When it comes to texting, there are so many ways to target your contacts and lists. In this article, we’ll explore the features in our platform that enable you to:

  1. Automate the process of collecting data from contacts
  2. Organize them into segments based on their responses
  3. Send automated follow-up messages to each of those segments

I. Collecting Data From Your Subscribers

Before using our data collection feature, you’ll need to create a Keyword that your contacts can use to opt-in or subscribe. For a review of how to set up a keyword, check out our article here: Setting Up a Keyword

After you have a keyword created, you'll want to make sure you have a corresponding field created for every piece of information you'd like to ask your Subscribers for.

If you haven't created those fields yet, you can do so by following along in this article through step number four only: Personalizing Messages Using Custom Fields.

Now that that's done, click on Apps > Data Collection > Add Data Collection

Here, you'll select the pieces of data you want to ask your subscribers, then customize the text of the questions from there. In our case, let's pretend we added a custom field called “Department." Let’s select First Name, Last Name, and Department as the pieces of data we’d like to collect from our subscribers, as shown below:

As you can see, you’re able to customize these questions according to your needs.

Pro Tip 💡 In order to use their answers to later have them segmented based on their response, it's best to list the specific responses you want them to reply with, rather than leave it open-ended, or else they may respond with something different than the criteria you'll be entering. For example: "How do you feel about your service experience? Reply with GOOD, OK, or BAD." In this example, the contact will respond with one of the three options mentioned, rather than something like "It was okay, I suppose...", etc.

II. Segmenting Subscribers Based on Their Responses

Now that we’ve given our audience the chance to subscribe with a keyword, as well as answer our data collection questions, our next step will be to separate them into Segments based on specific criteria we enter.

You can create as many segments as you’d like with varying pieces of criteria. For example, if you have a long list of contacts located in three different cities, you could create a segment with each individual city listed as the criteria. Our system will then automatically sort your contacts into the segments with matching criteria.

After completing your segments, our system will filter any contacts into any Segments they match in realtime, going forward. You’ll then be able to target them with segment-specific automated messages, which we’ll discuss shortly.

Setting Up Segments

1.) First, click on Subscribers > Add Segment > Add Criteria

2.) In the first drop-down, select the field that you'll use for your criteria for this segment. Then, you can select the limiting parameter for the criteria in the next drop-down.

For example: If my custom field is "Department" and I gave my contacts the option to reply with “HR”, “Sales”, or “Service” in my data collection question, I could create a segment for my sales team like this:

3.) Click on “Save Segment” and' enter a name for the segment. After you enter the segment’s name, click on “Save Segment” again.

4.) Repeat these steps for each segment you’d like to have.

Pro Tip 💡 Don't need to segment out different groups of subscribers that have responded to your data collection questions and instead simply want to send a general follow-up message to everyone who answered your questions? You'll want to create one general Segment. To do this, the first dropdown of the Segment should be for the last Field that you asked about in your data collection series of questions. For the second dropdown, select "has any value." You can save your Segment from here and continue on with the process below.

III. Setting Up Segment-Specific Automated Messages (Autoresponders)

Now that we’ve created a keyword, configured data collection, and created segments, we’ll be able to target those segments with automated messages that are able to be customized.

Autoresponder messages will be triggered whenever SimpleTexting filters a contact into a saved segment. That will happen as soon as they’ve answered your data collection questions, as long as their answer(s) match the criteria you selected in any of the segments you entered.

Check out this article to learn how to set up your Autoresponder(s): Setting Up Autoresponders

NOTE 🚨 In step number four, in the “List or Segment” dropdown, be sure to select the name of one of the segments you just created from the previous segments section. Segments are represented by curly arrows.

If you have multiple segments you’d like to send autoresponder messages to, or would like multiple autoresponders to be sent to the same segment, please repeat the above steps for each additional autoresponder message in your sequence.

IV. Wrap-Up

Now that you’ve created a keyword, or multiple keywords, configured data collection to collect info from your subscribers, created segments to separate them based on their responses, and configured autoresponder messages to be sent to them automatically, you’re all set!

You should feel pretty accomplished too, especially since you’ve just taken automation and engagement to a whole new level.

Here’s what will now automatically occur when someone enters the new message flow you’ve created:

  1. Contact texts in your Keyword, receives your keyword auto-confirmation message, and is added to your keyword-connected list
  2. They receive your data collection questions immediately after they receive the keyword auto-confirmation
  3. They answer each data collection question
  4. Upon completing your questions, our system will add them into criteria matching segments
  5. Upon being added to segments, they’ll receive any autoresponder messages that are linked to the segments they’ve been added to

If you have any additional questions about any part of the setup process described in this article, feel free to reach out to the team here at SimpleTexting anytime.

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