With scheduled messaging, your brand is always on — without burning out your team
Back in 2014, Gallup proclaimed that “a new era of communication” had arrived. The analytics firm’s data found that between 37% and 39% of Americans said they used cell phones, texting, and email “a lot.”
Fast forward to 2023, and these numbers have skyrocketed. Over 93% of Americans aged 18–64 owned a smartphone in 2022. 97% of American adults text weekly, and what’s more, around 78% of people report wishing they could have a text conversation with a business.
For brands that can navigate this demanding medium well, the opportunities are nearly limitless. One way to do so without burning out your team is scheduled messaging. In this post, we’ll explore scheduled messaging — what it is, why it matters, and how you can leverage messaging to build trust with customers.
Take customer relationships to the next level.
What is scheduled messaging?
Scheduled messaging allows a business to compose texts that send automatically at a future date and time. These messages can be sent over email, in app, or through SMS messaging — although teams that schedule SMS messages may run into significant drawbacks. For instance, the sender can’t track message engagement, and a third-party provider controls the conversation environment.
If you’re wondering how to send scheduled messages for your business but don’t know where to start, we’re here to help. At Sendbird, we start by analyzing your market, your customers, and your app environment. Learn more about our chat API, or request a demo.
Pro tip: When shopping for a messaging partner, look for ones that offer features that simplify the user experience. For example, email to text is a software add-on that lets teams send text messages from an email account. These features won’t make or break your in-app or SMS marketing program, but they can mean less headaches for your operations team.
Why invest in scheduled messaging?
Scheduled messaging can help your business communicate better with customers, delivering the right information at the optimal time. What exactly does this look like for your brand? Let’s dive in below.
Help your employees find a healthy work/life balance.
Your brand is online all the time, but your employees likely log off at some point. Scheduling messages ensures your business can communicate with customers whenever a message is relevant, not just when your employees are working.
For example, a ride-hailing app can schedule a text that prompts those out late at night to call a driver. A regional airline’s app can push notifications to travelers taking a flight at 5:00 a.m. — and no one has to get online at 4:45 a.m. to press send.
These applications may sound intuitive; as customers, we receive scheduled messages all the time. But, simple as they seem, they can still be meaningful for your employees’ experience. Scheduling messages means they’ll have less internal “fire drills” and more time for other critical, creative tasks.
Prepare an intentional campaign, rather than disconnected messages
Scheduled messaging gives your team time to prepare a cohesive in-app or SMS marketing strategy, developing thoughtful messages that target customers wherever they sit in the sales funnel. This approach is likely more effective than sending one-off texts whenever it “feels” appropriate.
As an example, consider a dating app company. A disconnected strategy could look like pinging users whenever their engagement drops. But an intentional one could involve analyzing app usage, identifying and researching low-engagement segments, and developing a suite of messages that gradually bring them back into the app.
Swift, Kotlin, and TypeScript SDKs
Automate repetitive tasks without sacrificing customer relationships
You might think that automating communication would come across as cold and robotic to customers. But sending a timely message at the right moment, even if it’s automated, can actually build positive associations with your brand. Consider these examples:
A dental company can send unique appointment notifications; patients get a helpful reminder, and no-shows are reduced.
A flower delivery service can send status updates; customers feel cared for, and customer support lines are less taxed.
A fast-food company can push timely coupons; customers get a deal, and the restaurant sees traffic and sales increase.
How to send scheduled messages
To schedule a text, businesses can choose from various tools and platforms, from SMS marketing to in-app messaging platforms like ours. Whatever your method, you’ll have to make four basic decisions:
Select your method
Some partners help businesses learn how to set up SMS marketing (i.e., texting customers’ cell phones). At Sendbird, we work within your existing app, creating a direct and open messaging channel between your business and your customers.
Segment your audience
Blasting your entire audience with a generic message will probably perform poorly. The best messaging strategies are tailored to each segment, both the message and the method. With each campaign, consider your target recipients and their communication preferences.
Set your message cadence
How often customers want to hear from you depends on your industry. A news media company’s audience may want daily content and “breaking news” push notifications. However, dog owners may only want a pet supply store to reach out when it’s time to renew their kibble subscription.
Compose, prep, and schedule your message
This step is straightforward, so we’ll offer just a few tips for scheduled messages, whether you’re composing them through email to text software or an in-app system like ours. Each message should be tailored to your target persona(s). Consider the time of year and time of day, as well as your business goals. Also keep the format in mind: the long messages common in email marketing could cause your readers’ eyes to glaze over in a message. Keep it concise with a clear call-to-action.
Four benefits of in-app messaging over SMS marketing
We may be biased, but we truly believe in the advantages of in-app messaging over SMS marketing. Here’s why:
1. The business owns the channel
With in-app messaging, your team will own the channel and all its elements. The business — not a third-party — controls the conversations, the data, and the relationships. This means your customers will experience consistent branding; your representatives can maintain ongoing conversations; and all the data gets integrated into the app’s core workflows.
2. The familiar experience helps build trust
Shoppers build trust in person by visiting your store, touching the products, speaking with a salesperson. But online, they engage with your business’ digital presence: social media ads and customer reviews, product descriptions and chat conversations. Hosting these conversations within your existing app can inspire confidence, increase trust, and ultimately drive sales.
3. Customer data is secure
Our goal at Sendbird is to facilitate better in-app conversations, not to profit off of user data. In fact, we enable an encrypted and authenticated messaging channel so that all customer communication is secure. Because the conversation is housed in your own app, there are no third parties listening in.
4. Communications are personalized
Another benefit to hosting messaging in your own app: you make the experience look branded and feel like the real-life conversations customers have with friends. This double familiarity drives trust, and Sendbird believes businesses that prioritize these personalized interactions will thrive, even as customers’ attention is more and more fragmented.
Are you ready to get started?
Scheduled messaging doesn’t have to be stressful. At Sendbird, we can help you build customer conversations that both build trust and strengthen sales. Get started with a demo.