ChatGPT has gained significant attention in recent months. Text-based AI has long since become mainstream and has also arrived in everyday working life. Of course, it is also possible to have text messages suggested to you. So we asked ourselves: How good is a campaign that the AI creates for us? Can SMS marketing with ChatGPT work? You can find our test here.
Table of Contents
What do we want to achieve with our question to ChatGPT?
We don’t want general advice on SMS marketing, but concrete suggestions for a campaign. But we also want to see what ChatGPT suggests on its own, so we don’t want to give too many details.
So we came up with a fictitious company for which ChatGPT should create an SMS campaign.
We decided on this instruction:
Design an SMS marketing campaign for me. My company makes instant coffee. We are called NOOkaffee. We carry decaffeinated coffee in particular, some with flavours like vanilla and chocolate. Two of our products contain caffeine.
Our messages should be very personal, use wildcards if necessary. Ask questions if necessary.
So ChatGPT knows our name, a rough outline of our products and has instructions to make the messages personal.
As usual, ChatGPT quickly creates some suggestions for us, which we would like to take a closer look at here. Specifically, it gives us suggestions for:
- Introduction & Branding
- Product Highlight & Offer
- Survey & Feedback
- Engagement (another one)
- Special Offer for Caffeinated Blend
- Engagement & Brand Recall
- Feedback Request
- Loyalty Offer
- Seasonal or Event Reminder
ChatGPT also gave some advice that we’ll look at.
We will look at each proposal and briefly highlight what we think is good and what we would do differently.
Finally, we will highlight the results once again and give an assessment of SMS marketing with ChatGPT.
What we like: This message contained a sunrise emoji at the beginning, which is a nice start to this message. We like the wording and the CTA, too.
What we would do differently: The intention is a little unclear: is this the first message that is sent to the recipient? Is the message supposed to introduce the brand or is it supposed to promote an offer? This message will profit from a clear goal.
Hey [First Name], have you ever craved a delicious decaf after dinner? Our decaf vanilla might just be your new favorite! Want to try?
What we like: There is a lot of information in this for how short the message is while it is still conversational. It also contained a happy emoji after the first sentence.
What we would do differently: There should be a link to the product, even if your campaign was set up to be purely conversational.
Product Highlight & Offer
Did you know, [First Name], our chocolate-flavored coffee ☕ is a perfect blend of decaf and sweet delight? Order now & get 10% off your first purchase! Use code: SMS10
What we like: The message is short, clear, includes a nice offer and a CTA.
What we would do differently: Again, this needs a link.
Survey & Feedback
[First Name], we’d love to know – what’s your favorite coffee time? Morning buzz or evening relax? Reply with AM or PM.
What we like: This is a nice and simple way to get a conversation going. An answer would also tell you details that would be useful in future marketing. This also had two emojis at the end, one of a sunrise and one of a city by night.
What we would do differently: It’s just the headline that we think is off. Is this really feedback?
Engagement (another one)
Caffeine or not, [First Name]? We’ve got both! Let us know your preference & we’ll tailor our recommendations for you.
What we like: Letting customers choose what they are interested in – best practice! This also had a speech bubble emoji at the end that may encourage recipients to answer.
What we would do differently: This could have a link to a page where the recipient can set preferences. However, gathering this info conversational is great and can even be better for trust and customer loyalty.
Special Offer for Caffeinated Blend
[First Name], feeling the mid-week slump? Our caffeinated blend will give you the kick you need! Try it today and get a free sample of our decaf chocolate! Limited offer.
What we like: Well timed messages can make a great difference in the success of your marketing campaigns, so we like that this relates to a very specific problem that the recipient might have at a very specific time of day. Also: Free samples? That’s quite the offer. This also contained a rocket emoji after the seconds sentence, which we thought fit very well. The limitation of this offer creates urgency.
What we would do differently: Since there is a link mentioned and the offer is limited, linking directly to the offer would be best practice here. Make it as easy as possible for customers to redeem the offer.
Engagement & Brand Recall
It’s a chilly day, isn’t it [First Name]? Imagine sipping on our warm vanilla-flavored decaf. ☁️ Tempting?
What we like: Mentioning the current weather makes the message more personal – and might create a need for the product in this case. It’s also good to have a question at the end of your message.
What we would do differently: Since there is a specific product mentioned, a link would be nice to have.
Hey [First Name], if you’ve tried NOOkaffee, we’d love to hear your thoughts! Leave a review and get a special discount on your next purchase. ❤️☕
What we like: It’s great to ask for feedback. Promising a purchase might increase the conversion rate. We also like the emojis.
What we would do differently: With a personalized campaign, we would hope that you know whether or not your customer has already ordered a product, so asking if they have tried it might not be the best choice here, depending on when you send the message.
[First Name], because you’re awesome, we’re giving you early access to our new flavors launching next month! Stay tuned!
What we like: Reminding recipients that they are important to your brand and that they can expect to benefit from being on your SMS list is good. (EMOJIS)
What we would do differently: It might be fun to have recipients guess or make a wish for a new flavor and give them a reward if they guess correctly or their flavor is chosen. To us, the message seems a little bland.
Seasonal or Event Reminder
Summer’s here, [First Name]! ☀️ Enjoy it with a cup of NOOkaffee. Cold coffee, anyone?
What we like: Seasonal messages, again, are great to remind your customers of the reasons why they would enjoy your products right now.
What we would do differently: This should definitely have a link.
Chat GPTs Advice
After the proposals, ChatGPT also gave some advice:
- Segmentation is key. Use data to segment your subscribers based on their buying habits, preferences, etc. Then tailor messages accordingly.
- Timing: Be mindful of the timing of your messages. You don’t want to annoy recipients by texting them at odd hours.
- CTAs: Ensure there’s a clear call-to-action, like “Order now”, “Reply”, “Check out”, etc.
- Track & Optimize: Monitor the performance of your campaign. Look at metrics like click-through rates, conversion rates, and response rates to gauge success and iterate.
- Remember, personalization can greatly increase engagement and conversions, so use those wildcards and customer data wisely!
On segmentation: This is very good advice. Segmentation is crucial if you’re looking to send highly personalized messages. Good segmentation leads to better results.
On timing: Timing is also a very important factor in your SMS campaign. In addition to the proper times to text, you also need to pay attention to how many SMS you send. Again, it’s best to let recipients choose their preferred time and frequency when they sign up for your texting list.
On CTAs: A call-to-action is one of the most universal features in all marketing campaigns and SMS do not pose an exception to that – so this is good advice. Make sure to keep it short.
On tracking and optimizing: This is a great tip as well. Monitoring how your messages perform (e.g. with our Performance Tracking) will make it easy for you to find out what works best for you and optimize your campaigns.
On personalization: Obviously, we believe this is important, otherwise we would not have put it in the briefing. But it’s good to be reminded of the importance of personalization. Do keep this in mind though: Too much personalization can come off as intrusive. Make sure you find an effective way to make messages personal and relevant, but not invasive.
So there are some positive aspects to the suggestions ChatGPT has made for an SMS marketing campaign, but there is also room for improvement. We would like to summarise here where the strengths and weaknesses are for us and how we would use ChatGPT to create campaigns.
- The suggestions are very solid and offer a good starting point. So especially if you don’t know exactly how to get started, you can get some inspiration here.
- ChatGPT has made many suggestions and given their use case for it. This may help you discover opportunities that you would have missed otherwise.
- The proposals do not include any information on the timing of a campaign. As this is a complex issue and can vary from company to company, we would have liked to see queries on this. But of course we could have provided information on this already in our briefing.
- As we have shown in the individual sections, the AI never suggests using links in the SMS. In individual cases this can make sense, but especially in offer SMS it is not a good idea to do without links.
Our conclusion: Can SMS marketing work with ChatGPT?
ChatGPT can be a valuable addition for generating SMS marketing campaign ideas. However, it doesn’t replace the need for independent campaign planning, especially considering the importance of details about target audiences.
An artificial intelligence such as ChatGPT can be a valuable addition, a brainstorming partner, so to speak. However, we would advise against using a campaign created in this way without additional testing. Furthermore, the result of the AI is largely dependent on how good the specifications are that it can work with. Admittedly, it is also somewhat unrealistic to see ChatGPT’s first proposal as the final product that marketers would work with.
In short: SMS marketing with ChatGPT is possible, but should be well tested, corrected and adapted. It is also essential that marketers educate themselves thoroughly on the legal requirements. Do not rely on AI to provide you with all the necessary information.
Do you use AI in your SMS marketing? Would you like to share your experience? We look forward to your comment.
Header picture by hirun via iStock