How to use generative AI to write SMS copy in seconds

Content creator on laptop harnessing AI for efficiency
August 30, 2023
Written by
Reviewed by

In today’s digital landscape, SMS marketing is a pivotal tool for engaging customers and driving business growth. It enables businesses to connect directly with audiences efficiently—in fact, 90% of consumers read an SMS within three minutes of receiving it. That makes healthy SMS marketing programs crucial to successful customer engagement.

From startups expanding customer reach to established enterprises boosting brand loyalty, mass SMS marketing is a versatile and efficient means to customer interactions: 

  • E-commerce businesses can send personalized order updates and exclusive offers via SMS 
  • Local businesses can leverage location-based targeting to increase local traffic 
  • Healthcare providers can send SMS for appointment reminders and vital health tips

However, tailoring text messages to diverse customer segments can be challenging. Enter generative AI, an innovative concept that empowers us to create compelling SMS content within seconds. Generative AI crafts personalized copy that resonates with consumers by analyzing customer preferences and behaviors. 

Here, we’ll explore a few generative AI tools available, why you should write with AI, and the best AI prompts to get started on your next SMS marketing campaign.

Understanding generative AI for SMS copy

At its core, generative AI algorithms learn patterns and styles from a given dataset and generate new content that aligns with those patterns. This process involves training a model on vast data, enabling it to understand context, language nuances, and artistic or creative elements. Since generative AI algorithms encompass text, images, music, and more, it’s a great writing assistant for SMS copy. Learn more about generative AI.

Now that you know what generative AI is and how it can expedite your SMS copywriting, let’s look at some of the generative AI tools available and the advantages to writing with AI.

3 generative AI writing platforms and tools

1. ChatGPT

ChatGPT is an advanced language model developed by OpenAI that generates text in a conversational manner. Trained on a vast and diverse range of sources, it can understand and yield coherent responses in natural language. ChatGPT can comprehend prompts, answer questions, have conversations, and write creatively.

2. Writer

Writer is a leading generative AI tool for businesses. Each Writer customer receives an API that allows them to set brand guidelines and train a language model. It also flags noninclusive language, gives in-line suggestions as you write, and provides custom templates for your specific business use cases. Although trained on a similar model as ChatGPT, businesses can tailor Writer to reach customers.

3. Jasper

Jasper is an AI tool that creates marketing content (text and images) for businesses. Its Everywhere extension guides you in creating content everywhere online: social media, email, content management systems, and more. You can also train Jasper on your brand voice, style guide, and tones for different content.

Benefits of using generative AI writing platforms and tools

1. Saves time and money

Generative AI tools streamline the content creation process by generating high-quality text based on user prompts swiftly, which significantly reduces the time required to draft content manually.

2. Enhances creativity and diverse content creation 

Generative AI opens new creative possibilities by offering unique perspectives and content styles otherwise not considered. When you write with AI, you can diversify the range of tones, formats, and approaches in your content.

3. Enables personalization and targeted messaging

Generative AI platforms analyze user input to craft personalized content. For example, when you feed an AI tool consumer data and preferences, it can generate text that resonates with specific audience segments. This enables businesses to deliver targeted messages that feel relevant and meaningful. Generative AI also ensures that each piece of content speaks directly to the intended recipients, enhancing engagement and connection.

How to create effective AI prompts for SMS copy

The key to quality SMS marketing copy is an effective AI prompt. Here’s a step-by-step guide on using generative AI tools and optimizing your prompts continuously for the best content output.

1. Determine your use case

First, decide what you want to communicate and to whom. For example, do you need to summarize, brainstorm, write, or synthesize text? Whether it’s an outline for your blog, short quips for an ad, or ideas for a series of texts part of an SMS marketing campaign, determine your use case before you write with AI.

2. Structure your prompts

Next, determine how you want to structure your prompts (aka prompt engineering), as it’s key to the type of outputs the generative AI will deliver. Your AI prompt should include the role, task, context, format, and constraints.

  • Role: Ask the generative AI to take on a role, such as an expert SMS marketer
  • Task: Tell the generative AI what to create for you, such as three text messages about an upcoming sale
  • Context: Provide the context for your task, such as a summer sale with 50% off and a final reminder for the sale 
  • Format: Tell the generative AI what format to use for the copy, such as a text message
  • Constraints: Provide any constraints the AI should follow for the prompt, such as 200 characters

3. Customize and refine the AI prompt 

Now, it’s time to give your chosen generative AI a try. We’ll use ChatGPT to demonstrate how to refine AI prompts by creating text messages for an example SMS marketing campaign.

Let’s ask it to write three different text messages about a fictional clothing company’s summer sale.

Generative AI prompt 1

Notice how ChatGPT doesn’t consider any specific discount codes, branding, tone, or character limit. Our input was vague, so it gave us a general output.

Let’s make the prompt more specific to see what happens.

Generative AI prompt 2

See the difference? It even used emojis. So the more you specify what you want, the better the output.

4. Re-prompt as needed

Finally, as you A/B test the texts in your SMS marketing campaigns, always come back to the generative AI to improve upon those text messages—remember, generative AI can act as a writer, thought partner, or a critic of your copy. This is re-prompting, and it allows you to engineer your existing prompt to get better and clearer results or start again based on the results of your first campaign.

Best practices for using generative AI in SMS copywriting 

Now that you know which generative AI tool you want to use and how to engineer AI prompts, here are a few best practices to write with AI successfully. 

1. Ensure message clarity and readability 

Despite learning new information daily, the content generative AI tools create still requires a human touch. Always review your AI-generated content for coherence, relevance, grammar, spelling, and more to ensure that the content effectively communicates the intended message. 

2. Incorporate personalization and brand voice

Do you segment your customers? Generative AI can help you write personalized SMS copy for each unique audience. However, when starting out with these tools, tailor the AI-generated content to match your brand’s tone and style. Then, infuse personalization elements for effective customer engagement. Over time, your generative AI tool will learn your brand’s personality and generate content accordingly.

3. Test and refine AI-generated SMS copy

A/B testing is essential for gauging the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. Marketers can identify which versions resonate better with their audience by presenting variations of AI-crafted SMS messages to different segments. You can also fine-tune your messaging strategies with iterative improvements driven by user feedback and comprehensive analytics. Reviewing and refining AI-generated SMS copy regularly maintains the quality of communication and ensures that the content consistently aligns with your audience’s evolving preferences.

Embrace the future of SMS marketing with Twilio

With the recent developments in AI, marketers have various generative AI platforms at their disposal to help create personalized campaigns that drive engagement. However, balancing automation and human input remains crucial, as human oversight maintains the authenticity that customers appreciate. Additionally, for the right message to work, it has to reach the consumer on their preferred channel. That’s where we come in.

Twilio Messaging empowers you to reach your customers within seconds on a single, scalable platform that facilitates SMS, MMS, and WhatsApp. Plus, you can leverage the power of AI with Twilio’s CustomerAI technology, a set of capabilities woven throughout Twilio’s products that couples the power of large language models with real-time customer data flowing through Twilio’s Customer Engagement Platform. CustomerAI will help you personalize customer experiences, transform the quality of your customer service, and surface key insights about your customers and their behavior.

Ready to create your AI-generated SMS marketing campaign? Sign up for a free account today to get started.