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HubSpot Drip SMS Campaign 2019 Easy Setup Guide

hubspot drip text messaging
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Drip SMS campaigns, also known as drip texting, drip marketing, automated SMS campaigns, lifecycle messaging and marketing automation.  In each case, the concept is the same: a set of automated marketing text messages are sent out on a schedule or based on triggering events.  Generally, a campaign will be created that sends a new message every few days.  Based on the customers interaction with the message, different actions can be taken based on a set of predefined rules.

Creating a drip SMS campaign might seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.  In this blog post we outline how to easily create a HubSpot drip text messaging campaign from start to finish.  Let’s get started!

What is a Drip SMS Campaign?

Drip SMS campaign are automated messages that allow you to give people the right information at the right time.   As we mentioned earlier, drip campaigns are generally sent on a specific timeline, or based on a trigger event.  You may send out a series of SMS messages prior to an upcoming sale, or when a new user signs up for your service.  In each example, the message sent will come from a prepared list of already written text messages (often in a template form), and the entire process is automated.

How do you create a Drip Campaign?

Creating a drip SMS campaign requires software.  In our example below, we’ll walk through the process of creating a new campaign using HubSpot.  During the creation, we need to define four things:
  • Who will receive your message? – Will it be based on a trigger event (like signing up to a form), manual enrollment or will all your contacts receive your drip message?  You need to setup the rules which will define your audience.
  • What are the messages that will be sent? – For each of the SMS messages, the text needs to be written.  Often created in a template form, where you can have personalized attributes added automatically.
  • What are the delays between messages? – This is the time delay between when each message is sent.  These are usually defined in days, hours or minute intervals.
  • What happens when the contact does something?  – Depending on your contacts response, you may want to take different actions.  Using a set of rules, you may stop the drip campaign entirely, or send a different set of messages.

Setup a HubSpot Drip SMS Campaign

A step-by-step guide to creating a drip texting campaign using HubSpot and the Sakari SMS system.
Step 1

Account Setup

We’ll be using two system to create the campaign:

1. HubSpot Account

If you don’t already have a HubSpot account, can you get started for free here: HubSpot

2. Sakari SMS Account

Sakari is the text messaging service we will use to send and receive the drip texts.  You can sign up for a free trial of Sakari here: https://hub.sakari.io/signup
Step 2

Create a new workflow

Log in to your HubSpot account.
Select Automation > Workflows from the HubSpot top navigation menu.
In the top right click the “Create Workflow” button.
hubspot create workflow
Step 3

Workflow Selection

Now we’ll start to create the workflow.  We’re going to be sending the drip text messages to contacts, so select the “Contact-based” option.   Then select “Start from scratch.”
Click the Create workflow button to proceed.

HubSpot workflow selection

hubspot workflow selection
Step 4

Workflow Naming

Now we’ll give the new workflow a name. Click the white pencil icon to give your new workflow a name.  For our example, we’re going to call it our workflow HubSpot Drip SMS Campaign.
Next, click the “Set enrollment triggers” button.

HubSpot Drip Campaign Name

hubspot workflow naming
Step 5

Header

Workflows in HubSpot have triggers and actions.  Triggers are what will initiate the workflow to start.  Actions are what happens (sending a text message in our example).
In our example, we are going to manually trigger our workflow, so we will select the “Manually” radio button option.
Alternatively, we could also select Automatically.  By selecting automatically, whenever the trigger criteria is met, the contact will be auto-enrolled in the workflow.  A common example of this may be to auto-enroll a contact in a HubSpot drip SMS campaign when they complete a form or are added as a new lead.
Click “Save” to proceed.

HubSpot Enrollment Trigger Options

enrollment trigger step 1

HubSpot Manual Trigger Option

manual enrollment trigger
Step 6

Setup the First Drip SMS Message

Now we’re ready to configure the first drip text message.  Click the orange “+” Add an action icon in the workflow timeline.  This will open the Choose an action window.  Scroll to the bottom and select the Sakari Send SMS integration button.
hubspot add action
workflow trigger
Step 7

Configure the Number and Message

Now we will define what field will be used as the send-to phone number.  This is generally going to be your contacts “Mobile phone number” field in HubSpot.

Phone Number Selection

This is the phone number that the drip text message will be sent to.
You can either manually type a phone number, which we don’t recommend, or use a contact token.  By selecting “Contact Token” button in the top right, you can then have contact phone number automatically populated.  If you choose to use a contact token phone number, there are two default phone attributes in HubSpot: Phone Number and Mobile Phone Number.  Select the option based on where your company/team populate customer mobile phone numbers.
It’s essential that the phone number field used corresponds with your HubSpot Sakari integration phone number.
phone number selection

Message Creation

Now we’ll configure the text message that will be sent.  You can use a combination of static as well as token (dynamic) fields.  The token fields will automatically insert contact attributes in to your message.  This allows you to create a personally text message using a single SMS template.
In our example we will select “First name” from the contact token drop down field list.
contact tokens

Completed SMS Message Template

This template will automatically insert the contacts name in to each message.
Step 8

Setup the Drip SMS Campaign Flow

Now that you’ve setup the first text message, we will create the drip text messaging flow.  A typical structure for a drip texting flow is: message, delay, conditional statement, message.

Here is how we’ll structure our HubSpot drip SMS workflow:

  • Text message #1 – Send the first text message.
  • Delay – Add a delay of whatever duration you desire.  This delay can be specified in days, hours or minute increments.
  • If/then – Add a conditional if/then statement.  This will stop the drip campaign if a contact replies.
  • Text message #2 – Send the second text message.  Another round of delay and if/then rules will then follow any additional messages.
  • Delay – Add a delay of whatever duration you desire.  This delay can be specified in days, hours or minute increments.
  • If/then – Add a conditional if/then statement.  This will stop the drip campaign if a contact replies.
  • Text message #3 – Send the second text message.  Another round of delay and if/then rules will then follow any additional messages.
Step 9

Adding the Messaging Delay

The delay will be applied between each message so that the messages will not be received simultaneously.  We will add a delay measured in a number of days.  After the first drip message is sent, the contacts will be queued until this delay has completed.

Click the “+” icon below the “Send SMS” step to add your delay.
workflow add if then branch
Select “Delay” as a building block.
workflow delay
Define your delay duration (usually measured in days).
workflow delay selection
The drip workflow with delay added.
workflow with delay
Step 10

Add If/then Branch

Now we will add a conditional “If/then” branch.  This step is not required, but is recommended.  By adding a conditional branch, we can stop sending text messages to anyone that has replied to our messages.
if then branch

Add If/then Branch

After selecting “If/then branch” as a building block, we need to define what our branch will be based on.  In our example, we want to stop sending drip messages to anyone that has replied, so we will select “SMS Received property.”
text message received step

Add If/then Branch

We will select where the Message is known.
sms received message id
The drip messages flow with the first message, the delay and a conditional if/then statement added.
Step 11

Complete HubSpot Drip SMS Workflow

Using the steps defined above, we will continue to add the rest of our drip text messages to the workflow.  The structure is SMS message, delay, conditional statement, repeat. In each case we will follow the “No” path in the workflow, where contacts have not replied to our text messages.
The completed HubSpot drip text messaging workflow is displayed in the image below.  The workflow will begin based on manual enrollment, which we will discuss in Step #9 below.  Each of the steps are outlined by day in the bullet points below. It’s important to note that multiple contacts can be in a workflow at once, each at different steps of the flow.

Drip SMS Steps by Day

  • Day 1 – contact(s) are added to the workflow and will immediately receive drip text message #1
  • Day 5 – A delay of 4 days occurs.  Contacts that received the first message will reviewed in the “if/then” statement.  If they have responded to the drip message, they will be removed from the workflow and no longer receive any more text messages. If they haven’t responded then they will receive send second drip text message.
  • Day 9 – A second delay of 4 days occurs.  All contacts that received the second text message will be reviewed.  If they responded to the second text message then they will be removed from the workflow and no longer receive any more text messages. If they haven’t responded to any texts, then they will receive the third and final drip message.
SMS drip campaign workflow
Step 12

Turn the workflow on

Now we’re ready to trigger our workflow on.  First, we’ll review the workflow, then we will turn it on by clicking the “Turn on” button in the top right.

Review Workflow

workflows step 1

Click Workflow On

workflows step 2
Step 9

Add Contacts to your Workflow

enroll button

Manual Workflow Enrollment Options

Now we’re ready to add some contacts to our workflow.
First, select the “Enroll” button in the top right. Because we selected manual enrollment when we first setup our drip messaging campaign, we have two options: enrolling from a list or choosing contacts. 
Enrollment options:
  • Enroll from a list – use a dynamic or static list to enroll contacts in the drip SMS campaign
  • Choose contacts – select one or more contacts individually to enroll in a workflow

In our example, we will choose the “Choose contacts” option.  This will allow us to manually assign contacts to our workflow.

enroll options

Adding Drip Messaging Contacts

Select the contact(s) you want to enroll in your HubSpot drip text messaging campaign. Click the “Enroll” button and your messages will begin to send out.
manual person enrollment

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