Step by step: Outbound IVR Campaigns

Interactive Voice Response campaigns let you create a menu and bind phone keys (1-9) to specific actions such as playing a message, recording your prospect message or transferring phone calls to one of your numbers (bridge).

Outbound IVR campaigns support unsubscription handling, callbacks and scheduling options.

Step 1 - Creation

In this step, you will set up the name of the campaign, its nature, the recipient choice as well as the caller identity, and finally its type.

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  • First, choose a campaign name. Try to choose a campaign name that you will easily recognize later for reporting purposes. You might decide to choose the motive, audience or date, such as ‘Summer Sale promotion 28/08/2017’.
  • Then, choose a campaign type. Only Interactive Voice Response campaigns will be covered in this tutorial. For other campaign types, please check the relevant tutorials.
  • Next, choose the nature of your campaign: marketing or alerting. If you’re not sure which category your campaign falls under, refer to our Knowledge Base resources. Remember that if you’re running a marketing campaign, you must include an unsubscription method.
  • Then, choose a caller identity (sender) for the campaign. This is the number or name that will be shown as the sender on your recipients’ phones. For a voice campaign, the caller can either be “BLOCKED” (unknown number) or any DID you own. Check this article to learn more about what types of number are available and how to buy them. Please keep in mind that it’s ILLEGAL, in most countries, to run marketing campaigns on a blocked number.
  • Finally, choose an address book of phone numbers to send your campaign to. If you would like to exclude certain people - for example, those who have unsubscribed - you may do so by choosing the appropriate blacklist.

Step 2 - Unsubscriptions

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Handling subscriptions is legally required for marketing campaigns in most countries. With SENDR, it’s easy. Once you check the box, you will need to set up two messages.

  1. The first one is the unsubscription prompt: it will be played to offer your prospect the option to unsubscribe.
  2. The second is used to confirm the success of the unsubscription process.

In the example above, we used Text-to-Speech to create our medias. With TTS, you can also use any variables included in the address book, such as your prospect’s name or city. You can also upload your own medias or record them using your phone. If you need more information on medias, please check the dedicated article.

Step 3 - Voicemail

SENDR offers a voicemail detection option. It can be done using two different means:

  • Automatic - We use our own protocol to determine if the answerer is a human or a voice mail. This method is handy but not 100% reliable.
  • Ask recipients to press a button - A message of your choice will be played to the recipient, asking him to press any button. This method is foolproof, but adds an extra step to the process.

Step 4 - Scenario

IVR campaigns scenarios can seen complex, but we streamlined the interface to make it as easy as possible.

Essentially, the main scenario screen is split in half: on the left, you can decide what happens if the recipient picks up. On the right, only if you have enabled voicemail detection at the previous step, you can choose a scenario for this situation as well. This scenario is easy to set up so we will focus on the IVR menu.

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If the recipient picks up

Before the IVR menu creation, you need to set up at least, a message to present the interactive menu options. The object of this message is to explain to your prospect what are the actions triggered by each button, for instance:

Press 1 to listen to our exclusive offer. Press 2 to talk to an agent

If you want, you can also set up a welcome message that will be played before the menu presentation.

Then, using the dial pad at the bottom left of the screen you can map each phone button (1-9 only) to an action.

Three types of actions are possible:

  1. Broadcasting a message (media)
  2. Let your prospects record a message for you
  3. Bridge the call: connect your prospects to one of your agents

Message broadcasting and recording are really straightforward and self-explanatory in the interface. However, the bridge can seem more complex.

Bridging calls (call transfer)

The bridging screen is divided into two parts: on the left side, you decide what happens on the client side (the one who is called). On the right side, you decide what happens for the agent (the one that will process the call).

For the client, you can set up a welcome message that will be broadcast first. Then, the waiting message/ringtone will be played until an agent picks up. Finally, a goodbye message can be set up in case of failure.

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On the agent side, you can set up a list of numbers to be called. Numbers will be called in the order you input them, and the time next to the number is the timeout. In the screen above, since there is only one number with a 30s timeout, if the agent doesn’t pick up before 30 seconds the call will be terminated. You can also set up a call whispering to give some contextual information to your agents in order to help him handle the call. The call whispering is played only to the agent, only once, before he’s bridged with the prospect.

Campaign testing

Once the campaign scenario is set up, the “Test Campaign” button at the top right of the screen will be highlighted in blue. It will allow you to test your campaign on the number of your choice to ensure everything behaves as you would like it to do.

We strongly encourage you to test your campaigns before starting them.

Step 5 - Callbacks

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SENDR supports callbacks to ensure deliverability of your messages. Callbacks function on an IF->THEN logic. Up to three different conditions can be used as IF:

  • Recipient does not pick up or is occupied,
  • Recipient redirects the call to voicemail,
  • Recipient hangs up in less than 5/10/15/20 seconds.

If one of the conditions you set up is verified (IF triggered), what you set up in the THEN section will happen. You can either:

  • Call back up to three times with a 5 minutes to 4 hours delay between each callback. If the process still fails, an SMS can be sent.
  • Send an SMS of your choice directly.

Step 6 - Options

The sixth and last step is the options setup. Four options are available: scheduling, SMS/email completion report, number of simultaneous calls and campaign objective.

Scheduling options

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With the scheduling options, you can choose the days and a time window for you campaign execution. You can also set up a daily pause, to avoid calling people during their lunchtime for instance.

The default time zone is set to Paris. If you are using SENDR to reach another country, don’t forget to change the time zone accordingly.

Please keep in mind that marketing campaigns are subject to restrictions depending on the country the campaign takes place in  (nature of the campaign is set up at step 1). In France, marketing messages will be sent only during weekdays between 9AM and 7PM.

Marketing traffic restrictions vary per country, we encourage you to check the legal framework of the country you wish to operate in to ensure full compliance with the law. Alerting traffic is not subject to restriction.

Reporting options

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If you so choose, you can receive a completion report for the campaigns on up to 5 phone numbers or email addresses. Once the campaign is completed, you will receive a message on your specified phone numbers and email addresses which include:

  • Campaign name
  • Start and end time of the campaign
  • Address book used
  • Total cost of the campaign

The full campaign report is accessible directly through the interface. Check our dedicated CDR article if you need more information.

Channels Management

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First, you can choose the number of simultaneous calls for your campaign. If you are reaching out to a large address book, the number of simultaneous calls will be the main factor of the duration of the campaign. By default, you can have up to 30 channels (= simultaneous calls).

If you need more channels, reach out to our support. Adding more channels is free. Additional channels are granted depending on your usage volume and call metrics. Check our dedicated article for more information.

Pick-up(s) Objective

Objectives are really handy if your campaign goal is to put prospects in contact with a live agent. It lets you ensure your agents are not flooded. Indeed, you can set up a limit of pick-ups for your campaign. Once the pick-up amount is reached, the campaign will stop, ignoring scheduling options.

 

Once you are done, click save. You will be taken back to the campaign’s dashboard where your newest campaign will be on top. Don’t forget to click the corresponding start button to launch the campaign once you double checked everything.

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