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How to Start Sending Automated Text Messages

    BONUS MATERIAL: SMS API Integration Checklist

SMS automation messages help business owners and marketing professionals to interact with customers or clients on autopilot. They’ve become increasingly popular in recent years as a form of marketing automation, because of their substantial time-saving benefits and the fact that they can significantly improve the customer experience. This article explains all about automated text messages and tells you how you can get started sending them easily.

What are automated text messages?

Automated text messages are SMS messages that are automatically triggered and sent to individuals or groups of subscribers, using specialist software. A little manual work is required to set up automated text messaging flows, but once that’s been done, you can ‘set and forget’ them and focus on other areas of your business.

Automated text messaging is often used by brands for sending automatic service messages (e.g. appointment reminders, order confirmations, delivery updates and feedback requests) and also for marketing purposes. For instance, once a subscriber opts-in to receive marketing texts, they can be sent flash sale notifications, abandoned cart reminders, special offers, loyalty discounts and more.

The triggering to send automated text messages can be based on a specific event happening or at a particular time. So an order confirmation message would be triggered after an online purchase has been made. An abandoned cart reminder could be sent an hour after cart abandonment, followed by recurring messages such as a second one the following day. And an appointment reminder might be scheduled three days before the appointment is due to occur.

If these communications had to be sent out manually, you can imagine how much time and resources it would take. Of course, other channels offer automation workflows, like email. But let’s reflect on SMS as a channel itself for a second.

The great thing about SMS is that it’s highly convenient and visible for those on the receiving end of the text. 98% of sent text messages are read – which is phenomenal compared to other channels. Furthermore, there’s evidence to support that many people prefer to be contacted by text as opposed to other channels. For instance, nearly half of internet consumers in the U.S. say they prefer to receive loyalty-related communications via text.

Man looking at a smartphone on a street

How to send automated text messages

The benefits of automated text messaging are clear. But how exactly do you go about setting up an automated texting service? The easiest way to get started is to sign up with an SMS provider that offers a messaging API for integration with your CRM system.

Integrating your CRM with Messente

Messente’s messaging API can be integrated into your CRM system in a couple of ways, depending on the type of tool you’re using. If you have a custom-built CRM that captures an extensive range of customer data, you may need your developers to work on a custom integration for you. This would ensure you can create a variety of messaging flows that are based on very specific customer actions or triggers. Messente offers comprehensive API documentation for developers to support custom integrations.

If you use an off-the-shelf CRM solution, as many smaller businesses do, Messente can be integrated quickly using Zapier to send messages, which is an online automation tool. More than 2,000 applications can be connected to Messente through Zapier and this method of integration requires no coding or development work. There will be a cost to pay for using Zapier, but if your automated text messaging needs are relatively small at the moment, say a hundred to a thousand messages per month, this should be a nominal amount.

Note: Messente is also offered as a premade (free-of-charge) integration with certain online marketing platforms. For more details about this, please reach out to us.

Automated text messaging flows

Automated text message workflow example

Once your CRM is integrated with Messente, you can create a range of automated text messaging flows, using a sequence of messages that are based on actions or timings. Take a look at these workflow examples below:

OTP message flow

With this flow, you’d trigger a unique OTP code to be generated and sent as a text immediately after your customer or client clicks a ‘Send OTP’ button on your website or app. The text message itself would look something like this:

Your secure OTP is [123456]. Copy and paste into your [company name] account login screen.

Customer order message flow

This flow might consist of four text messages, each with a different trigger. Let’s say the first one is an order confirmation, triggered after a customer makes a purchase and payment has been processed. The second might be a despatch notification, triggered when the item has been despatched. A delivery confirmation could be sent once the order has been safely handed over to the customer. And finally, a product review request could be triggered a week after delivery.

Hi [Alice]! Thanks for your order – safely received. We’ll let you know when it’s been despatched. Need to cancel or change something? Amend your order: [URL]

Great news [Alice]. Your order has been despatched and can no longer be changed. Your expected delivery date is [15/12/20].

Your order has been delivered! We hope you’re happy with the way it arrived. Leave feedback about our delivery driver here: [URL]

Hi [Alice]! How are you getting on with [product name]? Please take a moment to leave a short review as your feedback helps us improve: [URL]

Appointment reminder message flow

This simple two-message flow could help you reduce missed appointments or pre-empt cancellations allowing you to fill what would otherwise be a wasted slot. A confirmation message could be triggered upon the appointment being booked, and the second one would be the actual reminder, scheduled for a few days before the appointment date.

We look forward to seeing you on [15/12/20] at [10 am] [for your cut and blow dry] at [company name]. Need to change your appointment? Click here: [URL]

Just a friendly reminder that your [hairdressing] appointment is booked for [15/12/20] at [10 am]. See you soon! Need to cancel? Call [01234 567890].

Get started sending automated text messages

Automated SMS messaging can drive your business forward, helping you increase customer satisfaction and boost productivity within your team.

Use Messente’s SMS API with your CRM system to start sending automated text messages quickly. Feel free to copy and paste our messaging workflows above. And if you want to send more targeted messages, for example, to your VIP customers, you can use Messente’s Phonebook API to create custom groups of subscribers.

Did you know you sign up to Messente for free to take a look around? Create an account today.

Karl Kalvik
2021-11-26 00:00:00 UTC