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We live in a time when practically everyone has a cellphone, and you can reach your audience in previously unprecedented ways through texting. We also live in a time that offers technological "fixes" for everything related to marketing your business.
So, with the rise of text messaging as a primary marketing channel, the availability of automated text messaging platforms for marketers is also rising. Marketers know that SMS marketing automation means you can now realistically plan to catch every client that comes to your business.
But think about the premise of text messaging: A personal form of communication.
It’s about sending intimately relevant messages to a specific receiver. With that premise in mind, automated text messaging is inherently antithetical to that.
What Is An Automated Text Message System?
An automated text message system can send scheduled or triggered text messages to customers. With it, you can send messages to individuals or large groups. These messages are behaviorally triggered by a customer's action (such as clicking on a link). Or the messages are sent on a recurring schedule (drip messaging).
But today’s customers are conditioned to recognize canned digital marketing messages. They see them constantly in their email, in their social media, and when visiting websites. Generic, automated messages drive customers away instead of drawing them closer.
Building a deeper relationship with your audience is the primary function of the Community platform. Community is not designed with automated messaging in mind. Our features enable you to have honest conversations with your Members at scale, which we’ve seen help drive higher engagement rates.
The Cons of Automating Your Audience Text Messages
The downside to any automated system is arguably its greatest feature: its low-maintenance nature.
Digital marketing is all about a "set it and forget it" mindset. You can give the appearance of being involved and that you're keeping it personal by scheduling pre-planned drip messages and workflows.
You may think that the messages are relevant to your customers. And they may be relevant, but customers can tell when a message is impersonal, so whether they feel compelled to answer is hit or miss.
So, automation appears to help you make personal connections. But it only works if someone responds and only if you can predict customer feedback and then tailor your automated message strategy appropriately.
Why Community Works Better for Large-Scale SMS Messaging
With a 95% open rate, texts are the best marketing strategy of the modern-day. Using texting in your business provides you with a new, direct method of reaching your audience.
Community allows you to apply better methods to traditional automated messaging.
Communicate In Real-Time
With automated messaging, you create messages and then schedule them to send at a specific time. You can schedule messages with Community, too. But Community’s features add a powerful feel of personalization to your messages. With the platform, you can send messages to large or small audiences at any time, just like you'd text a friend.
You'll use Filters to segment your Members into any number of subsets. Then, you can get hyper-specific in your text message. You can ask about personal preferences; you can ask location-based questions, or even send a more personal message like, "How was that hot dog stand over on Main Street? Should I check it out?"
Or, if you're looking to host a last-minute event or limited-time sale, you can send out a text on the day of the event to instill a sense of urgency, letting your Members know they need to act fast.
You'll get multiple responses to your messages, but you can use the Clustering feature to respond to Members in an authentic and personal way.
Authentic Conversation Instead of Behavior-Based Workflows
Typically, customer responses to pre-planned drip marketing trigger the next message in the drip. Again, a successful drip campaign would have to be meticulously planned ahead of time.
Community releases you from planning by allowing you to respond to your Members on the go.
You can configure your Community Keywords and Keyword Responder to send a quick response. Think pre-programmed messages or replies on your iPhone like "On my way!!" or "I'm Driving." Or emojis like smiley faces, thumbs-up, or high-fives; anything that allows you to acknowledge you've received the message and will reply in detail later are ways to use the Keyword Responder.
The Keywords feature helps you to add Members to specific Communities based on their text replies. If their response to your message contains a keyword, they’re added to the Community associated with that keyword. Adding your Members to a Community allows you to send relevant messages to those Members at any time.
With our Clustering feature, our A.I. groups your Members’ similar responses so you can respond to them all by saying it once. The difference between Clusters and Keywords is that Keywords add Members to an audience.
Filters allow you to segment Members into subsets and then respond appropriately.
These features allow you to read your customer responses and send an empathetic and meaningful reply as if you’re in a 1:1 conversation with each of them. You're actively engaging with them. It's a unique way to add personalization to your customer conversations and gently nudge those on the edge of completing an event or purchase.
These authentic conversations with your audience are what drives your customer loyalty and retention, leading to profitability.
Manage it all From the Web App or Your Mobile
Another pro of using Community for sending out texts is that you can manage it all from the convenience of either your laptop or our Community web or mobile app.
Send out big announcements, and respond to inquiries from anywhere you are when you have the Community app on your phone. Real-time SMS at scale is the perfect marketing technology for Leaders who are constantly on the go but want to prioritize connecting with their audience.
Summary of Text System Pros and Cons
There are many pros to implementing an automated text message system into your company messaging. You can utilize various functions of automation through scheduled and triggered texts to engage with your customers.
However, it’s a stale and emotionless conversation. You predict your customers’ responses and reply with canned messages that never really hit the mark or sound personal.
Community refreshes your company messaging and customer engagement by making them fun and relevant to your Members (and you). You can ask targeted questions and then reply authentically when your customers respond.
Your business will never miss an opportunity to respond to an inquiry, and you can easily send a nudge to a consumer on the edge of purchasing. Plus, you’re always in control, no matter where you are, so you’ll never have to automate your message again.
35 Sales Follow Up Statistics for 2021 [Infographic] | IRC Sales Solutions
The Economics of E-Loyalty | HBSWK.edu
21 Best Welcome Email Examples to Engage Customers in 2020 | Getvero.com