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Using two-way SMS for better customer engagement

  • Using SMS text messaging for advertising and marketing purposes is a common method that many companies are already using in their business.


    SMS advertising has a lot of advantages: it has a very high open rate (about 98%), it allows you to reach wide demographic groups, and it helps you build and maintain strong relationships with customers. In addition, SMS advertising is very good to increase customer engagement.

    However, most services still use only one-way SMS texting, which primarily delivers service news and offers to the audience, without providing an opportunity to respond. Too bad indeed: SMS is inherently designed for quick interaction, and without an answer to an available question, it loses half of its potential.


    So how can you incorporate two-way SMS, and encourage customers to join the conversation with you? And more importantly, what kind of profit will it give you? Let's talk about that in this post.

    What is a two-way SMS?

    Two-way SMS implies a discussion in which both parties can text each other. That's how all personal SMS conversations go: we text our friends, relatives, or other contacts and get a reply.


    As we said before, this is not always the case with companies: many firms continue to send SMS messages, without intending to allow genuine discussions between themselves and their customers.

    In company messaging, mass two-way SMS communication will work the same way as in private conversations: the company (or the customer) starts the dialogue by sending an SMS message, and the other side sends a reply.

    How exactly does two-way messaging work?

    Two-way messaging typically uses SMS messaging platforms that allow you to send out bulk messages to huge groups of numbers (hundreds or even thousands). In doing so, a two-way texting portal makes it possible to have each conversation separately and get responses from each recipient.

    Examples of how two-way SMS is useful for business

    So, why should you use two-way SMS to interact with your customers rather than sending out one-way messages as you've done before?


    The first and one of the most significant reasons is that you can increase customer engagement by using two-way messages. One-way messaging limits you by keeping you isolated from your customers. What happens if they have questions or want to get clarity on something you're texting?


    Sure, they may try to contact you using other channels (calling your contact number or finding you on social media), but that's too long of a customer journey, which takes a lot of effort. 


    Only a small percentage of people will be insistent (or annoyed) enough to go through with it. Most, of course, will just leave it as is. And, as a result, you will lose a lead that you could have successfully converted into a customer, and the person will remember this fact as a frustrating experience with your brand.


    In contrast, two-way SMS marketing helps build human, friendly conversations where you can improve your connection with the person, as well as win their loyalty. By responding to customers with personalized messages, you get a chance to build a community and position yourself as a human-centered brand.


    Plus, two-way SMS advertising allows you to get to know your customer's habits and ways of thinking better. 

    You can assess exactly how they respond, as well as what their most important interests are. And understanding your customer is the most important factor for successful advertising. 


    In the future, you can use this data, not only for future SMS campaigns but also for various other channels you use to solve your advertising and marketing tasks.

    7 ways how you can use 2-way SMS to improve customer engagement

    Two-way texting sounds encouraging for your company, but what strategies should you choose to get real responses from the consumers you're interested in?


    As with any marketing campaign, at the start, you need to experiment and test different approaches to see what will work best for your company and your target market.


    But you can learn from other companies' experiences and examples and take them as a guide for your first projects. Here are a couple of examples of how you can get consumers involved with two-way text messages.

    Membership renewal deals

    If your services are membership-based, there is bound to come to a point where the consumer will need to renew or cancel it, as well as switch to other services. Car rentals, business tools, streaming, and song services are all services that should keep your customers and continue to provide them with services.

    Sending out a message, especially with a special deal or discount when the customer registration period is nearing its end, can help you solve any problems or complaints that users may have had. In this case, an individualized dialogue will work better than template messages.

    Visit suggestions and verification

    Sending visitation tips is a typical method that many businesses use, but it tends to be a short alert that doesn't involve any response from the person receiving it.


    This can work, but two-way SMS will certainly allow consumers to confirm, reschedule or cancel their advice within a single conversation, as well as thus give them the pleasant experience of not having to discover your other contacts as well as trying to contact you.


    In addition, clients will be able to easily specify important features of their consultation, such as requesting instructions on how to get to your location.

    Surveys with comments

    Asking for feedback is always a wise action: it will help you understand whether you are meeting your customers' assumptions and requirements, and avoid situations where your customers take to the Internet to complain or share their unfavorable experiences.


    Obviously, such research can't work without active two-way messaging. You can try different methods, such as asking customers to rate their browsing or interaction with you from one to ten points or asking for a more detailed response.


    Either way, remain available for any criticism and show customers that you value their point of view and refrain from it just for show.

    Event invitations

    If your company is event-based or you're hosting a solo event (such as celebrating a store opening or wedding anniversary), make your invitations more interactive using two-way text messaging.


    Send the invitation to customers and ask if they're interested in signing up. If their answer is yes, share the registration link. This way you can try to increase your conversion rate and also encourage more people to sign up.

    Payoff pointers

    You may have trouble if your customers neglect or forget to make their regular payments. So instead of demanding cash for late payments, you can simply send out pointers to customers who need to pay off debts quickly. If done right, it won't irritate customers.


    Two-way messaging will allow customers to ask their questions right on the spot, which means it will increase the likelihood that they will get all the information they need and proceed to pay right away.

    Answering Questions

    In some cases, customers may start a discussion if you leave a clickable number on your website or on social media. Nowadays, many people prefer text messaging to actual phone calls, so offering the option of text messaging will certainly make you look better to customers.

    Make up for unfinished online purchases

    A lot of unfinished purchases could be saved if the business reached consumers at the moment of need. When an item in the online store remains in the cart, you can contact the customer by text message and offer them a consultation.


    This can work in most situations because you can offer people details that will ultimately encourage them to buy.

    Retain a lot more customers with the Testelium SMS testing service

    Two-way SMS texting software enhances your ability to get responses from consumers as well as start real discussions with them, but it's not the only software you'll definitely need for successful SMS marketing.


    An SMS testing tool can help you examine the routes you use to send messages, as well as identify fake DLR SMS and unreliable operators. Accepting such companions will certainly lower your delivery rates and also discredit your efforts to increase customer interaction.


    The Testelium platform gives you the ability to send test messages. It is capable of checking the validity of delivery records, running web content validation and SMSC, and MO testing. It also supports automation and seamless assimilation with your own SMS system, so you're sure to have the ability to set up SMS testing using the API.


    Testelium will help you gain full control over your SMS system and make it stronger to provide much better results. If you want to know more, don't hesitate to contact our manager: we'll be happy to answer all your questions!