by Lauren Davis, Demand Generation & Marketing Operations Consultant

Add Advanced SMS to Your Journey Marketing With Twilio + Autopilot

As marketers, we’re most effective when we reach our target customers where they are. And with the average adult spending almost 23 hours texting every week, being able to reach our target customers on their phone, in their text message stream, represents an untapped opportunity.

This is where the Twilio and Autopilot integration comes into play. You can add SMS marketing to any and every journey throughout the customer lifecycle.

Here’s how it works.

Getting started is super simple

If you already have a Twilio account, connecting it to your Autopilot instance is as easy as inputting your account ID and an authorization token.

Once you’ve connected your accounts, you can add a text message to any journey just like you would an email. Simply drag and drop the “Send SMS” shape into a journey, select which phone number you’d like to send from (you can set these up directly in your Twilio account), and add the message.

Send an SMS

For step-by-step instructions, visit our help center.

With your texts, you’ll want to follow SMS marketing best practices by adding a few key elements…

  • Personalization: Add any of the personalization variables you’d use in an email – first name, company, industry, address, etc. This adds a human touch.
  • Call to action: Typical CTAs range from link clicks to text responses to promo codes. Stick with one call to action per message that you’d like recipients to respond to.
  • Tracking: Consider including a unique link or referral code to track engagement and effectiveness of the message.

If you don’t have a Twilio account of your own, or if you’re just looking to test out SMS in your marketing journeys, you can use our default hookup where texts are sent from Autopilot’s Twilio account. It’s free and there’s no setup; however, you miss out on few key benefits.

By connecting your own Twilio account, you can:

  • Choose the phone number where each text comes from
  • Receive and manage text messaging replies in your Twilio account
  • Send unlimited texts (by default Autopilot provides 250 free text messages/month)

How are companies using the Twilio + Autopilot integration?

SMS is still relatively underutilized (we marketers are obsessed with email), but with an average open rate of 98%, is there a more promising channel to test out? Here are some examples of creative way to loop SMS into your existing marketing journeys:

Send a reminder about a webinar or conference session that is about to begin to increase attendance rates. “Lauren, my panel starts in 15 minutes in Moscone West Room 240. Will you be attending?”

Send a promotion code for an exclusive deal to encourage purchases. “Brian, we’ve missed you! Use promo code QWTY15 and receive $10 off your next purchase.”

Send a quick survey and get instant feedback. “Thank you for riding! We hope you enjoyed your trip. On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely are you to recommend us to a friend?”

Welcome new users after initial sign up. “Thanks for signing up and welcome to the Autopilot family!”

Re-engage an individual to log in and finish an incomplete action. “Anne, we noticed you still have yet to complete enrollment. Log in to finish and get up and running today!”

Scoop, the carpooling app that makes sharing your daily commute a breeze, uses SMS both in automated journeys and for special announcements.

Scoop screenshot

For example, after users take their first trip, they receive a follow up SMS that includes a referral code to share with a friend.

Scoop text example

Another cool use case: when people download the app but their carpool route isn’t open yet, Scoop will send them an SMS as soon as it is!

New route example text

Like Scoop has done, the key to successful SMS marketing is thinking through the right moments to connect with your audience via text. And with the Twilio + Autopilot integration, you can send texts just as easily as you send an email.

Are you using SMS in your marketing journeys already? We’d love to hear how! Let us know in the comments.

Author Lauren Davis, Demand Generation & Marketing Operations Consultant

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