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Creating SMS Campaigns

A step-by-step guide to creating targeted & dynamic text messages in your dashboard

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This Guide only covers the creation of One-time, Triggered & Recurring Campaigns

Looking to automate Transactional SMS Campaigns? Let's get you started!

SMS has always enjoyed staggeringly higher open rates compared to Emails, making it one of the most effective tools of engagement. It's an ideal channel to engage users who are constantly on the move and convey important updates. Your dashboard comes with a highly intuitive, 6-step creation interface that makes it easy to execute highly personalized SMS campaigns in minutes!

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Must Read

At WebEngage, we are obsessed with enabling consumer business, like yours, to create contextual user experiences that facilitate retention-led growth. This is why user data (User Attributes), behavioral data (Events & Event Attributes) and Segments play an integral role in campaign creation. We recommend that you get yourself acquainted with the respective concepts before proceeding.

Here's a quick summary of the exciting possibilities offered by the campaign creation interface:

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Important

Please ensure that you have integrated an SSP (SMS Service Provider) with your account before proceeding as it enables message delivery to all your users. Here's the integration guide.

Select Campaign Type

As shown below, the campaign creation interface can be accessed by clicking the Plus icon placed on the top left of the central hub of SMS. In doing so, you will be prompted to select the type of campaign you'd like to create.

Let's quickly walk you through each campaign type:

These are stand-alone messages that are sent to your users only once and generally comprise of time-bound offers, festive deals, product updates, and so on. Such campaigns end as soon as they're delivered to the target audience.

  • When: Launch immediately or Schedule for later
  • Delivery Frequency: Once only

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Skip to Step 2, When: Campaign Schedule > Setting up One-time Campaign

These are ongoing cycles of communication that are sent to only those users of your target audience, who perform a particular event on your app/website.

  • When: Launch immediately or schedule for later
  • Delivery Frequency: Whenever the specified Event is performed by a user or a few Minutes/ Hours/ Days after the event occurs

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Skip to Step 2, When: Campaign Schedule > Setting up Triggered Campaign

These are ongoing cycles of communication that are scheduled to be sent periodically to its target audience. Such campaigns help you automate communication for several recurring events in your user's lifecycle like subscription renewals, policy renewals, bill payments, recurring investments and so on.

Or you could leverage these campaigns to engage all new users who have recently signed up, users who performed a certain action on your app but left without transacting or proceeding to the next stage and so on.

  • When: Launch immediately or schedule for later
  • Delivery Frequency: Daily, Weekly or Monthly

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Skip to Step 2, When: Campaign Schedule > Setting up Recurring Campaign

These are highly contextual messages that your users expect to receive while interacting with your brand through your app, website or offline. This could be anything like acknowledging user interactions like, sign up (welcome newsletter), password reset, payment confirmation (invoice), order confirmation or conveying payment reminders, account statements and so on.

  • When: Launch immediately
  • Delivery Frequency: Whenever a specific Event occurs in your backend

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Continue Here...

Step-by-step Guide to Creating Transactional SMS Campaigns

Now, let's walk you through all the steps of campaign creation.

Step 1: Define the Audience

As shown below, the first step is to give your campaign a unique name that helps you identify its purpose.

1. Name your Campaign

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2. Select SMS Type


As shown above:

  • Select Promotional to send the message through the SSP's promotional messaging pipeline (detailed read)
  • Select Transactional to send the message through the SSP's transactional messaging pipeline, allowing immediate delivery (detailed read)

For example, the campaign created in the above visual, Out for Delivery, is a transactional campaign as it updates the user about an important event in their lifecycle.

3. Select Audience Type

One of the key differentiators of successful campaigns is that they're tailored to the behavior and preferences of a specific group of users. Thus, by selecting an Audience Type, you can choose to target a particular segment of users or combine several segments to define your SMS campaign's audience.

As shown below:

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  • Select Send to users in single segment to target all users who are included within a particular segment (How to set it up)

  • Select Send to users in multiple segments and/or don't send to users in certain segments to narrow down the audience to a very specific user persona, defined by including and excluding several segments from the target audience (How to set up the conditions - Send To & Don't Send To)

4. Select Target Segment(s)

Here's how you can set up each Audience Type:

4A. Select a Segment (Send To)

(If Send to users in single segment is selected as Audience Type)

As shown below, click the dropdown nested beside Send To, to specify the target segment.

Let's quickly walk you through Segment Preview:

  • Reachable Users: Indicates the number of users, from the selected segment, that can be engaged through SMS as a channel, at present.

  • Rules of Segmentation: You can choose to segment your entire user base by 3 broad parameters - User (attributes), Behavior and Technology. Thus, Segment Preview presents a snapshot of all the users, against the parameters based on which, they have been grouped together.

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Skip to:

How to Edit a Segment

How to Create a New Segment

How to Create a Disposable Segment

Step 2: When

4B. Combine Segments (Send To)

(If Send to users in multiple segments and/or don't send to users in certain segments is selected as Audience Type)

Using multiple segments to define the target audience is an excellent way to target users that have similar preferences, belong to the same location or have performed certain actions on your app/website - without creating a new segment.

Here's how you can go about it:

Step 1: Select a Condition

  • Select Users in ANY of these segments to send the campaign to all the users included within each segment.

  • Select Users in ALL of these segments to send the campaign only those users who are shared by all the segments.

Step 2: Select a Segment

Step 3: Click Add Segment to specify another one.

For example, in the above visual, we have selected, Users in ALL of these segments. This means that the campaign will be sent to only those users who are included within all three segments at any given point in time. Users who are a part of 2 or fewer segments will not receive the message.

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Skip to:

How to Edit a Segment

How to Create a New Segment

How to Create a Disposable Segment

Step 2: When

4C. Exclude Segments (Don't Send To)

(If Send to users in multiple segments and/or don't send to users in certain segments is selected as Audience Type)

You can choose to exclude a segment or multiple segments from the target audience by configuring the field, Don't Send To. This is a great way to selectively engage users that match a specific persona. Here's how you can go about it:

Step 1: Select a Condition

  • Select Users in ANY of these segments to prevent users in each segment from receiving the campaign.

  • Select Users in ALL of these segments to prevent only those users from receiving the campaign that are common between all the segments.

Step 2: Select a Segment

Step 3: Click Add Segment to select another one.

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When Segment Isn't Specified Under the field, 'Send To'

By default, a campaign is set to be delivered to All Users. Thus, if no segment is selected under Send To AND segments are specified under Don't Send To, then the campaign will be send to all the users who are reachable on SMS AND are not included within the specified segments.

Edit Segment

Click on the Edit icon, placed next to the dropdown, Send To, to edit the selected Segment. In doing so, you will be prompted by a pop-up, pre-populated with the existing rules of segmentation, as shown below.

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Simply make your edits and click Save to proceed. In doing so, you will able to preview the number of reachable users as per your edits.

  • For example, in the above visual we can see that the number of reachable users decreased from 72,300 to 68,500 as we have added locations under the field, Geo Filtering.

Create a New Segment

You can choose to create a new Segment of users from the campaign creation interface by clicking on the Create Segment button. In doing so, you will be prompted by a pop-up, allowing you to build a new segment, as shown below.

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Once created, you will be able to access the Segment through the List of Segments in your dashboard.

Creating a New, Single-use Segment

You can also choose to create disposable segments or segment users specifically for the campaign and avoid adding it to the List of Segments in your dashboard.

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As shown above, this can be achieved by leaving the field, Name blank while creating the segment. In doing so, it will become an Ad hoc segment in your dashboard which will be available only for sending the campaign you're currently creating.

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Related Read: Rules of Segmentation

Please refer to Creating Segments for step-by-step guidance on how you can segment your users by their attributes, behavior (events), and technological preferences.

Step 2: Specify When to Send

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As highlighted above, the second step of campaign creation allows you to specify when and how often you'd like the target audience to receive the Message and manage the role your campaign plays in your overall engagement strategy. Hence, When has been divided into two sections:

  • Campaign Schedule
  • Frequency Capping & DND

Let's get you acquainted with the workings of each:

Campaign Schedule

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Here you can specify when and how often the target audience should receive the campaign. This can be determined by configuring the Campaign Type selected when you initiated creation. Here's how you can go about it:

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Navigate to:

One-time Campaign

Triggered Campaign

Recurring Campaign

Setting up One-time Campaign

Step 1: As shown below, select One-time as the Campaign Type

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Step 2: Specify the Delivery Time

As shown above:

  • Select Now to send the campaign immediately
  • Select Later to schedule the campaign: You can choose to schedule a one-time SMS campaign for delivery in your user's timezone! (How it works)

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Skip to the second section, Frequency Capping & DND to complete Step 2: When, of the campaign creation process.

Setting up Triggered Campaign

Step 1: As shown below, select Triggered as the Campaign Type

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Step 2: As shown above, select the Event upon the occurrence of which the campaign will be triggered or sent to the user

  • For example, in the above visual we have selected the custom event Product - Added to Cart as the trigger event

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The following options can be selected here:

  • Custom (all the custom events being tracked for your account)

  • System (all the campaign events pre-defined by us for tracking user-channel interactions)

Step 3 (Optional): Add Attribute Filters to the Event by clicking on the filter icon

  • As shown below, we have filtered the event, Product-Added, by adding its custom attribute, Cart-Value

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The following options can be selected here:

  • Custom (all the custom attributes attached to the custom event selected as the trigger event)

  • Time (Event Time)

  • Location (City, Country)

  • Technology (Device Manufacturer, Device Model, Carrier, App Version, App ID, SDK Version)

  • Engagement (Campaign ID, Journey ID - can be found under the campaign's overview & journey's overview)

    • These attributes are applicable only to campaign events like Email Rejected, Push Dismissed, SMS Clicked and so on.
  • Others (Session Count, Language)

  • Further, you can choose to club multiple event attributes by the AND/OR logic to define the scope of occurrence of the event.

  • Doing so implies that if users included within the target segment don't perform the specified Event, in the context of the added attribute filter(s), then they will not receive the campaign.

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How It Works: Clubbing Event Attributes by AND/OR Logic

AND: Implies that users will have to perform the Event in the context of all the event attributes to receive the campaign. (Helps you narrow down target audience)

OR: Implies that users will receive the campaign if they perform the Event in the context of either event attribute. (Helps you widen target audience)

For example, in the visual below, we have filtered the custom event Product - Added to Cart by its attributes:

  • Cart - Value is greater than 500 (monetary value in account's currency)
  • AND Country is one of Saudi Arabia, Iran
    This implies: Campaign will be triggered to only those users who have added a product to their cart with an existing cart value that's greater than 500 and are located in Saudi Arabia or Iran.

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Step 4: Specify the Delivery Time of the triggered campaign

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As shown in the above:

  • Select Send as soon as the event occurs to delivery the campaign immediately
  • Select Wait for (duration) and then send to deliver the campaign after sometime
  • You can set up a wait time in Minutes, Hours or Weeks, after which, the campaign will be sent to the respective users

Step 5: Specify the Start Date or the date-time on which the triggered campaign should start getting delivered to the target audience

As highlighted in the visual below:

  • Select Now to send the campaign immediately
  • Select Later to schedule the campaign

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Step 6: Specify the End Date or the date-time on which the triggered campaign should cease getting delivered to the target audience

As highlighted in the visual above:

  • Select Never to run the campaign indefinitely (you can always choose to Pause a campaign manually through its Campaign Overview)
  • Select Later to stop the campaign at a specific date-time in the near future

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Skip to the second section, Frequency Capping & DND to complete Step 2: When, of the campaign creation process.

Setting up Recurring Campaign

Step 1: As shown below, select Recurring as the Campaign Type

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Step 2: Specify the Delivery Time or the frequency and date-time of campaign delivery.

As shown in the visual above, the frequency of a recurring campaign can be set as:

  • Daily, at a specific Time
  • Weekly, at a specific Day and Time
  • Monthly, on a specific Day of the Month and Time

Step 3: Specify the Start Date or the date-time on which the recurring campaign should start getting delivered to the target audience.

As highlighted in the visual below:

  • Select Now to send the campaign immediately
  • Select Later to schedule the campaign

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Step 4: Specify the End Date or the date-time on which the campaign should cease getting delivered to the target audience

As highlighted in the visual above:

  • Select Never to run the campaign indefinitely (you can always choose to Pause a campaign manually through its Campaign Overview)
  • Select Later to stop the campaign at a specific date-time in the near future

Frequency Capping, DND, Queuing & Throttling

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Here you can leverage the features of Frequency Capping (FC), DND Hours, Queueing and Throttling to determine how a user perceives your SMS in the context of your entire engagement experience.

Context: Campaigns don't exist in isolation. Most marketing campaigns are designed for a specific audience, motivating them to perform a particular action. And more often than not, users receive multiple campaigns through various channels, nudging them towards a similar goal.

Thus, these features allow you to manage the frequency and timing of campaign delivery for each user. Let's get you acquainted with the workings of each:

FC

Using Frequency Capping (FC), you can control the number of campaigns a user receives within a Day, Week, Month and maintain a consistent gap between consecutive messages (sent through multiple channels or the same channel).

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As highlighted above:

  • Select Follow... to send the campaign as per your account's frequency capping and time gap settings

    • This means that if the upper limit on the number of messages a user can receive within a day, week or month is exhausted, then this campaign will get queued for delayed delivery (detailed read on how this works)
  • Select Ignore... to ensure campaign delivery even if the frequency cap for the day/week/month has been met for a user (impact of disabling FC for a campaign)

Set Frequency Capping Limits

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If you have not set up Frequency Capping yet, then you can choose to configure it by clicking the Set Frequency Capping Limits button. As shown above, in doing so you will be directed to your account's settings, in a new tab. (How to configure FC & Time Gap)

  • Once set, you will be able to send all your campaigns with FC enabled, including the existing one.
  • Pro Tip: Toggle back to the campaign creation tab and refresh to enable FC.

DND

Using the DND Settings of your account, you can prevent users from receiving campaigns during specific periods such as when they may be asleep, and so on. The best part - DND hours are determined individually for each user. This means that the duration specified by you will be applied to all your users only in the context of their time zone!

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As highlighted above:

  • Select Follow... to ensure that users aren't disturbed by the SMS at the hours specified by you (as per their timezone)
  • Select Ignore... to ensure campaign delivery even if DND hours are applicable to a few users (Disabling DND for a campaign)

Set DND Hours

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If you haven't set up DND Hours yet, then you can choose to configure it by clicking the Set DND Hours button. As shown above, in doing so you will be directed to your account's settings, in a new tab. (How to configure DND Hours)

  • Once set, you will be able to send all your campaigns with DND hours enabled, including the existing one.
  • Pro Tip: Toggle back to the campaign creation tab and refresh to enable DND.

Queueing

If you choose to send a campaign with FC or DND enabled, then Queueing is automatically enabled. It's a feature that allows delayed delivery of the message to a user, in cases where immediate delivery is not possible due to your FC or DND settings.

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As highlighted above:

  • Select Queue message for up to..., to enable the feature and specify a custom queueing duration for the campaign in Minutes, Hours or Days.
  • Select Do not Queue messages... to drop the message if we're unable to deliver it to a user due to FC/DND settings (Disabling Queueing for a campaign)

Throttling

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As highlighted above:

  • Select Do not throttle campaign... to send all messages instantly to the entire target audience.

  • Select Throttle campaigns as per channel throttling limits to control the number of messages delivered per minute.

  • Select Throttle campaigns at... to specify a custom message throttling duration for this campaign.

    • Please note, this limit cannot be higher than the channel-level throttling limit specified under Settings > Throttling.

Step 3: Create the Message

The most exciting part of campaign creation - building the message!

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As highlighted above, the message creation interface comes loaded with intuitive features like Variations, Personalization and Message Preview - enabling you to create high impact messages in minutes.

Let's get you acquainted with each feature:

Select an SSP

While the SMS campaign is created and personalized through your dashboard, the actual message is delivered to by an SMS Service Provider (SSP). We have partnered with several global SSPs to enable 2-click integration with your WebEngage account. (How to configure an SSP)

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As highlighted above, using the dropdown, you can choose to send the campaign through any of the SSPs that are currently integrated with your account.

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Please Note

Depending on the SSP you’re using, you may need to purchase separate licenses/Sender IDs for sending Transactional and Promotional Messages, respectively.

Thus, please be mindful of the fact that the SSP selected here has been set up to send the SMS Type selected at Step 1: Audience. A mismatch between the two may cause your campaign to fail.

Create Message

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Step 1: Add Sender ID

As shown above, add the Sender ID provided by your SMS Service Provider (SSP) to the field Sender.

  • The Sender ID is a number or an alphanumeric value (shortcode) that is provided by your SSP and allows you to send the message as per the plan purchased by you. You can always request a custom Sender ID from your SSP to ensure that users recognize your brand as the sender.
  • This number/shortcode cannot be changed by you and any error in adding it will cause your campaign to fail.

Step 2.1.: Create a Dynamically Personalized Message

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Using the Personalization icon nested in the field,Message you can easily personalize your message to each user. Simply select a value from a list of all the Custom User attributes and Custom Events being tracked for your account and place them appropriately within the text. We'll populate the exact value tracked for each user, helping you deliver customized messages at scale :)

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Updating Users About Order Delivery Status

Let's take the example of an online grocery store that offers home delivery as a service.

Each time a user places an order on their website, they track it as a Custom Event, Order Placed in their account. And all the order details like Delivery Address, Order ID, Payable Amount, Coupon Code Applied and so on are tracked as the event's Custom Attributes.

This enables them to dynamically personalize delivery updates to the latest order placed by each user along with creating a personalized link for tracking a particular Order ID.

Let's show you how they created a highly personalized 'Out for Delivery' SMS:

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As you can see in the visual above, we have personalized the message with:

  • User attribute, First Name - {{user['system']['first_name']}}
  • Attribute of the *Custom Event, Order Placed Order ID* - {{event['custom']['Order Placed']['custom']['Order ID']}}

Thus, whenever the message is sent to a user, we will populate the First Name and Order ID with the respective values gleaned for their user profile.

Step 2.2.: Add a Link (CTA) to the Message

If your message is aimed at nudging users to perform a particular action in your app/website, then you can simply add the URL or deep link as a call-to-action in your message. We will automatically append the link to a WebEngage domain (weurl.co), allowing us to track users who click on it. Such interactions are tracked as the Performance Indicator, SMS Clicked in your dashboard.

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For example, in the visual above, we have added an order tracking link that has been personalized to each user's Order ID. This means that whenever the SMS is sent to a user, we will populate the token, {{event['custom']['Order Placed']['custom']['Order ID']}} with the exact Order ID tracked for each user, allowing you to deliver highly contextual experiences at scale.

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Personalizing links to a User's Preferences or Behavioral History

You can easily personalize URLs & deep links to your users based on the Custom User Attributes and Custom Events gleaned for them. This can be achieved in any of the following ways:

Method 1: Pass screen_link or pagel_url as a custom event attribute, attached to a custom event gleaned for your app and website, respectively. (Step-by-step guide on how to execute this)

Method 2: Build the URL or deep link by specifying a parent link and adding a custom event attribute/custom user attribute as the path parameter (Step-by-step guide on how to execute this)

However, if your campaign's end goal is to keep a user informed and no action is needed, then you can ignore this step. In doing so, Total Clicks and Unique Clicks will not be tracked for the SMS campaign, indicated by a '-' under the campaign's Overview.

Preview Message

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As shown above, the left half of the campaign creation interface provides a real-time preview of the SMS being created by you. At any given point, you can toggle between a Raw Preview and User Preview to gauge the message's appearance for both iOS and Android users.

Raw Preview

As the name suggests, it renders the SMS with the raw text and attributes, as added by you to the Message.

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User Preview

Allows you to view the Notification for an actual user from your account by populating it with data from their user profile, as per the elements of personalization added to the Message.

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For example, in the visual above, we have visualized the Message for the User ID, benjamind_3674. Here's how you can go about it:

Step 1: Select User Preview from the dropdown placed on the top left

  • In doing so, you will be prompted by a pop-up allowing you to search for a user to populate the corresponding attribute and event values.

Step 2: Enter the User ID, preferably of a power user included within the target audience

Step 3: Click the Search and Populate button

  • In doing so, you will be shown a summary of the values against the respective attributes and events included in the message. This is a good way to ensure that all the values are available for the user, if not then you can enter an alternate User ID.

Step 4: Click the See Preview button on the pop-up to visualize the notification with real user data

Create Variations

Variations are just different versions of the campaign's message that facilitate easy multivariate testing and are referred to in the following manner in your dashboard:

Variation A: The first version of the message.
Variation B: The second version of the message.
Variation C, D, E: Subsequent versions of the message created for testing.

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As shown above, by default the message creation interface consists of a single Variation A.

  • You can click on the Plus icon to create up to 5 versions of the message.

    • Select Create New to start building the new Variation from scratch
    • Select Copy from Variation A (or any of the previous versions) to make minor edits to the new Variation
  • Each Variation can be created independent of the other, allowing you to test multiple aspects like its layout, body copy, buttons, links and colors to identify a mix that resonates with your entire target audience. (How to test message Variations)

  • The percentage values indicate the share of users, that will receive a Variation and can be customized at Step 4: Conversion Tracking.

Test Message

You can easily test the message with an internal segment of users before sending it to your entire user base. As shown below, click the Test Message button to select a Variation and Test Segment. Please refer to this Step-by-step Guide to proceed.

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Step 4: Set up Conversion Tracking & Variation Testing

The fourth step of campaign creation allows you to measure the effectiveness of your campaign in various ways like:

Hence, it has been divided into two sections: Conversion Tracking and Variation Distribution. However, depending on the number of message Variations created by you, the view of Step 4: Conversion Tracking will vary:

When only 1 Variation Exists

As shown below, on proceeding to this step from Step 3: Message, you will be welcomed by an interface on which Conversion Tracking is disabled.

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When Multiple Variations Exist

As shown below, on proceeding to this step from Step 3: Message, you will be welcomed by an interface on which:

  • Conversion Tracking is disabled
  • Variation Distribution meter indicates the share of the audience that will receive each Variation

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Now, let's get you acquainted with the workings of Step 4: Conversion Tracking:

Conversion Tracking

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Must Read

We recommend that you gain a broad understanding of how Conversion Tracking works in your dashboard before proceeding. Doing so will lay a strong foundation for understanding whether or not you need to enable Conversion Tracking for the campaign and its impact on Revenue Tracking.

By default, Conversion Tracking is disabled for all SMS campaigns. As shown below, you can use the toggle switch to enable it.

Step 1: Select a Conversion Event

The term, Conversion Event is an alias that helps you identify the event you expect users to perform after receiving the Message.

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As shown above, you can choose from a list of all the Custom Events being tracked for your account to specify the campaign's conversion goal. For example, we have specified the campaign's conversion goal as the custom event, Checkout - Completed.

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The following options can be selected here:

  • Custom (all the custom events being tracked for your account)

  • System (Session Started, User Login)

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Pro Tip

We recommend that you map all the Custom Events, that record the occurrence of a monetary transaction in your app, as Revenue Events in your dashboard. This will help you track Conversions and Revenue for the campaign and its channel :)

Step 2: Add Attributes to the Conversion Event

Depending on the end goal of the campaign, you can choose to narrow down the scope of conversion to a specific action like Puma Leggings Purchased, Jimmy Choo Pumps Purchased, Episode 3 Streamed, Chapter 7 Started and so on.

This can be done by adding attribute filters to the selected Conversion Event. Here's how you can go about it:

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Step 1: As shown above, click on the filter icon placed next to the drop down

  • In doing so, you will be prompted by a pop-up allowing you to select an attribute and specify its value
  • For example, in the above visual, we have filtered the event, Checkout Completed, by the attribute filter, Primary Category which is one of, Women Dresses, Women Jeans, Women Tops & Tees
    • This implies: Only those users who purchase products from one of the mentioned categories will be counted towards the campaign's conversion metrics.

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The following options can be selected here:

  • Custom (all the custom attributes attached to the custom event selected as the conversion event)

  • Time (Event Time)

  • Location (City, Country)

Step 2: As shown below, click Add Filter to add more attributes to the event

  • You can club multiple event attributes by the AND/OR logic
  • This way only those users who perform the Conversion Event in the context of All/Either attribute filters will be considered towards the Conversion numbers of the campaign

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For example, in the above visual, we have filtered the custom event, Checkout - Completed by the following attribute filters:

  • Primary Category which is one of, Women Dresses, Women Jeans, Women Tops & Tees
    AND
  • Cart Value is greater than 200 (monetary value of the transaction, irrespective of the currency)
  • This implies: Only those users who purchase products from one of the mentioned categories AND make a total purchase of 200 (as per the account's currency) will be counted towards the campaign's conversion metrics.

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How It Works: Clubbing Event Attributes by AND/OR Logic

AND: Clubbing multiple event attribute filters by the AND logic helps you narrow down the scope of occurrence of the Conversion Event. This means that only those users will be counted towards the campaign's Conversions who perform the Conversion Event in the context of all the event attributes.

OR: Clubbing multiple event attribute filter by the OR logic helps you widen the scope of occurrence of the Conversion Event. This means that users who perform the Conversion Event in the context of any of the specified event attributes* will be counted towards the campaign's conversions.

Step 3: Set Conversion Deadline

The Conversion Deadline is a duration defined by you that tells us when to stop tracking conversions for a campaign.

  • This means that once your campaign is delivered, we will track users who perform the Conversion Event in the context of its attribute filters (if any), only till the specified Conversion Deadline.

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As shown above, by default, a Conversion Deadline of 7 days is set for all campaigns. You can choose to specify a custom duration in Hours or Days, as per the campaign's end goal.

For example, in the above visual, we have defined a deadline of 12 Hours for the Conversion Event, Checkout - Completed.

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Related Read

List of all the Conversion metrics and Performance Indicators tracked for SMS campaigns

Step 4: Enable Control Group (Optional)

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A Control Group is a small portion of the target audience of a campaign that is randomly selected, representing the behavior and preferences of the entire segment, and does not receive the campaign.

An optional but recommended step, adding a Control Group to the target audience allows you to compare the campaign's performance against the organic behavior of Control Group users. This makes for the perfect benchmark to assess the true impact of the campaign on influencing user behavior.

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Must Read

Why you should (almost) always use Control Group to measure the effectiveness of your campaign and how it works in your dashboard

Depending on your Variation testing settings, the campaign will be tested against the Control Group in either of the following ways:

1. When Send Winning Variation is Enabled

As shown below, we will automatically divide the Test Audience equally amongst all the Variations and Control Group.

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  • The winning version will be identified only on the basis of the Conversion rate achieved by each. This is because users of a Control Group do not receive any messages, deeming Conversions the only criteria that can help us compare the impact of each Variation and organic user behavior.

  • If the Control Group achieves a higher Unique Conversion rate within the Test Time then it will be determined as the winner. As a result, the campaign will not be sent to its target audience.

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Skip to: How to set up Send Winning Variation Automatically for testing:

2. When Send Winning Variation is Disabled

You can manually specify the share of users that will receive each Variation and those that will be included in the Control Group.

Step 1: Click on the checkbox to carve out a Control Group from the campaign's target segment.

  • In doing so, a Control Group of 5% (users) is added to the Variation Distribution meter, as shown below.

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Step 2: Specify the share of Control Group

  • As shown above, using the slider you can increase or decrease the percentage distribution as per your test goals (we recommend a minimum Control Group of 10% to ensure a fair representation of the campaign's target audience).

  • For example, in the above visual, we have divided the target audience equally amongst 4 campaign Variations and the Control Group (20% each) to ensure that the latter represents a fair share of the audience.

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Skip to: How to set up Variation Distribution manually to test and identify a winning version of the SMS

Variation Distribution (Multivariate Testing)

If you have created multiple versions of the SMS at Step 3: Message, then you can choose to automate the testing process by enabling Send Winning Variation Automatically. Doing so will allow you to test all the Variations(and Control Group if enabled) with a smaller test audience and we will automatically send the winning variant to the entire target audience. (detailed read)

However, you can opt to test the Variations and Control Group manually if you are unable to automate testing due to the small size of the target audience (less than 2,000 users) of a One-time or Recurring campaign. Or if you are unwilling to test a Triggered campaign by sending a minimum of 500 messages.

Send Winning Variation Automatically

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Must Read

Depending on the campaign type selected at Step 1, the steps of configuring automated variation testing vary.

Testing a One-time Campaign

Given the short lifespan of one-time campaigns, we suggest that you launch the campaign well in advance for testing, and schedule it for delivery at the most viable time slot (as suggested by the channel's engagement trends). Doing so will ensure that your users receive the most effective version of your campaign at a time that records the highest engagement rate.

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Step 1: Specify Size of Test Audience
You can choose to test the Variations and Control Group (if added) with 5% to 25% of the campaign's entire target audience. As shown above, we have chosen to treat 15% of all users as the Test Audience.

Step 2: Define Time to Test

A custom test duration can be specified in Minutes or Hours. As shown above, we have specified a test duration of 8 Hours. This means that the impact of all the message Variations and organic behavior of the Control Group (if added) will be tracked for 8 Hours, after which we will determine a winner.

Step 3: Select Win Criteria

The Win Criteria is a performance indicator that helps us determine a winning Variation according to the campaign's end goal. As shown above, it can be defined as Clicks or Conversions, as per your needs.

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Quick Read: How automated variation testing works for one-time campaigns

Testing a Triggered Campaign

Triggered campaigns are on-going cycles of communication that are sent to users only when they perform a certain action or Event. Thus, the most scientific way to test Variations of a triggered campaign is by ensuring that a significant number of messages are delivered before we draw a comparison.

Step 1: Specify Size of Test Audience

The Test Audience can be defined only in terms of the number of messages delivered. This means that Variation testing will continue until the specified number of messages have been successfully delivered.

As shown below, we have specified that a minimum of 1500 messages must be triggered to users to identify a winning version. This means that all the Variations will be equally divided amongst the specified number.

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Step 2: Select Win Criteria

The Win Criteria is a performance indicator that helps us determine a winning Variation according to the campaign's end goal. As shown above, it can be defined as Clicks or Conversions, as per your needs.

  • Once we identify a winning Variation, it will be sent as the only campaign to all the subsequent users who perform the trigger event.

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Quick Read: How automated variation testing works for triggered campaigns

Testing a Recurring Campaign

If you choose to create a Recurring campaign, then the entire first run of the campaign will be considered as its Test Audience.

  • We will calculate the test results 1 hour before the second run of the campaign to identify a winning variation.
  • A winning Variation will be determined as per the Win Criteria and will be sent as the only campaign to all users from the second run. onwards.

Thus, as shown below, just define the Win Criteria (Clicks or Conversions), we will take care of the rest!

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Quick Read: How automated variation testing works for recurring campaigns

Manual Variation Testing

If you are unable to set up Send Winning Variation Automatically due to the small size of the target audience (less than 2,000 users) of a One-time or Recurring campaign, or if you are unwilling to test a Triggered campaign with a minimum of 500 messages, then you can choose to test the Variations manually.

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As shown above, all the Variations created in Step 3: Message are equally divided amongst the entire target audience. Using the slider, you can choose to specify a custom share for each Variation and Control Group, if enabled.

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Quick Read: How manual Variation Distribution works

Step 5: Test Your Campaign (Recommended)

Iron out all the creases in your Message by testing it with internal team members for maximum impact!

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While this is an optional step, we recommend that you test all campaigns that contain links and elements of personalization to ensure that everything's in order. This can be easily done by creating a Test Segment and adding all the stakeholders to it.

However, you can always choose to skip it by clicking the Skip Test & Proceed button, as highlighted above. Doing so will take you to the final step of campaign creation - Step 6: Preview & Launch.

Now, let's show you how you can test all the message Variations:

Step 5.1.: Select a Variation

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As shown above, by default, Variation A is selected against the field - Variation To Test.

However, if you have created multiple Variations then you can test each one by sending them consecutively to a Test Segment. For example, in the visual above, we have chosen to test Variation D of our SMS.

Step 5.2.: Select Test Segment

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As shown above, all the test segments created while testing a campaign, for any channel (Push, SMS, Web Push, Email, WhatsApp), can be found under the dropdown, Send Test Message To, along with details of all its users. For example, in the above visual, we have chosen to test Variation D of the campaign with the segment, Test - Content Team.

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Haven't created a test segment yet?

Step-by-step Guide on Creating Test Segment

Related Guides: Editing / Deleting Test Segment

Step 5.3.: Personalize Test Message

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As highlighted above, you test personalization in two ways:

  • Use own data of users included in the test segment to receive a message personalized to your user profile
  • Use data of a specific user to receive the exact message that the selected user would receive
    • On selecting this option, you will be prompted to search for a user in your database.
    • We recommend selecting this option if you have personalized the message to a very specific set of custom events or users attributes that are unlikely to be available for an internal team member.

Here's how you can personalize the message to a specific user:

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Step 1: Click on the Search User button

  • In doing so, you will be prompted by a pop-up allowing you to search your user base

Step 2: Add the User ID, preferably of a power user included within the target audience

Step 3: Click the Search and Populate Values button

  • In doing so, you will be shown a summary of the values against the respective attributes and events included in the message. This is a good way to ensure that all the values are available for the user. If not, then you can enter an alternate User ID to personalize the message.
  • Next, click the Save and Return to Test Campaign button to proceed with the selected user

Step 4: Click the Send Test & Proceed button to test the campaign!

Creating Test Segment

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Prerequisite for adding internal team members to a test segment

As you are aware, all the data stored in your WebEngage is either gleaned from your integrated apps and website or can be manually uploaded as a CSV file. Thus, it may so happen that details of internal teammates may not be readily available in your dashboard (even if they are account admins).

Hence, we recommend that you request the respective members to sign up on your platform so that we can populate their respective User Profiles with their personal and behavioral data. Doing so will come in handy when:

Step 1: Name Your Test Segment
As shown below, the segment's name is prefixed with 'TEST -' and can be customized henceforth. For example, we have named our segment, TEST - Design team.

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Step 2: Add Internal Users Through Filters

As shown above, you can segment internal members by manually adding their User ID, Email Address or Phone Number (the chosen filter will depend on the Unique Identifier or the parameter that helps identify users in your WebEngage account, as specified by you).

For example, in the above visual, we have selected User ID as the filter and have toggled between the List of Users (nested under Users) and the campaign creation interface to identify and add the respective User IDs to the test segment, Test - Design Team.

Step 3: Click on Create Test Segment!

Editing Test Segment

Step 1: As shown below, click the Edit icon placed next to the field - Send Test Message To to edit the users included within the selected Test Segment.

  • In doing so, you will be prompted by a pop-up, pre-populated with details of existing users.

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Step 2: As shown above, make all your changes and click the Update Test Segment button to proceed. For example, we have added new members to the segment, TEST - Content team.

Deleting Test Segment

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Step 1: As shown below, click the Bin icon placed next to the field - Send Test Message To to delete the selected Test Segment.

  • In doing so, you will be prompted to confirm your decision.

Step 2: Click the Delete Segment button on the pop-up.

  • In doing so, a notification will pop-up on the bottom right confirming the deletion.

Step 6: Preview & Launch

Once you are satisfied with the test results, it's time to send the SMS Campaign to your users! But before that, we recommend that you conduct a quick preview of the campaign's message and settings to ensure that it's in line with your end goal.

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As shown above, the last step of campaign creation presents a snapshot of its:

Edit Campaign Before Launch

You can always choose to edit a step by clicking the Edit icon placed next to each step's header. In doing so, you will be directed back to the step, as shown below.

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Simply make your edits, save them, toggle back to Step 6: Preview & Launch to continue your review, as shown above.

Saving Campaign as a Draft

If you're unsure or are awaiting approval of the campaign's contents, then you can simply go back to the central hub of SMS after saving your settings, as shown below. Doing so will automatically save the campaign as a Draft, allowing you to edit or launch it anytime you like.

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Launching Scheduled Campaigns

If you have chosen to schedule/ start the campaign at a later date-time, then on launching it, its status will indicate Upcoming in SMS, List of Campaigns, as shown below.

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What Happens After a Campaign is Launched?

Once launched, messages are sent to users included in the target audience as per the campaign's settings. Throughout it's run time, the campaign's status will indicate Running (in SMS, List of Campaigns) until it ends or is manually paused by you.

1. Analyzing Campaign's Performance

You can analyze each campaign's real-time impact on user engagement, conversions, and revenue by accessing its Overview section through SMS, List of Campaigns, as shown below.

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2. Modifying the Campaign

Further, you can always choose to Edit and Pause an Upcoming or Running) campaign if you feel the need to. (Step-by-step guide on modifying SMS campaigns)

3. Scheduling Campaign Reports

Once you have launched a campaign, you easily monitor its performance through scheduled reports, delivered straight to your (& your teammate's) inbox! This can be configured through the campaign's analysis section. Here's how you can go about it.

Further, you can also schedule Channel-wise reports to monitor the overall performance of SMS through the Settings section of your account. Here's how you can go about it.

We hope this has equipped you with a robust understanding of how you can create various types of campaigns, track conversion, automate multivariate testing and test your campaign internally before launch. Please feel free to drop in a few lines at [email protected] in case you have any related queries or feedback. We're always just an email away!

Updated about a month ago


So, what's next?

Now let's show you how you can analyze SMS campaigns to understand their impact on user engagement, conversions, and revenue.

Analyzing SMS Campaigns

Creating SMS Campaigns


A step-by-step guide to creating targeted & dynamic text messages in your dashboard

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