Maximize Engagement: The Power of Automated Text Messaging

Published on March 20, 2023

As a campaigner looking to streamline your communication, you understand the importance of staying connected with your audience and providing timely, relevant information. 

With automated text messaging, you avoid manually operating a large part of your texting campaigns. This includes sending out individual text messages to a large group of recipients. Automating your campaigns reduces the time, effort, and resources required to communicate with your contacts. 

Moreover, messaging costs an average of $1-$5 per interaction. Automation can bring it down to 25 cents.

Let’s get you started with automated text messaging.

What is automated text messaging?

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Automated text messaging refers to using technology to send text messages to many recipients. The number of recipients can vary depending on the context and the goals of the texting campaign. However, organizations generally use automated text messaging when they need to send SMS messages to a significant number of people that would be difficult or time-consuming to reach manually.

For small contact lists, like those with 50 recipients, organizations may still opt for automated text messaging because it can save time and effort compared to manually composing and sending SMS messages to each recipient. 

Campaigners use platforms to schedule and manage personalized text messages in a scalable and efficient manner. 

Automated text messaging is commonly used for marketing, customer service, and communication by organizations of all sizes. You can also use it to send reminders, conduct surveys, and streamline all transactive and interactive communications.

Types of automated text messaging

There are several types of automated text messaging, including

  1. Scheduled text broadcasts
  2. Two-way texting
  3. Auto-replies based on keywords
  4. Collecting data on sign-up with prompts
  5. Sending a nudge to complete sign-up
  6. Automatically removing opt-outs from your contact list

Let’s look at each in detail.

1. Scheduled text broadcasts

Scheduled text broadcasts or bulk texting allows you to send text messages to your audience at a specific time and date. 

Scheduled text broadcasts are particularly useful for you if you need to send time-sensitive information or promotions. For example, say you need to send a text to your supporters reminding them of an upcoming event. You can create a campaign in advance and schedule it a day before the event. This way, you avoid last-minute manual set-up and mishaps.

You can also combine broadcasts with other types of automated text messaging. For instance, while you promote an upcoming event using scheduled text broadcasts, you can use two-way messaging to provide more details and answer questions from potential attendees.

Top benefits:
Plan and execute your campaigns more effectively, improving the overall return on investment by increasing engagement, personalization, timeliness, and efficiency.Reduce the workload by automating the process of sending SMS messages, freeing up time and resources to focus on other areas.

With CallHub, you can choose the time for the initial message to go out and set up operational hours for your campaign. Outside of this, your texts don’t go out, which is crucial if you need to comply with TCPA regulations.

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Scheduling automated text messages on CallHub

2. Two-way texting

Two-way texting enables you to engage in real-time conversations with your contacts. You can receive and respond to inquiries, provide support, and resolve issues efficiently. 

Top benefits:
Have a more personalized conversation with your contacts at scale.Gather valuable insights from your contacts.
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Example of two-way texting

3. Auto-replies based on keywords

This type of automated text messaging system sends a pre-determined response to a contact’s message based on a particular keyword in that message. For example, if a contact sends a message containing the keyword “help,” an automated response will be triggered to assist. 

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Example of auto-reply based on keywords

Auto-replies based on keywords can be helpful to organizations to

  • Provide quick responses to common questions or requests, and
  • Manage communication during high-volume campaigns.  
Top benefits:
Streamline customer serviceImprove response times

Check out the automatic response to SMS keywords on CallHub

4. Collect data on sign-up with prompts

You can set up prompts to collect data when a contact signs up or opts in via text to join campaigns. Based on your set-up, your texting tool will send an automated message asking for specific details, such as their name, email address, or other relevant information. As the contact responds to the message with the requested information, data syncs back to your CRM, giving you a high-quality contact list to start contacting.

This type of data collection using SMS helps store contact data in a centralized location for future use.  

Top benefits:
Streamline data collectionImprove data accuracyCreate a high-quality, opted contact list.

With CallHub, you can also add the newly collected information using merge tags to personalize subsequent texts from your campaign. For example, your contact’s name as depicted in the image.

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Example of collecting data on sign-up with prompts

5. Send a nudge to complete sign-up

This system sends reminders or prompts to contacts who have started but have not completed the sign-up process. The reminder message may include a link or other information to help the contact complete the process quickly and easily.

This helps you improve your sign-up completion rates. 

You can personalize these automated nudges to your contact’s needs and interests. This helps improve their experience and makes them more likely to complete the process. For example, a nudge message could include information about the benefits of completing the process or highlight special offers for new sign-ups.

Top benefits:
Improve engagementIncrease conversion ratesGrow your contact base

With CallHub, you can schedule this message to go out hours or even days after your last one.

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Example of sending a nudge to complete sign-up

6. Automatically remove opt-outs from your contact list

By law, automated text messages are required to give quick opt-out options to their contacts. They can do so by replying to keywords like STOP or QUIT to your number. 

The automated system identifies the opt-out and automatically moves that contact to a DND list, ensuring they no longer receive your messages.

Removing opt-outs automatically helps you avoid sending messages to contacts explicitly indicating they no longer wish to receive them. Instead, you get to focus on those interested in your messages.

This can be set up through most text messaging platforms or applications and is often a default setting to ensure compliance with industry regulations. 

Top benefits:
Build and maintain a positive reputation with your audience.Improve your overall engagement rates.

CallHub keeps your lists clean by automatically unsubscribing people who reply with STOP, END, CANCEL, UNSUBSCRIBE, and QUIT.

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Example of automatically removing opt-outs

Ready to get started with automated text messaging? 
Create a free account.

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How does automated text messaging help you? 

Clearly, automated text messaging saves you both time and effort. 

Here is how:

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Simple set-up

Setting up automated texts is usually straightforward and requires minimal technical expertise.

Many text messaging platforms and applications offer user-friendly interfaces that allow you to set up automated messaging campaigns easily. 

This means that you can quickly test different messaging strategies and refine your campaigns.

When you create a free account on CallHub, we credit your account with $3 to test out the platform.

Schedule texts in advance

You don’t need to be on standby at the right time when you want to send a text update to your contacts. You can simply schedule texts and let the automated system handle the rest.

This way, you can ensure your automated text messages are delivered at a time when your audience is most likely to be engaged and receptive. 

Scheduling texts in advance 

With an automated text messaging system, you can engage with your audience in a more personalized and meaningful way, based on their preferences and behavior. This increases engagement and response rates and improves customer satisfaction.

  • Ensures messages are sent consistently
  • Builds trust and engagement with your audience
  • Saves significant time and resources. 

Don’t need texting agents

With an automated text messaging system, you can send automated messages to your audience without dedicating manpower to the task. Automated text messaging systems are designed to be self-sufficient and require minimal maintenance or oversight once they are set up. 

By setting up text autoresponders and follow-up prompts in CallHub, you can keep the back and forth going with your contacts without the need for human intervention. 

CallHub also facilitates fast peer-to-peer texting. With Fast P2P, you can quickly and efficiently communicate with your contacts without a human operator to manually send each message.

Increased efficiency

Automated text messaging systems are designed to handle various tasks like, scheduling automated messages, responding to common queries, and collecting data. 

By automating these routine tasks, you can focus on more strategic and value-added activities, such as developing new messaging campaigns or engaging with contacts in better ways. This can help improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of your messaging campaigns.

Improved customer engagement

Most marketers who used text messages increased their revenue, with a 60% of them experiencing a significant boost. Automated text messaging systems can also save money by avoiding failed deliveries and sending messages only to valid phone numbers. This prevents wasting resources and incurring unnecessary expenses.

Here are a few more ways automated text messaging improves customer engagement:

  • Trigger messages in response to specific actions or events. For example, trigger a message to customers who have abandoned their online shopping cart, reminding them to complete their purchase.
  • Collect feedback and data from your contacts, helping you better understand their needs and preferences. 
  • Engage with your contacts more frequently and consistently. By sending regular messages, you can build trust and a good relationship with your audience, leading to long-term loyalty.

Cost-effective

With an automated text messaging system, you can save a significant amount of money, compared to traditional messaging campaigns that require manual labor and resources. 

Here are a few more ways automated text messaging saves money:

  • Reduce the costs associated with printing, mailing, or other traditional marketing methods. 
  • Reach a large audience at scale. 

Automated systems are designed to follow pre-set workflows and messaging scripts, ensuring messages are sent in a consistent and accurate manner. This reduces the risk of errors or inconsistencies that may occur when messages are manually sent by agents, which can lead to additional costs or negative impacts on your organization.

Ready to get started with automated text messaging? 
Create a free account.

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Key features and capabilities of automated text messaging services

Automated text messaging services typically offer several key features and capabilities that can help you communicate with your contacts more effectively. 

Some of these features include:

  • Integrations
  • Personalization
  • Analytics and reporting
  • Compliance and security

Let’s understand them.

Integrations

Automated text messaging services integrate with other tools, such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems to provide a more complete view of data.

This way, you can streamline your communication processes, improve efficiency, and provide a better experience to your audience. Integrating automated text messaging services with other applications can also help you track your performance, identify trends and patterns, and make data-driven decisions. 

Personalization

Automated text messaging services include personalization features, such as the ability to insert the recipient’s name or other relevant information based on their interaction history or other data.

The tool can do this based on data stored in a CRM or other data sources. This allows you to create highly personalized and relevant messages that can improve engagement. This can also make your recipient more likely to take the desired action. 

Analytics and reporting

Automated text messaging services provide analytics and reporting features, allowing you to track your campaigns’ effectiveness, make data-driven decisions, and improve the effectiveness of your communication.

These tools allow you to monitor various metrics related to your text messaging campaigns, such as message delivery rates, click-through rates, and response rates. 

They also allow you to generate detailed reports and insights on your text messaging campaigns. These reports can provide valuable information on your contacts’ behavior, preferences, and engagement.

For instance, if you send out a text message campaign promoting an event with a link to your event page, you can track the click-through rates of the link to see how many contacts are engaging with the message. Based on this data, you can refine your content, timing, or frequency to increase engagement and conversions.

Furthermore, automated text messaging services may also include advanced analytics features like sentiment analysis, which can analyze the tone and sentiment of responses to your messages. This can help you identify potential issues or concerns and address them proactively.

Compliance and security

Automated text messaging services must include compliance and security features to ensure that

For example, in the United States, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates text messaging communications, and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) sets rules for sending text messages to consumers.

These regulations usually are about opt-in and opt-out management, message consent tracking, and Do Not Disturb (DND) compliance. 

Moreover, automated text messaging services also provide security features to protect consumer information from unauthorized access or breach. For instance, many services use encryption to protect sensitive information, such as phone numbers, names, and addresses. They may also use two-factor authentication and other security protocols to prevent fraud and hacking attempts.

Technology behind automated text messaging services

Automated text messaging services typically rely on several underlying technologies to send and receive messages. 

Some of the key technologies include:

  1. APIs (Application Programming Interfaces): APIs are sets of protocols and tools that enable communication between different software systems. Automated text messaging services often provide APIs that enable you to connect your own software systems to the messaging service, allowing you to send messages and receive responses.
  2. Messaging gateways: Messaging gateways are hardware or software systems that act as intermediaries between messaging services and mobile devices. They route messages between the messaging service and the mobile networks that deliver the messages to their intended recipients.
  3. Short Message Service (SMS): SMS is a standard protocol used for sending text messages over mobile networks. Automated text messaging services typically rely on SMS to deliver messages to mobile devices.
  1. Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS): MMS is a standard protocol used for sending multimedia messages (e.g., images, video, audio) over mobile networks. Some automated text messaging services support MMS in addition to SMS.

How to set up automated text messages 

To see automated texting in action, let’s take CallHub as an example.

Setting up prompts in CallHub

One of the features available on CallHub is the ability to set up prompts, which can be used to gather information from the contact or to allow them to respond to the message.

Here are the steps for setting up prompts in CallHub:

  1. Log in to your CallHub account and navigate to the “Campaigns” tab.
  2. Click the “New Campaign” button and choose “Text to Join” as the type of campaign you want to create.
  3. Choose the number or shortcode to send and receive texts, and then add the keyword.
  4. Choose an existing contact list or create a new one for the contacts to be added.
  5. You’ll see an option to add “Automated Prompts” on the next screen.
  6. Create an auto-reply message that is triggered when the recipient sends the keyword. This auto-reply message can provide additional information, links to websites, or a call-to-action to further engage with your message. Add any follow-up prompts based on the contact’s response. The contact will receive the prompts in the same sequence they were added. 
  7. Add the response field. The response field consists of various fields such as name, email, city, state, zip code, address, and contact number, as well as custom fields. The system will then map the data for the response field and update the contact profile accordingly.
  8. Hit ‘Finish’.
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Setting up prompts on CallHub

Give them a nudge if they don’t reply 

Here are the steps for setting up a nudge message on CallHub:

  1. Log in to CallHub and select the ‘Text Broadcast’ campaign.
  2. Fill in the targeting information (Campaign name, contact lists, and sender number).
  3. In the ‘Script’ editor, add your message.
  4. Add your official email address where you want the notifications sent.
  5. Set the number of retry attempts and the time between two scheduled text messages. These messages will only go to numbers that don’t respond. 

Monitor the response rates for your nudges and adjust your strategy as needed. If you find that nudges are not effective or are annoying to your contacts, you may want to try a different approach or reconsider the timing and frequency of your scheduled text messages.

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Setting up nudges on CallHub

Scheduling on CallHub

Here are the steps for scheduling text messages in CallHub:

  1. Log in to your CallHub account and navigate to the “Campaigns” tab.
  2. Click the “New Campaign” button and choose “Text Broadcast” as the type of campaign you want to create.
  3. Choose the contact list/s you want to send the message to, and the number you want to send the messages from.
  4. Add the message you want to send.
  5. Add the email address to receivenotifications.
  6. Review the campaign to ensure everything is set up correctly.
  7. You’ll see a “Schedule” option in the last stage of the campaign. 
  8. Choose the date and time you want your message to be sent. You can choose a specific time in a specific time zone. Choose the days and hours on which the campaign needs to be operational. 
  9. Hit ‘Finish’.
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Scheduling a text message on CallHub

Send auto-replies with additional information

Add auto-replies right after your initial broadcast message on CallHub. In the below example, if the contact replies with YES, they receive a follow-up message.

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  1. Log in to CallHub and navigate to the ‘Campaigns’ section.
  2. Click the ‘New Campaign’ button and choose ‘Text Broadcast’ as the campaign type.
  3. Choose the contact list/s and phone number.
  4. Add the initial message, with a call to action, asking the recipient to reply with a specific keyword to receive more information.
  5. Add the responses that go out to contacts based on the keyword they reply with. You can add multiple auto-replies for your mass texting campaigns.
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Example of sending auto-replies with additional information

In the example above, a link to a video is added to the text. If your video is less than 5MB in size, you can embed it directly in your text message in the form of MMS

Remove unsubscribers from your list

With CallHub, contacts can opt-out of receiving communication from you be replying any one of the following keywords: STOP, END, CANCEL, UNSUBSCRIBE, and QUIT.

CallHub removes them from your lists immediately and automatically.

Create an account and start sending text messages today. 
Get started for free.

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Sending automated texts in the USA has legal considerations that you need to be aware of to avoid possible legal problems. One key law that governs text messaging is the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). 

Here are a few key takeaways from the TCPA:

  • Get permission from people before sending them text messages, even if you already have their phone number and have a previous relationship with them.
  • Any text message you send must clearly state who the sender is and include instructions for how to stop receiving messages from you.
  • You are not allowed to request permission to send messages by sending a text to a number that hasn’t already given permission.

Other legal considerations may include compliance with state and federal anti-spam laws, as well as the Federal Trade Commission‘s (FTC) rules. 

Automated text messaging in action: 350 used automated text messaging to organize the climate strike

In 2019, youth climate activist Greta Thunberg organized the global climate strike which gained significant traction and visibility. One of the key strategies the organizers used to mobilize participants was automated text messaging. 

The organization 350.org, which is a grassroots environmental group, used automated text messaging to inform supporters about upcoming events, rally participants, and provide updates on the status of the strike.

MN350 built an engaged list of 2919 young climate activists and organized them to take action towards climate justice. This approach was particularly effective with young people, who are more likely to use texting as their primary mode of communication.

By using automated text messaging to organize the climate strike, 350.org was able to mobilize millions of participants in over 150 countries around the world. This successful use of automated text messaging highlights the potential of technology in supporting grassroots movements and political action.

350 case study

CallHub’s automated text features made it easy for them to collect details enabling them to send targeted messages to their supporters. Read their story.

Key considerations when selecting a service for automated text messaging

Some of the key factors to consider include pricing, features, ease of use, and customer support.

Pricing: Some providers may charge based on the number of messages sent or the number of subscribers, while others may offer flat-rate pricing. Consider how much you are willing to spend and compare the pricing structures of different providers to find the best fit.

Features: Some providers may offer additional features to uplift the performance of your campaigns. Assess the features offered by each provider and determine which are most important to you.

Ease of use: The platform should be user-friendly and easy to navigate, with clear instructions and an intuitive interface. Select a provider that provides training and resources to help you get started and achieve your desired outcomes.

Customer support: Look for a provider that offers responsive and reliable customer support to help you troubleshoot any issues or answer questions. A provider with a robust customer support system can help you to get the most out of your automated text messaging service and minimize downtime.

While there are plenty of automated texting services available, here’s why we think CallHub is the best option for you:

Why choose CallHub for your automated texts?

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CallHub is a popular choice for automated text messaging due to its many features and user-friendly interface. 

Some of the benefits of using CallHub for automated text messaging include:

  1. Improved security and compliance
  2. Multi-channel engagement
  3. Responsive support
  4. Flexible pricing
  5. Integration with third-party tools

Improved security and compliance

CallHub has implemented various security measures and compliance features, such as the provision of 10DLC, pausing your campaigns outside of permitted hours, and two-factor authentication. This ensures that campaigns comply with relevant regulations and that your data is secure.

Multi-channel engagement

In addition to text blasts, CallHub offers other messaging channels, such as voice broadcasting and email. This allows you to reach your audience across multiple channels, increasing the chances of responses and conversions.

You can also have one-to-one conversations with them through peer-to-peer texting and phone calls.

Responsive support

Need help? Our customer support specialists are always ready to lend a hand. Our detailed guides and documentation can help you get started if you want to DIY.

Flexible pricing

CallHub offers flexible pricing options, including pay-as-you-go and subscription plans. This allows you to select a plan that fits your budget and usage requirements.

Integration with third-party tools

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CallHub integrates with a variety of third-party tools, including CRMs like NationBuilder, NGP VAN, Salesforce, and more. Our integrations allow you to sync your lists and import data back to your CRM. Can’t find your CRM on our list of integrations

You can use our Zapier integration to connect your tool to CallHub.

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Create an account and automate your text messages today. 
Get started for free.

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Tips for measuring the success and effectiveness of automated texting campaigns

Measuring the success and effectiveness of your automated text messaging campaigns is crucial to improving your outreach and achieving your goals. 

Here are some tips:

  1. Set clear goals and metrics: Before launching your campaign, define your goals and the metrics you will use to measure success. This can include open rates, click-through rates, conversions, etc.
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  1. Track links: Tracking links to your messages helps you track engagement. This gives you insights on which messages or campaigns are resonating well with your audience and which ones aren’t as effective. 

This can refine your messaging strategy by adjusting your approach and focusing on the aspects that drive engagement with your audience.

Tracking links also shows the behavior of your audience. Monitoring which links are clicked and when, gives you valuable insights into your audience’s preferences and interests.

  1. Monitor campaign performance: This involves analyzing campaign metrics, seeking feedback from your audience, and testing different messaging strategies.

Campaign metrics, such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates, provide valuable insights into your campaign performance. Analyzing these metrics helps you identify trends and patterns in your audience’s behavior, which can inform future messaging strategies.

Gather feedback from your audience, through surveys or social media, to see what aspects of your messaging are working and what needs improvement. 

Test different messaging strategies, such as using different tone, language, or call-to-action, to identify what resonates most with your audience. These tests can include A/B testing different messaging strategies, adjusting the timing and frequency of your messages, and segmenting your audience for targeted messaging.

Create an account and start sending text messages today. 
Get started for free.

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Featured image: Photo by Andrea Piacquadio