Running a Text-In Campaign with ActiveDEMAND

As people use their mobile phones for more and more tasks, we’re seeing some of our customers use text-in campaigns to help get content to customers on their phones. It’s a great way to connect complex content with a customer who is on location. Do text-in campaigns work? Don’t just take our word for it, here’s what Carolyn from Top Draw had to say about text-in campaigns:


We thought we’d show you how these kinds of campaigns work and what to look out for when setting up ActiveDEMAND for a text-in campaign. So far, our customers like to use text-in campaigns for:

  • Sending a customer a datasheet or buyers guide while they’re at a tradeshow
  • Running a contest
  • Subscribing customers to a newsletter
  • Sending a coupon or discount code

Consider Anti-Spam Legislation in your Country

Get familiar with the CASL, GDPR, or other legislation in your country before getting too far into the campaign. It will change how you can add people to the campaign, whether you need to build a dedicated opt-out page, whether you need to do double opt-in, etc. Our system is built so that when a user texts “STOP”, they will stop receiving text messages, so that’s easy enough to support.


Buy a tracking phone number to use

We recommend using a specific phone number for each unique campaign because it makes it easy to filter for when you just need to watch for texts to a specific phone number. Make sure that the phone number you pick in ActiveDEMAND has SMS capabilities (see image below).

Another option to get more use out of a single phone number is to re-use a phone number for multiple contests and force contestants to use a trigger word in the text. ie: “Text #Christmas2020 to win!”. This is a more complicated route to go so we recommend the simpler “1 number per campaign” to start out with.

SMS capabilities with call tracking


Triggering and building the campaign

Now that we’ve got a phone number that people can text, we need it to know they texted in so we can do something about it. For most contests and simple automation, a new Drip Campaign is the right type of campaign to build. Use a Drip Campaign Trigger of “Incoming Call”, which can handle calls and text messages as the start point.


trigger a campaign from a phone call


Once you’ve created the campaign, we recommend:

  • Adding the phone number as an asset for the campaign. This makes tracking results from the campaign easier, but don’t do this if you’re re-using the phone number all over the place.
  • Setting a decision early in your workflow that looks for “tracked phone number messages” to that phone number


call tracking phone number logic


Building the Campaign Workflow

If your use case is simple, like just sending a datasheet to the client, the campaign workflow can be super simple.


call tracking campaign workflow


In the example below, we’re showing how to request an email address from a text-in campaign. It first checks if there’s an email address on record for the contact, and then it asks once and checks, then finally, sends one more request for email before giving up.


campaign workflow example




ActiveDEMAND’s flexible workflows and SMS capabilities mean you can build creative text-in campaigns for your own company or for your clients if you’re a marketing agency. With cell phones continuing to replace wired phones, consider using a text-in campaign as a new channel that speaks to customers using the channel they prefer.