The average response time for a text message is about 90 seconds.
And while we all have grace for friends and family who seem to take forever to get back to our messages, customers generally expect this degree of promptness when they text a business.
Of course, managing a minute and a half response time isn’t so easily accomplished when you’re out of office, receiving hundreds of texts each hour, or shifting your attention to a different project.
Thankfully, there’s a way to respond swiftly to all incoming texts without needing to jump onto your computer or phone. The answer is simple—automated text messages.
Automated text messages can not only serve as response placeholders until you’re back in the office, but they can also be:
The good news is, automating text messages is as simple to set up as a pre-recorded voicemail prompt or an out of office email reply. We’ll show you how it’s done and share some ideas for how you can leverage the power of automation.
Short for automatic reply, auto messages are texts sent without the need for manual intervention. They’re also almost always in response to a triggering action.
There are two main types of automatic replies:
We’ll provide examples of both types of message below.
Automatic text replies can be set up in a snap.
Depending on what provider you use for your text marketing software, the step-by-step instructions for setting up an away message varies. You can find ours here.
An away message will generally be a 160-character auto-reply message that can be turned on or off as needed.
You can also schedule your auto replies ahead to send at a specific time for a set it and forget it solution.
The message will be automatically triggered in response to any incoming text received while the away message is turned on. Like this:
No matter what you’re using your SMS autoresponder for, there are a few pieces of best practice you should keep in mind when crafting an automated text message.
Feeling ready to set up some automated text message replies on your own?
Before we leave you to your own devices, we have some sample messages featuring different ways you can automate text replies to serve your business.
From the familiar to the more unexpected, peruse some of the different uses for automated text replies.
Need to set up a generic away message for times you’re away from the phone or need to refocus your attention? Simply throw this template up for a few hours to buy yourself some time.
Save time and direct folks to a page with answers to frequently asked questions in an autoresponse to help sort and prioritize customer service inquiries.
If you receive a high volume of customer service texts, you may want an auto-response in place that acknowledges a customer query has been received. This can help buy you some time while attempting to reach as many people as you can.
Use your auto-response as an opportunity to connect your customers with a sales opportunity!
If you’re experiencing a higher text volume than normal, be sure to have a volume auto-text on hand to help buffer the traffic.
Don’t leave messages that come in outside of business hours hanging. Instead, let them know when they can expect a response.
If a customer is new to your text program, be sure to send them an automated welcome message upon opt-in!
Perhaps someone reached out to your marketing department regarding a press inquiry, guest post pitch, etc. You’ll want to be sure you’re ready with a response.
Just like a voicemail inbox, your texts can also take down messages for follow up as well!
If you have a job opening it can be difficult to get in touch with everyone who applies. To help you stay organized and let candidates know their application was received, consider a staffing automatic text reply.
Does your business operate outside typical working hours? Let people know with a message.
Provide customers with some quick information to help them get started with your brand or business.
If you’ll be away for a portion of time observing a holiday, create a cheerful auto-reply in your absence!
Out of office on vacation? Set and forget a message in seconds!
Just because it’s an automated message doesn’t mean you can’t seize the opportunity to collect leads. Provide the opportunity to collect an email or address within your text response.
If you’re an events-based business, use your out of office auto-reply as a way to promote your upcoming conferences, sessions, and speakers!
Just because your business is text-enabled it doesn’t mean you have to be a two-way communication platform. You can create an auto-reply message to all incoming messages letting them know the inbox they’ve reached isn’t monitored and direct them elsewhere for contact!
Anticipating some downtime on your site due to maintenance? Get ahead of any frustrated “is your site down” messages with an auto-text.
Like email, business text messaging is a platform that’s always on. But that doesn’t mean you have to be. So sit back, relax, and let the leads begin to manage themselves!