AI's transformative impact has grown across all aspects of our lives.
From anticipating retail trends with predictive analysis to revolutionizing healthcare diagnostics and even interacting with Siri and Alexa, AI is remarkably shaping our world.
AI applications for businesses also have the power to simplify workflows so you can get more done at work. AI for business texting is one tool to implement in your communication strategy.
With so much hype surrounding AI, some misconceptions exist about what it is and how to implement it. This article outlines AI for business texting usage, best practices, and how it compares to other technologies, including chatbots and automation.
What is AI for business texting?
When you hear the term “AI,” you may forget that it stands for artificial intelligence and that there are different types of intelligence. The intelligence aspect of AI can get lost because the hype is more focused on the buzzword “AI.”
Let’s look at a few different types of intelligence that particularly impact business operations.
Traditional AI can learn rules and data to predict patterns and make suggestions based on those patterns. It requires an actual set of rules that are defined so that it can learn them to function properly.
Examples of traditional AI include how Siri or Alexa can perform routine tasks, how Netflix can make recommendations on shows, or how the Instagram algorithm can search and customize your feed.
According to Forbes, “These AIs have been trained to follow specific rules, do a particular job, and do it well, but they don’t create anything new.”
Creating something new is where generative AI comes into play.
Generative AI can take a prompt and data and use it to create new data that is not just a repeat or prediction.
Generative AI, or gen AI, grew popular with the emergence of ChatGPT, which can take a few prompts and create sentences or paragraphs that add new lines of information to the story or concept. Gen AI can expand on existing intelligence to go a step further.
Because of its ability to generate and not just predict, gen AI is prominent and useful in creative business settings. You can use it to create content, both long- and short-form. Instead of predicting what you will see on your social media feeds, generative AI goes a step further by actually creating captions for you based on a few prompts you give it.
By taking old examples of content you have, it can generate new content for a refresh or take longer articles and create shorter pieces so that you can repurpose content. This makes your communication strategy more robust.
When it comes to improving all of your business communication channels, SMS should be considered. With AI for business texting, this means seeing patterns in how you have texted previously so that generative AI can complete new text messages for you.
By incorporating AI into your text message communication, you can improve your workflows while alleviating any heavy lifting on your part.
This will result in better engagement with your contacts.
iOS 17 Messages updates focus on AI features
The influence of AI is seen in the recent iOS update.
If you’ve already dug into the new features and are familiarizing yourself with how to use them to make your life easier, there were specific updates to functionality surrounding messages in particular.
Knowing that people are on their phones and texting multiple times throughout the day, Apple made significant changes to help you communicate more effectively and efficiently.
Here are seven of the most useful updates to messages:
Learning languages and how people speak to predict corrections has been a major point of frustration for many users.
Apple improved its capability to correct words as you type to match what you are trying to say. With improved UI, you can temporarily see the correction underlined and easily revert with one tap.
As you text someone, AI can predict what you may say next based on patterns with how you’ve answered questions or responded in the past. This feature has improved word autofills to make it easier to complete words.
Similar to word autofill, this feature allows AI to finish your sentences for you and not just one single word. Just tap the spacebar to complete.
Apple included a grammar correction feature, which predicts and corrects your grammar as you write, so you can be smarter with your communication.
Stickers as emojis
You can now create stickers from your photos and use them as emojis in your communication. This signals that MMS is still popular and a feature users love to customize for personalization.
Precise message search
Prior search functionality in messages was haphazard at best. If you text more frequently and say similar words, it can be impossible to find what you said previously. This upgrade improves the filter function to find exactly what you need.
This feature lets you pick up where you left off in a conversation and autoreply with a simple text bubble swipe.
AI features for the business texting equivalent
These iOS updates are great and enhance your personal communication, but you don’t want to send business texts from your personal phone. Keeping your personal phone full of business contacts could pose security risks.
You may have confidential information that shouldn’t be shared easily or mixed within personal text messages. You also want to be mindful of work-life balance when it comes to your communication.
Do you want to have separate phone numbers so you aren’t mixing personal and business text messages?
Think about turnovers: how often do certain roles change and employees leave a company? With a personal number, all information can go with the employee. Or if you leave a company, do you want every sales or marketing person to still have your personal contact information?
You also cannot easily collaborate with your colleagues if you have a different number on your own plan instead of a business texting platform that shares inboxes and information.
Using a business texting platform means you don’t need two different phones to lug around with you. You can easily use a mobile or web app to stay connected for work communication on the same device where you have your personal messaging.
Similar to the new iOS message updates, business texting platforms can have these AI for business texting features:
Word autofill: This feature lets you easily text your business contacts by informing your next word.
Sentence autofill: This feature lets you easily complete sentences in messages to your business contacts and saves time.
Grammar correction: Quality text indicators can predict the success of your business text message and make recommendations.
Emojis and GIFs: With MMS campaigns, you can personalize your business communication so that contacts don’t feel like another number on your list.
Precise message search: This feature lets you quickly see shared inboxes and communication your team has sent with contacts so everyone can stay on the same page. You can find and reference messages that you need quickly.
Autoreply: For common responses, you can set up auto replies that will let your contacts get the answer they need immediately without creating major communication gaps between your business and your customers and prospects.
Text message automation vs. AI for business texting
AI is based on data that can be learned or predicted to make decisions or create. Automation is more strict, with a set of rules that determine a very specific outcome or action.
Think about an automated timer on an appliance. The technology knows that in a set amount of time to turn off or on based on a very specific rule. It cannot create its own rules, make various time decisions, or respond to an unknown source. (This may be a sign your appliance needs to be replaced!)
You can also confuse SMS automation for AI for business texting. Sometimes, when texting, you may be unable to tell the difference between an automation function and AI.
Since AI is a learned behavior based on content or data you’ve already fed the system to learn, AI for business texting relies on other text messages, the use of emojis, tone, and punctuation to make decisions or recommendations on future text messages.
AI for business texting requires constant data to be successful and learn the behavior required to make a difference. For this reason, it can be challenging to maintain and see the results you want.
If you don’t send very many text messages, you cannot expect AI to create tailor-made text messages from scratch. You must reconfigure your prompts and give the SMS business platform as much data as possible.
What is SMS automation?
SMS automation deploys a series of text messages based on triggers or timing that you select. SMS automation follows specific rules so you can set it and forget it without adding constant data, making it easier to maintain, but it requires more legwork up front to create your text message campaigns.
Examples of SMS automation include features such as keywords or sequences. Keywords allow contacts to text in certain words and receive an automated response. This process makes your business communication more efficient for you and your customers.
Let’s say you want to opt customers into receiving promotions or deals via SMS; they can text the keyword “PROMO” and automatically be added to campaigns you designate to contacts who selected promotions. This saves time for you and gives customers the content they want when they want it.
Another example of SMS automation includes sequences or text message drip campaigns. These messages are pre-programmed to automatically send to contacts at certain times or once a certain action is completed.
For example, you could have users receive four different text messages as part of a welcome campaign spaced out every five days. You could also automate your text message to send a similar reminder call-to-action, such as “register.”
Once a user completes the task, the system automatically knows to stop sending them reminder texts to register.
An example of AI for business texting is using generative AI to optimize your SMS campaigns for even better response rates and engagement. You can input a general text message, and AI for business texting can give you a few different options based on your prompt of newer text messages.
Chatbots vs. AI for business texting
Another communication tool that resembles AI for business texting but has noticeable differences is chatbots. Chatbots may look like text messages in their user interface (UI) but are generally a function on a website or a mobile site.
One of the downsides to chatbots is that you can lose connection with it. When you first enter a chat, you are often asked for your email or number so someone can follow up if you get disconnected.
AI for business texting keeps a record of your messages and lets you easily search for conversations, pick back up, and reply with little effort (and without asking for backup methods of communication).
Chatbots are reactive. You can’t create targeted campaigns for the right audience to enhance your engagement. It's a tactic for customer service for frequently asked questions (FAQs) that can live as a sidebar on your website but not offer advanced functionality for sales, marketing, recruiting, or human resources.
Even though chatbots are used for automation to answer user questions, they often require multiple screening questions to find the right answer instead of a simple selection and response. If a response cannot be achieved with a chatbot, getting rerouted to a human agent may mean starting over and repeating all of your responses once again.
With AI for business texting, you can create auto-replies for FAQs. When a contact messages you with a FAQ or requires a response you often send back, AI can recommend a few sentences or replies you can choose from to send immediately.
The best part of choosing either of these options is that a text message platform still has humans that can see all of the messages, and you can easily switch from automation, AI, and real-time contact.
How to use AI for business texting
One of the best use cases of AI for business texting is to autofill sentences and words, keeping your conversation flowing without having to type each character.
Another way AI for business texting is useful is by giving you creative inspiration to refresh your text messages or develop new conversation ideas.
With AI for business texting, you’ll never have to worry about what to say next or how to respond to a contact — generative AI can help you!
Of course, you now know that AI can only be as useful as the information and data you give it so that it can learn to write text messages that are appropriate for your business. To do this, you must think through the prompts you want to use to give AI for business texting guidance.
Here are five things to consider for your AI prompts:
Target audience: Tell AI who your target audience is so it can personalize accordingly. B2B text messages will sound different from B2C text messages. The same is true for different age demographics.
Common words: Tell AI any words that should be used that are a part of your key messaging platform so that the tone and content match your brand personality.
Characters used: Tell AI how many characters you want to include in your text message.
Use of emojis: Tell AI if you want or do not want any emojis to be used in your text messages.
Call-to-action: Tell AI the CTA you want to be included in the text message so it understands the goal or purpose of the text message.
As you consider which prompts you want to use for AI for business texting, here are five best practices to help you craft quality prompts:
Maintain a character limit between 120 to 140 characters.
Do not use excessive punctuation, but emojis are acceptable.
Avoid profanity at all costs.
Maintain a tone that is conversational, friendly, and informative.
Avoid errors such as spelling or grammar errors.
How to choose the right AI business texting platform
With the hype surrounding AI in business right now, including AI for business texting, different platforms exist to assist you with SMS campaign creation.
One of the most important things to consider when looking for an SMS AI platform is to make sure you can tell the difference between AI being used as a buzzword for its hype and appeal and AI for business texting composed of actual functionality with the benefits of AI.
Ask these questions when you are evaluating AI for business texting platforms:
Can you edit the generated SMS? AI isn’t perfect. As it learns the best outcomes and how to present different text messages, you may need to evaluate your prompts and even make edits to the generated text.
Is there a limit to the options you get? Does the platform generate a few different options for you at once, or do you have to keep trying to get the right message? If you get a few options at once, what is the limit? Also, is there a limit to how many times you can redirect AI?
Can you turn off the AI generator or control the settings for users? Maybe not everyone in the company or business unit wants to use AI. Or maybe you know exactly what you want to say and don’t need to take the time with AI prompts. In these situations, it will be helpful to temporarily turn off or use a feature function when you want to use an AI or not.
Is there a text quality indicator to predict success? Can AI show you areas of improvement for your text message so that you know you are on the right track with your SMS campaign? Knowing if your text is passive, confusing, or the tone type can be helpful before you click send.
Does it denote AI vs. human messages and test for analytics? Being able to see which text messages AI assisted with can be helpful so you can measure the success of both your campaigns and those generated by AI for business texting. Knowing where you did better and where AI works better will allow you to collaborate for the best possible SMS campaigns.
Can you save AI-generated texts as templates for future use? When you find AI text messages that are quality and resonate with contacts, make sure you can keep them as a template or replicate them easily for other contacts or campaigns.
Finding the right balance is key to success
As you explore AI for business texting and how it can help you craft smarter communication with contacts, be mindful of using it as an assistance tool, not the primary one.
There are many benefits to using AI for improving text messages or crafting new ideas. However, a human touch is still necessary to evaluate, edit, and control the SMS campaign's success. When you partner with AI for business texting, you can achieve optimized success.
Success with business texting includes finding the balance between personalization, automation, and AI. Each has its own unique benefits, and when combined, it has the potential to improve your SMS engagement and business performance.
Learn more about the benefits, challenges, and best practices of SMS marketing.
You've got a new message!
Increase brand loyalty and engagement by delivering timely, personalized messages to customers’ mobile devices with SMS marketing software.
Jennifer Adler is the Brand Director of TextUs and an experienced creative and content leader at growth-stage companies. Prior to TextUs, she’s been at multiple start-ups where she developed and managed the creative process from concept to completion across brand, marketing, sales, and UI/UX assets.
You've got a new message!
Increase brand loyalty and engagement by delivering timely, personalized messages to customers’ mobile devices with SMS marketing software.
AI for Business Texting: Enhance Your Communication StrategyAI for business texting is one tool that helps you create text messages to increase engagement with your business contacts and productivity at work.
Jennifer AdlerJennifer Adler is the Brand Director of TextUs and an experienced creative and content leader at growth-stage companies. Prior to TextUs, she’s been at multiple start-ups where she developed and managed the creative process from concept to completion across brand, marketing, sales, and UI/UX assets.https://learn.g2.com/author/jennifer-adlerhttps://learn.g2.com/hubfs/JenAdler_Headshot.pnghttps://www.linkedin.com/in/jennifer-adler-design/
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