What's more intimate than receiving a text message? Text messages are a great way to connect with your audience, but sending a text message takes time. Crafting and curating automated text responses lets you develop customer relationships without sacrificing time.
Let's look at some critical automated text response and auto-reply best practices—and some examples of how an automated text response could be incorporated into your overall marketing strategy.
What is an automated text response?
An automated text response is a message sent automatically in response to a specific trigger. The trigger can be anything from a keyword sent by the customer to a particular time or date. Automated text responses are often used in customer service applications, to answer frequently asked questions or to provide essential support. Automated responses can also be used for marketing purposes, such as sending promotional messages or updating new products or services.
An automatic text is most useful when reacting to the customer’s messages based on context, such as the prior communications attributed to a given phone number. Notably, an automated text response should be more than just an auto-reply. Even an autoresponder should be able to trigger a personalized auto-response by tailoring the auto-reply text to the user and their needs (such as “Hey, Sam!” rather than just “Hello!”).
Best practices for automated text responses
SMS marketing is strikingly effective, but SMS messages have to be used properly. When customers give you their phone number and opt-in, they trust you—you don't want to inundate them with notifications and incoming texts.
There are a few texting best practices that should be followed when creating automated text responses, in addition to general SMS best practices . These include:
Make sure the response is relevant to the trigger. The answer should be tailored to the specific trigger that caused it to be sent. For instance, you could set up a generic out-of-office message sent in response to any text. But it's more helpful if that out-of-office message acknowledges the type of inquiry the customer had.
Keep the auto-response text short and to the point. Automated text responses should be concise and easy to understand. Don't send text messages that are likely to be broken into multiple messages or scroll off the screen.
Proofread the response or use templates. Consider your texts professional communications; your SMS marketing should be as correct and well-proofed as any other type of marketing.
Examples of automated text responses
Automated text responses are a convenient way to provide customer support, send marketing messages, and more. To get some idea of how to use SMS messages in your campaigns, you can look at templates and examples.
Here are a few examples of common automated text responses to drive engagement. Some rely on an SMS autoresponder to look for given keywords within text messages. Others are triggered by platforms, such as a customer relationship management suite.
1. Customer service
Trigger: Customer sends a text message with a question or concern.
Response: Automated text response that answers the question or links to more information.
Customer: How do I reset my password?
To reset your password, please visit our website and click the "Forgot Password" link. It will ask you to enter your email. Once you have entered your email, we will send you a link to reset the password.
Trigger: Customer signs up for a newsletter or promotion.
Response: Automated text message with a discount code, special offer, or other marketing message.
Customer: Sign me up for a newsletter.
Thanks for signing up for our newsletter! You will receive a 10% discount on your next purchase. The discount code is valid for one week.
Trigger: Customer texts a specific keyword, such as "help," to a customer service number.
Response: Automated text response that provides information or a link related to the keyword.
Here are some ways that I can help you:
Type CHECK to check the status of your order
Type TRACK to track your package
Type ACCOUNT to get help with your account
Type STORE to find a store near you
4. Appointment reminder
Trigger: Customer schedules an appointment.
Response: Automated text message that reminds the customer of their appointment time and location.
Customer Action: Schedules an appointment for a haircut at 10 am on Saturday.
Hi [customer name],
This is a reminder that you have an appointment for a haircut at 10 am on Saturday at our [location].
We look forward to seeing you!
5. Shipping confirmation
Trigger: Customer places an order.
Response: Automated text message that confirms the order and provides shipping information.
Customer Action: Place an order for a new pair of shoes.
Hi [customer name],
Thank you for your order! Your order has been shipped, and the tracking number is [tracking number].
You can expect this order to arrive within 2 to 3 business days.
6. Feedback request
Trigger: Customer completes a transaction.
Response: Automated text message that asks for feedback on the customer's experience.
Customer Action: Completes a purchase at a store.
Hi [customer name],
We hope you enjoyed your experience at our store! Please take a few minutes to provide us with feedback.
Your feedback will help us to improve our services and make your next visit even better.
Tips for better automated text responses
Want to make sure that people continue to opt-in to your text messages? By providing value to your customers, you can keep them on your text messaging list. Here are a few tips for creating better-automated text responses:
Use a variety of triggers. Don't just use keywords as triggers. You can also use time and date triggers, as well as location triggers. This will help you to create more relevant and personalized responses, developing a relationship with your customers through multiple channels.
Personalize the response. The more personalized the answer, the better. You can personalize the response by using the recipient's name or through context. For instance, when you set up your business texting, you could create a trigger that messages customers if you last saw them a long time ago.
Use humor. Humor is a great way to engage the recipient and make the response more memorable. If nothing else, you can keep your text messages more casual and light-hearted than an email or a blog.
Make it easy to respond. If you want the recipient to take action, such as clicking on a link or providing more information, make it easy for them to do so. Your SMS auto-reply, for instance, should not ask your customer to give a "yes" or "no" answer unless your SMS autoresponder is set up to respond to those answers.
Automatic text replies build customer relationships without additional effort for you. With the right technology, triggered messages and auto-reply text message systems can augment your customer service and customer support system, send personalized messages, and improve your overall response time.
But anything that involves text messaging can also quickly go awry; you need to make sure your auto-response texts are relevant, that your auto-response message is clear, and that customers always feel satisfied by your communication channels. At any time, your customers should be able to escalate to a real support team or cancel their SMS messages.
Start sending SMS texts today with Emotive SMS
By following the above tips and text message examples, you can create automated text responses that are relevant, personalized, and effective—improving retention and customer lifetime value.
But in addition to the above, you also need to track the effectiveness of your text messaging campaigns. How many of your text messages are read? How many are responded to?
Emotive SMS Marketing helps you improve the effectiveness of your text messaging campaigns with a conversational messaging platform. Sign up for a demo of Emotive today to enhance your text messaging campaigns.