Getting Started

Prior to creating a campaign, review the Creating Campaign Contact Lists article. A contact list will need to be created before the campaign can be launched. 

This section of the user guide is focused on creating a campaign. To help you navigate the article we have broken it down into the following sections:

Creating a Campaign

  1. Select the Create Content button, and choose Create Campaign.
  2. On the campaign creation wizard, select Go next to the option you would like to use to begin building your campaign.
    • From Previous
    • Ocelot Library
    • From Scratch
    • From Previous

      This option allows you to reuse a campaign already created.
      1. Select the Select button next to the campaign you want to reuse.
      2. Enter a new title for the campaign, and select Clone.
      3. Complete the General Settings tab section.
    • Ocelot Library

      Template from the Ocelot Library. To start with a template, choose from the applicable department that has been set up for you based on your institution’s contract.

      Note: Ocelot has created Alumni Campaign templates for your use. We recommend the use of these Campaigns be agent-backed since Ocelot does not currently have an Alumni library. 

      1. Select the library or office the campaign will be associated with.
      2. There are a couple of ways to search/browse the campaign templates.
        • In the search field, you can enter a keyword.
        • On the right-hand column, you can filter by Topics, Goals, or Populations
      3. Select the plus icon next to the campaign template you want to use.
      4. Continue to the Complete the General Settings tab section.
    • From Scratch

      Once you’ve used a few Ocelot templates to become more familiar with the process of creating a Campaign, you’ll be ready to start creating Campaigns from scratch.
      1. Select the plus icon contact list that you have already created or select I'll do this later.
      2. Complete the following six fields:
        1. Enter the Campaign Title.
        2. Select from the dropdown the Campus & Office associated with the campaign. 
        3. Select Simple message or Yes/No Question.
          For information on creating a yes/no campaign, review the Creating a Yes/No Campaign article.

        4. Enter the message that will be sent to your contact list.

          If you want to merge fields from your contact list into your message, review the Merging Information from a Contact List within a Campaign article.
        5. Enter any tags you want to be associated with the campaign to make it more searchable. 
        6. If using an agent-backed campaign, select the inbox(s) the responses will be directed.
      3. Select Save Campaign.
      4. Continue to the Complete the General Settings tab section.

Complete the General Settings tab


  1. Select the Campaign Type - When a contact responds to your initial message, who will respond to their texts? Your chatbot, or an agent?
    • Bot - A bot-backed campaign will utilize your chatbot to respond to contacts who send text responses to the initial message.

    • Agent - An agent-backed campaign will allow staff admins to respond to contacts who send text responses to the initial message. Agent-backed campaigns should consider the amount of staff available to converse with contacts who respond to your message.

      Note: Once the campaign has been launched, the type can be adjusted for individual conversations on the activity tab of an active campaign. 

      For example, a bot-backed conversation can be switched to agent-backed if an agent wants to jump into that conversation; An agent-backed conversation can be switched to bot-backed if an agent wants the chatbot to take over responding to a conversation.

  2. From the IDK Type dropdown select Agent or Custom Response

    Note: This applies to bot-backed Campaigns. When the chatbot does not know the answer to the contact’s question (IDK, which stands for I Don’t Know), how do you want the campaign to respond?
    • Custom Response

      • Create a custom response that will be sent to the texting participant. 

    • Agent

      • Agents are notified of bot-backed messages that contain an IDK so that the agent can respond to the IDK.

  3. From the Launch This Campaign dropdown, select Immediately or In the Future

    • If you select Immediately, the campaign will launch after you have selected the Launch button.

    • If you select In the Future, the launch button will change to Schedule Launch. When you are ready, you will be able to schedule the date and time the campaign will be launched.

  4. From the Automatic Archive dropdown, select the number of days after the campaign launches the campaign will automatically be archived.

    Best Practice: Ocelot recommends archiving your campaign 7 days after the campaign has launched. However, you may need to take into consideration the audience and content of the campaign.

  5. Select a Phone Number.

    Note: Due to industry-wide phone number registration changes, it can take 2 - 10 days for newly provisioned phone numbers to become active.

    • In the table are reusable phone numbers that have already been provisioned. 
    • To provision a new phone number, select the Provision Number button. 
      1. Enter your area code to see a list of available numbers to use.
      2. The chosen number will remain active with this specific campaign until the campaign is archived (made inactive)

        Best Practice: Ocelot recommends using a reusable phone number. This will allow for a better user experience. Review the Managing Active Campaigns, Viewing the Active Campaign page section.

  6. Select Save Draft.
  7. Select either Launch or Schedule Launch (if you scheduled In the Future)

Note: It takes one second to send one simple 160-character message to a student, meaning a 1600-character message will take 10 seconds to send to one student. 

Each special character used in the message (i.e. @, &, $, etc.) has the potential to add additional seconds.

Therefore, sending a simple 160-character message to 1,000 students will take 15 minutes, meaning the contact who is last on your list will receive the text 15 minutes after you launch.

A simple 320-character message (2 seconds/recipient) sent to 10,000 students will take 5 ½ hours. In other words, if you launch this type of campaign at 5:00 pm, the last recipient will receive the text at 10:30 pm.