11 Ways to Automate Your SMS Marketing Messages

If you're feeling overwhelmed by incorporating one more marketing strategy into your business, you're not alone. Surveys show that most small business owners, with the help of one employee, will spend an average of 20 hours per week on marketing alone. 

The good news is you can run an effective marketing campaign by automating your SMS messages that focus on the customer journey. SMS and text message marketing is one of the most impactful ways to market and stay in touch with your customers. Nearly 80% of consumers also like receiving offers via text messaging. Here's how to get started.

1) Thank You Texts 

Thank you texts are one of the simplest ways to automate your SMS marketing messages and make a noticeable impact. Beyond thanking customers for signing up for your list or for their order, there are other ways to optimize your messages. 

Try sending out thank you texts that include your most active social media handles at the end of every message. Or add a link leading to an online review platform and ask if they’ll share their feedback. Change up your strategy to see which tactics give your bottom line the best results. 

2) Segment Your List and Automate Messages

List segmentation is a powerful way to laser focus your SMS marketing messages to the most engaged audiences. You can segment your list by purchases, engagement, demographics, and specific KPIs. Once your audience is organized and ready to go, automate your messages accordingly.

For example, your list segmentation of customers who only respond to sales could receive a periodic coupon code to keep their interest high. Or you can send customers who respond the most to surveys a poll asking which products and services they want to see from your business.

3) Rescue Abandoned Shopping Carts

Rescuing abandoned shopping carts dramatically raises your revenue without the need to increase your customer base. According to the Baymard Institute, 69.57% of online shopping carts are abandoned. This figure means for every 100 potential customers, 70 will leave without ever purchasing anything.

Instead of letting abandoned sales slip through your fingers, try rescuing them with an SMS text. Send customers a reminder to complete their purchase and incentivize them with a limited-time coupon code to prompt the sale. 

4) A/B Testing Promotions

Your automated messages can also help test promotions to figure out which option works best. A/B testing involves sending more than one message to different audience segments to see which ones perform the best. Or you can divide one segment into two and measure the results.

Not sure where to start? There are several ways you can use A/B testing in SMS marketing messages:

  • Graphics or videos
  • Subject headings
  • Amount of the discount
  • Sales copy
  • CTA
  • Length

Once you find the winners, you can now create more strategic and informed SMS marketing messages to earn the best results.

5) Surveys

Surveys are a quick way to bolster customer engagement and get more feedback about your business. Ask customers what type of promotions they want to see and what motivates them the most to buy. You may discover they're more interested in free shipping than lower prices. Or if you run flash sales and release limited-time inventory, your customers may want early-bird access to get the best selection. 

The next step is implementing the information you gathered. Don't waste your customers' time by sending surveys just to get some engagement going. Part of the process of sending surveys is following up with the results and making changes. The goal is to improve the customer journey and keep your SMS marketing list active and lucrative.

6) Online Review Request

Gathering more online reviews for your business directly supercharges your business growth. Research shows that 79% of shoppers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Yet constantly following up about reviews is a tedious process without automation in place. Automate the process to send out an SMS on a specific schedule to prompt the review. You can also automate a follow-up a few weeks after the first message. But remember to make it easy. Including a link that instantly redirects customers to your review platform of choice is the best way to spark action.

7) Order Updates

Order updates are a simple way to improve the customer experience and reduce your overhead. You won't need to answer as many phone calls and emails about orders, fulfillment, and delivery if customers have ongoing updates at their fingertips. Sending a text with a link to click directly to their account sign-in also keeps them in control of the experience.

If you’re worried customers won’t like the automated order updates and customer care, don’t be. Research supports the need for more SMS messages geared towards customer care. More than 52% of people said they'd likely text with a customer support rep if given the option. In addition, 52% would prefer to text a customer support rep over their current preferred mode of communication.

8) Periodic Appointment Reminders

Every service business needs an automated appointment reminder to reduce their number of no-shows. The impact of missed appointments is significant. Research shows that the healthcare industry alone loses $150 billion due to missed appointments. Yet less than 5% of scheduled appointments are canceled after receiving text message reminders. 

Sending automated appointment reminders with a confirmation opt-in is just the first step. When someone cancels, you can also use your SMS list to send out an invitation to book a last-minute appointment. Some clients will want to bump up their meeting or service to an earlier date. Others will jump on the offer to grab a spot right away instead of going to your competitor to find an earlier date.

9) Drip Campaigns

There are plenty of reasons that SMS marketing campaigns and text messages are superior to email. After all, SMS boasts a 98% open rate while email only sees 20% or less. Those figures can shift depending on the industry for email, but SMS' rates remain high.

Some marketers use email exclusively to develop sophisticated drip campaigns. Email could be the better choice if you're selling online courses and want to write long content that isn't a good fit for quick and succinct texting. Otherwise, SMS is also a strong contender for drip campaigns to nurture leads and take customers through the sales cycle. 

10) Holidays and Seasonal Events

Some businesses only use SMS text message marketing to entice people to book a salon service or remind them about a doctor's appointment. Others use texting multiple times a week to promote sales and last-minute offers. But regardless of the industry, holidays and seasonal events are the perfect time to automate your marketing messages. 

Automate your sales and promos in advance for a holiday party, free shipping offers, and a new product launch. Beyond the major holidays, those quirky messages throughout the year also help stand out from the competition and delight your customers. You can find everything from Popcorn Day to Penguin Awareness Day on a list of fun holidays

11) Ongoing Tips and Inspiration

Service providers may not have ongoing sales to promote, but that doesn't mean you can't use SMS marketing and text messaging to stay connected and motivate your customers. Boot camp instructors could automate messages to send weekly workout tips and strategies to stay motivated. A chiropractor can send periodic insights about preventing neck pain while working behind a computer all day. Make sure your texts offer value while helping raise your brand awareness and nurture a relationship with your customers. 

Final Thoughts

SMS and text message marketing doesn't need to be challenging to set up and run quickly and efficiently. Whether you're a one-person company or enterprise-level corporation, SMS automation keeps your marketing strategy running without the need for daily, hands-on attention. 

Are you ready to get started with SMS and text message marketing for your business? Contact us today to learn more.