How to Send Automated Text Messages for Marketing

Wondering how to send automated text messages? It's easier and more effective than you might think.

Most marketers have discovered that this kind of outbound marketing strategy is more powerful (by orders of magnitude) than other channels.

According to our recent survey about how people are really texting, text messages have an unbelievable 100% open rate, with 70% reading messages within five minutes and 90% reading within 30 minutes. Compare that to email marketing, with an average open rate of 17%. Text message marketing is also more straightforward than other channels.

You don't have to sit at your desk for hours writing and editing tedious blog posts. You don't have to develop clever subject lines just to get people to open the message as you do with email. And you don't have to optimize content for some mysterious algorithm just to show up as you do with Facebook or Google.

In fact, you can actually get started with Short Message Service marketing in five easy steps. We'll show you how to send automated text messages below and give you everything you need to start.

How to Send Automated Text Messages for Marketing

Before we dive into how to send these kinds of messages, let’s ensure you fully understand automated text messages in the first place.

So, what are automated text messages, and how can they benefit your business? Automated text messages refer to texts you can program to automatically send in response to certain events or triggers. For example, your text messaging platform can send a pre-set message to a customer when they perform a specific action, like joining a loyalty program or purchasing.

This automated text message service can help your business because it lets you interact more with your customers without manually sending out individual texts. Your text message platform knows what to send and when based on the parameters you set, meaning you don’t have to monitor every incoming and outgoing text.

You’re probably asking yourself, “What types of automated text messages can I send?” You can send all sorts of automated text messages, such as welcome messages, appointment reminders, reservation confirmations, invitations, event announcements, order updates, delivery updates, and more.

With that in mind, what are some successful examples of businesses using automated text messages? Some examples of businesses using automated text messages successfully include restaurants that send out reservation confirmations, stores that send their customers exclusive promos on their birthdays, hair salons that send appointment reminders, and brands that send shipping notifications when their customers make a purchase.

The beauty of text message automation is that businesses can program the specific triggers, and their text platforms do the rest without further human intervention.

How to Send Automated Text Messages in 5 Simple Steps

Is it difficult to send automated text messages? No, it’s not difficult to send automated text messages at all! In fact, sending automated text messages is as easy as signing up for a message service, uploading contacts, launching opt-in campaigns, and creating and sending messages. You'll be up and running in no time.

Follow along to learn how to set up automated text messages for your business.

1. Sign Up for an Automated Text Message Service

There are a lot of text messaging services out there, but EZ Texting is the largest and has been around the longest. You don’t need a credit card to sign up and look around, but if you want to harness its full power to send bulk messages and personalize a Keyword, you should sign up for a plan. EZ Texting is an online software provider. That means you need an internet connection and a browser to access the tool. EZ Texting does offer API integrations for enterprise clients, but it is not necessary for most small to medium-sized businesses we serve.

How to send automatic text messages - EZ Texting sign up screen

2. Upload Your Opted-in Contacts

If you have a list of contacts that have said “yes” to receiving text messages, you can upload your list in a matter of minutes. To upload, browse for your contact file or drag your file onto the page. To make it easier, we also have a contact list template you can download and a tutorial video you can watch. You do need explicit permission from contacts to send text messages to them. Having their phone number does not mean you have permission. They need to specifically say yes to texting!

Ensure you send the right message to the right people using segmented contact groups for your campaigns. You can create as many groups as you like and put contacts into buckets based on demographics, purchase history, signup source, and more.

How to send automatic text messages - upload contacts

3. Build Your Text Marketing List with Keywords and Sign-Up Forms

How do you get permission to text someone? The easiest way is by running a Keyword campaign. You’ve definitely seen signs around that say things like, “Text JOIN to 858585 to get more information.” In this example, JOIN is the Keyword, and 858585 is the short code. Anyone who texts into this short code can receive text messages. There are rules around introducing your texting program, and EZ Texting makes it easy to follow. Feel free to use our print form templates to advertise your Keyword.

Another way to grow your opt-in list is by adding a form to your website or social media channels. EZ Texting provides customizable forms you can use for free.

How to send automatic text messages - keyword example

4. Create Your Automated Text Message

EZ Texting provides an easy-to-use tool where you can type in your message and select recipients or sub-groups from your contacts list. You can select an industry-specific template from our message library or start from scratch. A preview of the text is updated in real-time in a side window so that you can see what your text will look like on a phone.

Use personalization tokens to automatically insert the contact's first name or other relevant information in a bulk text. If you want to send a photo message (MMS) you can also do that from the main screen.

How to send automatic text messages - create message screen

5. Schedule and Send Automated Text Messages

When your message is ready, you can easily schedule it to be sent in the future or send it immediately. You can even set the message to recur or set up a reminder campaign. There are many powerful ways to use these recurring texts and reminders to boost your business and retain customers. Send recurring messages for monthly billing, birthdays, customer anniversaries, annual subscription renewals, special holiday menus, etc. Reminder campaigns have been proven to drastically cut no-show rates for appointments and boost attendance for events.

 

How to send automatic text messages - send message screen

Personalizing Your Automated Text Messages

Now that you have a better understanding of how to deploy your own automated text message responses, you’re likely asking yourself, how can I ensure my automated text messages stand out and get noticed? The best way to ensure your automated text messages stand out and get notified is by personalizing your communication. This means including information about your customers, such as their names, references to their past purchases, and tailored recommendations. It’s also important to ensure your messages are clear, concise, mobile-friendly, and engaging.

That said, should you automate all your text messages? No, we don’t recommend automating all your text messages because it’s essential to have some human interaction with your customers to ensure you’re meeting all your customers’ needs. For instance, if your customer has a complex inquiry, it’s best to have a human handle the communication so your business can quickly and efficiently address the situation. Remember, no matter how advanced your automated text message responses are, there is no substitute for a personalized, engaging conversation between a business and its customers.

Tracking the Performance of Text Message Automation

Finally, can you track the performance of your automated text messages? Yes, you can (and should!) track the performance of your automated text messages. By monitoring your analytics, such as your open and engagement rates, you can gauge how well your customers respond to your text communication. For instance, if your customers aren’t opening your texts or interacting with the content, you should experiment with your messaging to see what yields the best results.

 

Send Automated Text Messages Today

How can you get started with automated text messages for your business? You can get started with automated text messages for your business here with EZ Texting. EZ Texting Customer Support Managers are ready to assist. We’ve helped countless organizations make the most of our online text marketing software. Check out our pricing plans or start a free trial today!

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