The rise of mobile has changed what we expect of local businesses and brands, fracturing customer journeys across many platforms into “in the moment” opportunities.  Google defines these real-time and intent-driven moments as “micro-moments” heralding shoppers’ smartphones as their go-to advisor and shop assistant on the move, anytime day or night.  But how can you win in these mobile micro-moments and cut through the clutter to reach a customer at the point they’re ready to purchase?

With a low commitment level, delivery and open rates close to 100% and the possibility of creating two way conversations, SMS is the perfect tactic for reaching customers in those mobile micro-moments. In this blog we will show you three ways you can automate SMS to capture a customer’s micro-moment to close that customer sale.

Trigger a response or journey with an SMS short code

Keywords such as “GO”, on short codes like 60777 can be used to collect inbound text messages from shoppers, customers and passing trade. They can be used to drive loyalty: “Text PROMO to download our loyalty card to Passbook”; or to generate sales from passing trade: “Thirsty? Text BOTTLE for a free bottle of water in store”.

Once someone has replied and opened a dialogue with the business, they could create a one-step or even a multi-step conversation with two or three directions.  For example: after someone has redeemed their free bottle of water, a store’s EPOS system can trigger a second text message via Textlocal’s SMS API thanking them for visiting the store and invite them to: “reply with their email address to receive regular promotions and vouchers”.  Again, using Textlocal’s API or an integrated web app such as Zapier, the email address in their reply can then be added to the store’s CRM or contacts database, triggering a dedicated offer sent via email sent within minutes.

SMS automation could act like a chat bot

SMS automation can be used to manage enquiries or even to send out links to documentation. A hotel, for example, could publish a dedicated short code and a keyword on its website which customers can text to check availability..

As an auto-response to that message, the hotel could send a reply asking when they would like to book. “Please tell us your arrival date plus the number of nights you wish to stay with us – reply with this format: DD/MM/YYYY X”

The hotel could then pull the content of the message from Textlocal’s API and look up availability and reply to the customer: “We have 3 rooms available for your chosen nights. To book, call XXXX XXX XXX or book online & save 10% here:”

Similarly, a customer can choose to cancel or rearrange a delivery or a click and collect order by replying with a specific keyword. The customer may receive: “Your shopping will be ready for collection 10am this morning. To change, reply TIME with your preferred time” and then reply “TIME 2pm” to rearrange their allotted collection time.

SMS automation can help customers place bets

During a massive global sporting event such as the Olympics, thousands of customer will be looking to place bets on hundred of events. Gaming and gambling companies can use SMS short codes with specific keywords to share odds and capture bets from existing customers.

“Text ODDS to get the latest odds on today’s men’s 100m final” can be displayed in shop kiosks, screens and print advertising. Any customer texting in can be added to a group of qualified customers interested in placing a bet on the final. In the minutes leading up to the race an automated message, merging in the latest odds, prices and a unique redemption URL can be sent to a customer group. When that customer clicks on their unique URL and places a bet with the company, you can not only link it back to the original SMS, but if they win, trigger an email, push or SMS to claim their winnings or place a bet on another event.

Textlocal’s SMS API gateway and Zapier are all you need to get started.

Textlocal has a team of developers to help you design an SMS-driven automated conversation to drive users from enquiry to conversion.

Talk to us about the best SMS marketing campaign for your business. With most of your customers using mobile phones, SMS automation offers an engaging, interactive way to sell your business.

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