SMS marketing is integral to a forward-thinking business's marketing efforts because text messaging is widely used by the general population. As many as 55% of people use their native messing app on mobile devices to send texts – and 95% of texts are read within three minutes of being sent.

SMS offers direct contact with customers making it an invaluable tool not just for marketing a brand and advertising its services but also for collecting feedback, confirming orders, refunds and appointments and providing customer service. Some of these uses involve one-way texting.

What is one-way text messaging? (And how does it differ from conversational texting?)

One-way texting should be used if you don't require recipients to send back a response. The most important use case for one-way SMS messaging is if you're sending texts in bulk, as you might if sending a blanket marketing promotion to your entire subscriber list. In this case, you wouldn't want to encourage replies. There are some other important reasons to send a one-way text message broadcast – we explore these later in this article.

What is conversational texting?

Conversational text messaging is two-way, where you send a text to your customer, and they send back a reply. Two-way messaging is ideal for customer service interactions where the customer must go back and forth with an agent to resolve a problem or get their question answered. It's also useful for appointment scheduling and sending replies to a survey or poll.

When should your business text one way?

Single-way text messaging usually serves to inform. But it's also helpful if you want to urge your audience to take a particular action, such as clicking a link to visit a landing page or calling a number, rather than replying to your SMS. Here are some specific use cases where one-way communication is best.

1. New product, service or outlet launch

Send one-way bulk text messages if you need to issue an important announcement as a group message that benefits all customers, such as the launch of a new product. In this case, you don't need customers to reply; you just want to make them aware of your expanded offering.

2. New promotions

Flash sales, special discounts and free shipping are examples of promotions that work well as one-way broadcasts. You can send group texts individually to a specific batch of customers in your database if you need to send a more targeted text – for instance, if you're offering VIP customers a particular loyalty programme benefit.

3. Reminders

Appointment reminders or abandoned cart reminders don't involve sending a mass text message, but this is a crucial one-way use case. Abandoned cart reminders can often be automated and scheduled to send one hour (or one day) after a prospective buyer fails to complete their purchase online. While appointment reminders serve to reduce no-shows and cancellations.

Example of abandoned cart reminder text

4. Scheduling confirmations

A good way to handle appointment changes is to request that customers call a number or visit a booking portal online if they want to reschedule or cancel (rather than replying by text). When that happens, you can trigger scheduling messages which confirm the new date and time of the customer's appointment. Schedule messages are also helpful in confirming client meetings.

5. Order confirmations

One-way order confirmations are another everyday use for this type of messaging. As soon as customers place an order, you can send a message to say that their order and payment have been received. Order confirmations offer reassurance to the customer and reduce post-purchase anxiety. Again, this type of text message can be automated if you integrate SMS into your business systems.

6. Order tracking

Customers often want to see the status of their order – whether it's been despatched and where it is in the fulfilment process, so they know when to expect delivery. Single-way text messages are ideal for informing customers how to track their orders and view status updates (you'd simply include a tracking link within the text message).

All the above one-way messaging use cases are essential in growing brand awareness and increasing customer satisfaction. Be sure to pick the best mass texting service to handle your company's specific requirements.

Tips for impactful one-way text messages

Even though many of your one-way SMS messages may be blanket texts and generic to all customers, there are ways to make your SMS campaigns grab attention. Follow our tips below to get the best out of SMS.

  • Personalize – this is important because it directly influences buying behaviour – 76% of customers are more likely to buy from a brand that sends personalized messages. It's easy to personalize texts using an SMS service that pulls meaningful data (e.g. the customer name, product type or appointment time) into your message.

  • Include a call-to-action (CTA) – one that's high performing and effective, so it encourages your subscribers to take the desired action.

  • Write strong copy – make your message content interesting, clear and relatable to your recipients. (Here are 15 SMS copywriting hacks to inspire you).

  • Provide a way to opt out – this is a legal requirement for text message marketing in most countries. SMS subscribers must be allowed to withdraw consent if they wish.
Person making a purchase via mobile phone

The one-way text message is vital for many business communications

The one-way text message has many uses and is crucial for increasing brand awareness and customer satisfaction. It doesn't serve to evoke a response – you should use this type of message when you specifically don't want customers to reply.

Use one-way SMS for mass text marketing campaigns, to schedule and confirm appointments, for automated abandoned cart reminders and to confirm and provide updates on customer orders. To get the most out of your text messages, use a powerful SMS software solution and follow our tips above to make your content impactful.

Messente is considered a best group text app. Learn more about our platform via our blog or sign up for a free account to try our service out.