Create Message

Learn how to create an SMS campaign using the CleverTap dashboard.

Create a New Campaign

Follow the steps below to create a new SMS campaign:

  1. From the CleverTap dashboard, select Campaigns.
  2. Click + Campaign.
  3. From the Messaging Channels list, select SMS.

The Campaign page displays.


Define all the sections and publish the campaign.

Start Campaign Setup

The Start here section displays the setup information.
This section has the following parts:

  • Qualification criteria: Here, you need to define the criteria for your target audience. You can deliver the SMS based on Past behavior/Custom list or Live behavior.
  • SMS Service Provider: Here, you need to select your SMS service provider or a provider group.
  • Goal: You can track your campaign conversion by setting up a goal. Setting a goal allows you to measure your campaign performance. This selection is optional. Define the conversion period by selecting the Conversion Time. You can define your conversion goal further by filtering an event by event properties. For more information on event properties, refer to Events.

Define the Audience

You must indicate the target audience for your push campaign. You can target your SMS campaign to a new user segment by clicking on the Target segment section. Here, you can create a new ad-hoc segment or use a previously saved user segment from the segment list.


You can also create the target based on past user behavior, user properties, or live (ongoing) user behavior. The latter is useful for sending out real-time, triggered SMS campaigns.


Delay > 24 Hours

We recommend creating a Past Behavior campaign for all campaigns where the delay is greater than 24 hours for a live inaction campaign.

For instance, you can create a live Inaction within time campaign that targets users when they add a product to their cart but do not finish transacting within 10 minutes.

Deliver Action Based SMS

You can trigger an SMS based on an action. For example, you can send an SMS with a promo code for the next purchase can be sent to a set of customers who have just completed a purchase. This makes notifications more contextual and increases conversion.

Deliver SMS based on Past Behavior (PBS)

You can also target users basis their past behavior. For example, you might want to target customers who have purchased a specific product in the past by sending them attractive discount vouchers or offers.

Filter by User Properties

Using the With user properties filter in the Who section, you can segment your campaign only to reach users who meet specific criteria. For example, you can send an SMS to all the customers from Mumbai who are currently subscribed to Platinum membership.


To know more about what segments can be used, refer to Segments.

Control Group

You can define the control group to compare and measure the results of your campaign. For more information on control groups, refer to Control Groups.


Targeting Cap

Sometimes, you want to send a message to only a subset of the qualifying audience (Target Reach) for a campaign or avoid sending it if the number of qualified users exceeds the specified number.

A relevant use case is a limited offer where you want to send a fixed number of coupon codes you want to distribute. If the total reach for your campaign exceeds the number of coupon codes you can distribute, you can limit the number of users who will receive the message to precisely the number of coupons you want to distribute.


Define the SMS Content

Now, you can set up the What section in the campaign content with two different options:

  • Single Message
  • By User Property

For more information about each message type, refer to the Message Types section.

Message Editor

To create an SMS campaign:

  1. From the What section, select the Message Type and click Go To Editor to create your message.

The Create SMS Notification page opens.

  1. Enter the message content under the Message box. You can modify the message content to avoid exceeding the character limit with the help of a dynamic character counter.


Character Limit

There is a limit of 160 characters for a single non-unicode text message. If the number of characters exceed this limit, it is sent as multiple SMSes. In the case of messages with unicode characters, a single text message has a limit of 70 characters.


Character Count for Personalized Messages

If your message includes personalization, the character count shown in the message box may vary from the exact character count.

  1. For users targeted in India, you might be required to set up template IDs. For more information, refer to SMS Regulations.


Template IDs

A template ID is required for the SMS campaigns targeted to Indian mobile numbers and having MSG-91 as the service provider. A template ID may or may not be required for other service providers. We recommend checking with your service provider.

The SMS campaign creation flow depends on the SMS provider selected for the campaign.

Out-of-the-box Providers

All SMS service providers are listed on the Personalization Setup page (including Msg91, Nexmo, Twilio, Exotel, and Netcore). The connection with these providers is configured by default, and the mandatory input required for these providers is the message. This is only applicable for SMS campaigns in India for template id.

Preview & Test

Once you are all done setting up the content of your campaign in the What section, you can send a test SMS. Click Preview & Test from the message editor to test a message.

Delivery preferences

To cap the number of messages delivered every 5 minutes in a campaign, check the Global throttle limits checkbox.

You can set the Do Not Disturb (DND) hours during which SMS from this campaign are prevented from going out, either by discarding them or delaying delivery until after DND hours are complete, such as 9 P.M. to 9 A.M.

If you want your campaign to adapt delivery times according to the user's timezone, check the Timezone checkbox. For more information, refer to Delivery in User’s Timezone.

Since past behavior campaigns can have scheduled times, you can stop a campaign delivery after a certain cut-off time or even deliver at the specified time in the user's timezone. For more information, refer to Delivery in User’s Timezone.


Define the Campaign Schedule

You can schedule the campaign's start and end duration using the options below:

Past behavior campaigns can be scheduled to run:

  • On a specific date and time.
  • On multiple specified dates and times.
  • Recurring at a periodicity you set.

Live campaigns can be set up for a specific event:

  • In response to a user event.
  • User event/inaction combination (e.g., abandoned cart scenario).
  • Based on a date event property value of an event (for example, a reminder for upcoming travel booking).


Recurring Day

If you specify a recurring day for a campaign such as the 7th of each month, then the campaign will start for the specified day and ignore the creation date. This is a precaution to avoid sending a campaign unintentionally on a prior date.

Publish Campaign

After previewing the appearance of your overall campaign, finalize your campaign by clicking Publish Campaign.


Message Types

You can create the following types of messages:

  • Single Message
  • By User Property

Single Message

We send the same message to all users who qualify as your target audience in this campaign. This message type is best for broadcast messages and applications that do not vary campaign communication based on differences between properties such as language, geography, or any other user properties.

By User Property

Suppose you want to send different message variants to your target audience based on the user properties. In that case, this campaign type is your best bet. A good example would be when you want to send a localized update to people based on their preferred language.


You can use the +Variant button to add multiple variants based on a user property value. In this example, we have used the Customer Type user property so users with different customer type property values will receive corresponding copies of the campaign based on their different levels (Silver, Gold, or Platinum).

Click Tracking

This feature helps users track the clicks on each URL included in their SMS campaign. These stats are available under the Campaigns > Stats page. In case of multiple URLs in the same message, the click distribution data is also available under the split of clicks tab under the campaign stats page. For more information, refer to the Split of Clicks section.

Link Shortening

This feature allows you to shorten the URLs present in your message. When a link is present in your message, the Short URL section displays below the Message section. This section shows the list of all the URLs present in your message. You can select the URLs you want to shorten if your message body includes one or more URLs.

Shorten URLs Included in the Message

Shorten URLs Included in the Message

In cases where the message body is empty and the providers use only template IDs, the URLs are not shortened and are sent as is.


Character Consumption

Each shortened URL may consume between 14-20 characters.


Number of URLs to Shorten

You can shorten a maximum of five URLs in one message. In the case of Message by user property, you can shorten a maximum of five URLs per message variant.


The URLs in the message are shortened based on the region of your account. To identify the region of your account and the shortened URL domain for your account, refer to the following table:


Can we shorten custom links such as Appsflyer OneLinks and Branch Links?

Ans. Shortening Appsflyer OneLinks and Branch links is not recommended, as this may break the app-opening functionality. For more information, refer to the following articles:

Why am I experiencing 404 when I open shortened links?

Ans. The shortened URLs from the SMS campaign expire after seven days from the date the campaign is sent. If the user opens these links after the expiration date, they are redirected to a 404 page.