Using Triggered SMS Messages to Improve the Customer Experience

SMS messages are a great way to reach your customers on a more personal level while enhancing their experience and increasing your engagement. You have a unique opportunity to reach your customers on their mobile devices, through an avenue they prefer.

In fact, 75% of consumers are okay with receiving text messages from brands that they have opted-in to. That means that as long as a customer is willing to opt-in to your SMS messaging, you will more than likely capture their attention.

To make it sound even more appealing (because it really is) 90% of messages are read within 3 minutes and they have a 98% open rate. Those numbers are almost unheard of in the marketing industry. So how can you not want to jump into the text message marketing realm?

Text message marketing offers a wide range of benefits to companies. From increased open rates to click-through and ROI, text messages are a great way to capture your customer’s attention. Image courtesy of Listrak.

In this article, we’ll take a look at how triggered SMS messages can improve your customer experience. Here’s a quick glance at what we’ll cover:

  • Detail what triggered SMS messages are and how they work
  • Look at triggered emails include: automatic replies, reminder texts, automated campaigns, and security notifications

Triggered SMS Messages

If you have an SMS messaging strategy in place, you should include triggered messages in your plan. They are messages that are sent based on a specific action or event that “triggers” the text to be sent.

Here are a few examples of actions that may trigger a text message to be sent to your customers:

  • Registering for SMS messages
  • Downloading a document
  • Having an upcoming appointment
  • Website browsing behaviors
  • Previous shopping history
  • A specific date such as a birthday or anniversary

These types of text messages are very well received by customers and often provide them with the right content at the right time. They provide you with an opportunity to improve the customer experience by sending them important communication directly to their mobile device at the moment an event happens.

Types of Triggered Messages

There are a number of different ways to use triggered SMS messaging for your business. From sharing marketing messaging to improving customer sense of security, you can build better customer experiences and increase engagement.

Let’s take a look at a few different ways you can start using triggered SMS messages in your mobile marketing strategy.

Automatic Replies

When you think about SMS messages, automatic replies are probably one of the first things that come to mind. That’s because automatic replies are one of the first ways a customer interacts with your SMS marketing.

For someone to subscribe to your SMS messaging list, they must text a unique keyword to be enrolled. Once the user sends that code, they receive an automatic reply asking them to confirm that they want to receive messages from your company. This is the most basic form of SMS messaging automatic replies.

Depending on how you use your text message marketing, you can set up automatic replies for a number of different reasons. If a customer interacts with your brand for a specific campaign or joins your loyalty program, an automatic reply can be registered based on the action taken.

This example shows communication between a company and a customer based on the action of contacting the golf course. The automatic replies allow for the customer to book a date they want to golf in real-time, improving the customer experience. Image courtesy of Business 2 Community.

These can be used to help automate your text marketing campaigns. They allow your customers to receive instant responses to certain actions and don’t require manual intervention from someone on your team to initiate the conversation.

Adding automatic replies to your most common customer interactions will help improve the customer experience and increase engagement.

Reminder Texts

Many companies will send customers reminder text messages based on a number of different triggers. This type of trigger email is initiated depending on something that has already been scheduled and acts as a reminder to the subscriber.

Here are a few examples of reminder text messages you may have received from companies:

  • Appointment reminders for a doctor or another appointment
  • Payment reminders for upcoming bills
  • Delivery reminders about products you recently purchased
  • Subscription reminders for medication or other services

Reminder text messages are welcomed by customers because it helps them remember something they may have scheduled a year ago. It also helps decrease the number of no-shows for companies who rely on customers coming into their location for an appointment. Image courtesy of Prime Clinical.

These reminder text messages can be very valuable to your subscribers. They are a great way to remind customers of an appointment they may have booked months ago and can serve as a reminder to pick-up medication they may need.

We all get busy in our day-to-day life, it can be easy to forget something that only comes around a few times a month. That’s why most customers welcome reminder text messages to help them keep track of their credit card payments, doctor appointments, and product delivery dates.

Automated Campaign Messages

With automated campaign messages, you can take your SMS messages to the next level. These are similar to the idea of an automated email marketing campaign but interact with your customers via texting.

By segmenting your subscriber list, you can identify what customers may be interested in and create campaigns around these areas. Then, just as you would send email subscribers automated emails, you can identify specific actions and triggers to enroll SMS subscribers into those campaigns.

A few examples of how you can use this type of triggered email include:

  • Identifying what customers are more likely to purchase with coupons and sending them monthly coupons to continue to engage with them
  • Creating a welcome campaign that spans over multiple months and customers are enrolled after they join your subscription list
  • Retarget customers that are at a higher risk of churning and bring them back to an active status
  • Interacting with pregnant customers about what to expect and when to start working with a midwife (example below)

This is a great campaign that helps pregnant users understand what to expect week by week during their pregnancy. It’s a great example of how you can build text message campaigns that your customers will want to receive around events happening in their lives. Image courtesy of Smart Insights.

The possibilities when it comes to triggered campaigns are endless. If you have a specific customer group that you’re looking to target, you can develop a campaign around their wants and needs. The more specific you can get with your campaigns, the better experience you will be creating for your customers — and your metrics will show it.

Security Notifications

You’ve more than likely received a security notification text message before. These are common when you try to log into an account and just can’t remember the username or password. After many failed attempts, you’ll receive a text message letting you know that there have been multiple incorrect login attempts.

After a failed attempt at logging into an account, you may receive a message or verification code to log into the account. This is an example you’d see if you were attempting to log into your Google accounts from an unknown device. Image courtesy of How to Geek.

This is one of those examples of SMS messages that customers welcome. That’s because it adds a layer of security to your brand. Three-quarters of internet-using households have concerns around online privacy and security. By adding a layer of security to your site interactions, you will be building a level of trust with your customers.

If they feel that they can trust your company, they are more likely to come back to your site and make a purchase. Many customers will cease doing business with a company if they feel uncertain about how the company will handle their personal information.

Building a layer of trust with your customers will make them want to continue shopping and interacting with your brand. Using security notifications will let them know you care about their privacy and are taking measures to keep their personal information on lockdown.

SMS Messaging to Better Engage Your Customers

Using triggered SMS messages will help better engage your customers by directly interacting with them when they are taking actions with your brand. By providing them with real-time communication that is relevant to what they need based on a specific trigger, you can build a more comprehensive customer journey.

Text message marketing offers you a unique opportunity to reach your customers on a device they always have, at the moment they need to receive the information. By using this data properly, you can increase customer trust and engagement.