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Conversational SMS: Transform Your Messaging Game

Transform the way you message with conversational SMS. Learn how this SMS technology can enhance your customer communication and increase engagement.

We're all familiar with marketing messages by SMS. Every day, sometimes multiple times per day, we get text messages from retailers marketing some product or offer. But what the majority of SMS marketers don't realize is that the majority of their audience really wants to respond to their text messages.

What happens when they try?

If you respond to a text message about some offer with a question about the offer, chances are what you get back is an error message. The same company that sends the message saying "Buy our product!" responds to you with "Huh?" when you tell them that is exactly what you want to do.

Capturing consumer interest is where SMS conversations come in.

Let's reimagine this campaign done following the best practices of 2 way SMS, that is, following the best practices of conversational SMS marketing.

Maybe instead of a plain text message, you send your lead a video of the product and invite them to respond with a question about the offer. Your customer might want to know about the sizes of the product that you have in stock, or options in colors and sizes, or how long it takes the product to ship.

Conversational SMS assures the customer that you are the best place to find the product. It helps them confirm that your product fits their budget. It displays an image and a description of the product that best meets their needs.

All of this is driven by conversational AI. And the beauty of SMS conversations is that you don't need to cajole your customer into giving up any first-party data for you to know where your customer lives, what products they are interested in, or their budget. You can deliver a targeted, personalized offer with a much higher likelihood of closing the sale.

Let's take a more formal look at this exciting, profitable marketing method.

What is conversational SMS marketing?

Conversational SMS is like conventional SMS in that it is a text messaging technique. Marketers use it to communicate with their customers via text messages.

Conversational SMS differs from conventional SMS in that it is 2 way SMS. It mimics real-life conversations between people with back-and-forth responses to your customer.

SMS conversations are becoming increasingly popular among marketers because it has proven themselves to be a great way to improve customer service and support. Using conversational SMS, businesses can provide a quick and convenient way for most customers to ask questions, make appointments, or receive updates.

What is the difference between conversational SMS and traditional SMS?

But isn't that just what chatbots do?

Not exactly. There is an important difference between the algorithms for chatbots and the algorithms for SMS conversations. Chatbots basically use words as cues. They automatically send out a response that most of the time matches a term the customer uses.

If a customer types in, for example, "Do you have the blouse in red?" a chatbot can respond with the item you are offering in red. But conversational AI would scan your records with that customer and also recommend a blouse in red that complements the skirt they bought last time.

Traditional SMS responds to words. Conversational SMS responds to people. Occasionally, human operators are necessary when AI stalls. But you can automate much more of the process of connecting with returning or potential customers with SMS conversations than with traditional SMS text messaging.

Conversational SMS gives you more options for meeting customer needs. Conversational SMS provides the information your customer seeks, while making life easier for your customer service staff.

So, conversational SMS is the same thing as two-way SMS?

There is a fuzzy distinction between conversational SMS and two-way SMS.

Both methods can be automated, but SMS conversations can be much more automated.

The major limitation of 2 way SMS is that it is activated by keyword. If the customer misspells the keyword, uses a synonym for the keyword, or defines what they want in slightly different terms than the system is set up to expect, two way SMS will ask for additional inputs.

Conversational SMS can get stuck, too. But when this happens, conversational SMS will send the conversation to a human agent, along with all the relevant records of your interactions with this customer to ensure outstanding service.

Why is conversational SMS important to leverage?

Here are two big reasons to leverage conversational SMS in your next marketing campaign:

  1. Conversational SMS marketing messages have a 98% open rate, according to Mobile Marketing Watch.
  2. Conversational SMS marketing messages have an average response rate of 45%, according to SMS Comparison.

SMS conversations get your customer's attention. And then it makes it easier for you to make the sale.


SMS business messaging provides a direct and interactive communication channel between businesses and their customers. Here are some of the ways conversational SMS can increase personalization:

  • Addressing customers by name: This makes the message feel more personal and relevant.
  • Tailoring messages based on preferences and behaviors: Conversational SMS can be configured to access all of the data you have on a customer in real-time. You can use this data to personalize SMS conversational text messaging based on their preferences, behaviors, predicted behaviors, and purchase history. For example, if a customer frequently purchases a specific product or service, businesses can send targeted text messaging to complement that product or service.
  • Truly two-way communication: Conversational SMS doesn't just talk to your customers. It also listens to your customers. It collects the new information your customer provides about their needs and preferences. You can use this information to tailor future SMS marketing messages and provide more personalized recommendations.
  • Using emojis and visual elements: SMS marketing can include emojis and visual elements to make the message more engaging and personalized. For example, you might use a heart emoji to show appreciation for a customer's loyalty.

Conversational SMS improves customer satisfaction and drives sales. Your SMS conversion rates will soar!


SMS conversations can be highly scalable by leveraging automated messaging, pre-defined templates, segmentation, targeting, and analytics.

  • Automation: Conversational SMS can be automated to send and receive messages at scale without the need for human intervention. It enables businesses to communicate with a large number of customers simultaneously while still providing each customer with a personalized experience.
  • Pre-defined messaging templates: You can create pre-defined messaging templates that you can customize on the basis of customer data and preferences. This both saves time and ensures that customers receive consistent messaging, even at scale.
  • Segmentation and targeting: You can use conversational text messaging to segment and target your universe of prospects on the basis of customer data and preferences. You can send personalized messages to specific groups of customers based on their needs and interests.
  • Analytics and optimization: A SMS conversation can be tracked and optimized using analytics tools. You can mine data for insights into customer behavior and preferences. This allows you to continuously improve their messaging and tailor it to better meet the needs of your customers.

Improved customer engagement and satisfaction

Conversational SMS improves customer engagement and satisfaction by providing a convenient, personalized, and engaging communication channel between businesses and customers. Let's take a closer look.

  • Quick and convenient communication: Customers can send and receive messages on their own time, without the need for a phone call or email.
  • Personalized messaging: Conversational text messaging allows you to personalize messages based on customer data and preferences. This makes the messages more relevant and engaging, which can increase customer satisfaction.
  • Truly two-way SMS communication: Conversational SMS enables two-way communication between your business and your customers. This allows your customers to ask questions, provide feedback, and make requests/ All of this improves their engagement with your business.
  • Timely and relevant messaging: You can use conversational SMS to send timely and relevant messages to your customers. These critical communications include order updates, appointment reminders, and special offers. This can keep customers engaged and satisfied with your business.
  • Improved customer service: You can use conversational text messaging to provide customer support, which can improve customer satisfaction. Customers can ask questions and receive assistance via SMS messaging, which is often more convenient than calling customer service or waiting for an email response.


You will spend a lot less on conversational SMS messages than you would spend on billboards or advertising on TV. But those aren't the only metrics you can improve with conversational SMS.

  • Lower customer acquisition costs: You can use conversational SMS to acquire new customers at a lower cost than with traditional advertising or other marketing channels. For example, you can use SMS messaging to promote special offers or discounts to new customers.
  • Increased efficiency: Conversational SMS enables you to automate your messaging and customer support processes. This saves time and reduces labor costs. For example, you can use chatbots to automate customer support so you can handle a large volume of customer inquiries without the need for human intervention.
  • Reduced operational costs: SMS messaging can be used to automate operational processes like appointment reminders, order updates, and payment notifications. This reduces the need for manual intervention and lowers operational costs.
  • Improved customer retention: Conversational SMS can be used to keep customers engaged and satisfied. This reduces customer churn and improves customer retention. This creates savings on acquiring new customers to replace those who leave.

Advantages of conversational SMS for customers

Conversational SMS offers some solid advantages for your customers, too.

First of all, it provides convenience. Your customers can receive and respond to messages on their own schedule without needing to call or wait for email responses. Conversational SMS also allows personalized and two-way communication that further enhances convenience.

That's not all. Conversational SMS also provides an additional layer of security by enabling you to send verification codes and password reset links to your customers. These prevent unauthorized access to customer accounts.

Thirdly, SMS marketing makes it easy for customers to opt-in to receive your messages. Customers can simply send a text message or fill out a form. This is a more seamless and convenient opt-in process compared to other channels like email.

And let's not forget that conversational SMS has a lower spam rate compared to other marketing channels. That's due to the opt-in requirement. Conversational SMS provides more relevant and personalized messages that are less likely to be perceived as spam. This helps your customers avoid unwanted messages, enhancing their experience with your business.

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