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SMS Subscription Groups

SMS Subscription Groups are the foundation for sending SMS through Braze. A Subscription Group is a collection of sending phone numbers (that is short codes, long codes, and/or alphanumeric sender IDs) that are used for a specific type of messaging purpose. For example, if a brand has plans to send both transactional and promotional SMS messaging, two Subscription Groups with separate pools of sending phone numbers will need to be set up within your Braze dashboard.

SMS Subscription Group basics

Subscription Groups are necessary for any SMS message sent through Braze. A subscription group is a pool of numbers for a given messaging use case (for example, marketing or transactional messages). Users in this subscription group can be subscribed or unsubscribed to the group independently and if subscribed, will receive messages sent to that group.

  1. Subscription Groups
    • A subscription group is required for each Braze app group you plan to send SMS with.
    • Users may unsubscribe to messaging within an SMS message or through the use of other types of unsubscribe prompts (for example, account page or in-app web flow). Your team must update the subscription status of any user who unsubscribes outside of SMS messaging.

  2. Managing User Updates
    • You must add users to a subscription group via REST API.
    • Subscription group retargeting filters are available for creating and targeting campaigns and Canvases.
    • Two subscription states are available for SMS users: subscribed and unsubscribed

SMS subscription states

There are two subscription states for SMS users: subscribed and unsubscribed. A user’s subscription state is not shared across Subscription Groups, meaning a user can be subscribed to a transactional Subscription Group but unsubscribed to a promotional one. For brands, this separation of states ensures that they can continue to send relevant SMS messages to their users.

State Definition
Subscribed User has explicitly confirmed that they want to receive SMS from a specific Subscription Group. A user can be subscribed either by having their subscription state updated through the Braze subscription API or by texting an opt-in keyword response. A user must be subscribed to an SMS Subscription Group in order to receive an SMS
Unsubscribed User has explicitly opt-ed out of messaging from your SMS Subscription group and the sending-phone numbers inside the Subscription Group. They can unsubscribe by texting an opt-out keyword response or a brand can unsubscribe users through the Braze subscription API. Users unsubscribed from an SMS Subscription Group will no longer receive any SMS from sending phone numbers that belong to the Subscription Group.

How users’ SMS subscription groups get set

  • Rest API Set: User profiles can be programmatically set by the /subscription/status/set endpoint by using Braze’s REST API.
  • Automatically Handled Upon User Opt-In/Opt-Out: By users texting a default opt-in or opt-out keyword, Braze automatically sets and updates users’ subscription state.

How to check a user’s SMS subscription group

  • User Profile: Individual user profiles can be accessed through the Braze dashboard by selecting User Search from the sidebar. Here, you can look up user profiles by email address, phone number, or external user ID. Once in a user profile, under the Engagement tab, you can view a user’s SMS subscription groups.
  • Rest API Get: Individual user profiles subscription group can be viewed by the /subscription/user/status or /subscription/status/get endpoint by using Braze’s REST API.

Sending with a Subscription Group

To launch an SMS campaign through Braze, a Subscription Group must be selected in the dropdown, as shown in the following image. Once selected, an audience filter will be added to your campaign or Canvas automatically, ensuring that only users subscribed to the selected Subscription Group are in the target audience. To adhere to international telecommunication compliance and guidelines, Braze will never send SMS to users that have not subscribed to the selected Subscription Group.

Selecting a subscription group when composing an SMS message on the Braze dashboard

Setup process

During your SMS onboarding process, a Braze onboarding manager will set up Subscription Groups for your dashboard account. They will work with you to determine how many Subscription Groups you need and add the appropriate sending phone numbers to your Subscription Groups. Timelines for setting up a Subscription Group will depend on the type of phone numbers you’re adding.

For example, short code applications can take anywhere between 8-12 weeks, while long codes can be set up within a day. If you have questions about your Braze dashboard setup, reach out to your Braze representative for support.

Subscription group MMS enablement

In order to send an MMS message, at least one number within your Subscription Group has to be enabled to send MMS. This is indicated by a tag located next to the Subscription Group.

Subscription group dropdown with MMS and SMS tags for each group

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