Chapter 6

Personalisation and Advanced SMS Features

In this chapter, we’re going to go over how you can personalise your SMS campaigns with some of Burst’s advanced features: custom variables and SMS keywords. Personalisation improves your marketing efforts in many ways. It helps you get more conversions, increase click-through rates, and lower your unsubscribe rates.
Chapter 6
Personalisation and Advanced SMS Features

6.1 Personalisation Statistics

Here are some interesting statistics about personalisation:

  • 74% of online consumers get frustrated with websites that share content and ads that have nothing to do with their interests (Source: Janrain & Harris Interactive)
  • Over 78% of consumers are likely to engage with an offer if it has been personalised to reflect how they’ve interacted with a brand previously (Source: Marketo)
  • Personalised emails can lift transaction rates and revenue six times higher than non-personalised emails (Source: Marketing Land)
  • 52% of consumers are somewhat likely to switch brands if they don’t receive personalised experiences (Source: Salesforce)
  • 62% of consumers welcome personalised offers and discounts based on their purchase history (Source: Salesforce)

6.2 Custom Variables

Custom variables are anything you want them to be: name, gender, age, hobby, subscription type, location, or purchase date. You essentially use this information to help make your SMS campaigns more personalised and meaningful.

Here’s an example: Words between asterisks (*) are variables.

Your message:

Alex’s reply:

Your auto-response SMS message:

Check out this blog post for a step-by-step guide on how to create custom variables.

6.3 List Segmentation with SMS Keywords

It’s tempting to leave all your contacts in one big list, but you’re running the risk of more unsubscribes and spam complaints.

In other words, you should divide your list into smaller ones based on their interests, demographics, locations, or industries to name a few.

If you already have a list on Burst, try SMS keywords. Keep in mind that a dedicated virtual number is required to use them.

SMS keywords act as a prompt for replies and activate different functions, which include entering a competition, forwarding to an email or mobile device, sending an auto-response, and adding them to a new list.

For example:

A sports retailer is interested in separating the football players from their master list of customers. They decide to offer football players a discount on boots and create a SMS keyword called “boots,” which triggers an auto-response and adds the incoming number to a new list.

Your message:

Those that reply with “boots” will be added to a new list and will get an auto-response:

The result of this campaign is a win-win situation—customers get a discount on boots and the retailer gets a list of football players to send promotions to in the future.

How to create an SMS Keyword with Burst:

Log in and click on the Keywords tab.

Choose a Number, enter a Keyword, and select a listfor Add Number to List field. Create an auto-response message with the coupon code and a call-to-action. You may ignore the other options but feel free to use them for more comprehensive campaigns.

Now you’re ready to send out your promotion. The keyword will automatically trigger when anyone replies with it.

6.4 Multi-level Auto Responses

Some customers asked us if SMS keywords are capable of creating multi-level auto responses. The short answer is yes, but there are limitations.

SMS keywords are global—anyone can trigger them at any time by texting the keyword to your dedicated virtual number or shortcode. Most of the time, it’s by accident.

But you can avoid this if you make your SMS keywords unique. Avoid generic keywords like ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

Despite the drawbacks, it’s easy to set up. You only need to create SMS keywords that trigger auto responses that include other SMS keyword options.

Here’s an example:

If you have questions, we’re happy to help! The quickest way to reach us is with the chat box on the bottom right corner.

Chapter 5
How to write stellar copy for your first SMS campaign
Go back to
Beginner's Guide to SMS Marketing