By Jake Meador | June 4th, 2021
One of the biggest reasons many businesses love text messages is their unbeatable open rate. A “successful” email campaign is going to be ignored or missed by 70% of the people you send it to. An average mass text message will be read by 99% of the people you send it to. That fact alone accounts for much of the excitement around text messaging in the marketing world.
Of course, texting, like email, requires a person to manage, draft, and send the messages. And that takes time.
But what if there was a way to enjoy the benefits of text messaging and the benefits of automation?
Good news: Now there is. It’s called “Smart Replies.”
You log in to your account dashboard in Mobile Text Alerts and navigate to “Smart Replies” which is under the “Messages” section on the main menu column.
Inside the Smart Replies tool, you can set up trigger words and auto-responders that are sent when someone sends in the trigger word.
What this means is any kind of automated communication you wish to do via texting can be done if you set up trigger words and create auto-responder messages to send in response to a trigger word.
Now let’s get practical and talk about some of the ways you can implement smart replies in your business.
Suppose you wanted people to be able to text in to receive a link to your online store and navigate to the specific section of the store relevant to their need. Smart replies allow you to do this.
Simply set up a keyword that users text in (say "ShoeCentral") to and then set up a Smart Reply like this:
User texts in keyword:
Smart Replies response:
Now you can not only use SMS to send people to your online store, but you can also help them navigate to the specific part of your store they want to visit.
Another clever use for Smart Replies is to create an SMS Support Bot. An SMS support bot is a sequence of replies that would allow people to receive help using your product or accessing information over text messaging (SMS).
The sequence could work like this: First, they text your brand name, say “RughShoes”, to your number to trigger an auto-responder that asks them for what kind of help they need. In this auto-responder, you can suggest three different responses they can give, which will then trigger their own auto-responders. By layering smart replies on top of each other in this way, you can essentially simulate the function of a phone tree via text messaging.
The key difference, of course, is that with texting your users aren’t having to listen closely to remember what number to press and they won’t find themselves staying on hold or waiting for the option they want to be shared. It’s all laid out for them in text in real-time. Unlike web chat bots, the customer will not time out or become disconnected due to inactivity. They can resume the automated conversation 24/7.
If your company or organization fields a lot of technical support requests, then this could be an especially valuable application of Smart Replies.
Some business information is easy to find with a quick Google search--store hours, address, phone number, and so on.
But there may be other information that your members, employees, or customers need to know that you can’t or won’t advertise on a website or Google My Business listing.
For example, if you work in a school, you could set up a few Smart Replies responses that help parents more easily access information they need about the school. “Winter” could be a trigger word for a message that tells parents the date of the winter vacation at the end of the year. “Calendar,” could trigger an auto-response that shares a link to the school’s event calendar with parents.
Likewise, if you are a non-profit that regularly hosts events, you could set up an auto-response to the trigger word “tickets,” that will respond by sending the person a phone number or link to where they can purchase tickets to an event online.
This, of course, is just a sampling of the potential uses for Smart Replies. Any time there is communication that you make on a regular basis and that can be accurately conveyed via text messaging, you have a case for using Smart Replies. Sign up for a free trial today to see how Smart Replies can help your firm communicate better. https://mobile-text-alerts.com/signup/