Automated Text Message System

August 23, 2022 | By Sam Pelton
Automated Text Message System

Automation is a businessperson’s best friend.

Why?

Because your life is chock-full to the brim of things to do, meetings to attend, plans to consider, and strategies to execute.

(And that’s not to mention everything you have going on in your personal life apart from work!)

With all that you have on your plate, you don’t have time to spend manually doing everything. You need automated processes to help keep you sane and free you to focus on what you need to accomplish.

That’s why you need an automated text message system.

Because you know you want to send texts for your business. You know people are constantly on their phones. You know SMS marketing could be a huge asset to boost your business.

But you don’t want to add yet another thing to micro-manage.

So what is an automated text message system? And can it truly be helpful in making your business better and life easier?

What Is an Automated Text Message System?

An automated text message system allows you to send mass texts for your business on your own time.

It allows you to schedule all your messages ahead of time.

It allows you to send recurring text messages on an automated basis.

It allows you to create drip campaigns - a series of messages to go out at different intervals of time.

The ability to do all of this “hands off” frees up your time, brain space, and frustration, while letting you take full advantage of the benefits of SMS marketing.

What is an automated text message system infographic

Schedule Messages Ahead of Time

With an automated text message system, you can set up and schedule all of your messages for the exact day and time that you’d like them to be sent.

You can also schedule them as far in advance as you’d like.

This means that you could designate one day each month, for example, in which you map out and schedule all of your messages for that entire month.

Then all you need to do is watch as the messages are sent out automatically at your designated times.

Send Recurring Text Messages

Not only does an automated text message system allow you to schedule messages ahead of time, it allows you to set up recurring messages via a text repeater.

A “recurring message” would be a message that’s repeated on a regular basis.

So if you have a text message that you would like to be repeated monthly, for example, you can easily set that up and let it go.

Create Drip Campaigns

“Drip campaigns,” or drip marketing, involve setting up a workflow of messages that are automatically sent out over a period of time.

Here’s an example:

  • A message sends to contacts immediately upon sign-up.
  • A follow-up message is sent a day later.
  • A third message is sent 2 weeks after that.
  • A final message is sent 30 days later.

Once you set it up, this flow of messages is totally automated and can be assigned to specific groups, or segments of contacts, within your account.

How Can You Set Up an Automated Text Message System?

Concerned that an automated text message system will be complicated and difficult to set up?

Don’t be!

Here are a few easy steps.

Step 1: Create an Account

You’ll first need an account with an SMS platform.

Setting up an account is as simple as filling out a short online form.

And if you’re not ready to shell out some cash for a full paid account, you can always sign up for a free trial. That will allow you to test things out and get a feel for how it all works.

Step 2: Plan Out Your Messages

Once you’re up and running on an SMS platform, you’re ready to start planning out the messages you’re going to be sending through your automated text message system.

Maybe you’ll be sending a specific promotion to a subset of your leads.

Maybe you’ll be sending an announcement of an upcoming release to current customers.

Maybe you’ll be sending a series of onboarding messages to new customers.

Whatever the case, you can start thinking about specific aspects of your campaign:

  • Who will receive your messages?
  • How many messages will you send?
  • What will be your primary call to action for your campaign? For each individual message?

Need an example? Get a free SMS drip campaign template here [Google Spreadsheet].

Nothing is set in stone during this planning phase, so you can always change your mind later.

You also don’t need to have everything figured out before you move forward, although it’s good to have a general idea of what you’re going to do.

Step 3: Schedule Your Messages

You can start setting up or scheduling messages as soon as you know what content you want to include in the first message you’d like to send.

There are 2 ways to schedule your messages.

Schedule for a Specific Date and Time

You can schedule your messages for a particular date or time.

You can even schedule subsequent recurring text messages by selecting for your text to go out on the same day or time at regular intervals (such as monthly, weekly, or daily).

Schedule a Drip Campaign

Perhaps you want to automate a campaign but not specify the particular date that you’d like the messages to go out.

For example, let’s say you want to create an onboarding campaign for new trial accounts and send them a series of automated messages to help them get started.

In a case like that, you can use a drip campaign option.

You can simply set up all the messages you’d like your audience to receive, and designate how long of a delay you’d like in between each message.

Then customers or leads can be added to your campaign’s message flow automatically as soon as they sign up for your texts, or as soon as you add them to a designated list.

Step 4: Build Your SMS Marketing List

Once you have your messages scheduled and ready to go, all that’s left to do is to get people loaded into your overall SMS marketing list so that they can receive those messages!

Some tools that can help you build your SMS marketing list so that you can utilize your automated text message system include:

  • QR codes
    • People can join your text list by scanning an automatically generated QR code
  • “Text to join” words
    • These allow people to automatically join your SMS list by texting in a particular word to your account’s free phone number
  • An online sign-up page
    • This is an online form that your leads and customers can fill out in order to sign up for your texts
  • Integrations - You can automate with CRM software and other management services via API or via the integration site Zapier.com

How Much Does an Automated Text Message System Cost?

As a smart businessperson, you obviously don’t want to waste money.

You want to ensure that you’re making a financially sound decision when adding new tools to any aspect of your business.

You don’t want that nagging feeling of buyer’s remorse that comes with spending more than you intended!

That’s why it’s important to be fully aware about what the costs of setting up an automated text message system will be.

Cost Considerations

First off, you want to pick a provider who has straightforward pricing - that way you don’t bump into any hidden fees along the way.

Next, in order to be fully aware of how much your automated text message system will cost, you need to have an idea of what the size of your audience will be, as well as how many messages you will be sending.

Some other considerations to be aware of when thinking about costs:

  • Pricing for SMS platforms is typically based on how many messages you will be sending, and each recipient for your message counts as at least 1 message
    • For example, a message sent to 100 customers would count as 100 messages
    • Thus, if you have a text list of, say, 5,000 contacts and want to send 2 messages per month, you’ll need a plan that allows at least 10,000 messages per month
  • Note that if you are planning on sending longer messages (more than 160 characters), those would count as 2 or more messages per recipient rather than 1
    • So if you have a text list of 5,000 contacts and send 2 messages per month, but your messages are 200-300 characters long, you would actually need a plan that allows at least 20,000 messages per month
  • One final thing to note is that text messages that include pictures (MMS messages) cost 3 messages per recipient each, so you’ll need to consider that as well if you’re going to be sending texts with images

Cost Breakdown

So now let’s get into specifics.

Your costs for getting an automated text message system set up may vary widely depending on the factors mentioned previously (size of your audience and the number of messages you plan on sending monthly).

But if you’re just getting started with your business or are brand new to SMS marketing, your starting cost can be as little as $228 for a year (comes out to $19 per month), or $25 monthly.

A basic plan like that would allow you up to 500 messages per month, and you can always upgrade later as needed.

Other plans would be:

What Can You Do with an Automated Text Message System?

So you have an idea of what an automated text message system is and how much it might cost.

But what can you actually do with automated texts?

Here are a few examples to give you some ideas.

Automated text message infographic

Why Set Up an Automated Text Message System?

Still not sure about whether implementing automated text messages for your business will be worth it?

Did you know that 75% of millennials prefer SMS messages for promotions and surveys?

That 97% of American adults send texts every week?

That 95% of texts are read within 3 minutes after being sent?

In case that doesn’t convince you, here are some other numbers to consider:

Why use text alerts infographic

The stats speak for themselves!

I would say texting is the way of the future, but in reality it already dominates.

It’s the way of now.

Who Uses an Automated Text Message System?

Maybe you’re still wondering whether an SMS platform is something that would work for you and your business. Is this really something that people use?

After all, email and snail mail are tried and true methods of marketing that people have used for decades.

But texting?

The reality is that SMS for businesses is more normative than ever and is used by industries and businesses across the board.

From Aisin to Kroger to Yamaha, virtually any and every industry uses an SMS platform to help their business in one way or another.

Here are some examples of industries that take advantage of SMS:

  • Online Businesses
  • Healthcare
  • Retail
  • Restaurants
  • Real Estate
  • Gyms
  • Banks
  • Construction
  • Distribution
  • Salons and Spas
  • Government
  • Manufacturing
  • Churches & Non-Profits
  • Education
  • Direct Sales
  • Coaching
  • Transportation

And that’s not even an exhaustive list!

Conclusion: Set Up an Automated Text Message System Today

In this age of busyness and technology, you need tools that are effective for your business.

Effective, but not difficult!

Automated text messages give you the amazing benefits of SMS - high read rate, visibility, and responsiveness - and don’t require you to hover and micro-manage.

Thus, you can release some stress in your life, increasing sales and leaving you happier with your marketing efforts.

What are you waiting for?

Sign Up Now

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Start sending mass text alerts to your entire list today!

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