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Personalized Text Messages – Get Started (With Examples!)

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Published: Nov 26, 2020

Easy to implement personalization can make the difference in your texting outreach.

Why personalization?

A personalized text message grabs and keeps your contacts’ attention. And the stats back that up:

  • 72% of consumers engage only with marketing messages that are personalized to their interests.
  • Personalization can improve click-through rates by 49% and conversion rates by 51%.
  • In a 2018 study, marketers said personalized text messages improved customer experience (55%), brand perception (39%) and increased visitor engagement (55%).

Why must it be easy to implement?

When you’re sending a text message to a large list of contacts, you’re not going to have the time to personalize them individually. 

Make sure your texting provider lets you:

  • Use merge tags to personalize texts

Merge tags help you to customize your message by adding dynamic fields like the first name, email address, phone number, address or any details that are collected and added in the contacts for your campaign.

  • Rent a local number

People are more inclined to trust texts from numbers based in their own region. In CallHub, SMS numbers can be manually rented from the “Numbers” section of the dashboard. You need to navigate to Numbers>Texting>Rent and choose the area code.

  • Reply to your contacts

People are highly likely to respond to the text messages they receive. Avoid leaving them hanging by replying.
You should be able to send one-to-one text replies, or set up automatic responses with your texting software.

Before we move on to talking about how you can personalize your texts, let’s make the distinction between two important terms:

Personal vs. personalized text messages

The objective of sending a text message is often to engage your audience and get them to take action.

Both personal and personalized messages contribute towards reaching that goal.

What’s the difference?

A personal text message is defined by how you use texts to reach contacts. If you’re sending a text broadcast to everyone on your list, it’s hardly personal. On the other hand, a peer-to-peer text message that addresses individual contact’s queries is.

Ex. You are helping a voter map out a plan to get to the polls on election day.

A personalized text message has to do with the content of your text. It means your message is uniquely tailored to the person reading it.

Ex. A personalized message would use details of your contact (their name, their past interactions with you) in the body of the text.

“Hey {Name}. Your donation of {Sum} has made the difference in our Clean Water campaign. Learn more about the impact you made: cleanwater.org/impact“

What does this mean when talking to contacts?

Mass texting allows you to send personalized messages to contacts. You can schedule a mass text to go out, and it will autofill with each individual contact’s details, as long as you have them in your database.

Peer-to-peer texting lets you have both personalized and personal conversations with contacts. Texting agents engage contacts in 1-to-1 conversations. The tradeoff is that the scale of your texting campaign is limited by the number of agents you have.

Watch for more ways you can make your SMS marketing more engaging:

Here’s how you can personalize mass texts and peer-to-peer texts with CallHub:

How to personalize your text messages with CallHub

1. Set up

Collecting information for future personalization

It goes without saying that you need to have your contact data in your database before being able to personalize text messages.

What kind of data should you collect? Here’s the key information that every campaign should have:

  • Contact first name and last name
  • Contact mobile and landline numbers
  • Contact’s email address
  • Contact’s address (city, country)

Further data to collect depends on the objectives of your campaign.

Ex. If you’re running a campaign to thank people for donating, you can populate donation sums into your database.

This data can be added into CallHub as custom fields that can be used to personalize your text messages.

add-custom-field

Custom fields are the new fields that can be defined by the user to add additional data to your Contact along with the regular fields provided by CallHub.

CallHubs default custom fields are:

  • {first_name}
  • {last_name}
  • {mobile_number}
  • {phone_number}
  • {email}
  • {country}
  • {city}

Learn more about Custom Fields in CallHub.

How do you collect data?

There are several ways to collect data from contacts.

  • Automated follow-ups to collect data on SMS opt-in
  • Fields in your website signup forms
  • Text and call surveys that sync to your database

In SMS Opt-in campaigns, contacts text into a number using a keyword to get added to your contact list. Automated texts are sent once they opt-in to collect further data.
Learn how to set up an SMS opt-in campaign.

Segmenting contact lists based on collected data

List segmentation is a path towards making your messages more personal, rather than personalized.

The more you segment your contacts list, the more personal your message becomes.

Ex. If you’re setting up a texting campaign that is reaching out only to major donors, you can segment your contact list based on giving amount.

This segmentation can be done wherever you have your contacts and their details stored i.e. in an excel sheet, or your CRM, before importing them into CallHub.

Importing them as phone books in CallHub

Once you have segmented your contact lists, you can import them as Phonebooks into CallHub

There are two ways to do this:

  1. Upload a csv. File of your contact list into CallHub
import-contacts
  1. Integrate your CRM with CallHub to import contact lists

View the full list of CallHub’s CRM integrations here.

2. Outreach

  • How do you personalize your text messages?

Merge tags are the simplest way to personalize your message in any campaign you run with CallHub.

They allow you to insert the data from your custom fields into your text messages/text message templates.

merge-tags

The merge tags are replaced with each contact’s unique details before the texts are delivered.

Merge tags can be added to your mass texts, peer-to-peer texts and even your call center campaign scripts.

In a mass texting campaign, 

  • A campaign manager uploads a contact list.
  •  Creates a text broadcast campaign targeting that list. 
  • Drafts a text message, personalizing it with merge tags like {first-name}.

Learn how you can set up a mass text campaign with CallHub.

In a peer-to-peer-texting campaign, 

  • A campaign manager uploads a contact list. 
  • Assigns a batch of contacts to each agent. 
  • Agents then reach out and engage people in one-to-one conversations. 

Each agent can send out around 3500 texts in the span of an hour with data collected from conversations instantly syncing with your CRM.

Learn how you can set up a peer-to-peer texting campaign with CallHub.

3. Follow ups

The ability to follow-up with contacts makes texting a lot more personal.

For a mass texting campaign, you can enable automated replies to go out based on a keyword.

mass-text-automated-reply

That means different messages can go out depending on the response that contacts give.

Learn more about automated SMS responses.

For peer-to-peer texting campaigns, agents can choose from text message templates predefined by the campaign manager, or send one of their own.

saved-replies

Personalized/personal text message dos and don’ts

Here are a few best practices to follow when sending personalized text messages:

Do

  • Find the right tone for messages through A/B testing.
  • Introduce yourself in your original text.
  • Use a local number for your texting campaigns.
  • Follow-up with the contacts who say “maybe.”
  • Send quick replies (in the case of peer-to-peer texting).
  • Record the data from your text conversations.
  • Make it easier for texting agents with saved replies.

Don’t

  • Be too insistent when contacts don’t respond (1-2 follow-ups max).
  • Get personal information wrong.
  • Overdo the personalization (keep it relevant).
  • Send texts at odd hours.

Personalized text message examples

Get some inspiration for your campaign with these text message examples:

Hi Melinda, can you help find my polling location?
Sure {first_name} 😀 Your polling location is {poll_location}. Polls close at 7pm.
Thanks!

Hi {first_name}, our GOTV calling event is at 10:30 today. Please reply with YES if you are interested.
YES
Thanks, we are excited to see you there!

{first_name}, the donation you made on {date} helped Joey finally get his lung transplant. Stay updated on his progress here {url} 

Hi Carlos, your appointment with Dr. Vogelbaum is scheduled for {time}. 

Joe! New discounts on your favourite {brand}. Check them out here: {url}

Ready to send personalized text messages to contacts? Sign up with CallHub and try it out for free.

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