Written by Michael Keenan

April 8, 2021

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SMS broadcasting is the fastest way to boost sales and increase reach.

Recipients open and read a whopping 90% of texts (compared to 20-30% of all emails). It only takes five minutes to set up a broadcast, and at roughly $.01 per message sent, it’s an affordable way to reach contacts. 

A thoughtful, well-designed broadcast will build brand awareness, drive sales, and turn your customers into your biggest fans. 

This guide will walk you through setting up an SMS broadcast and provide tips to help you easily achieve better results.

Table of contents

What is an SMS broadcast?

A broadcast text message service lets you send bulk SMS messages (similar to an email blast, but on a different channel) to all your contacts at once. SMS broadcasts allow you to segment and send mass text messages to thousands of people who’ll read and act on your messages, whether the texts are informational, educational, or promotional. 

 

Considering users open 90% of texts, you can use SMS broadcasts to get your message in front of people who might otherwise ignore it on other channels. 

You can also:

  • Reach specific customer segments
  • Schedule broadcasts or send them right away
  • Share your message quickly and easily

How to broadcast a text message

Before we get started, you’ll need two things:

  1. A ManyChat Pro account to send any SMS messages 
  2. A contact list with compliant SMS opt-in

1. Head to your ManyChat dashboard and click Broadcasting on the left-hand side menu. 

Creating an SMS broadcast in ManyChat dashboard

2. Click + New Broadcast in the upper right screen.

Selecting new broadcast

3. Select the SMS widget to create a text message broadcast.

Selecting SMS broadcast option

4. You’ll land in Flow Builder, facing a Starting Step and a Send SMS block. Because this is a broadcast, ManyChat automatically sets up your Starting Step to send your message as an SMS text.

Click the Send SMS block to open the message settings.

Creating an SMS text broadcast

5. Create your SMS broadcast message. You can add text, images, user inputs, and links back to your website or Messenger experience. If your ManyChat account integrates with Shopify, you can also add personalized coupon codes

Adding images to your broadcast

If you’re including images in your SMS broadcast message, put it above the text so the system will consider it one multimedia message. If you place the text first, it’ll count your message as two separate messages and charge you more. 

To send people into Facebook Messenger from your broadcast, click Add Link, then Open Messenger. 

Connecting your SMS broadcast to Mesenger

Now when a contact gets your message, they can seamlessly enter a Messenger experience. 

You can use this feature for multiple message types. For example, if you’re sending a promotional message, you can create a product carousel inside Messenger (and let people shop in the app) or allow people to watch educational videos on the platform. Whatever your campaign’s goal is, you can use a combination of SMS and Messenger to help achieve it. 

6. To complete your SMS broadcast, click Go Next in the upper right corner of the screen. Then adjust your settings to target the right group of contacts on your list. 

Choosing customer segments for your broadcast

Here you’ll notice ManyChat already checks that people have opted in to receive your messages in the conditions block. You can refine your audience by clicking + Condition and adding your desired fields. 

In the settings section, you can schedule your broadcast to either send immediately or go out later.

Scheduling your SMS broadcast

When you’re ready, click Send Now or Schedule Message (depending on your desired send time) and launch your SMS broadcast!

Tips for broadcasting texts

Whether it’s your first broadcast or your twentieth, follow these SMS messaging tips for a more successful outcome:

  1. Keep messages short and sweet. Once contacts permit you to contact them, don’t abuse their trust. Be engaging and brief. Give recipients an offer they can’t refuse or provide relevant information they will genuinely value. If you lose their trust by sending low-quality texts, you run the risk of increasing opt-outs and quickly diminishing contact lists. 
  2. Add media. Just because you’re keeping your messages concise doesn’t mean they have to be boring—use media like images and emojis to spice them up. MMS messages are slightly more expensive than standard texts, but the increased engagement they elicit can lead to higher sales, and you’ll quickly recoup the additional costs. 
  3. Use personalized fields. If you’ve previously collected information from contacts, use it to personalize the broadcast. You can tailor messages by adding a contact’s name, personalized coupons, or citing their most recent purchase. Personalization helps grab your reader’s attention and will help your texts stand out from competitors’ messages that rely on sending the same blanket statement to everyone. 
  4. Encourage recipients to go into Messenger. Smart marketers are aware of omnichannel marketing’s benefits and set up interactions with people accordingly. One great advantage of using an SMS marketing software like ManyChat is that you can easily lead people from an SMS text into Messenger to continue the conversation (which is not always the case with other SMS broadcasting services). Messenger affords you more room to get creative, for example, by enabling you to send video and audio files.
  5. Have a live chat agent ready. Remember that SMS is a conversational channel; you’re forging a personal connection with recipients. Before you send out a bulk SMS broadcast, ensure you have a live chat agent ready to respond to any questions or concerns.
  6. Track your key performance indicators (KPIs): Remember to establish your success SMS metrics before you broadcast and measure results so you can see what content yields the best outcome. 

Send your first SMS broadcast today

It’s clear that an SMS broadcast is one of the quickest, most effective, and affordable ways to reach a massive audience. So what are you waiting for?

Every online business should leverage broadcasts to get the most from their SMS marketing strategy and achieve their business goals—whether the objective is to drive awareness, sales, or customer retention. 

Give SMS marketing a try, and you’ll soon see the importance of SMS broadcasting and how it fits into your business’s broader strategies.

Send targeted SMS broadcasts, faster, with ManyChat. Go Pro today.

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The contents of this blog were independently prepared and are for informational purposes only. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ManyChat or any other party. Individual results may vary.