Journey builder and MobileConnect

SFMC

Sending Mobile messages through a Journey in Marketing Cloud is not as straight as sending emails. For mobile messages, Marketing cloud needs few things:
– Mobile Number in correct format
– Locale for each contact

If you have not even implemented the MobileConnect in your cloud, read the complete guide here.

Mobile Number in correct format

Acceptable mobile number format is simply the country code and the number. Here are some examples of an acceptable US mobile number:
1XXXXXXXXXX
1 XXX XXX XXXX
1-XXX-XXX-XXXX
+1XXXXXXXXXX
+1 XXX XXX XXXX
+1-XXX-XXX-XXXX

And some for unacceptable numbers:
XXXXXXXXXX
XXX XXX XXXX
XXX-XXX-XXXX
0XXXXXXXXXX

Locale for each Contact

Locale is the identifier that helps marketing cloud to choose the recipient’s country code. For an instance, there is a Data Extension with records from 10 different countries. In order to send SMSs to these recipients in a single send, marketing cloud will refer to the locale to choose the correct country code for each send. Here is the list of all valid locale values.

In case of the Salesforce data entry source, there is a field in salesforce used for locale. Similarly, in case of using records from Marketing Cloud Contacts, a default field attribute is used. In case, these fields do not have any value, Journey will not send any SMS, the record will skip the step.

Sending SMS in a Journey

For a Journey, the entry event gets contact records from 3 type of sources
– Data extension
– Contact Record
– Salesforce Record

Using Data Extensions or Contact Record

When the source is a Data Extension and a record enters the Journey, there are 2 possibilities:

  • The contact record already exists in All Contacts 
  • The record does not exist.

In Journey settings, there is an option to select the Mobile Number field. There are 2 options, there: a field from the entry source DE, or an attribute from the Contact Builder.

– If you select the attribute from Contact record, it will send to the existing records but will not create a new record in case the contact key (subscriber key) is not found.
– Whereas if you select the field from the entry source, the SMS will be sent whether or not it is an existing record. Not only the SMS will be sent to the selected field but also the phone number will be added to the Contact record.

In order to send an SMS to a Data Extension, the DE must:

  • Be sendable
  • Contain only one phone field
  • Contain only one locale field
  • use Subscriber key, not subscriber ID, for the send relationship

Using Salesforce Records

Similar to the SMS sending to the Data Extensions, when a record enters the Journey, there are 2 possibilities:

  • The record already exists in All Contacts 
  • The record does not exist.

In Journey settings, there is an option to select the Mobile Number field. There are 2 options, there: a field from the entry source Salesforce object, or an attribute from the Contact Builder.

– If you select the attribute from Contact record, it will send to the existing records but will not create a new record in case the contact key (subscriber key) is not found.
– Whereas if you select the field from the entry source, the SMS will be sent whether or not it is an existing record. Not only the SMS will be sent to the selected field but also the phone number will be added to the Contact record.

In order to send SMS to a Data Extension, the Salesforce object record must have:
– a relation to Lead or Contact object
– the Mobile Number in the correct format
– locale field set to appropriate value