There are two different ways to send out a Bulk SMS Campaign in Zoho CRM depending on your needs. Let's take a look...
- Sending messages in bulk from Zoho CRM - selecting Leads/Contacts directly from the normal record list, with 1-500 recipients per campaign.
- Sending messages in bulk from the SMS for Zoho CRM extension - using the Send Bulk Campaign tab, with 500+ recipients per campaign.
Sending a Bulk SMS Campaign from Zoho CRM
1. We're going to send our bulk SMS campaign to a group of contact in the Leads module, but you can also follow the same steps from the Contacts, Deals, and other custom modules too. Once you're in the Leads module, you can use the panel on the left to apply any relevant filter's to your records to focus on your target audience:
2. Now that you've segmented your lead records for your SMS campaign, use the checkbox in the title row to select all contacts, and then use the arrows in the top right corner to move through the pages until all records are selected. Remember, when you're sending from Zoho CRM, the the maximum number of contacts you can have in a bulk send is 500. Once that's done, you can click the Send Bulk Smooth SMS button at the top:
3. When the messaging window appears, you can configure the following:
A) From Number: use the dropdown arrow to select your from number.
B) Number to use: you can select to send to All Possible Numbers stored in each contact's profile, or you can specify a number.
C) Who should be notified of replies?: you can choose either "Me" (which is the user sending the message), or the Owner of each record.
D) To field: you can use this box to see who you are sending the message to.
E) Templates: you can choose whether you want to send a Templated message, or compose the message from scratch by selecting Blank. If you decide to use a template, you can easily view, select, edit and add new right from the bulk message window. If you want to learn more about creating templates, see this article.
F) Message Content: you can compose and edit your message here.
G) Opt-in Confirmation: before sending any messages out, you need to be certain that all contacts participating in your bulk SMS campaign have given their explicit consent to receive those messages. Checking this box is your confirmation that this agreement is in place, and you won't be able to hit send without this.
H) Campaign stats: a sneak peek at some basic stats. When you send the bulk campaign, the campaign record is automatically created and detailed stats can be viewed by going to the Campaign module.
I) Send Now: click this button to send your message, or use the arrow to schedule the message to send at a later time.
3. If you want to take a more detailed look at your campaign record stats, you can access them right after you've pressed send by clicking the link in the pop-up send receipt:
Later on when you realise that you need to find your way back to your campaign record stats, but your trusty little pop-up is long gone, you can easily navigate back via the Campaigns module in the menu ribbon at the top. Once you're back, just click on the name of the campaign you want to view, and you're golden.
Sending a Bulk SMS Campaign using the SMS for Zoho CRM extension
When you want to send out a bulk SMS campaign to 500+ people, you'll have to head over to the SMS for Zoho CRM extension.
1. To get the ball rolling, navigate your way to the Smooth Inbox and Bulk SMS module, and click the Send Bulk Campaign tab:
2. Just like sending a bulk campaign from Zoho CRM, the first thing you need do is apply filters to segment your records based on your target audience:
A) Module: use the dropdown arrow to choose between Leads, Contacts, or Deals.
B) Add Filter: click on add filter and select a Field Name, Comparison Type, and enter the Values you want to filter for.
C) Search button: when you're happy with your segments, run the search.
3. When your filtered lead records have loaded, you'll be able to see how many records/pages of data are in the segment. Making a note of the total No. of Records is handy because you can compare that number to the final send number from the campaign record stats. If there is a discrepancy with the total number of records, it could indicate that your contact database is due for a spring clean!
Select Next to progress to the message configuration window:
4. When you reach the part where you need to configure the bulk message, you may notice that the all the fields are exactly the same for both Zoho CRM and SMS for Zoho CRM Extension! So in the spirit of efficiency, if you click this link, you'll jump back up to where we walked you through the message configuration earlier.
Limitations of Bulk SMS
Before we dive into your options for sending bulk SMS campaigns, let's discuss some limitations:
- Each message you send requires roughly 10 Zoho API calls. We leverage the Zoho API to make sure your templates get filled in with the data from the lead/contact and to update the send statistics for the lead/contact.
- If you only have a few users in your CRM, your API quota will be quite low and you might find that you exceed your quota after sending 1000 messages.
- To overcome this, you can either break up your campaign over a few days or purchase additional API credits from Zoho (they're quite cheap).
- We are working on making bulk SMS use fewer API calls but for now, you'll need to be aware of this limitation.
- We recommend keeping your campaigns to 2000 contacts at a time to prevent any risk of browser lock-ups.