Using SMS replies to segment contacts


You can segment SMS replies based on how contacts interact with your SMS in one of two ways: by who has replied to an SMS campaign or by specific content in an SMS.

As segmentation can be used in programs, the real power of this segmentation tool is that you can enrol via an SMS reply or drive a decision by it. This segmentation feature not only allows you to enable intelligent auto-responses, but it will also improve your campaign marketing since you can target subsets of contacts across other channels, based on your marketing needs and intentions, of course.

Please keep in mind that you can only segment SMS replies that are sent by email contacts, not contacts who've replied via a broadcast SMS.

New to contact segments or SMS campaigns and want more information?

Check out our contact segmentation articles by clicking here, or find more information about SMS campaigns by clicking here.

Creating an 'SMS Replies' segment

To create a segment based on your SMS replies:

  1. Go to Contacts > Segments and click New segment
  2. The 'Choose a template' area will appear where you will select the 'Blank template' under the 'Get started' heading; click Select
  3. The 'Give your segment a name' modal will appear; name the segment and select its location, then click Continue
  4. You will be redirected to the segmentation builder. Under the 'Behaviours' section on the left side menu, locate the 'SMS Replies' block.

  5. Drag the block onto the canvas under the 'Include contacts that match all the rules in this group' area

  6. In the block, click Replied to any SMS

  7. The 'Options for 'replies'' modal will appear. In this modal, you can select two options from the dropdown: 'Replied to any SMS they were sent' or 'Replied with specific content'; specifics for each option can be found by reading below.

  8. Click OK after you have specified how you want to segment the contacts
  9. Click Save; the segment will now appear in your segmented contacts

Segmenting by 'Replied to any SMS they were sent'

When you select this option from the dropdown, a second dropdown, labelled as 'Date', appears in the bottom left corner.


This dropdown allows you to segment contacts who replied to any SMS campaign by a specific time frame, such as:

  • 'any time' 
  • 'today'
  • 'in the last' 
  • 'on the date' 
  • 'on or after the date' 
  • 'date range'

Segmenting by 'Replied with specific content'

Not only can you segment contacts who replied to your SMS campaign by a specific time frame, but you can also go further, and segment based on the content contained in an SMS reply. The same time frame options apply, as mentioned under 'Segmenting by 'Replied to any SMS they were sent', however, this segmentation option is more specific; you can segment contacts whose replies contain specific words, and they can be filtered as:

  • 'Equal to'
  • 'Not equal to'
  • 'Contains'
  • 'Does not contain'
  • 'Starts with'
  • 'Ends with'
  • 'Does not begin with'
  • 'Does not end with'

Depending on what you want to get out of your SMS campaign, you will enter a word into the text field that appears next to the 'Reply' drop-down.


For example, if you want to create a segment based on contacts that replied 'YES' to your SMS campaign, perhaps to gauge which contacts to follow up with that want to receive marketing materials and promotions, select 'Contains' and enter 'YES' in the text field. After clicking Save, you will then generate a segment of all contacts that have replied 'YES' via the SMS campaign, and will give you only the contacts within the specified time frame.

For more information on segmentation rules, check out this article

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