A few years ago, I worked at a company that built software for dental offices. Our system helped front offices schedule patients, dictate Explanations of Benefits and process insurance. Yes, it was as riveting as it sounds. (I’m lying. It was, of course, boring to market and sell. But it was a vital product that seriously helped people and their dental offices.)
Anyway, one day when my team and I were heads down working on documentation for our up-and-coming self-service portal, there came a massive explosion. In seconds, the building was covered in smoke and everyone learned what the one thing they’d grab if ever they were caught escaping a fire. (For me, it was my gallon of water and lunch box. Most everyone else grabbed their car keys. One guy grabbed the ping pong paddle and shoved a ball in his pocket. Humans are weird in emergencies.)
As we were evacuating, we realized something. No one had a way to tell our customers we’d been unceremoniously thrusted out of our building for the afternoon. Calls, questions and issues were building by the minute and we had to sit idle until we could access our compliant devices again.
If only we had a mass text app.
Mass texting is like sending a bulk email. When you send out a mass text, you’re not starting a massive group text with all of your customers (that would be bonkers!). Instead, a mass text app helps you to broadcast information – like an emergency plan after your building undergoes an extremely unexpected explosion. And, it lets you send out the info to all of your customers, simultaneously as individualized messages.
Maybe most companies don’t endure such dramatics in their day-to-day. But a mass text app is still insanely helpful in more situations than just unexpected emergencies. Imagine this: your site is having some issues and isn’t letting purchase orders go through. You want to protect against your customer service team getting slammed with calls and emails. So you send out a proactive message. You hit them with a text that they’ll actually open (usually within the first three minutes of its arrival). You’re proactively protecting your customers from endless frustrations and saving your agents time and energy in a stressful situation.
These, of course, are just a couple of use cases for mass texting. It’s important that your mass text app gives you lots of functionality for you to use it to the fullest. So to help you get the most out of your mass text app, we’ve gathered a list of six features to look for so you’re getting the most bang for your buck!
6 Must-Have Features to Look for in a Mass Text App
Automation can be a lifesaver when your customer service team has their hands full. Often, you don’t want to draft and send a text right away. Instead, with scheduling, your team can create text campaigns in their down time and schedule them for a future date.
Plus, by scheduling messages in advance, you can make your mass text campaign more strategic. This way each message gets sent when it will attract the maximum attention from your customers. Send personalized promotions to customers by scheduling texts to send on customer birthdays or for special events. And you can prepare and run automated recurring campaigns to send on a biweekly or monthly cycle.
2. Text Throttling
With text throttling, control and limit the number of text messages sent at one time through your mass text app. This feature can be beneficial when you anticipate a message you send will receive a big response. For example, maybe you have a product update you want to notify customers about, but don’t want to get customer responses all at once. To avoid overwhelming your customer service team with responses, you can select the speed at which you want to send your texts. For example, send:
- 5 texts per minute
- 50 texts per minute
- 500 texts per minute
- 1,000 texts per minute
So let’s say you were to send an announcement about a deal to 3,000 customers and were expecting a response rate of 10%, you wouldn’t want to receive 300 replies at once. But, if you instead used scheduling to deliver 300 messages every hour, it would throttle the customers’ response rate and relieve your team of being overwhelmed.
3. Mass Text App MMS
The best mass text app lets you send more than just SMS. With multimedia messaging, your service team can include photos, videos, and other files in your messages. Bypass steps and save time in helping your customers by sending out images or how-to videos to multiple contacts to walk customers through the product.
Or use MMS messaging and have your sales team send product demos to select groups of prospects or renewal customers. With more dynamic messages, your texts will stand out to customers and they’ll be more likely to engage with your content.
4. Lists & Segments
A mass text app isn’t really that useful if you can’t guarantee who your messages are going to. Use lists and segmentation to ensure you’re sending the right messages to the right people. As you add to your opt-in list, you’ll start to notice that you don’t want to send every text to every customer. For example, if you’re trying to reach out to customers who haven’t scheduled a hair appointment yet on their usual cadence, you don’t want to also text the customers who are already booked.
You pay for every text you send out, so it makes sense to reach customers with an appropriate message that will deliver ROI and make for a more personal experience. Find a mass text app that makes it simple to sort contacts into subgroups based on purchase history, keywords, interests so you can manage what message goes out to which customers.
5. Custom Fields
Texting should feel personal. One of the biggest benefits of texting your customers is that it gives you an avenue to reach them in a personalized way. To lean into personalization, make sure your mass text app lets you customize your interactions. With custom fields, add personal names, order details or delivery dates into your mass texts. That way, the text a customer receives feels more like it was catered for them specifically, helping your brand stand out even more.
6. Reporting & Analytics
It’s no good to go through the hassle of adding a new communication channel with customers if you have no way of knowing how it’s performing. Whether you use mass texting for marketing purposes, to do proactive customer support, or to reach new sales prospects, you need ways to know how contacts are responding and how your team is performing.
How many of your customers are responding with keywords or opening your links? How many customers are reaching out via text for support? These are the questions that your metrics and reports can help answer. Find a mass text app that provides easy-to-consume, customizable reporting features that give you insight into how your campaigns are working.
To make sure your SMS messaging platform actually adds value to your company, you have to watch the right metrics. Read more about which 5 metrics you should be tracking to find success.