December 26, 2019

Announcing Email-to-SMS: Text Clients via Email & Smith.ai Agents Respond!

SMS open rates are as high as 98%, compared to just 20% of all emails.

Source: Campaign Monitor

Many small and medium-sized businesses follow-up with leads and clients using email, and these communications are often automated. For example, when a potential client fills out a “contact form” on your site, you might email them in response, and include a more detailed client intake form or scheduling link to book a consultation. But these emails have surprisingly low open rates and even lower click-through rates. 

Now, with Smith.ai’s Email-to-SMS feature, you can text your current and potential new clients these intake and scheduling links instead, and achieve far better response rates! Furthermore, when your clients text back, our professional chat agents can respond to provide real-time assistance in both English and Spanish. Responsive texting is proven to generate higher engagement, improved marketing ROI, and overall higher conversion rates of leads to new clients. And we’ve made it simple!

Text your leads for higher conversions

As you read in the quote above, statistically only 20% of people ever open a follow-up email. You could be losing 80% of your hard-earned leads who were interested enough to fill out a form, but were lost in your follow-up process, just because you contacted them via email. Capture that extra 80% by texting them instead, but without the personal interruption to your productivity.

The conversion rate of SMS text message marketing is 45% vs. email response rates at 6%.

Source: MarketingProfs & Salesforce

Of the 20% of people who open your emails, only 6% on average take a further action (like clicking a link or emailing you back). On the other hand, there's a 45% conversion rate on text messages. Since texts convert at 44% (based on the 98% open rate) and emails convert at 1.2%, texting your new leads just makes sense. 

Our Email-to-SMS feature makes texting leads easy: You still send that same email, but now, your leads receive a text instead of the email they would have received.

We’ll respond when leads text back

The first point of communication with a new lead is key; some of your leads will text back with questions and expect an immediate response. But there’s no need for you to be interrupted by these inquiries: Our friendly live agents will assist your leads, according to directions you share with us (or that we already have on file if you’re an existing Virtual Receptionist or Chat client).

We can help by:

  • Answering frequently asked follow-up questions
  • Providing more info about your business
  • Qualifying leads as a fit for your services
  • Scheduling consultations or appointments
  • And more!

After the conversation, we’ll email you a transcript for your review and records, and we can have it sent to your CRM too!

Example: Small law firm qualification & scheduling

For example, let’s say you run a small family law practice. You may have a form on your website that asks for some contact information (name, email, phone number) and qualifying questions (location, legal issue parameters, ability to pay fees, etc.). Leads who qualify as a good client candidate — they fit your services, service areas, and prices —  receive a text message prompting them to sign up for a consultation to further discuss their case.

Once they receive this text, most of your leads will quickly set up the consultation. However, some of them may have questions about the price, location, or contact details involved with the consultation. If they text back with these questions, our agents will use the information you give us to respond helpfully, accurately, and professionally on your behalf. With their issue addressed, the lead is far more likely to move ahead with the scheduled consultation.

Note: We work with many law firms and other businesses that handle sensitive information. We will never ask for case details or give out anything resembling legal or professional advice.

How to set up Email-to-SMS

Knowledge Base Article: Setting up an Email-to-SMS Gateway with Smith.ai Live Chat

  1. Once you’re set up with Smith.ai Live Chat and we’ve given you a Text Answering number, email us at chat@smith.ai with the email address you’ll be sending from. 
  2. We’ll set up your gateway within two business days, and then we can start sending SMS messages on your behalf. We’ll notify you when your account is ready and we’ll start responding.

How to send text messages via email

To initiate the text message, simply send an email with the fields filled in this way:

From: your-approved-email-address@example.com

To: recipient_phone_number@sms.smith.ai // (for example 5555555555@sms.smith.ai)

Subject: RecipientFirstName : RecipientLastName : email_address (no spaces)

Body:

<insert SMS message here>

For example, your email might look like this:

From: jperez@mylawfirm.com

To: 8185555555@sms.smith.ai

Subject: Sandra : Wilson : sandra.wilson@gmail.com (no spaces)

Body:

Thanks for giving us some information on your lawsuit at mylawfirm.com! We’d like to schedule a free consultation to further discuss your case. Please book a time in the next week at https://calendly.com/123.

We’ll send a text message from your Smith.ai Text Answering number to the phone number you provided us in the “To” line, containing the body of the email you sent us. We’ll chat with anyone who responds.

Check out our blog post with an in-depth explanation on how to send text messages via email and emails via text message.

Pricing for Smith.ai Email-to-SMS

Sending text messages to leads is not just for large corporations with big budgets anymore. You can add our new Email-to-SMS feature to any Live Chat plan for free. We’ll send a text in place of every email that you would have sent out, and we only charge for text-back responses.

Here’s how to get started:

  • Sign up for any Smith.ai Live Chat plan, which start at $100/month after a 10-chat/30-day free trial
  • Add Text Answering at no extra cost
  • Email us at chat@smith.ai to ask for Email-to-SMS at no extra cost
  • All outgoing texts sent via email are free
  • When your leads or clients respond to a text message, we charge the price of a live chat ($6-$10, depending on your plan)
  • Every text response over your plan quota is charged at the same flat, per-chat price ($6-$10, depending on your plan)
  • Absolutely zero setup or hidden fees

That’s it! With our free trial, you can gauge your text message volume and response rate!

Note: Smith.ai’s chat agents operate 24 hours a day, Monday through Friday. So if your lead responds to a message on the weekends, they’ll receive an auto response and you will be notified via email.

What sets us apart from other texting services?

  1. You can send texts using any marketing automation software

If you can send us an email, we will send a text message for you. It’s simple, free, and works with literally any email, marketing, or automation platform you use. Every business has an email address — even Gmail is free.

  1. Texting works in both directions

There are other text message automation platforms out there, but many of them only send text messages out; your lead isn’t able to respond with questions. We send and respond to text messages for your business.

  1. Responses without interruptions

Because we respond on your behalf, all texts from your clients and leads are addressed immediately. But you’re not interrupted, so you’ll never lose productivity. Other texting platforms allow you to respond to texts, causing potentially incessant interruptions and leaving less time to get your work done.

  1. Texts answered by professionals

Our texting agents are professionals, hired with experience in customer service and/or hospitality, and trained to provide extremely friendly and helpful responses. Rest assured that we’ll leave your clients satisfied, and help to convert new leads. Plus, we can filter out unqualified leads and spam (not all form-fills are real leads, unfortunately). 

  1. Coordinated communications

We integrate with popular CRM platforms and Zapier, allowing you to set up systems that stop automations. Once your contact has responded to a text message, you can cease following up with them, and track whether they have converted or not.

Integrated communications ensure consistency, easy monitoring, and up-to-date information, so you’re not running around trying to sync up multiple services (or dealing with outdated information).

How do I get started?

Ready to capture and convert more leads using Smith.ai Live Chat, Text Answering, our new Email-to-SMS Gateway, and more? Get started by signing up for our free 10-chat / 30-day free trial! Do you already have Live Chat, and you want to start texting your leads? Email us at chat@smith.ai and we’ll get you started.

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