Two-way SMS messaging allows for a conversation between you and your customers by sending and receiving text messages. SMS messaging is the most widely used forms of communication, with many people sending and receiving more text messages than voice calls or emails. Personalizing the call to action in a text message makes the message feel more relevant and tailored to the individual recipient. When used effectively, two-way SMS messaging can be a powerful tool for businesses to build relationships with their customers and drive conversions.
Some use cases for two-way SMS include:
- Conduct a customer satisfaction survey
- Get customer feedback
- Set up or reschedule appointments
- Open customer service tickets
- Double opt-in for subscribing
- Provide offers and discounts to customers
- Gather customer preferences regarding products and product categories
- Allow customers to use country or language specific opt-in/opt-out keywords to subscribe/unsubscribe.
Two-way messaging is available only if you are using Sinch or Blueshift as your SMS provider.
How does two-way messaging work
Whenever a customer replies to an SMS campaign, the customer's reply is captured as an inbound_message event on the customer profile. You can use this inbound_message event to set up an event triggered campaign to send follow-up messages or to update the customer profile.
You must set up two separate campaigns for two-way messaging.
- The first campaign sends the initiating SMS message to which the customer can reply.
- The second campaign is triggered by the customer reply.
The inbound_message event contains attributes that you can use in your follow up campaign. For example, you can limit your responses to messages received for a particular campaign, a specific template or a specific sender (short code/ long code). Some of the attributes that might be included in the inbound_message body are:
- Customer Identifier (user_uuid)
- Channel (channel)
- Message Body (message_body)
- Subject (subject) (optional)
- Campaign ID (campaign_uuid) (optional)
- Template ID (template_uuid) (optional)
- Response Time (response_time) (time when the user responded to the message)
- Sender ID (sender_id)
- External Message ID (external_message_id)
An example of an inbound_message event on the Activity tab of a customer profile.
Consider a customer satisfaction campaign where you have sent an SMS to customers requesting feedback (YES or NO) regarding their satisfaction for particular service.
- When a customer replies, the inbound_message event is used to trigger the second campaign.
- The Triggering Event Attribute, message-body, is used as the filter for the campaign.
- Additionally, the campaign_uuid is used to restrict the journey to replies received from a specific campaign.
- For a "YES" reply from the customer, you could send a message thanking the customer and for a "NO" reply you could arrange a follow up call from a customer service representative.
- If you are trying to set up a 2-way conversation with your customers, we recommend that you use SMS campaigns instead of MMS campaigns. Campaign metadata (campaign ID, template ID, and sender ID) is available in the inbound_message event only if the notification sent is an SMS. This campaign metadata is not available in the inbound_message event if you send an MMS notification.
- Additionally, campaign metadata is available only for regular SMS sends. It is not available when you test send SMS messages. If you are testing a 2-way messaging setup, run a campaign with a handful of test users instead of using the test send feature.