How to Use SMS Services for Customer Engagement

December 15, 2021
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It’s no surprise that Short Message Service (SMS), or text messaging, is becoming a popular communication channel for businesses. It’s a direct line to customers where they spend much of their time—on their phones.

Text messages have one of the highest open rates of any medium, with consumers opening more than 95% of their messages. This makes your customers’ SMS inboxes one of the best places to engage with them.

An SMS service allows you to send mass texts, connect individually with customers, and even enable multiparty conversations. You can use texting for SMS marketing, appointment reminders, and customer service interactions.

Let’s explore how to use SMS services to stay in touch with your customers, including how to start sending texts with Twilio’s SMS APIs.

Benefits of using SMS for business

Business text messaging is a highly effective way to connect with your customers. SMS communications have a click-through rate of 36%, compared to an average of 6–7% for email marketing. And customers have to opt in to receive your text messages, so you know they’re interested in what you have to say or offer.

Another benefit of SMS is it allows you to reach many customers easily. For example, you can use mass text blasts to inform recipients about special offers or upcoming events. This type of communication not only feels personal to the customer, but it also saves you time by allowing you to send bulk text messages.

Automation makes connecting with customers via SMS even easier. You can automate certain campaigns, such as welcome messages, delivery notifications, and reminders, to keep customers engaged without much work on your end. Once you set up your campaign, a specific customer action like making a purchase triggers these messages.

SMS marketing is one of the most widely used applications of this communication tool. As a marketing channel, SMS is timely, cost-effective, and engaging. Learn more about the pros and cons of SMS marketing.

However, marketing is just one of the many ways you can use SMS, which we’ll dive into next.

How to use SMS services

There are many ways to use SMS for your business, from setting up text message automations to engaging in conversations with customers. Some of the most common use cases include:

  • ETA notifications: Businesses like ride-shares and delivery services use SMS to send customers real-time updates and estimated delivery times.
  • Service alerts: Alert messages can be crucial for businesses like IT administrators. For example, you can get time-sensitive notifications for outages or errors that need addressing quickly.
  • Lead alerts: Sales teams can use automated SMS to send notifications when potential leads request information.
  • Appointment reminders: From hair salons to healthcare providers, businesses use SMS to send automated reminders and other important information to customers.
  • Marketing messages: With SMS marketing services, you can send coupons and discounts, inform customers about contests and sweepstakes, share updates like product launches, and much more.
  • Conversations: SMS can enable businesses to engage in conversations with customers, such as customer service interactions and anonymous chats.

Get started with Twilio SMS

Twilio’s SMS services power more than 100 billion text messages every year. We offer 2 different SMS APIs to help you build the solution your business needs:

  • Programmable Messaging API: Build one-way communications, such as alerts, notifications, reminders, and marketing messages, with the Programmable Messaging API. It offers dozens of features that don’t require extra coding, including short codes, customized opt-in and opt-out options, local numbers, and more.
  • Conversations API: Scale multiparty conversations across multiple channels, including SMS, chat, and messaging apps like WhatsApp, with the Conversations API. The API supports media, like photos and videos, and features native group texting, participant management, and more. Plus, it’s HIPAA-eligible, allowing you to deliver compliant patient care via SMS and chat.

Benefits of using Twilio SMS

Getting started with Twilio’s SMS APIs is quick and easy. Here are some of the benefits of using our APIs:

  • Start sending messages with just a few lines of code, thanks to our library of developer-friendly, in-depth API documentation. We even have open-source code samples for some common SMS use cases like all the examples we discussed above.
  • Send messages to your customers, no matter where they are. Twilio supports high-volume, global SMS delivery so that you can scale your messaging campaigns to meet your needs.
  • Expand your SMS strategy to include Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), WhatsApp, and more with a scalable API.
  • Remain compliant with A2P 10DLC, the new mandatory verification process in the US.

Ready to get started with a bulk SMS services provider and engage your customers via text? Learn more about Twilio’s APIs for SMS and start building!