SMS Integration with Marketing Campaigns

Discovery Phase - Customer Interviews

The team conducted customer research between October 11, 2019 - November 20, 2019. In that timeframe, we interviewed 17 marketers from various industries. 11 were non Twilio SendGrid customers and 6 were Twilio SendGrid customers. All of the marketers the team interviewed fit the Olivia persona.

Research Questions and Objectives

Understand why Olivia (SendGrid's Marketing Persona) is either using SMS or not using SMS? What is stopping her from using SMS today?
Understand why Olivia is using SMS today in her marketing mix?
How does Olivia want to integrate SMS with her existing SendGrid marketing strategy?
How does Olivia measure SMS as a marketing channel? How does she use it in relation to other marketing channels?
Understand the most common/core marketing problems SMS solves for and where it most aids in achieving marketing goals? Understand key use cases for SMS.
Understand key barriers to adoption of SMS by marketers.
Understand key integration points of SMS with other sending channels.

17 of 17 have email as a channel using a variety of ESPs

13 of 17 run paid media ads

8 of 17 use SMS in their marketing mix today

9 of 17 want to use SMS for marketing in the future

This means that all of the participants we interviewed were either using SMS or wanted to use SMS in the future. So the big question is why? What problem is SMS solving? Email is still perceived as the most valuable marketing channel with the greatest ROI, however, marketers understand that practically every person in the world carries a phone around with them.

Problem Statement

I want to add promotional SMS as part of our marketing strategy, but am not sure where or how to get started or if my contacts even want to hear from me via text, so I’m looking for some guidance in getting set up and confident about sending. Currently, I’m just putting off adding SMS as a channel until I feel ready...whenever that is.

I’m interested in adding SMS as a new marketing channel, but I’d like to do that with minimal developer involvement, both in the initial set up and long-term maintenance, so I can own tasks like tweaking copy, making it easier for me to experiment and iterate over time. I don’t want to waste valuable developer time on tasks that I can handle myself.

“Email was sexy but its dying out, people get burned out and unsubscribe, SMS is a great way to get back in.”
“Right now, our text set-up is limited to what our developers can build for us. As a mere mortal marketer, I have very little control of how our texts are set-up and it very frustrating for me.”
“Yeah i should be able to set it up it all on my own. Should be like an ESP (email service provider), out of the box it should be easy to set up on my own.”

User Flow Diagram



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Hi-Fidelity Designs

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Usability Testing

Once the prototype was designed and ready, we tested multiple versions of the SMS setup experience with customers. We learned that customers wanted the app to handle most of the complicated tasks and decisions behind the scenes. Marketers wanted to be guided by the system and be told how to do everything. When it comes to being in compliance with United States law, marketers were at a loss. Part of the iterations we made, were to include two toll free phone numbers to start. By allowing toll free numbers, marketers would be in compliance, save cost because toll free numbers are only $1/month and have fairly decent through put (3 messages per second). After testing the SMS setup and campaign creation experience with over 8 customers, the team knew we had a design that was ready for development.

Customer Quotes

Not knowing really now SMS works, this made me feel confident in setting it up and sending to my contacts.
I would use this today to send to my most loyal customers. Text is such a personal channel, you don't want to blast everyone, only a select few that are more likely to engage with the content.
This was simple and easy. I liked how I could see my message as I was composing it. Very cool.