Even if you send a bulk SMS campaign to thousands of people, it’s still possible to give each message a personal touch. It only takes a moment to insert a first name, last name, or custom field to your SMS messages. This doesn’t just make your audience feel valued, it also increases the effectiveness of your campaign. In this article, you’ll learn about how to send personalized texts messages and why they deliver better results than standard messages.
Even when they’re not personalized, bulk SMS messages are a highly effective form of communication. In fact, 90% of text messages are read within three minutes of being received. And 45% of them receive a response. These impressive engagement rates are even higher when the text messages are personalized.
Forbes has reported that consumers are exposed to around 10,000 brand messages per day. Your audience is more likely to interact with a message that feels like it was written specifically for them. Customers want to feel like they’re being spoken to—not being spoken at—and this precisely what personalized text messages do.
If you’ve never sent a personalized text message before, there are a few important terms you should review before diving in.
This is a tool that lets you send a question to your subscribers and record their responses in a custom field.
A field is a piece of information about a subscriber. All SimpleTexting accounts include default fields such as:
You can also add an unlimited number of custom fields.
A list is a group of contacts, along with each of their default and custom fields. You can store your contacts in one master list or create separate lists for different segments. For example, you may want to have one list for customers and another for employees.
Personalized messages can range from small touches, like adding a name, to messages written with one specific person in mind.
When texting one-on-one, your messages will naturally be more personal.
However, if you’re sending a mass text, it can take a little more creativity for recipients to feel like the text is meant just for them.
Before we continue, we have to tell you that the juice is worth the squeeze…
How’s that for a ROI?
First things first, you’ll need info with which to personalize your texts. There are two ways to get this information—you can either import it or collect it. If you already have customer data, perhaps from your existing CRM, you can easily upload it to our platform. If you don’t have any useful info about your subscribers, you’ll need to gather it. We’ll cover how to do this in the next step.
It’s easier than you think to gather information from your subscribers. All you have to do is ask! For some inspiration, here are three of the most popular ways text markets collect phone numbers.
Keyword Data Collection
Using our data collection tool, you can send your customers questions and record their responses automatically. As soon as a new customer opts-in using your keyword, they’ll receive your autoconfirmation message as well as a series of prompts to collect the info you need.
You can try it out for yourself! Just text BetterTexts to 555888.
You can also use a webform to collect customer names, numbers, and other relevant information like zip codes. Fields like that are important for some groups like The Warehouse Sale, who use a web form to collect zip code and personalize their messages based on a customer’s location!
Already have a list of phone numbers who have given you permission to text them? You can integrate your CRM with SimpleTexting through Zapier! You can learn more about that here.
This is an important, albeit optional, step. Separate your customers into lists based on the information you gathered using the data collection tool. For example, a gym may segment their audience based or exercise preferences of fitness goals.
Now comes the fun part. Compose your message and click on the custom field you’d like to insert. Each field corresponds to a merge tag, which is a piece of text that looks like this: %%mergetag%%. Our platform will automatically replace this tag with the information stored for the corresponding field.
In the example above, the merge tag %%firstname%% will be swapped out for each individual’s name from your list.
To help get your creative juices flowing, here are some templates you can use to see the benefits of personalization yourself.
Personalization helps your customers feel special. However, botched attempts at personalization can have some seriously negative effects.
Nearly 60% of consumers said that getting key information about them wrong, especially their gender, is very off-putting and can give them a negative impression of your brand.
Thankfully, we have plenty of safeguards in place to help you avoid some of these common snafus.
Have you ever met someone for the first time and had them bring up things they know about you from your social media page? It’s pretty creepy.
Be sure to keep your personalizations limited to what your audience has shared with you (either directly or indirectly) to keep them comfortable. Additionally, be sure not to over-personalize your messages with too many fields. It can come off more robotic which defeats the wonderful purpose of personalizing in the first place!
An easy way to let incorrect information slip by is to leave information untouched for years. Think of how many times your last name, phone number, address, etc. has changed.
Don’t let too much time lapse between a new contact joining and updating their information.
As an added bonus, this is a great opportunity for re-engagement! Messaging your contacts asking them if their information is up to date is a great way to keep your brand top of mind.
For example, imagine you’re a recruiter. You may want to touch base with cold leads to see if they’re still interested in certain jobs and find out if this is still the best number to reach them at!
Before sending any personalized campaign be sure to double (maybe even triple) check that your fields are populating correctly. There’s no reason they shouldn’t be, but always better to be safe instead of sorry!
Now you know how simple it is to create dynamic text messages that are personalized for each one of your customers. Sign up for a free 14-day trial and send out 50 personalized texts, on us.