Long gone are the days when you had to manually identify the target group within your database, upload their contact details in batches and send out messages hoping it would be delivered right. Today, SMS automation enables you to send hyper-personalised messages to specific audience groups based on their behaviours and actions, at a time when they are most likely to read it. SMS automation can drive instant results for your business and this blog post will show you how.
What is SMS automation?
As the name suggests, SMS automation lets you schedule and send pre-written messages automatically to your recipients. You can trigger auto-messages to be sent out at a particular date and time either based on a customer activity or schedule messages to be sent over a period of time. With SMS automation, you can significantly reduce manual and repetitive tasks, save time, minimise operational costs, increase efficiency and improve business outcomes.
How businesses use SMS automation
The primary reason businesses use SMS automation is scale. It allows businesses to not only send SMSes in bulk, but also personalise the messages at a granular level. For instance, with automation, you can add the recipient’s name, a unique discount code etc. effortlessly. Here are 7 ways businesses use SMS automation today:
To send reminders
A study found that no-show rates were 38% lower in patients who received an SMS reminder when compared to those who didn’t. (Source: BMC) This is applicable to all kinds of activities like paying bills, insurance premiums, filing tax returns, even watching a new movie about to be released etc. With automated SMS reminders, you can customise, plan and automatically send messages for upcoming appointments, meetings, and payments. Here are some examples:
Hi (name), this is a reminder for your upcoming appointment on (mm/dd/yyyy) at (hh/mm) with (consultant) at (company). To cancel/reschedule call: (number).
Hello (name). This is to remind you that a sum of (amount) is outstanding on your (company) account. To avoid penalty, please pay before (due date).
To confirm an action
Once an action is completed, like placing an online order or booking a movie ticket, customers expect to be instantly notified of its status. With automated SMS, you can schedule personalised messages to be triggered based on your customer’s activity. Sending them such confirmation messages promptly will help establish better trust and increase customer satisfaction. You can find some examples below:
Hey (name)! Thank you for purchasing (Product) at (Company). Your payment has been received. For more information: (Website link)
Hi (name), your appointment for (service) at (company) on (dd/mm/yyyy) at (hh/mm) is confirmed. Look forward to seeing you! For queries, call (number).
To keep users informed
At every step of the customer journey, they would like to be informed. Every industry benefits from automating such messages. For instance, in the e-commerce industry, order statuses on when the package will be dispatched, shipped, and delivered are crucial in providing stellar customer service. In the travel industry, keeping your customers informed of any delays, updates or cancellations will help them make alternative arrangements or plans if necessary. Here are some examples on how to do it:
Hi there (name)! Your (product) with ID (number) just got shipped and is on the way home. To track status: (Link) – Team (Company).
Hi (name), your flight (number) with (company) from (city of departure) to (city of arrival) is delayed due to bad weather. Your boarding time is now (hh/mm). For live updates visit: (Link)
To collect feedback
To gauge the response of a customer, you need to collect feedback at the right time. With SMS automation, you can schedule and automate surveys to be sent out immediately after a purchase or the completion of a service. You can also send reminders to give reviews and ratings that can add credibility to your products and services. Find some examples below on how to do it:
In-store experience feedback
Hello (name), hope you enjoyed your recent visit to the (company) store. Help us give you a better experience next time by giving us your valuable feedback. Click here: (Link) Thank you!
Hi (name), did the (company) support team you recently contacted solve your problem? Please reply Y or N. Thank you!
To promote a service or product
Promotional SMSes are an important sales tool for organisations. With messages about the launch of a new product, flash sale announcements, and free trials etc., brands convert customers in consideration stage to decision stage. Let’s take a look at some examples:
Hello (name)! Looking for a new summer outfit? Get 25% off our new collection. Sale ends on Sunday. Shop now: (Website link) -Team (company).
Hi (name)! Have you enjoyed your trial of (product)? If you need more time, use promo code (code) to get 10 more days for free: (Website link).
To authenticate logins
Two-factor authentication (2FA) and one-time passwords (OTPs) have become a common way of verifying the identities of customers. Whether it is logging into your bank account or your email, these automatically-generated OTPs ensure a quick and seamless experience. Here are some examples of using SMSes to send instant OTPs:
OTP for login
Dear customer, the One Time Password for your login is (OTP). It will be valid only for the next 5 mins. -(company)
OTP for transaction
(OTP) is the OTP for transaction of INR (amount) at (company) app for your card XXXXX1234. OTP is valid for 10 mins. Do not share it with anyone.
To greet customers
Customers create impressions about your business based on how you treat them. A well-crafted and personalised welcome message can go a long way in beginning a new line of communication with your customers. Sending personalised birthday and anniversary greetings along with a special discount or offer to help them celebrate their special day can make them feel valued. Here are some examples on how to do it:
(Company): Hi (name), welcome aboard! We are happy to have you as part of our community. As a welcome gift, use code (code) to get a 20% discount off your next order!
Happy Birthday (name)! Celebrate your special day with us today and get a 30% discount off your dinner! – Team (company).
Summing it up
SMS automation is popular among businesses as it gives you the advantage of connecting instantly with your customers, saving time and money, and increasing productivity. Exotel’s Business SMS is a reliable and easy-to-use communication channel that lets you automate your messages depending on your business needs.
With Exotel, you can leverage the power of automated SMS to connect with your customers at scale. To know more about this, book a demo today!