17 Aug How You Can Engage Your Audience with Automated Text Messages
Automated text messaging is a popular marketing strategy that allows you to reach customers via prescheduled text messages, streamlining your marketing efforts. Several types of automatic text messages exist, including action-based or criteria-based messages.
With touchSMS’s automatic texting service, you have an easy, effective, and powerful way of engaging with your audience. Here’s how you can leverage automated text messaging as a marketing tool.
Why Use SMS?
SMS is an efficient, personal way to engage your clients, and it offers a remarkably high return on investment. Even better, using SMS caters to your audience’s wishes. On average, 85% of customers state they prefer receiving information by text rather than by phone calls or email.
People also open text messages at a much higher rate than emails. Virtually all your customers will open and read a text message, while with emails, you’re lucky if you get a 20% open rate.
Text messages are a great way to keep your audience connected, build brand loyalty, and strengthen relationships with your regular clients.
Connect with Your Audience Using an SMS Marketing System
Broad, automated text message campaigns can gather data and help you set up further campaign steps based on audience behaviour patterns. With personal URLs and discount codes, every time a customer clicks a link or uses a code, it’s possible to track data and analyse it to get a better understanding of consumer behaviour.
For example, a customer who signs up for a company’s texts can receive a personal discount coupon. When they use it to purchase a product, they get a follow-up thank-you text message with offers for similar items. They click on the link to check out these products, browse for a bit, and close the tab. Later, they receive a message saying, “Thank you for checking out our website,” and another discount coupon, which can encourage them to make a second purchase.
These personalised, automated messages will continually engage your customers with special offers, coupons, discounts, new product updates, and more.
Tailor Text Message Marketing Using Personal Data
Use SMS to conduct brief surveys that enable your business to gain valuable information about your customers, such as their birthday, the name of their spouse, their wedding anniversary date, and more. You can then use this data in programming triggers for follow-up text messages.
For example, a customer might receive a special discount or gift coupon for their birthday. After they use it, they may get a follow-up message saying, “We hope you enjoy your birthday gift,” and an offer for another related product or service.
Use Text Messaging to Boost Consumer Satisfaction
A thank-you message and a discount code can cement the engagement of a happy customer who will take the time to leave a positive review on your website or other rating platforms. You can also mitigate the damage of a dissatisfied customer who issues a complaint or leaves a negative review by sending a survey to help you understand why they were unhappy with your product or service. In this case, use a discount coupon or a special offer as a means of compensation.
In both cases, SMS messages can boost customer satisfaction, increase brand loyalty, and ultimately lead to higher revenues.
Let’s Get Technical
Now that we’ve made a case for how using automated text messages can benefit your business, let’s get a bit technical and break down several different ways to send SMS.
Using workflows, an SMS marketer can create customised, automatic sequences tailored to specific consumer behaviour—for example, customer-specific follow-up messages based on whether the user clicked-through. This option is great for gathering data, creating chatbots, and more.
SMS Drip Messages
SMS drip messages are automatically sent to users after a certain amount of time has elapsed since they opted to receive your texts. For example, you can keep your company fresh in your customers’ minds by sending a series of drip messages to your subscribers a day or two after they opted in, then after a week, then monthly or bimonthly.
Program your drip text messages to continue or discontinue based on consumer behaviour, such as whether or not a customer provided details, clicked through, or bought one of your products.
An autoresponder is an automated text message the user receives immediately after they send a keyword to a phone number or a virtual number (a short phone number used for sending text messages in bulk).
Most often, autoresponders confirm subscriptions (or unsubscribes). They can provide information—users can send different words to receive details on different aspects of the business. You can also use them as an avenue to let customers request coupon codes on demand.
Scheduled Text Messages
When creating an automated SMS message for your business, you can send it immediately or at a later prescheduled date and time. This feature is particularly useful for appointment and event reminders, payment alerts, and more.
Recurring Text Messages
Recurring texts are messages automatically sent to users at regular intervals. They are similar to scheduled text messages but are programmed to be resent in the future—for instance, every other Friday or on the 15th of every other month. Recurring texts are an excellent option for routine sale offers.
How to Make Sure Your SMS Marketing Efforts Succeed
Text messages are a powerful marketing tool, but many businesses have failed to unlock the full potential of SMS marketing. It’s easy to fall victim to a few common mistakes. How can you avoid them?
Have a Clear Call-to-Action
A SMS to be effective, must be brief, concise, and have a clear call-to-action – a discount coupon, a link, or an invitation to visit an online store. A clear call-to-action leads to higher user engagement and conversion rates.
Optimise the Frequency and Timing of Messages
In SMS marketing, timing and frequency are everything. Few people are happy about receiving a text from a business in the middle of the night, but what about other times? Are your subscribers more likely to engage and follow through on your call-to-action if they see your message in the morning or the late afternoon? How about the weekends?
Do your research and make decisions based on your audience’s data. A good rule of thumb, however, is to avoid sending messages before 9 a.m. or after 9 p.m. If you are working with a global audience, segment your subscriber list according to time zones.
In limited-time offers, like holiday-focused campaigns, you’ll want to give users enough time to act upon the offer, but not so much time that they might forget all about it by the time they’re doing their holiday shopping.
Frequency is another thing. Nobody wants to be bombarded with constant text messages—whether they contain discount offers or not. If you send messages too often, and you may get a high number of unsubscribers. If you send too infrequently, on the other hand, your audience may forget about you entirely. Study your audience’s purchase cycle to decide on message frequency and find the right balance to maximise your return on investment.
Segment your subscriber list so that users only receive offers relevant to their demographic, preferences, and buying patterns. An irrelevant message might feel like mindless spam, and an unsubscribe will soon follow.
Keep Your Content Interesting and Your Message Length Strategic
To keep your audience from getting bored, be creative. Vary your offers, throw in an occasional giveaway or raffle, and don’t underestimate the power of engaging microcopy. Don’t forget, long messages can get awkward and annoying, and often lose the attention of your audience.
Always Get Permission and Provide an Unsubscribe Option
Sending messages to users who did not opt to receive your texts is not only illegal—it’s one of the most annoying, spammy, and intrusive things a business can do. Unsolicited SMS messages are unlikely to lead to conversion and will do your business more harm than good. Numbers aren’t everything. A smaller but highly engaged audience is infinitely preferable to large numbers of people who aren’t your target customers.
To prevent this problem, always include an unsubscribe option. It is a legal requirement, but additionally, you only want your subscriber list to include people who want to be there. If people want to opt-out but can’t do so, they might become annoyed, develop a negative perception of your brand, and issue complaints.
Contact touchSMS for Quality Automated Texting Services
Are you ready to keep your customer base engaged through timely, customised text messages? Would you like to hear more about our reliable, efficient, and the cheapest SMS rates in Australia and New Zealand? Call us today at +61 2 9518 7455, or at 1300 794 419 in Australia to get started.
Our services include scheduled and recurring SMS, message personalisation, automatic opt-out management, real-time reporting, and much more.