What Is Text Message Automation for Businesses? [Benefits & Use Cases]
How often do you check your mobile phone?
According to Reviews.org, the average American checks their phone 344 times daily.
Couple that with a massive 98% open rate and 36% click-through rate for SMS campaigns, and you have a compelling reason to create and send engaging automated SMS campaigns since you can reach most customers at any point in time. However, you must have a well-designed strategy for your text messaging campaigns to maximize your ROI.
Let’s dive into what text message automation is and how it can help you grow your business.
What Is Text Message Automation?
Text message automation involves sending SMS messages to individuals or many subscribers automatically at scheduled times or when they trigger specific conditions.
For instance, when a customer contacts your business, you can automatically send general auto-reply text messages to tell them you’ve received their message and will contact them soon.
|Here’s an example:
Thank you for contacting [Company Name]. We’ve received your message and will reach out within [Time Frame].
Let’s look at two automated text messages that can help you put your text message marketing on autopilot.
1. SMS Drip Messages
A drip campaign is a series of automated messages sent to subscribers after they take specific actions on your website. You can send these messages based on particular triggers – from sign-ups and click-throughs to a series of messages you send based on a scheduled calendar.
An SMS drip campaign uses text messages to send these messages directly to the mobile phones of opted-in subscribers rather than their email inboxes.
2. Scheduled or Recurring Messages
Scheduled text messages are SMS messages you automatically send on a specific day and time.
For example, you can schedule a bulk text message to be sent to your subscriber list at 11:00 AM on the third Tuesday of every month. When that day and time arrive, the text message will be sent automatically without manual input.
Benefits of a Good SMS Automation Platform
On top of reaching most of your customers at any time of the day, automated text messaging has more advantages.
Let’s go over these three benefits:
1. Consistent Returns
SMS automation can help you provide your customers value by sending personalized and relevant messages automatically. As a result, you can increase your sales and brand loyalty since SMS offers the highest conversion rate of all channels, with one in eight businesses reporting a click-through rate of more than 50%.
2. Intelligent Engagement
You can segment your contact list into various groups based on criteria such as age, gender, and demographics, then send relevant messages to each group. Doing so boosts the engagement rates of your SMS campaigns.
3. Hands-Free Messaging
Text messaging automation frees up your time to focus on other crucial aspects of your business, such as customer acquisition, analyzing your competitors, and customer service.
Text Messaging Use Cases
With highly-engaged customers opening and reading nearly all texts (98%) sent, texting has proven to be a valuable marketing channel.
With that in mind, let’s cover five text marketing use cases that can help you potentially boost your sales and customer loyalty:
1. Appointment Reminders and Confirmations
Appointment reminders are personalized messages you send to customers to notify them of an upcoming event, such as a restaurant booking, a doctor’s appointment, or a package delivery.
|Here’s an example:
Hey, [Client Name] — We wish to remind you of your [Service] appointment at [Business Name] on [Date] at [Time]. Reply 1 to confirm, 2 to cancel, or 3 to reschedule. Text STOP to end.
Appointment alerts can help you send real-time updates with crucial details, strengthen your relationship with customers, and help them see you as a reliable service provider.
2. Abandoned Cart SMS
Abandoned cart SMS reminders are text messages automatically sent when customers add products to their cart but leave without completing their purchases. These messages aim to persuade customers to return to your website and purchase the products they left in their shopping carts.
According to the Baymard Institute, customers abandon nearly 70% of their shopping carts. That means over half of the consumers who show interest in your products may leave without buying anything, which eventually impacts your bottom line.
However, the higher open rates (98%) that SMS messages have compared to other marketing channels means customers will be more likely to see your message and hopefully go back to their cart and complete the purchase.
3. Text Message Surveys
A text message survey is where you send questions or inquiries to opted-in subscribers through SMS to collect data and gather customer feedback.
You can conduct SMS surveys as a two-way conversation by coding answers with numbers, such as “Reply with 1 for A and 2 for B.” It can also be open-ended, where respondents reply as they would to a regular SMS.
|Here are some examples:
4. Automated Birthday Rewards
When your customers have a special day like a birthday, sending them a personal birthday greeting along with a discount is a superb way to drive more sales and increase brand loyalty.
|Here’s an example:
Happy Birthday, [Customer Name]! Claim your 25% birthday discount at [Link] and have a fantastic year! Text STOP to opt-out.
5. Sales Promotions
Sales promotions are marketing strategies where companies use short-term campaigns to generate interest and demand for their services, products, and other offers. The primary reason for a sales promotion is to increase sales.
Businesses use promotional text messages to send tailored messages to consumers and entice them to click a link within the SMS, redirect them to the company’s website, and then purchase the promoted items.
|Here’s a promotional SMS template example:
Hey [Customer Name], Just for you 💝 Buy 1 [Product Name], and get a [Product Name] for FREE! Just add both items to your shopping cart to get the discount 💕Shop now: [Link]. Text STOP to opt-out.
SMS automation is an effective marketing tool for all types of businesses and can have a huge impact on your brand. It can help you offer excellent customer experiences and generate sales on autopilot.
Always remember to personalize your automatic text messages by using recipients’ names when you address them. That way, every conversation will be relevant to the individual customers and will give them interactive, personal experiences.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do you send automated texts?
Here’s a summary of how to send automated text messages:
- Sign up for an automated text message service.
- Upload the contacts who’ve opted in to receive your text messages.
- Create segmented lists for your subscribers to ensure you’re reaching them based on the criteria that matter to them, such as demographics, age, and gender.
- Compose the text messages you want to send to selected contacts from your subscribers list.
- Schedule automated messages to be sent later or immediately.
- Use your SMS automation software to set up recurring messages for holidays, anniversaries, birthdays, subscription renewals, and appointment reminders.
- Encourage new customers to subscribe to your SMS campaigns by offering them a freebie or discounted deal.
2. Is sending automated text messages legal?
Yes, sending automated SMS campaigns is legal as long as you follow the rules and regulations required by law. In conjunction with the TCPA, the CAN-SPAM Act makes it illegal for marketers to use SMS marketing tools for the purpose of sending unwanted SMS messages to a customer’s mobile number.
Ensure that each recipient has opted into your automated texting service in advance, since SMS spam can result in significant legal fines.
3. What are the best practices for automation?
Here are some steps you can take to ensure that you get the best out of text message automation:
- Giving subscribers a simple way to unsubscribe;
- Personalizing your SMS messages;
- Getting consent from subscribers by ensuring they opt-in to your SMS campaigns;
- Sending your text messages consistently;
- Focusing on providing value to your customers;
- Responding to subscribers’ messages quickly.
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