How to Effectively Use Automation in Text Marketing

Sam Schrup
February 7, 2022
January 11, 2024
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There are some things in life and in business that are just much more efficient if you can automate them.

If your business uses text marketing, that’s one of them! Automations allow you to respond to customers quickly without having to keep a phone or keyboard glued to your fingers. Your automations can help guide customers toward your goals without you having to reinvent the wheel each time.

Text messaging automations help you to save time and reach more people. Here’s how they work, and how you can use them effectively:

What are automated text messages?

Automated text messages may be messages that you schedule to send out at a certain time by programming them ahead. For example, if you have text subscribers who receive a daily “reply to buy” text offer, you can program those messages in advance to go out at a certain time each day.

An automated text message can also be one that you set up to be triggered by a certain action. One example of this is the “welcome” message that you send out when a new subscriber joins your text list. Most text marketing platforms will provide you with several different options for automating text messages.

How do you automate text messages?

To use text automation, you need to be signed up for a text marketing platform that allows you to automate messages. You would then either upload a contact list you already have (as long as everyone on that list gave their permission to receive text messages), or you’d create sign up forms to get people onto your list.

AudienceTap allows you to set up all sorts of automations, including things like upsell offers once a customer has made a purchase. “Reply to buy” is an automated system to allow text-based shopping, which is one of our unique features.

TextRetailer App Screen Shot

Best practices for automated text messages

Automation works very well if you put it in place with a good strategy. One of the first things to bear in mind though is that it shouldn’t be treated as “set and forget.” Done poorly, automation can sound robotic to customers. You have to make sure that your automations are relevant and helpful for customers, rather than annoying and inhuman! Keep an eye on your results and any feedback, and make changes where necessary.

Some other best practices include:

  • Set up automations for typical actions people take. At the very least, you want to acknowledge them for choosing your business. This can be when they sign up, make a purchase, or request information. If someone texts your customer service line, they should get an acknowledgement that their message has been received, along with an estimate for getting back to them.
  • Only send text messages to those who have signed up. This is the law!
  • Have a simple, automated way for people to opt out of text messaging.This is also a requirement, so you’ll often see companies add a footnote to their text messages saying “text STOP to 12345 to unsubscribe from text messages.”
  • Always put customer experience first. Using automated texts should enhance their experience rather than be an annoyance. Send messages to the right people at the right time and use segmentation to help you determine the most relevant audience. You should also find the right cadence for your texts – people generally won’t be responsive to several in a day!
  • Use relevant, simple keywords to trigger autoresponder texts. For example, you could offer people to “Text CONCERT to 12345 to learn about this summer’s park concerts,” or “Text FREEBEER to 54321 to learn how you can become a VIP beer reviewer.” This setup provides people with the instant information they are looking for.
  • Use pre-saved templates to help make your text setup more streamlined. You can create templates for different situations and use personalization tags (like {{FIRSTNAME}}) to automatically include the recipient’s name.

Practical uses of automated texts

How can you use automated text messaging in your business? Here are a few practical examples from other businesses and organizations out there:

  1. Sync your text marketing tool with your shipping software so that you can text out automated notifications when an order ships.
  2. Sync your text marketing tool with your scheduling software so you can text out appointment or event reminders.
  3. Schedule new product announcement texts.
  4. Schedule sale or offer texts. (Include automated replies if customers respond).
  5. Brands can automate sales outreach. For example, you can automate texts to schedule calls or send out automated sales receipts.
  6. Subscription refill alerts.
  7. New customer welcome messages.
  8. Customer survey requests.
  9. Payment posted notifications. (For example, some utility companies will text that they have received bill payment).
  10. Autoresponders for after-hours customer enquiries.
  11. Abandoned shopping cart reminder texts. (You could set up an entire abandoned cart sequence via text).
  12. Real time alerts. For example, if you sell software and it is currently down, you could text users letting them know you’re aware of the issue.
Women looking at phone at cafe

Text autoresponder templates

One of the great things about autoresponders is that you don’t have to reinvent them every time. There are many good examples out there you can borrow from. One tip we’d add is to make sure you adjust for your own brand “voice.” The messages should sound like other communications that you put out into the world.

Here are some examples:

New member

Hi {{FIRST NAME}}, thanks for joining {{BRAND}} VIP text list! Here’s a coupon code to get 20% off your next order with us {{COUPON CODE}}. Offer expires {{DATE}}.

Reply to buy

Hi {{NAME}}, we have a special deal on {{PRODUCT}} today, just {{AMOUNT}}, exclusively for text subscribers. To order, reply to this text with the number of units you’d like.

Special offer or upsell

Hey {{FIRST NAME}}, thanks for your recent purchase of {{PRODUCT}}! We’ve got a special offer just for you; purchase any {{UPSELL}} by {{DATE}} and receive {{AMOUNT}} off your order with code {{COUPON CODE}}.

Reservation reminder

Hi {{FIRST NAME}}, this is confirming your reservation at {{BUSINESS NAME}} on {{DATE}} at {{TIME}}. Call or text {{NUMBER}} for any enquiries. Any cancellations must be made {{NUMBER OF DAYS/HOURS}} beforehand.

Order received

Hi {{FIRST NAME}}, thanks for your order {{ORDER NUMBER}}! We will alert you via text as soon as it ships. Please call or text {{NUMBER}} with any questions.

Order shipped

Hi {{NAME}}, great news! Your order {{ORDER NUMBER}} has shipped. You can track your number here {{TRACKING LINK}}.

Abandoned cart

Hi {{NAME}}, you left some great stuff in your shopping cart! Go here {{LINK}} to finish your order and guarantee delivery within five business days.

Final thoughts

Are you ready to set up automated text messages to streamline your text marketing? It’s an efficiency that can help out most businesses or organizations with the basic messaging that you repeatedly send out.

Segmenting your audience for relevancy is one key to successful automation, as is maintaining a natural “voice” for your brand. Text is often a channel used between friends, so keep your texts personalized and engaging.

Ready to give AudienceTap a try? Schedule your product tour with us.

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