Getting Started with Mobile Studio-SFMC

I have now been using Mobile Studio for some time and feel it’s learning path is different from Email Studio and Journey based automation, I  have found it difficult to get quick information at one place.

The following is a list of 10  essential knowledge items which I think would help anyone to have a better understanding of Mobile Studio.

Hopefully, this helps.

1.Short Code-Long Code

All SMS Messages need a shortcode or a long code before they are ready to be sent, This is like the from an address in an email. You will need to go through your Salesforce account representative team, It’s a country-specific process and will typically take 4-6 weeks to set this up. Without this step, nothing much can be done in Mobile Studio. Maybe you can ask for a test shortcode before you get the actual one to start testing your messages.

Once a shortcode is a setup , you would see a screen like below and see a shortcode numeric number.

For Long Code the setup process probably would be quicker but please keep in mind Long codes are not suitable for high volume sends and are typically 1 to 1 communication.


2.Setup KeyWord

Once the shortcode is set up, we need to create a keyword. These are like attributes against which all inbound and outbound messages would roll up. They would be one-word VERBS like JOIN, ADD. There would be a limit of keywords typically 5 that you can create for the account.


3.What to Use

MobileConnect, MobilePush, GroupConnect which one to use, Mobile Connect would satisfy most of the common use cases. The below is taken from Salesforce Help.

MobileConnect is used for

Create, send, receive, and track SMS and MMS text messages using MobileConnect. Send real-time alerts and transactional messages to subscribers using templates and a drag-and-drop interface. Automatically respond to incoming messages, manage keywords, and many other tasks.

GroupConnect is used for

Use GroupConnect to send messages to contacts via messaging apps. Currently, GroupConnect supports the LINE mobile messaging app. Use GroupConnect to create and send messages, manage contact subscriptions, and review messaging activities.

Use MobilePush to do the following:

  • Manage segmented audiences of mobile contacts.
  • Send targeted and personalized push notifications.
  • Send inbox messages.
  • Use geofence and beacon messaging for location-based campaigns.
  • View customer engagement with analytics.
  • Automate your campaigns with Automation Studio.
  • Integrate push notifications into customer journeys using Journey Builder.

In this blog, I am concentrating on Mobile Connect.

4.Mobile Connect-Message Types

Mobile Connect messages can be used from Journeys, Automation Studio, API. While creating the message we are given with the options. The below screen grabs gives a quick overview of the steps . For Journey you select Interaction.

One word of caution, you cannot delete messages once you create them, we can only activate or deactivate a message.

So please be thoughtful before creating that first message called MyDummyMessage in the prod BU :).

Create Message



5.API Based messaging

If you already have a mobile app or a website, it’s fairly simple to start sending SMS messages using API based messaging. Once the API based messaging is created in Marketing Cloud it gives an API key and then with a simple REST call we can invoke the SMS. A typical use case can be you already have a website and after user registration you want to send an SMS or for forgot the password you want to send a code through SMS , The marketing team can keep control of the messaging in Marketing Cloud and provide the API key to the IT team.

A sample REST payload would be like below. The following example is through POSTMAN. The API keyword would need to be added at the endpoint,

JSON Payload

6.SMS Response

There are two kinds of response, one is time-bound response meaning an SMS chain communication which is configured with a NEXT keyword.

Other is just on a keyword you want to capture the response. For that, you can create an inbound message and tag it with the same keyword you had created for your outbound message.

MSG(0).NOUNS stores the complete response text.

Response Capture

7.SMS Personalization

While using the SMS messages within a Journey the Journey Data is not available to the SMS send messages so we may need to retrieve the information from a Data Extension.

Also, the AMPScript functions for email send and SMS send do not have one to one parity.

8.SMS Logging

SMS Send Log.jpg


9. Did you check the No

Once I started using Mobile Studio, Initially a lot of sends were not working, the reason was the Phone Numbers did not have a 1 to start with. For US mobile sends all numbers must start with 1 . If it’s not there you need to append the phone numbers with 1 before sending.


An SMS aggregator is essentially an entity that sits between tools like Mobile Connect which are sending SMS and the wireless carriers. They are building the connections to the wireless carriers, so we don’t have to actually go and connect to all the carriers, we are connecting to one  SMS aggregator. So a lot of the send logging and response metrics are dependent on how good a job the aggregator is doing, something just to be mindful of.