SMS has come a long way since it was first invented 25 years ago by Neil Papworth, a software developer from Berkshire.

Text messages are no longer the plain 160 – character messages we’ve come to know and use every day. SMS is now a great way for businesses to send two-way communications, and Messenger holds features that make it so easy for both the sender and receiver.

So, what exactly is an auto-response?

Using auto-responses makes it easy to respond to an inbound SMS, allowing you to reply with attachments, links, vouchers and other content. Using this feature can turn the humble SMS into an interactive, engaging and valuable communication tool. Using auto-responses also gives you the power to always be available to your customers, even in the early hours when you’re tucked up in bed. You can send an automatic response to any message that is sent to any inbox on your account.

One way you can use auto-responses if you were using a keyword, for example, would be; “Text GO to 60777 to find out more”, you can then trigger an automatic reply that acknowledges you’ve received the message and tells the customer you’ll be in touch. This is especially important if you’re busy with another customer and are not going to be able to call them back or otherwise respond straight away. You can also schedule your auto-responses and fit the time around the campaign you’re running.

Your replies can also contain rich SMS content such as mobile vouchers, loyalty cards, tickets, mobile web pages or forms. If you’re a restaurant owner, your customers can text you to receive a copy of your menu and you can set an auto-response to reply with the menu. You can then text your customer in future to let them know if you have any deals on and they can even book a table, all via a text message.

What about message forwarding?

Auto-forwarding can be used to ensure you never miss a message. Inbound messages can be forwarded to mobile phones, contact groups, email addresses, URLs or other online applications. This feature is handy if you’re not at your computer logged into the Messenger platform.

You can forward received messages to relevant email addresses, for example, if you’re a large business with different departments, stores or offices and have different keywords, you can ensure inbound messages are forwarded to the correct person or place so nothing is missed. By forwarding messages to a mobile number, you’ll also be able to receive messages when you’re out on the road.

Give it a try

To ensure your next SMS communications utilises the UK’s fastest growing marketing and communications channel sign up for a free account today and give it a try. Opening an account is quick and easy and you can start sending SMS in minutes, complete with feature-rich auto-responses, timed perfectly to suit your business.

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