With Text Message Marketing adoption on the rise across retail verticals and more and more consumers wanting to connect with their favorite brands via SMS, there’s never been more inbound message volume than there is today. Listrak’s tools for Two-Way SMS Conversations allow you to respond promptly to questions, feedback, and issues directly via text through your existing short codes. Read on for tips on how to leverage these features and maximize the opportunity to connect with your subscribers 1:1.

What does a Two-Way SMS Conversation constitute?

SMS is a conversational marketing channel by nature, as contacts are used to leveraging it for personal communication. So any inbound message to your short code, whether in response to a text you have sent or otherwise, initiates a Two-Way SMS Conversation. These messages typically include questions about the content of your last campaign, requests for help or more details, and general feedback. There’s a growing expectation that brands will see and acknowledge inbound messages like these and reply promptly.

Conversation with your customers may be handled with one reply or could require multiple messages back and forth. Brands can choose to have their Two-Way SMS Conversations addressed by Customer Service representatives, their marketing team, or any employees in between – as long as the responder is knowledgeable, prompt, and friendly!

Why is it so important to reply to my subscriber’s inbound messaging?

Continuing with conversations initiated by your contacts positively impacts your bottom line. Your customers feel important and validated, and they remain engaged with your brand. This even includes those who aren’t currently subscribed to your program but who send a question or issue to your short code. You can respond to these inbound messages and remain fully compliant!

Listrak clients have reported an increase in overall customer satisfaction and engagement, and even instances of higher average order values (AOVs) and conversion rates from contacts who interact through Two-Way SMS Conversations. If you’re not personally responding to your inbound messaging, you’re leaving revenue on the table and potentially allowing customers to lapse more quickly.

What should I send to keep conversations going?

Your replies to inbound texts can include links to product pages, recent order information, recommendations, content, and more. While you don’t need to spend time responding to inbound SMS if they are clearly automatic responses (e.g., Do Not Disturb messages) or mistakes (e.g., contacts meaning to text a friend), you don’t want to miss out on replying to someone who wants to continue purchasing or resolve an issue.

Employees who will be responding to Two-Way SMS Conversations should be aligned with your promotional calendar and familiar with campaigns currently configured as part of your Text Message Marketing program. They should be prepared with answers to common FAQs and policies, as well as have links ready to direct contacts to other teams or parts of your website. All of this will allow your teams to respond promptly and keep your customers engaged.

How do I set up Two-Way SMS Conversations?

Listrak automatically enables in-app Two-Way SMS Conversations for all SMS programs. This allows teams to log into Listrak and reply to inbound messaging from a designated area of their account as well as keep track of previous conversations and view relevant contact data.

If you’d prefer your Customer Service team takes ownership of responding to Two-Way SMS Conversations, our SMS REST API or applicable software integrations allow them to reply within their usual platforms. Once integrated, inbound messaging would create new tickets for them to use as a means of tracking and responding to conversations. This is an extremely efficient and scalable way of getting prompt replies out without having to grant more Listrak platform access to team members. Click here to read more about the integrations available

Text Message Marketing presents a very personal way for brands to communicate and connect with their customers, including responding to their direct inbound messaging. This keeps contacts engaged and shopping while positively impacting your overall customer service reputation. Between addressing concerns, answering questions, and sharing additional products, adding Two-Way SMS Conversations to your SMS strategy will surely improve your engagement. For more information, or to get started, reach out to your Listrak Account Manager. 

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