The Difference Between Email and SMS Autoresponders: Part 1
One of the great things about email marketing is the ability to send pre-prepared emails to your list automatically. Everyone who uses email has seen them, even if they don’t realise it. Many common uses are for registration confirmations, order confirmations, and customer support responses (“We got your request and we’ll get back to you soon!”). There is also a whole world of email marketing built around autoresponders. But I’ll get to that later.
While you may be familiar with email autoresponders (especially if you’re in marketing) you may or may not know you can set up a similar function with SMS messaging. In concept, it works the same way. But there are some differences in how they are used which I’ll cover here.
What's the Same?
Both types of autoresponders are triggered by an action taken by the recipient. Usually for email, the person has provided their address to you for some reason. They signed up to get a special offer, your newsletter, or other information. In SMS, autoresponders are usually triggered by a keyword sent to you in a text message. It could be a reply to a message you sent, or it could be an initial text to you from a new person not yet on your list.
In both cases, you craft a message that gets sent automatically when the person contacts you. What the message is depends on what the person signed up for or contacted you about.
Here are some examples for both email and SMS autoresponders:
Confirmation messages – These can be for any request such as subscription sign ups, orders, or support requests.
Informational – Content such as tips, purchase related information, or e-courses (sequential content delivered in chunks designed to teach).
Engagement – Asking your subscribers to connect or comment via reply or on social media is another good use of an autoresponder.
If you are familiar with email marketing (as a marketer or as a recipient) you’re probably wondering how you can do some of these via SMS. Well, that gets us to some of the differences. Even though it’s possible to do all of these with SMS, how you do them is, or can be, different.
There are always ways in which SMS marketing can be optimised further. One such way is through personalisation. This may seem like an insurmountable challenge when you are trying to communicate with so many people at the same time. The last thing you want to do is have to send out one message at a time to thousands of numbers. Yet this isn't necessary - in fact, it is more than possible to add several layers of personalisation to your SMS marketing.
Whether you have a VMN or a shortcode, you probably want to use keywords for your SMS marketing. In Part 2 of this series you’ll find out how to pick keywords and what can happen if you don’t follow those general guidelines.
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