Analytics & Insights

AI SMS Marketing: 5 Use Cases for Mobile Marketers

We address some common concerns and misconceptions about how AI’s role in marketing works, and offer up a few ways you can effectively use AI as part of your own mobile marketing efforts.

Mara Miller
Director of Marketing
AI SMS marketing graphic
Table of Contents
Table of Contents

ChatGPT's emergence this past year has sparked a major shift in how we perceive AI. No longer a far-future technology, AI models like GPT-4 can now automate creative tasks like drafting advertisement, email, and social media copy and can find patterns in large datasets using analytics.

AI tools can also serve as assistants that can kickstart your creativity, complete tasks on autopilot using preset rules, and offer an informed second opinion by referencing a broader selection of data. You can use those capabilities to free up time in your day for tasks requiring more brainpower and creativity.

At Vibes, we've embraced the power of AI for the mobile marketing space, integrating its best and most helpful elements into the core of our intelligent platform.

If you're looking to drive exceptional marketing results more efficiently than ever before, taking advantage of AI-powered marketing tools should be your next step. Read on for a few inspiring ways to do that.

Can AI Be Used in SMS Marketing?

AI is everywhere these days, so let’s start with the core question: does AI actually have a role to play in SMS text message marketing? The answer is yes, and we have the use cases to prove it. Like many industries with large amounts of data to sort through and leverage, SMS marketing can benefit from predictive analytics and machine learning models that take data and form real-time insights to provide action-based recommendations for marketers. 

Insights like these can empower you to tailor your messaging strategies and optimize the timing and content of your next text message for each recipient, thus maximizing the impact of your SMS campaigns. You can then refine your messaging approach, adjust your communication tone, and customize content accordingly to align with the preferences and expectations of your target audience, leading to more engaging and meaningful interactions through SMS marketing. 

The integration of AI in SMS marketing not only optimizes your marketing efforts but it also helps establish a deeper connection between brands and customers by enabling a more individualized and responsive communication strategy.

5 AI SMS Marketing Use Cases

Here are five specific use-cases for SMS marketers to use AI to improve the efficiency and impact of your marketing efforts. 

1. Optimize text message send times for stronger engagement and retention.

Machine learning models can analyze a multitude of variables, including response patterns. AI tools such as those used in the Vibes Platform can look at previous SMS message response times to pinpoint precisely when an SMS subscriber is most likely to engage with a text message, and then automatically group the subscribers into the most opportune time of the day to receive future messages.

If you’re wondering if text message send times matter, we’ve done the research to prove that they do. Thanks to this type of AI-driven capability, Vibes customers have improved their average click-thru rates by up to 40% and improved their SMS subscriber retention rates by an average 20%.

2. Reduce customer churn with personalized outreach and follow-ups.

AI models can use machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP) to understand customer sentiment by observing usage patterns, survey responses, and reviews. You can also program sequences and workflows that automatically offer customers personalized discounts, perks, or a consultation with a product expert to re-engage them when they start growing cold.

3. Sharpen segmentation and targeting efforts with predictive analytics.

AI can help you model your customer base's behavioral patterns based on historical data so you can anticipate higher open and reply rates, revenue slumps, or any significant change that has the potential to impact your revenues.

Being able to predict the response to your marketing efforts with greater accuracy than ever before is helpful for multiple reasons. First and most obviously, it allows you to better optimize your activities to enhance the results you want, from signups to purchases. But it can also be helpful for budgeting and forecasting, too. Resource allocation can only be as good as the quality of your predictions, and machine learning can make those predictions better than ever. 

4. Drive higher ROI with smarter messaging sequences.

AI-powered SMS messaging enables you to focus even more on the conversational commerce angle with its ability to interpret messages with NLP, engage customers in different tones (e.g., cheeky, formal, nerdy, or Gen Z), reference your company's internal data, or give customers actually helpful information, instead of the basic and often unhelpful if-then sequences and "Please select an option" basic chatbots are typically known for.

For instance, an e-commerce store can use an AI-powered SMS message to automatically reference their product databases to give customers up-to-date stock levels, inform them exactly when their order will be delivered, and filter through hundreds of help center articles to guide them to the link for resetting a password.

Likewise, after a sale, AI-powered SMS can help you build trust post-purchase by automatically sending users simple surveys (to learn what they think about your brand) and loyalty cards with custom discounts and offers tailored to them.

5. Increase conversion with generative ideation and experimentation.

Every marketer knows that frustrating feeling that can arise when you’re staring at a blank page. You know you don’t need to reinvent the wheel with your copy, but sometimes the ideas just don’t come when you need them to. That’s where generative AI has a role to play. 

AI assistants can generate content from the ideas themselves all the way down to actual message copy so you can focus on in-depth research vs. getting stuck at the ideation level.

While we wouldn’t recommend taking copy directly from a generative AI source and then running with it with no edits, it can be much easier to let AI take the first pass at writing the text of an SMS message, and then polishing it as needed. Plus, you can combine the copy with what the words and phrases other AI tools tell us resonate most with specific customers, depending on who you are trying to reach.

You can also use AI to make smarter, data-driven decisions to maximize growth with experimentation tools (like A/B testing, for example) to discover the content, imagery, timing and other aspects of a message that will most likely increase conversion and customer lifetime value.

Easing the Uncertainty Around AI 

Marketers are resistant to AI because it's a new technology that has the potential to transform the industry beyond recognition. Employees are understandably concerned about how AI will impact their jobs, and organizations are worried about issues like data security when it comes to AI. Fortunately, there are ways to bring the benefits of AI into your organization while avoiding unnecessary friction. 

Encourage AI experimentation. 

At this early stage of AI adoption, it’s likely that many in your company have basic questions about it. As was the case with early smart phones and the internet in decades past, there’s a sense of great power and potential in these tools, but also a lack of clarity as far as what exactly they are and how they can help. One of the best ways to ease this particular uncertainty is to encourage your teams to experiment with AI tools. 

Spending time experimenting with predictive analytics or generative AI can help to demystify it and build the comfort needed to make it an effective part of your operations. Providing some basic guidance is wise, to avoid any frustrations or costly errors, and structured experimentation via a company-led training program can be a great way to expose your teams to the potential of AI in a positive, teamwork-focused environment. 

Adopt AI-native tools that slot into existing workflows. 

By bringing artificial intelligence into workflows your team is already familiar with, AI-native marketing tools reduce the barrier to usage for marketers who’re still experimenting. In practice, this might mean:

  • AI-powered editing that rewrites your email or SMS drafts at a click (to fit different personas) or lets you filter through dozens of AI-generated drafts from the same prompt
  • Personalization suggestions that tailor messaging and offers to individual customers based on their demographics and product usage patterns
  • Sentiment analysis that processes reviews, messages, survey results, and emails to understand customer satisfaction

Since AI tools are about saving time and increasing efficiency, you’re not seeing the true benefits if your employees feel burdened by complex new ways they need to get work done. The best AI tools will feel like natural improvements to processes that fit nicely into the ways employees already prefer to work. 

Coach your teams and highlight AI wins. 

The most straightforward way to encourage AI adoption across your marketing team is to set clear expectations: make it clear that you expect your marketers to automate repetitive tasks, come up with a wider variety of ideas, analyze customer data, and enhance content with AI. 

Make sure your teams are trained to be comfortable with new AI tools. Celebrate AI wins across the organization, and highlight areas where the combination of AI and the human touch has taken performance to the next level. 

Communicate transparently about AI in your organization.

Open and honest communication about the implementation of AI within your organization is crucial. Company leaders should clearly articulate the objectives, benefits, and limitations of AI tools. They should emphasize the augmentation aspect of AI—how it can enhance the work employees are doing, increase efficiency, and create new opportunities within the organization. Transparency helps build trust and a shared understanding of the organization's AI strategy.

Vibes’ Intelligent Mobile Engagement Platform is Designed to Help Marketers Optimize Their Campaigns to Increase ROI

The way to unleash the possibilities AI offers for marketing is to adopt it from the top down, and choosing tools designed with AI capabilities will reduce your marketers' barrier to entry significantly. Vibes’ platform makes marketing decisions smarter and easier with AI-powered capabilities such as: 

  • Message send day and time optimization based on an SMS subscribers' historical engagement data to determine when they're most likely to engage with a message
  • Automated, detailed behavioral analytics to help you easily understand which tactics drive subscriber growth, what content is most engaging, and how to increase retention rates and attributed revenue
  • Seamless and flexible data integrations with external data sources across existing systems and BI tools, enabling a two-way exchange of data that makes mobile campaigns more powerful

Learn how Vibes makes AI your mobile marketing superpower and offers higher open and response rates on your messaging campaigns.

The Bottom Line

AI continues to evolve at lightning speed, but this should excite marketers, not scare them. Embracing data-driven AI tools within your organization is going to help maximize operations, advance your marketing tactics, and will continue taking both your revenue and brand reputation to new heights.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about our AI-powered analytics and insights tools that are built to help brands achieve their most revenue-enhancing business outcomes.

Mara Miller
Director of Marketing
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