the backend communication with our servers.

Once it’s up and running, you get a unique URL that launches your 2-way messaging app which works just like most basic messaging services.

The PROS to this approach are many. To start, you don’t have to log into Ontraport in order to send & receive messages. That means you can have anyone you want monitoring your communications and replying in real-time without worrying about what other information they have access to.

It also makes it easier to understand what the conversation is about because the entire history is right there for you to browse if you need a quick reminder of where you last left things.

But probably the thing that has members the most excited is the fact that it is MOBILE RESPONSIVE which means you can send & receive messages anywhere you have an internet connection. Like the beach which is of course my preferred spot to work from 🤣

The CONS are that it is a paid third party solution which of course is a deal breaker for some people.

It could also be overkill for solopreneurs or people who don’t have a high volume of incoming messages… yet.

So, if you just need a solution that handles the odd reply, then just deploy that simple manual 2-way SMS campaign flow I showed you at the beginning. 

That will at least get something in place that allows you to experiment more with the SMS features to see if dedicating more resources to that channel makes sense in your business.

SPEND MORE TIME BUILDING YOUR
BUSINESS… NOT CAMPAIGNS
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SPEND MORE TIME BUILDING YOUR BUSINESS… NOT CAMPAIGNS & WORKFLOWS

SPEND MORE TIME BUILDING YOUR BUSINESS… NOT CAMPAIGNS & WORKFLOWS

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SPEND MORE TIME BUILDING YOUR
BUSINESS… NOT CAMPAIGNS
& WORKFLOWS

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