Getting Started With Automated Text Messaging

    BONUS MATERIAL: SMS API Integration Checklist

Automated 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 enhance customer experience. 

This article explains all there is to know about automated text messages and how you can set up SMS automation for your business.

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

Why and how automated text messages work

Automated text messaging is often used by brands for customer service messages (e.g. appointment reminders, order confirmations, delivery updates, and feedback requests) and SMS marketing purposes. For instance, once a subscriber opts in to receive marketing texts, you can send text messages for flash sale notifications, abandoned cart reminders, special offers, loyalty discounts, or other announcements to them.

The triggers for sending automated text messages can be based on a specific event occurring or at a particular predetermined time.

For example, an order confirmation message would be triggered after the customer makes an online purchase. An automatic reminder could be sent an hour after a user abandons their online shopping cart, followed by recurring messages such as a second one the following day. Similarly, you can schedule texts for appointment reminders three days before appointments are due to happen.

You can also send automated yet personalised messages for your SMS campaigns by combining the power of text automation with mass messaging. For example, if you have decided to launch a new product line a week before Christmas, you can schedule a bulk text message campaign starting, say, 16th December, at 5 pm. Requiring no further input from you, the scheduled text messages will be sent out automatically as soon as the clock strikes 05.00 on the day. 

Subsequent SMSes can also be scheduled at specific dates and times to optimise the performance of your text message marketing campaigns.

If these communications had to be sent out manually, you can imagine how much time and resources it would take to send the same message to a long list of people. You would constantly have to monitor every customer's every move to be able to time your messages perfectly.

Another great thing about automatic text messages is that they are quick and very visible for those on the receiving end. 98% of sent text messages have a 100% chance of being opened by recipients, which is phenomenal compared to other communication channels.

Furthermore, there's quite a bit of evidence to support that many people prefer to be contacted by text as opposed to other channels. For instance, nearly half of all internet consumers in the U.S. say they prefer to receive loyalty-related communications via text message.

Man looking at a smartphone on a street

How to send automated SMS messages

The benefits of text message automation are apparent. But how exactly do you go about setting up an automated text message 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 SMS 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 a large volume of customer data, you may need your developers to work on a bespoke integration. This would ensure you can create various messaging workflows based on very specific customer actions or triggers carefully defined by you. 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, an online automation tool, to send messages. More than 2,000 applications can be connected to Messente through Zapier, and this integration method requires no coding or development work. There will be a cost to pay for using Zapier, but if you are only planning to send a low volume of text messages, say a hundred to a thousand messages per month to start, 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, please reach out to us.

Automated text messaging workflows

Automated text message workflow example

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 [haircut 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 with SMS automation

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

Use Messente's SMS API with your CRM system to send automated text messages quickly and efficiently. Feel free to use or take inspiration from our messaging workflows above – they will give you a great headstart. And if you want to adopt a more targeted approach to mass texting, such as for certain VIP customers, you can use Messente's Phonebook API to create custom groups of subscribers.

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

Karl Kalvik
2023-01-30 00:00:00 UTC