SMS Campaigns

Note: The SMS Campaign Workbook now has an updated interface and is now called the SMS Campaign Designer. Campaign Designer is now enabled for all accounts, and it replaces Campaign Workbook for this channel. Unlike the Campaign Designer, there were no major changes made to the Message Designer's interface.

Important: This feature is available only if Content Library and Oracle Responsys SMS are enabled for your account.

Oracle Responsys SMS gives you the ability to:

  • Create SMS campaigns, preview outbound and response messages, and proof launch outbound messages
  • Define new keywords and invalid keyword responses for dedicated mobile codes
  • Provide 2-way SMS messaging using Program
  • Use templates that support various SMS use cases for your SMS campaigns
  • Use SMS Recency Attributes for behavior-based targeting

If the Responsys URL Shortener is enabled for your account, you can also:

  • Shorten URLs for branded domains
  • Use personalized link tracking and conversion reporting

Getting a mobile subscriber's opt-in is especially important, as all mobile marketing in the U.S. must comply with guidelines and best practices from the Mobile Marketing Association. A subscriber opt-in is also important because many subscribers must pay for SMS messages they receive. Subscribers can stop receiving SMS messages at any time by sending the universal STOP command to your company's short code.

Short and Long Codes

Responsys supports one short code and one long code per customer.

Short Codes 

When building a mobile SMS campaign in the United States and Canada, you will need a product short code.

Short codes are special numbers provided by carriers that are used to address SMS messages sent from mobile phones. In the U.S. and Canada they are typically five or six digits long. They must be numeric and can contain no hyphens, special characters or spaces. Contact your Responsys account manager to secure your short code. This takes six to eight weeks, so be sure to start the process as soon as you can.

Short codes can be dedicated or shared, however in this release Responsys supports only dedicated short codes in the U.S. or Canada. With a dedicated short code, your company owns the number and has exclusive rights to use it. With a shared short code, multiple companies use the same number, distinguishing themselves by using keywords. Oracle Responsys does not currently support shared short codes. You are limited to one short code per account or subaccount.

Long Codes

Long codes are used in international SMS messages from mobile phones. They can be up to 15 digits long and must be numeric. Twelve-digit UK-based long codes are most commonly used. Like short codes, long codes may not include hyphens, special characters or spaces. As with ordering a short code, contact your Responsys account manager to secure your long code. This takes about 3 weeks. You are limited to one long code per account or subaccount.

All mobile telephone numbers on your list for a mobile SMS campaign must have the two-digit Mobile Country Code defined. This tells Responsys whether to use a short code or a long code. Phone numbers without a Mobile Country Code defined will not be sent your message.

Responsys sets up STOP and HELP command handling for you. STOP is a universal command that opts the subscriber out of the mobile channel as a whole. If you want to set up campaign-specific opt-in and opt-out commands talk with your account manager to set up additional keywords.

Character Sets and Limits

SMS Messages

When setting up SMS messages you can choose between two character sets: GSM and UCS-2. GSM has a 160 character limit while UCS-2 has a 70-character limit. However, UCS-2 has more characters available, so if your message requires special characters, such as accents and umlauts, as used in languages other than English, be sure to select UCS-2. If your message contains a mixture of character sets then the lower, 70-character UCS-2 limit is enforced.

Note: In Canada, SMS messages are limited to 136 characters. Other countries may have different character limits. Be sure to check before sending your SMS message.

In the U.S. and Canada, SMS messages can be sent only to eleven-digit numbers in the U.S. and Canada. For international calls, number length varies and can exceed eleven digits. In all cases, numbers should contain no hyphens or spaces and should have the country code. (U.S. example: 17063451267).

LMS Messages

LMS messages use the Long Message Service type which are intended for messages in languages where longer character limits are needed. GSM messages are limited to 2000 characters and UCS-2 messages have a limit of 1000 characters. LMS messages are supported in select countries such as Korea.

Important: This feature is only available if it is enabled for your account.


Using the SMS dashboards to report on the performance of your SMS campaign. Key measures includes sent, delivered, conversions, and more.

SMS messages incur a separate cost from email messages. You are billed according to your SMS aggregator. Learn more about SMS aggregators.

Key SMS terms


Mobile Originated.

Messages sent from a mobile device to a marketer.


Mobile Terminated.

Messages sent by a marketer to a mobile device.


A word used to differentiate the purpose of an MO, for example SUBSCRIBE or HELP.

Short Code

A numeric code used for sending and receiving SMS text messages in a single country. A short code is used as the sending address and the response address for mobile messages.

Long Code

A phone number used for sending and receiving SMS text messages internationally. A long code is used as the sending address and the response address for mobile messages.

Broadcast message

A mass-targeted SMS text message.

Marketer initiated campaign

Executes through a Scheduled Filter or a triggered event. For certain templates, after such a campaign is executed, it can also respond to an MO message.

Subscriber initiated campaign

Executes in response to an MO message.

Next steps

SMS, Campaign, Short Code, Long Code, Character Sets, Character Limit, Characters, LMS, Long Message, Long Message Service

Learn more