5 Steps to Creating a Unique SMS Automation for Your Team

Gears symbolizing SMS automation

Business SMS is already a fast channel. Customers answer texts right away, allowing your team to close out tickets quickly. Your business SMS platform offers efficiency features, like lists and templates, that allow your team to send personalized mass texts quickly. With SMS automations, your team can expedite customer communications further. 

What Is an SMS Automation?

An SMS automation is a tool that takes over a simple (or, in some cases, complex) workflow for your team. Creating one of these automations is like handing over a simple task to a team member who will always, without fail, complete that task perfectly. Automations can be set up within your business SMS platform. They can also be set up between your business SMS platform and another platform, like a CRM. 

How Can SMS Automations Help My Team?

SMS automations can take over a wide variety of small tasks for your team. With more time on their hands, your team members can focus on more intricate, high-level projects or personal interactions with customers. Ultimately, SMS automations boost team productivity. 

Step 1: Identify Repetitive Workflows

To create a unique SMS automation, you first need to identify workflows that might be candidates for automation. These will be workflows that are simple but repetitive. 

Popular choices include:

  • Sending welcome and double opt-in texts to consumers who have just signed up for SMS lists
  • Providing informational texts to customers who text with questions
  • Texting planned content at regular intervals
  • Removing customers who text in with specific keywords from certain SMS lists

Remember: workflows that are good automation candidates will be consistent and relatively simple. 

Step 2: Choose a Trigger

Your trigger is the instigating factor that will start the workflow. When you’re identifying potential workflows for automation, you’ll notice that most workflows start with a trigger of some kind. 

Triggers may include:

  • Adding a new contact to your platform
  • Receiving a text from a new customer
  • Receiving a text at a certain day or time
  • Receiving a text that includes a specific keyword or phrase 

Your trigger is key to the automation. Your business text messaging platform will be constantly monitoring incoming messages for your configured triggers. Ensure that you want your action (which you’ll choose next) to happen each and every time your platform identifies the trigger. 

Step 3: Select an Action 

Your action occurs directly after your trigger has been detected. This action is what your team members usually do to complete a workflow. 

Actions include:

  • Adding a contact to a list
  • Replying with a message
  • Taking a contact off a list

While these actions may seem simple, automating them can save your team critical time. For example, sending a text to a new contact may take 1 minute total, but sending 60 text messages—even if they’re all identical—would take an entire hour.

Step 4: Set Up the SMS Automation

It should be easy for you to set up your SMS automation with the right business SMS platform. The platform should offer details about setting up a unique automation that are easy to follow.

Depending on the automation, you may have to:

  • Choose the trigger
  • Select the action
  • Create a template
  • Identify a relevant keyword (or keywords)
  • Indicate a timeframe

Again, the process of setting up your SMS automation should be easy. As soon as you approve the automation, it should start automating your chosen workflow. 

Step 5: Test, Measure, and Improve

You should test your new automation to see whether it’s working to your satisfaction. 

When testing your automation, ensure that:

  • Any texts your platform sends are accurate (i.e., they contain the correct custom fields and basic content)
  • Your platform opts out the correct contacts
  • Texts sent during specific time periods work across time zones

Once you’ve tested the basic functionality of your SMS automation, you can measure the results using your business SMS platform’s reporting feature to see whether it’s making a difference to your team’s response rate or other metric. Then, you can make subsequent improvements if need be—or get started creating your next SMS automation.

 

Need help creating your unique SMS automation? Chat with our team.

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