Segments. Custom fields. MMS. Triggers. The list of features you can use to optimize your SMS marketing campaigns goes on and on. Perhaps one of the easiest and most effective tools at your disposal is the text message autoresponder. Let’s dig in to what text message autoresponders are, why they’re important to your business and how to get them set up.
Autoresponders are messages that are sent automatically after a subscriber joins your list. If you’ve ever set up an email drip campaign, autoresponders are very similar. You can create one, or many, text message autoresponders to be sent at certain intervals of time after your subscriber has opted in. This means you can send your customers a text an hour, a day, a week, or even a month after they join your list.
First impressions matter. Text message autoresponders are an easy way to make sure the newest additions to your list feel welcome. Plus, by automating lead management, you reduce the amount of work you and your marketing team have to do. Regularly engaging with your audience is essential if you want to turn subscribers into customers.
There are many easy and convenient ways to use text message autoresponders. It’s easy to string together multiple autoresponders (for example, spaced a week apart) to create a promotional program that anyone can join at any time.
Here are just a few helpful ways to use text message autoresponders:
Introduce yourself to new customers, and keep your brand top of mind by sending out a staggered series of welcome messages.
Weekly tips & tricks
Show off your industry expertise with a series of tips and tricks. New subscribers will start with Tip #1, no matter when they sign up.
Staggered series of coupons
Keep your customers coming back with increasingly enticing coupons and promotions!
Need to remind patients or clients to reschedule in 6 months? Now all it takes is a simple text that you can set and forget.
You can set up a series of autoresponders for any of your contacts lists. No matter where a user joins from, they’ll be added to the sequence. Whether you add a contact via an import, from a webform, or even using our Mailchimp sync feature, they’ll automatically begin receiving messages without any extra work on your end.
Autoresponders are an effective tool for bringing your leads down the sales funnel as part of a business text marketing strategy. The best way to do this is to understand your customer journey. Customer journey is just marketing speak for what your customers do before they buy your product, go to your event, donate money, or complete whatever action it is you’d like them to do.
Think of the customer journey as a map and your autoresponders as checkpoints along the map. By understanding where your customer is on their journey, you can deliver the right information at the right time.
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for developing a customer journey, but let’s walk through a basic example for Joe’s Pizza. These are the steps a customer may go through before they actually buy a slice:
Get Their Attention
First a customer may see an online ad for Joe’s Pizza with a call to action that says, “Text JOES to 555888 for exclusive deals on the best pizza in town.” The first autoresponder a new subscriber should receive is a welcome message sayings thanks.
Then Make Them Stick Around
After a customer joins your list, send a series of autoresponders to keep your brand top of mind. Joe’s Pizza may send out a text informing new customers about the new special on basil pizza.
Finally, Give Them Something to Buy
SMS messages are a great way to build relationships with customers. Ultimately, of course, the goal is to increase sales. Now’s a good time for Joe’s Pizza to send out a discount. “We want to thank you for being part of the Joe’s Pizza texting list. Come get free garlic knots when you buy a slice today!”
We’ve made the whole process incredibly simple. Let’s see how autoresponders work:
Let’s say Joe’s Pizza wants to set up a staggered coupon program: 1 coupon a week for 4 weeks.
First, click the “Autoresponders” button under the Messaging tab.
Then click “New Autoresponder.”
Give the autoresponder a title (for reference only—subscribers won’t see the title), assign it to a list, and compose your message. Now the most important part: the delay. Joe’s Pizza wants customers to get the coupon as soon as they opt in, so the delay should be set to 0.
Click “Save Autoresponder” and compose the next one. This time simply set the delay for one week. Continue this process for the other messages. Soon Joe’s Pizza will have their entire coupon program set up.