This is a contributed post from our partners at Drips, who provide call Conversational Texting that helps companies get more prospects on the phone.

Whether you’re searching for your next meal or your next date, it seems like there’s an app for everything. Marketing’s attempt to become more relevant has taken a sharp turn towards becoming more transactional. Our attention is decreasing and yet, what we crave is a more human connection from brands.

We also know that the tactics from 10 years ago are not as effective as they used to be. Call centers are still robo-dialing even though people ignore nearly all calls from unknown numbers. Digital advertising is often ignored by media-fatigued consumers and is too focused on forcing customers into a funnel. While email marketing automation has taken off, it’s too passive of a channel for performance marketers looking to drive inbound phone calls.

So how do you connect with today’s customer? Meet them where they’re most engaged—on their mobile device via SMS. Here are some top tips on how leading companies are using SMS to drive warm inbound phone calls.

Be Conversational

Most brands aren’t yet utilizing SMS, if you are one of the few that are, It’s likely time to rethink how you’re doing it. Most of us are used to the one-way offers we get from Chipotle or notifications from the bank. To humanize your brand and make a connection with customers, you need to talk to people like they’re…people! Start by addressing your customer by their first name. We have seen clients get a 25% lift in response by doing just this. Another way to add some humanity to your text communications is to make the conversation about the consumer and not your brand or the offer. You can do this by asking questions that empower them to respond when it’s best for them. Questions such as “When is a good time for you?” vs. when it’s best for the brand.

Be Contextual

Now that we’re using personalization, you’ll want to be contextual. Be sure that you’re using all of the data available to you from your CRM, including ZIP Code and other data that would be important when it comes to understanding the user. One example of this is to use ZIP Code to send a message to a potential customer at the right time. Nobody wants to receive a text with your offer at 6 a.m. You’ll also want to consider the customer’s intentions. It’s possible that a family member is reaching out to a brand on behalf of a loved one. If that’s the case, you’ll want to create scripting that speaks directly to them and doesn’t assume that the recipient is always the one looking for your service.

Be Automated, but be Human

You’re going to want to make sure you’re using a system that has both AI and humans included. AI helps continue the conversation and understands tens of thousands of responses, but when it doesn’t, you’ll want a human on the other side to continue the conversation. Speed to lead is important, but not at the expense of relevance and accuracy in response.

Automation is also very valuable for a number of use cases, including after-hours and holidays, and by staying engaged with the customer until they’re ready to make a call. Automation also helps with brand governance and quality assurance. If you’re looking at a solution managed by sales representatives, it’s difficult to control your brand message and experience. It also reduces the risk of “not enough time” in getting back to each customer 1:1.

Want to continue the conversation? Visit drips.com to learn more.

Jonathan Pogact

Posted by Jonathan Pogact

Jonathan is the VP of marketing at Drips and has over 16 years of marketing experience with roots in direct and digital marketing. His diversity of knowledge has led to numerous contributions to the industry, including being named as one of DM News’ "Top 30 Under 30 Marketers" and holding advisory board positions with DeVry University and the Direct Marketing Association (DMA).