TextUs Announces TextUs Next
TextUs, a provider of business text messaging software, today announced TextUs Next, a new communication platform that aims to connect businesses and customers in real time via conversational text messaging.
“We looked holistically at how businesses and customers are connecting and the way that we are able to start conversations, and that really comes down to the ability to start a relationship, and not use text messaging promotionally, but use it conversationally,” explains Andrew Kimmell, chief marketing officer at TextUs. “What we’re dovetailing off of is the conversational marketing movement...that paradigm shift in the way that we start conversations. We don’t cold-call our friends or even our family anymore; we text them to say, ‘Hey, do you have a few minutes to talk?’ That’s really the context that we want to bring to business at scale.”
TextUs Next enables businesses to do three key things: conduct conversational text messaging campaigns, manage responses in a real-time conversation inbox, and optimize and scale a real-time approach across the entire team. “It allows your entire team to start sending conversational text message campaigns to targeted groups of people that feel very personalized, get a response, and that your team can manage,” Kimmell says.
The solution allows organizations to send personalized campaigns to hundreds of contacts; provide automatic opt-out/opt-in for contacts with the keywords STOP or START; and gain insight into areas such as active conversations, response rates, number of messages per conversation, and unsubscribes. “Conversational SMS campaigns are a new feature for us and generally in the business text messaging space. Most of the players in it have had some ability to do a broadcast text message or to do a small targeted group text message, but largely the responses would go back to a single inbox, and there wasn’t really the ability to have multiple users manage it and bring a live chat context of team conversation management to text messaging. TextUs Next brings a whole campaign-type feature,” Kimmell says.
In terms of response management, the solution frees text messaging from individual phones and inboxes, enabling users to support each other and ensuring that customers’ inquiries don’t go unanswered. Additionally, conversations can be sorted into states such as open, unanswered, and closed. “We’re text-enabling the business numbers that the company uses. Now you have this whole new arsenal of numbers that you’re using to start conversations. Not all of [those conversations are] done with the campaign feature; you can also send a quick text to follow up with someone. It’s really huge for sales follow-up and things like that,” Kimmell says.
Finally, the solution provides enterprise-level management, insight, and control over text messaging throughout the entire organization. Managers can determine which teams and individuals have access to areas such as settings, integrations, and templates. They can also gain insight into messaging, settings, and analytics for all sub-accounts. “[This is] for a manager, an admin, or even a whole organization to figure out how they want to approach the phone number tree: who has access to what, who is sending positive communication, who is sending negative communication,” Kimmel says. “We [also] give you the ability to see who’s having great, productive conversations...and identify people who are having low-health conversations and help them change their messaging or make sure that they are able to improve what they’re doing.”