Odds are, you don’t have enough time in your day to worry about creating communications from scratch. From where to build them, what tools to use, and which channels to send messages to, the logistics can make a simple outbound conversation feel like a never-ending setup.
Yet, no matter what industry you’re in or what type of product or service you provide, the goal remains the same: stand out from the crowd WHILE keeping audiences engaged. So, where to begin?
Content fit for a conversation
We’ve all heard that one size doesn’t fit all, and that couldn’t be truer when it comes to the type of content your audience will engage with.
For starters, there are a number of questions to consider before you send messages:
Is your audience made up of customers, managers, investors, field workers, citizens… or maybe it’s more than one?
Is your message time-sensitive? How much prep time do you have before hitting send?
What’s the driving factor for your message? A wellness check, emergency notification, etc.?
Does your audience need to be followed up? Are you prepared to do so?
Do you need to include links or prompts, or send them to a rich message microsite to fill out a form?
When you craft your message – whether it’s via text message, email, social, or another channel – make sure the content is targeted with the end-user in mind. That means trying to avoid blanket language that leaves out one group or alienates another. The best way to do this is with multiple versions of the same email or SMS campaign, just shifted in things like tone, intent, and persona.
While this may seem like a lot of parameters to keep track of, we encourage you to use a platform that includes a robust content management system (CMS). A CMS that’s worth its weight will allow you to quickly and easily segment contacts based on a host of preferences, then distribute them based on lists that can be deployed automatically depending on the action taken, necessity, etc.
One brand, zero distractions
The odds of your audience choosing to engage with your messages diminishes quickly when things feel disjointed or unclear. To counter this, you’ll want to send a text message or email message that remains in line with your business’ brand and shows a high level of professionalism. An easy way to do this is with imagery and custom microsites.
A high-quality image tends to stand out amongst a sea of text and helps to break up any copy – as well as passes along high-level messaging for audiences on the go.
While email makes this easy, an SMS message platform can do just as much – and deliver higher engagement rates. We suggest sending SMS messages that include a hyperlink to a microsite that looks and feels like your brand. This way, audiences will trust their experience, not be distracted by mixed messaging, and can learn more about you while filling out dynamic forms created just for them.
And make sure to stay within your brand guidelines whenever possible: colors, font, image choice, design elements, icons, and the like.
Leverage ALL the channels
Once your content is ready, you’ll want to send direct messages to one or many end-users via multiple communication channels – SMS, email, voice, video, etc. Plus, if your audience is located all over the world, we suggest you send a message on WhatsApp.
For example, here are a few of the most common ways brands have chosen to engage audiences using Whispir:
Send a company-wide announcement to every employee's email
Wish a happy birthday to select contact lists
Engage customers with timely SMS messages filled with deals straight to their phones
Distribute emergency alerts to emails, mobile phones, and social channels with a single push
Release a weekly video message to your audience
Utilize text-to-voice capabilities for better accessibility
Capture contact data by sending recipients to a branded microsite with dynamic forms
Automate and take work off your plate
So, you have the content, you have the channels, and you have the audience. All that’s left is to streamline the entire process. Automation and communication workflows can make message building a near “set and forget” experience that gives you more time to focus on the job at hand.
Leveraging triggers (such as alarms, recipient responses, and geolocation) can help you meet a wide range of events without a lot of lead-up time or human intervention and ensure the right people are getting the right message at the right time.
In practical cases, you can send messages about work anniversaries, birthdays, reviews, and more to preset contact lists without having to send anything manually.
In more complex cases, such as emergencies or various hazards, you can have SMS messages sent to critical areas and/or departments that include “Yes” or “No” wellness prompts that recipients can quickly engage with. Then, based on their response, contacts will be automatically funneled into a workflow that either escalates or scales back.
Make data-backed decisions
The most important piece of data, of course, is whether your intended audience received the message at all. You’ll want to make sure you have visibility on delivery rates to ensure all the work you’ve put in is seeing the light of day. Then, you’ll want to leverage real-time data including whether or not the recipient opened the message and how they interacted with it.
In time-sensitive cases, you’ll want to ensure responses are handled appropriately – such as confirming the safety of those involved in a natural disaster and sending out the proper crew as soon as possible if action is needed. This carries over to workers in the field that carry out hazard reports, as well. Not only does a proper reporting system help improve safety, it also keeps companies compliant come audit time.
With accurate and timely analytics in your arsenal, you can adjust your budget accordingly.
Have it all – with Whispir
Whether you’re a content wizard and simply want more time back in your day or don’t know how to send a text message at scale, Whispir’s Message Builder gives you everything you need to reach your audience, including:
Imagery to feature within text messages, email messages, and more to give recipients a more engaging experience.
Text that’s easy to customize based on your unique outreach.
Pre-designed templates that are commonly used for audience engagement – so you can amend as needed without starting from a blank canvas.
Form fields that are customized to fit your campaign goals. For instance, a company event may call for gathering business emails and job titles while a customer-centric message may only ask recipients to provide a name and email of choice.
Social icons to ensure you maximize reach where audiences spend a lot of their time. Social icons can be placed within text messages and emails, linking to your social channels so recipients can share and engage with you on their preferred medium.
Engagement scores that leave no room for guesswork. This includes whether a recipient got the message to whether they replied and how long it took them to do so.
Real-time data and analytics that keep your message as effective as possible.
Our Tone of Voice tool guides you as you send a message with tone suggestions including joyful, warm, surprised, angry, fearful, and sad. This allows you to better relate to audiences in their time of need.