SMS automation: a guide to sending automated SMS

Topic: Business messaging, How-to guides, SMS

SMS automation helps you to save time, reduce costs and crucially reach your audience at the right time. Discover how you can unlock the power of bespoke communication workflows…

With customers always on the go, they rely on their mobile phones to manage almost every aspect of their lives, often outside of office hours. That means you need to be able to send messages at any time – whether that’s to provide customer support, delivery updates or send a limited-time offer, and in response to actions like order confirmations. However, this wouldn’t be possible without automated SMS

But what is SMS automation and how can you use it for your business? Find out more below. 

What is SMS automation?

SMS automation uses software to automatically send out text messages to certain customers, or customer segments, at a specific time. It’s a fast and effective way of driving action using a number of triggers – for example, asking for feedback immediately after a phone call, or confirming a booking or appointment that someone has just made online.

How to send automated SMS

Every SMS platform is slightly different so how it works will depend on the one you choose. Esendex has been developed to make it as easy as possible to automate outbound text messaging using a rule-based ‘if-then’ system that supports both bespoke communication workflows and auto-replies. So, if a customer makes a purchase or appointment, then they automatically receive a confirmation and any updates. 

You can either send and receive messages online via an online SMS platform, or build an SMS API into your existing website, app or software. This allows you to automatically connect to your current business software and data, without having to download any applications or upload the data manually. 

Step by step guide to automated SMS with Esendex

  1. Information (e.g. the customer’s name, and date/time of appointment) is identified within the business software
  2. File is uploaded to a SFTP – secure file transfer
  3. Esendex’s automation framework analyses the file and automatically sends out all communications according to pre-agreed workflows, triggers and templated messages
  4. Customer receives communication.

The benefits of automated text messages

Like any kind of automation, SMS automation takes the heavy lifting out of sending text messages. 

Using your SMS platform, you  can send out potentially tens-of-thousands of text messages to customers in any part of the world at just the right time. You can strike while the iron’s hot, at the moment when they’re most engaged. Automating this process means you get the benefits of SMS – including direct communications and unrivalled open rates – on a scale and with a level of accuracy that wouldn’t be possible to achieve manually. 

This makes it really effective for getting the most out of your SMS marketing efforts.

As well as time-savings, automating SMS also drives up customer satisfaction. Most people now take it for granted that they will receive an instant response, no matter what time of day or night it is. In retail, for instance, consumers expect instant confirmation of a purchase, and updates on delivery. 

Automating SMS is also a way to ensure the highest degree of accuracy. SMS APIs can be integrated with ecommerce, warehouse, and delivery websites so the status of an order can be communicated to customers, in a single seamless experience. 

There are clear cost-savings linked to SMS automation too. 

It reduces the workload for customer services teams who might previously have spent too much time chasing order statuses. And it can also cut the cost of missed appointments in healthcare; failed deliveries in retail and logistics; and no-shows in restaurants or hairdressers. 

Automated SMS is also a powerful way to drive revenue, through personalised offers and messaging based on demographics and behaviour, for example, by reminding customers to complete their purchase if they already have items in their cart. 

In general, automating SMS means that organisations can deliver the kind of joined-up customer experience that drives conversions. Just because it’s possible to automate text messaging doesn’t mean it’s robotic either. Your SMS platform allows you to create highly-relevant and bespoke messages for different customer groups, straight to their mobile device.

Find out how Esendex can support with our range of business SMS solutions.

Author Avatar
Mayzin Han

Marketing strategist with 8 years of experience, 5+ of which in B2B tech. Currently the Senior Marketing Program Manager at Commify, I work closely with field marketing teams who sit across EMEA and APAC to strategise and create campaigns that meet customer and prospect needs. My background in content marketing means that I'm passionate about all things words, grammar and punctuation. In my free time, I like to run, box and torture myself at spin class because lots of cardio means you can eat what you want!