The super power of messaging is response.


The super power of messaging is response. With a messaging campaign it’s possible to ask people to respond, they’ll do it and the response can be valuable. I don’t know a better way to say it.

I do a podcast about messaging called The Chat Bubble. You can listen to an episode covering this topic online or subscribe on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts.

When designing a campaign, most organizations would frame the question as What do we want to tell our list? Better results can be had if the question is instead, What’s the most valuable response someone can reply with?

Let’s take an obvious example, NPS score. We’ve already decided that the user telling us a number 1–10 is what we want. How is messaging superior for this response interaction? Compare the user experience when we do NPS via email. The user opens an email, reads paragraphs, clicks a link, chooses their NPS number and then submits the form. Now compare that to receiving a text and replying with one or two digits. What do you think gets a better response rate?

Now think about the cost and effort for an organization to build each respective NPS collection flow. With the email to webform route, most organizations would write an email that’s too long or includes more than just the NPS score ask. This drives down the response rate. Then a webpage and webform is needed. The organization will also need to make sure the page looks good on mobile where most people will interact.

Messaging is much simpler. The message and response is the email, page and webform all rolled into one interaction — simple and elegant.

This NPS idea is obvious, but it’s not my favorite use case. There is a clear and more valuable example — direct response from media. Suppose an organization buys a TV commercial or a podcast/radio ad and we wants people to sign up for their service. In the commercial the call to action will tell people to go to the URL where the webpage will collect information and turn the visitor into a lead.

Let’s examine this flow

The first issue is that the user might not have their computer next to them. If the target visits the webpage on their phone, they are 50%-70% less likely to convert. Seriously!?!? If the desktop conversion rate is 15% the mobile conversion rate will be between 5%-7.%

Pro tip: Many organizations don’t even track their desktop conversion rate vs. the mobile conversion rate. As more (most) traffic is mobile, this is definitely something that organizations should take a look at.

Even when an organization does a great job converting page visitors, no one is converting the majority of visitors. But people came to the page because they were somewhat interested. Now they are gone. The only way to get them back is to buy another ad and hope they see it again.

Messaging addresses both of the above issues and more. When the organization includes a text call to action, such as Text SIGNUP to 12345, more people will text in than will visit the URL. The value of messaging and response in this scenario is to ask the person to reply with their email address. Convert the user in a conversation rather than driving them to a page. When someone text in and is asked for their email address the average response rate is 80%.

Pro tip: Text messaging is the way to create mobile “visitors”.

There’s more. As soon as the target texts in, they are subscribed to the mobile opt-in list. If they don’t provide their email immediately the organization can reach out and ask again.

This idea of getting more people to start a conversion funnel and provide data like email is a core use case for the messaging channel and we’ll be discussing this in much more detail. We went a little deeper than response being the messaging super power, but that’s ok. This is important.

If you can think about messaging as a response channel, you’re thinking about messaging at a deeper level than your competition. Most people just think about messaging reach and open rates. Although reach and read are outstanding metrics they miss the point. Messaging isn’t a great channel for impressions, there are cheaper and better ways to get eyeballs. There is no cheaper or better way to get response, engagement or conversion — especially on mobile.

The super power of messaging is response. was originally published in Chatbots Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.