Can you really send an automated text message that sounds personal?

The answer is yes!

Automated messages make a world of difference in business texting. But the trick to making an automated text message effective is making it personalized. Studies show that 72% of consumers will only engage with personalized messaging, and 63% say they won’t even purchase from brands that have poor personalization.

So how do you make your automated text messages personalized and engaging?

Talk Like a Human

You don’t want to sound like spam or a bot. You want to sound like a human. Text your leads and customers just like you would text a friend (within reason).

Keep messages short and to the point. Write like you would naturally and avoid corporate jargon. That way customers are more likely to respond and engage with your messages rather than delete them. Sending overly generalized text messages practically guarantees you get ignored.

Basically, just use conversational language. Text messaging should sound like a two-way conversation even when automation is involved. Depending on your business, include emojis to sound casual and keep the conversation light.

Include Personalized Details

Simply start out a text message with “Hey [first name]” to add a quick, personalized touch. Now, this isn’t where you should stop with personalization, but it’s a good place to start.

Also consider information such as location, last purchase, birthday, seasons and holidays, and previous feedback when writing a personalized text. (In Skipio, use Custom Fields and CRM integrations to automatically pull in this information even when messaging large groups.) You can gather a lot of this information automatically when making sales or by asking people when they opt in to receive text messages.

Personalizing your messages is easiest when you add contacts to different groups/lists that then each receive specific offers. If certain people love one product and don’t care about anything else, it feels contradictory to receive promotions about stuff they have no interest in.

Here are some examples of personalized text messages that can be automated:

Example 1:

Hi [First Name], we noticed that your last gym session was on [Last Date Attended]. If you’re ready to come back, we have some brand-new classes starting this week! (link) Reserve your spot!

Example 2:

Hi [First Name], happy birthday from [Company Name]! Take 10% off your next purchase of [Category of item you know they like or have previously bought] by using this code (code)

Example 3:

Hi [First Name], thank you for your purchase! We know customers who have bought [Previous Product Purchased] also enjoy [New Product Name]. Get $5 off by adding it to your shipment right now! (link)

Respond in Real-time

The worst thing is when a customer or lead sends a message and doesn’t receive a response for hours or days. Don’t leave your customers or potential customers hanging. How can you build a relationship with your customers if you aren’t responding in a timely manner? You can’t.

That’s why, for the times you can’t respond immediately or you know you’ll want to message someone later, you need to automate your outreach.

Automation is best for starting real-time conversations at times when you’re busy and can’t be there. You want to keep conversations going, so by keeping messages personalized, you’re able to use automation to fill in the gaps while still sounding like you (because the message was written by you; it’s just automated).

Make sure your automated messages don’t send until you’ve actually read their response. Otherwise, you look completely out of the loop. Be sure you have a way to stop automated messages if someone has responded to a previous message.

Not all messages should be automated, but there are definitely times when it is beneficial like when you want to share relevant content, send reminders, offer coupons/deals, and more.

There’s Room for Both

You don’t have to pick one or the other. There’s room for both personalization and automation to coincide. And ultimately, to build effective relationships while saving time, you should be sending automated, yet personalized text messages.

Want to learn about how personalizing messages directly impacts revenue? Here are five ways to use personalization to improve customer lifetime value (CLV).