Eloqua Blog: SMS & Eloqua

Sep 17, 2019

SMS & Eloqua

I have recently been thinking about some small work I did with red cross in Norway.  They very heavily used SMS and I sometimes wondered why they even selected Eloqua since pretty much all their outbound comms were by SMS.  Previously I didn’t think that SMS really had any place in the B2B world but since I have time off and in the the interests of venturing into the unknown I have decided to find out more about SMS marketing, what it has to offer and most importantly I have gone through a vendor selection process with pricing so that if you are reading this and need to go through this process I can save you some time.  

Why use SMS in marketing?

  • 44 million consumers received a business SMS in 2018
  • 90% of SMS are read within 3 minutes of receipt
  • 98% of SMS is read the SMS by the end of the day compared to 20% of email
  • 30% of people read their mobiles immediately after waking up
  • 70% of people use their mobiles during meal times
  • The average person looks at their phone 150 times a day
  • SMS send monthly has increased 7,700% over the last 10 years

SMS use cases (Generic)

SMS can be used for events

  • Trade shows – Notify people that you know are not checking email (booth giveaways, speaking sessions, receptions, etc)
  • Webinars, Road Shows, etc – Break through the inbox clutter to increase attendance
  • Meeting/Appointment Reminders – Create a better customer experience and reduce no-shows (confirmations, schedule changes. Etc)
  • Special offers

SMS can be used as an exclusive nurture channel

  • Inbound SMS activation of campaigns
  • Some customers are using inbound SMS to activate and enrol people to activate and enrol people to a specific campaigns. If you want to get these reminder text in this message or keyword to this number and they get enrolled in that particular campaign.
  • Video nurturing campaigns
  • Non-email personas
  • Some personas may not be sitting in front of a computer all that much for email

SMS can be used very effectively for surveys

  • Engaging and effective way to collect information
  • Collect real-time feedback from users (event, meetings, etc)
  • Helpful for augmenting online surveys or to engage non-digital, non-traditional customers
  • Numerous use cases: customer feedback, support, sign-ups, etc

5 top tips for using SMS


  1. Use Simple, Every day words with SMS
    With only 150 characters for an SMS you can get your message across very quickly and know people will read it
  2. SMS doesn’t flood mobile users with information
    Save on too much details for long advertisements. SMS focuses on the most important aspects of your product or service
  3. SMS will make people understand your product better
    Do some research before writing your text message. Tell your mobile readers how they can benefit from using your product, or easily used for reminders or alerts.
  4. SMS has become a lifestyle
    Today, text messaging has become a norm in users lifestyle. It’s so much easier for people to accept your SMS which means your product stands out from the competition.

SMS marketing results


  • Vistage – 500% increase in response rates experience
  • DeVry University – 98% Reduction in dirty data after launching data enrichment campaign
  • 3M – 200% Increase in the reach of mobile marketing efforts in the first 6 months after launch
  • JLL – 1400% Increase in personalization of marketing campaigns

Sending SMS from Eloqua


  • You need a Bulk SMS provider
  • You will need an Eloqua SMS App to send email from Eloqua’s campaign canvas
  • SMS then gets sent from Eloqua’s campaign canvas


Required SMS capabilities

  • How are you using SMS to engage contacts?
  • Is it to be used in cross channel campaigns?
  • Do you want to set up triggered alerts
  • Is this for notifications and reminders?
  • What are the daily send volumes
  • What are the monthly send volumes

You need a solid estimate of both of these.  Monthly for pricing but daily to avoid SMS spam issues with carriers.  Establishing daily SMS send volume will also help determine best fit for a long or short phone number

  • You have two types of phone number available for sending SMS from Eloqua, long or short code.
  • Rule of thumb: If you anticipate sending 3,000 SMS messages or more on a daily basis, choose a short code. Anything less choose long code.

Long or short SMS numbers explained

  • A familiar 10 digit phone number (what most people use to text)
  • Low cost
  • Usually has a daily SMS send limit
  • Best used for low SMS sending volume
  • Typically processes at 1 SMS per second
  • 5 or 6 digit carrier approved number
  • No daily SMS limits
  • Best used for high SMS sending volume and/or time sensitive messages
  • Typically processes at 30 messages per second

SMS bulk senders comparison

  Clicksend Twilio SMSTECH directSMS SMScentral Clickatell
UK Network Delivery Y Y Optional Optional Y Y
Payment Modes Pre-Paid & Invoice Pre-Paid & Invoice Pre-Paid Pre-Paid & Invoice Pre-Paid & Invoice Pre-Paid & Invoice
Web Product Y Y Y Y Y Y
Price Match Y N N N N N
Monthly Plan Optional Optional N N N Optional
Spam Compliant Y Y Y Y Y Y
Phone Support Y Y Y Y Y Not Listed
Email Support Y Y Y Y Y Y
Support Hours 24/7 24/7 Business hours Business hours Business hours 24/7
Free Trial Y Y Y Y Y Y
Dedicated Number £2.88 per month Y Y Y Y Y
2 Way Service Y Y Y Y Y Y
Upload own contacts Y Y Y Y Y Y
Developer API Y Y Y Y Y Y
Automated Rules Y Y Y Y Y Not Listed
Keyword Response Y Y Y Y Y Not Listed
Cost: Send £0.0220 £0.033 £0.028 £0.039 Not Listed £0.04
Cost: Receive FREE £0.0062 FREE Not Listed Not Listed FREE
 Set up charge SC/LC FREE  Not Listed Not Listed Not Listed Not Listed £850/£150
 Monthly costs SC/LC  £961/£2.75 £1,380/£0.50 Not Listed Not Listed Not Listed £1200/£10

SMS Eloqua app comparison

  Verticurl EF R1 LinkMobility MD SS
Send SMS from Canvas Y Y Y Y  Y Y
Send SMS from Program Canvas Y    Y     Y
Use any SMS provider Y Y Twilio   Y Y
SMS contact field Merge Y Y Y Y Y Y
SMS CDO field merge Y   N   Y Y
Sender Name alphanumeric     N   Y Y
Display SMS character count Y       Y Y
Landing page link prepopulates with Eloqua Contact field data Y         Y
Delivery report Y Y  Y Y  Y Y
Report export (xls) Y    Y Y   Y
Report stored on CDO Y        Y Y
Two-way communication Y    Y Y Y Y
Response capture pushed to CDO Y      External Activities Y Y
SMS from number used in from name Y    Y Y Y Y
Manage OPT in / OPT out  Y   Y   Y Y
Autoresponse Rules  Y   Y     Y
URL shortener (bit.ly, etc)  U/K   Y     Y
Price Setup: £7,000
£300/M £414/M No Response No Response £836/M

SMS winners for Eloqua by price and functionality

  • Clicksend
  • Clickatell
  • Verticurl
  • Sureshot

My preferred Eloqua SMS app

My personal favorite though was Sureshot.  Their founder and CEO David York responded to any of my questions almost instantly even though he was located in the United States and his Eloqua SMS app had even more functionality than I had envisaged as possible.

I sent him the following questions and here were his responses.

Question Response (Y/N)
Send SMS from Canvas  Y
Send SMS from Program Canvas  Y + We can send to Contacts or CDOs in a Program Canvas
Use any SMS provider  Y – We have current integrations with Twilio, Nexmo, and Burst but can add any provider with an API)
SMS contact field Merge  Y + We support dynamic content in a single message (i.e. if Country=X send “A”, if Country=Y, send “B”)
SMS CDO field merge  Y + We can support filtering CDOs and merging data from multiple CDOs in a single message (if there are one-to-many CDOs)
Sender Name alphanumeric  Y
Display SMS character count  Y + We let you know the estimated number of texts each message will be broken into.
Landing page link prepopulates WITH Eloqua Contact field data  Y
Delivery report  Y
Report export (xls)  Y
Report stored on CDO  Y
Two-way communication Y
Response capture pushed to CDO  Y
SMS from number used in from name  Y
Manage OPT in / OPT out  Y
Autoresponse Rules  Y + We support unlimited keyword auto-responses
URL shortner (bit.ly, etc)  Y + We can push bit.ly click tracking into a CDO so you can track engagement for each recipient.

Also with security he added:

It’s also important to note that our SMS app is SOC2 Type 2 Security audited each year by a 3rd party so we have the highest data security standards.

If I was going to choose an Eloqua SMS app I would go with Sureshot.

I am in no way affiliated with Sureshot – if you are serious about SMS marketing with Eloqua here are some links.

Thanks for reading and as usual – comments below!



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