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As your customer base grows and you expand your marketing and communication strategies, you’ll need to maximize your resources while minimizing time and labor. One simple, but powerful way to do this is to send automated text messages.
Sending text messages automatically instead of manually creates a more streamlined customer experience by ensuring your campaigns always go out on time and that customers receive timely communication. It also reduces the possibility of human error, which could result in unprofessional mistakes like typos or wrong numbers.
If you’re unsure of how to send automatic text messages, keep reading – we’ll go over the necessary steps below in more detail.
How To Send Automated Text Messages
You can begin sending automatic messages with just four simple steps: signing up with an SMS carrier, uploading your contact or subscriber lists, developing messages for text campaigns, and then scheduling those campaigns for a specific date and time. And that’s it! Once you sign up with a mass text service, the process to set up automatic SMS campaigns is user-friendly and intuitive.
Step 1: Sign Up With An SMS Service
To get ready to send automated text messages, you’ll need to sign up with one of two possible types of services: an SMS API provider or an SMS broadcasting software. Both perform the same basic functions (and both allow you to automatically send text messages), but you’ll need a software developer or programmer to integrate an API into your systems.
If you’re unsure whether an API or broadcasting service would be the right fit for your company, contact a service provider and ask for a demo. During the demo, ask questions about which type of service would best help your company grow. Research like this will be key to determining which company you should move forward with. You can also search for reviews, ask for a free trial, or request support documents.
Make sure to look into features specifically supporting automatic text messages. Ask about SMS short code and SMS long code capabilities, throughput speeds, uptime guarantees, and extra features like two-way texting or opt-out handling. Another good idea is to ask what security measures are in place to protect your company’s privacy, as well as that of your customers.
Step 2: Upload Your Contact Lists
After you’ve signed up with the best service provider, the next step is to upload your contact lists, also known as subscriber lists. These are the lists of people who have opted-in to your campaigns— or, in other words, the users who have agreed to receive text messages from you.
This is an important aspect of your campaigns: make sure to only contact people who have explicitly consented via an opt-in to receive marketing and other texts from you. If you send unsolicited messages, you’ll likely be reported for spam. In turn, this can lead to all sorts of unpleasant repercussions, like fines or carrier suspensions.
Over time, you can grow your contact lists through various marketing strategies, such as offering subscriber-only perks or offering exclusive savings to new subscribers. You can also grow your customer base by utilizing SMS campaign best practices, such as keeping your texts short and sending them at courteous times.
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Step 3: Curate Campaign Messages
Once your contact lists are uploaded, it’s time to start crafting your SMS campaigns! Arguably the most important aspect of this is your campaign message: it’s what your customers will see and what will convince them to either interact with or ignore you. Here are a few rules of thumb to go by:
- Keep your messages short but legible
- Include keywords, but don’t keyword stuff
- Ensure your call to action is obvious
- Make sure to offer customers value
Targeting your campaigns (and messages) will help you increase interaction rates and better show the value you offer to customers. You can target campaigns based on any number of factors, such as demographics, geographic region, subscription length, and more.
Building off this, you can also customize your messages for an even more personalized experience. Including each customer’s name in the text is an easy way to accomplish this. You can also send special rewards to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, or other important dates.
You can easily create and store templates for a variety of different campaigns, which will help further streamline the SMS process and make sending automatic SMS messages easier than ever.
Step 4: Schedule Your Text Campaigns
Here’s where the ‘automated’ part of automatic text messages comes in: schedule your SMS campaigns to send at a specific time and date. Try to schedule your campaigns so that there will be high interaction rates, and make sure to avoid times that will be inconvenient or annoying to customers. Typically, this means you shouldn’t send campaigns very early in the morning or later in the evening. Beyond this, analyze your campaign target group to find the best time.
When scheduling your campaigns, make sure to avoid sending messages at times that would be considered inappropriate, such as during a holiday. Similarly, if an unexpected event happens (such as a hurricane or flood), look at your upcoming campaigns and reschedule them as needed. You should also periodically review your campaign messages and templates, to make sure the specific wording is still appropriate and/or relevant.
Scheduled texts can also be used purely for customer convenience, and not for marketing or sales. For example, customers appreciate automatic monthly payments and appointment reminders.
Send Automated SMS Messages
By this point, you should have a firm grasp on how to set up automatic texts, including what steps this process takes and what each step will look like. The specifics of these steps will be determined by what service provider you choose and whether you sign up for an SMS API or broadcasting software.
Remember to thoroughly research providers to find the one that will best suit your current and future needs. Take advantage of demos and free trials, especially the latter. Once you’ve decided, don’t hesitate to ask questions or seek clarification so that you fully understand how to send automated messages.