Increase Online Event Attendance with Business SMS

Woman attending online event

COVID-19 changed events forever. Even as restrictions have eased, most businesses have kept some or all of their events online. It’s an easy—and low-cost—way to reach a large audience. Even so, achieving high online attendance can be a challenge. Enter business SMS. 

Business text messaging is one of the best ways to connect with online event attendees and prospective attendees. Texts have a high open rate of 98%, and 8x the response rate of emails. They can help your team boost sign-ups and ensure that attendees open their video links on time.

Read on to learn 3 ways to increase online event attendance with business SMS.

Send Event Invitations to Your Business SMS List 

There’s a good chance you have quite a few customers or clients signed up for your business SMS list. This is especially the case if you manage customer service through business text messaging. (If you don’t have a large business SMS list, there are plenty of ways to increase your SMS list size.) Tap into that list and send those contacts event invitations. (Don’t forget that you can only text customers who have opted in.)

Business texting platforms offer a lot of efficiency features that make it easy to send personalized texts to many SMS list members at once. All your team needs to do is:

  • Create an event invitation template, leaving room for custom fields
  • Select a list of SMS subscribers to send the invitation to
  • Schedule your text, or send it immediately

Your event invitation SMS template may look like the following example:

Great news, {{customer name}} — wine expert Georgianna Desanto will join Wine Box exec Danielle next week! Join for free on April 3 at 6pm PST. Text ROSE to reserve your seat. Text STOP to unsubscribe. 

As your business SMS platform sends each text, it will insert the recipients’ custom field information. Sending personalized event invitations via business SMS is a great way to let more customers know about your exciting event.  

Answer Questions through Business SMS

Customers may want to ask about your event before agreeing to attend, particularly if it’s long or expensive. You can answer those questions via phone calls or emails, but those channels are slow. Customers may decide to forego asking their questions—and forego your event—if they think it’ll take too long to get answers.

Business SMS is a great channel for Q&A. After sending their initial question, customers are likely to continue the conversation in real-time. Your team can answer quickly, too. Be sure to set your team up for fast responses by:

  • Integrating your messaging platforms so all messages arrive in your shared inbox, whether they’re from native SMS apps or over-the-top (OTT) apps like Facebook Messenger, Apple Business Chat, or Google’s Business Messages
  • Assigning incoming messages to specific team members so each team member can receive notifications for only one or two chats at a time
  • Creating during-hours and after-hours auto responses so customers know exactly when they can expect a reply from your team

A during-hours auto response may look like the following SMS template:

Hi there! We’re glad you’re interested in Book Palace’s upcoming author talk with Ariadne Frances. A team member will reply within 5-7 minutes. Text STOP to unsubscribe from our SMS list! 

Business SMS is an efficient channel for answering potential attendees’ questions. Your team can also use it to answer attendees’ questions once they’ve signed up. Just be sure to include your business SMS number in any event communications, and let customers know it’s their fastest option for Q&A.  

Remind Attendees with Business SMS Reminders

Once customers have signed up for your online event, your team has to ensure they actually attend. Customers often ignore email reminders, though, and calling individual attendees isn’t feasible. (Plus, phone calls can feel invasive to customers.)

Use an SMS drip campaign to automate a few online event reminders. Setting up an SMS drip campaign is easy. All your team needs to do is:

  1. Choose your list of attendees. (You can add additional recipients to SMS drip campaigns at any time.)
  2. Select how many days apart you’d like the messages to be sent.
  3. Create a series of SMS templates, leaving space for attendees’ custom fields.
  4. Set the automation to remove attendees from the list if they reply with opt-out requests. 

An SMS drip campaign template may look like the following example:

Hi there {{attendee name}}! Don’t forget that our Top Professional Summit is tomorrow at 3pm CT. See you there! Text STOP to stop receiving texts. 

Automating your SMS reminders makes it easy for your team to keep customers on track and informed—without extra work from your team. 

Want to try out business SMS before your next online event? Try our platform for free.

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