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Create Content for Mobile

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Create mobile messages in Content Builder.
  • Create mobile messages in Journey Builder activities using the Content Builder editor.

Hoping to use Content Builder to create content for your mobile messages? Brace yourself for some great news—you can now create SMS text messages using the Content Builder editor! But the fun doesn’t stop there. You can also use Content Builder to create push notifications for your mobile apps. After creating SMS and mobile app content in Content Builder, you can then send it to your subscribers using Journey Builder. Let’s take a look at each of the ways you can use Content Builder to create messages for mobile devices.

In this module, we assume you are a Marketing Cloud user with access to Content Builder. If you’re not a Marketing Cloud user, that’s OK. Read the steps to learn how they do this in a production org. Don't try to follow these steps in your Trailhead Playground, as Marketing Cloud Content Builder isn't available in the Trailhead Playground.



Before you start sending, check out the Message Content Considerations on Salesforce Help for SMS character sets and limitations.

The Create menu in Content Builder with the options for mobile messages highlighted: SMS Message and Mobile App options, including Push Notification.

Create SMS Messages

Let’s start with SMS messages. These are text messages that you send to your subscribers’ mobile devices through Marketing Cloud. To access them in Content Builder, click Create and select SMS Message. Now, let’s build your message.

  1. Enter a message.
  2. Use the personalization and link shortener options as needed.
  3. To find hidden non-GSM characters, such as unicode straight quotes that can be included when pasting text from another source, select Highlight Non-GSM.
  4. To combine messages beyond 160 characters into one, select Concatenate Message.
  5. If you have different locales for codes in your account, you can preview each of those by selecting a code type.
  6. Save your message.

Your SMS Message is ready to send!



Message concatenation is not available in all markets, including the U.S. You can enable the concatenate option only if you select a short or long code for a location that allows concatenation.

The Content Builder interface for creating a new SMS message.

Create In-App Messages

If you have a mobile app updated to SDK version 6.2.0 or above, anyone who installs your app on their mobile device can receive your custom messages within the app. To create in-app messages, navigate to Content Builder in Marketing Cloud. Click Create and select In-App Message under Mobile App.

First, select a layout for your message: full-page, banner, or modal.

  • Full-Page: This layout fills the entire device screen and requires the subscriber to interact with it. For example, use full-page layout for a welcome series, sale, or promotion.
  • Banner: This layout appears at the top or bottom of the screen and doesn’t require interaction. Use banners for quick updates, such as transaction confirmations.
  • Modal: This layout shows part of the screen behind it and requires interaction. Choose this layout for contextual information within the app, such as coupon codes.

This image shows examples of these in-app message layouts: (1) full-page, (2) banner, and (3) modal.

Examples of the three in-app message layouts: full-page, banner, and modal.

After you define a layout, customize your message.

  1. Browse for an image or enter a URL for an image.
  2. Give your message a title.
  3. Enter a message.
  4. If you want, you can add a button or two. Enter a name for each button. Then select an option for open behavior, or the action that occurs when the subscriber presses the button.
  5. Select a device to preview your message.
  6. Save your in-app notification.


Full-page and banner require at least one button to have either the “Dismiss” action or the “Dismiss” icon in the corner so that users are able to exit out of the message.

Your new in-app notification is ready to use!

The Content Builder interface for creating an in-app message.

Create Push Notifications

Want to increase usage of your mobile app? Use Marketing Cloud to create push notifications that encourage your subscribers to interact with your mobile app. If you want to create a push notification in Content Builder, click Create and select Push Notification under Mobile App.

  1. Give your notification a title and an optional subtitle.
  2. Enter the message.
  3. Add media to your message if desired.
  4. Select an open behavior (remember: this is what happens when the user taps the message).
  5. Preview your message by device and by how it displays, such as a banner or on the lock screen.
  6. Save your push notification.

The Content Builder interface showing a draft of a push notification.

Want to spice up your push notification even more? When crafting your message, click Personalization icon to add personalized content, such as the subscriber’s first name, zip code, state, or city. You can even use AMPscript to extend personalization beyond those options.

A mouse clicking the personalization icon to insert subscriber personalization options.



Learn more about AMPscript on Salesforce Developers.

You can also insert emojis and other graphics by clicking Emoji icon.

A mouse clicking the emoji icon to insert emojis and other graphics into the message.

Content Builder and Journey Builder

If you work mostly in Marketing Cloud Journey Builder, you can create and send mobile messages directly within Journey Builder, using mobile activities. To get started, drag a mobile activity onto your journey canvas, such as SMS or In-App Message. 

When you configure the activity, click New Message. The Content Builder editor opens within Journey Builder so that you can create a new mobile message. If you don’t want to create a new one, you can also select an existing mobile message from Content Builder. When you save your new message or select one, you return right back to your journey draft.

Watch this video demo of how you can use the Content Builder editor in Journey Builder to create and send mobile messages.

Your Content Is Ready—What’s Next?

Congratulations! You created a content strategy and set up Content Builder to align with that strategy. Then you learned how to use the powerful tools in Content Builder to create content blocks, dynamic content, code snippets, and more. With your newly created content library ready to go, learn about Email Studio in the Create and Send Targeted Emails with Email Studio trail to start creating powerful messages that engage your audience and build valuable customer relationships. When you’re ready to extend Content Builder even further with custom blocks, check out our Content Builder Block SDK module for Marketing Cloud developers.