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Two-Way SMS: How to Effectively Manage Your Replies

two-way sms: how to effectively manage your replies

When it comes to mass messaging, there are lots of different ways to engage with your audience. Some messages are just notifications or alerts that don’t require any further communication, but others are meant to engage your contacts in a conversation. That’s where two-way SMS comes in.

In this blog post, we will discuss what two-way SMS is, how it works, and some best practices for handling replies.

What is Two-Way SMS?

Two-way SMS, or conversational texting, is a communication method that enables businesses to engage in real-time conversations with their audience through text messages. Unlike traditional one-way communication, where companies just send messages to customers, two-way SMS allows customers to respond, creating a dynamic and interactive communication channel.

Businesses may choose to leverage conversational texting when they need immediate responses, personalized interactions, or customer feedback. It provides a more engaging and convenient way for customers to communicate, fostering stronger connections between businesses and their audiences.

How Does Two-Way Texting Work?

If you’re using a mass texting platform to send out your messages, you can usually decide whether or not you want to receive responses. If you’re using Text-Em-All and don’t want to interact with customers through two-way texting, we recommend you set up an auto-reply letting customers know your inbox is unmonitored.

Here are five steps to using two-way text messaging effectively.

1. Determine if you need a response

Before using two-way texting, businesses should identify what circumstances require responses. Texts that would benefit from response collection  include questions or surveys, feedback requests, appointment confirmations, or troubleshooting assistance.

2. Select a keyword (optional)

One way to use two-way SMS with a mass texting platform is to select a keyword to gather the information you need. For example, you may send a text that says:

“You have an appointment today at 4:30 PM. Please respond with “CONFIRM” to confirm, or “RESCHEDULE” to reschedule.”

In this scenario, if the contact responds with CONFIRM, you could send an automatic response thanking them for their confirmation. However, if they respond RESCHEDULE, you could have a member of your team reach out immediately to find a new appointment time.

If you’re using Rich Communication Services (RCS), you can use interactive buttons to collect responses.

3. Decide how to send your message

If you’re sending a message to a large group of people, you’ll want to consider using a mass texting platform so that everyone can receive the same message simultaneously.

With Text-Em-All, you can easily personalize your mass messages to ensure they are tailored to individual recipients and don’t feel robotic. This will, in turn, increase engagement.

4. Receive responses

One of the other benefits of using a mass texting platform for two-way texting is that the platform assists with organizing and managing all incoming messages. With Text-Em-All, all of your responses will be located in your inbox. This shared space is accessible to anyone on your team, making it easy for anyone to respond to incoming messages.

This streamlines your process by allowing everyone to be involved and helps make sure no important messages are overlooked

5. Confirm or reply as needed

Finally, you’ll need to respond to your text messages. There are three different ways to respond using Text-Em-All.

Auto-replies: Set up an automatic reply that sends the same response to each reply.

Keywords: As explained above, trigger specific messages based on keyword responses.

Manual Response: In the Text-Em-All Inbox, respond manually to each reply. All Text-Em-All users can access the inbox, allowing your team to divide and conquer responding to messages.

Using these tools enables businesses to respond quickly and save time. This enhances customer satisfaction and helps build a positive brand image.

Read 6 Tips for Writing an Effective Text Message

Best Practices for Handling SMS Replies

When using two-way communication, Here are a few best practices you should follow.

Prioritize Messages

Make a plan to prioritize messages to ensure that important responses are dealt with quickly. This might mean organizing messages by urgency, importance, or specific criteria that matter to your business.

Don't Ignore Replies

Ignoring replies can lead to customer dissatisfaction and a negative impact on your brand image. Responding promptly, even if it's a simple acknowledgment, shows attentiveness and a commitment to customer satisfaction.

Personalize Messages

Personalization enhances the customer experience by making interactions feel more genuine. Businesses can use customer data to tailor responses and create a more personalized connection with their audience.

Use Templates

Templates streamline the response process, making it easy to personalize outgoing messages and improve response time. They also ensure consistency in messages and help maintain a professional and cohesive brand image.

Manage Opt-In and Opt-Out

Including an easy and transparent opt-in and opt-out process is crucial for compliance and customer satisfaction. This allows customers to have control over their communication preferences, fostering trust.

Maintain Conversation History

Keeping records of SMS conversations is essential for reference, analysis, and maintaining a comprehensive customer history. This information can be valuable for future interactions and personalized customer engagement.

Use Automation Wisely

Automation can be a powerful tool when used wisely. Businesses should identify scenarios where automated responses are appropriate.

Tools and Features to Enhance Two-Way Texting

Managing responses can be difficult when you get a lot of responses at the same time. Luckily, mass messaging platforms often have tools and features to help you keep up with your inbox.


Auto-replies allow businesses to stay in touch with their contacts, even when they’re not available. You can use auto-replies to send a generic message with office hours, vacation time, or instructions on how to get assistance immediately. As we discussed above, you can also use SMS Keywords to send more specific auto-replies.


In-depth analytics help businesses analyze the effectiveness of their mass messages. This data might include metrics such as delivery and response rates and can inform future strategies and improve overall communication.

Appointment Scheduling Capabilities

Integrating appointment scheduling capabilities into your mass messaging strategy simplifies the process for both businesses and customers. This feature enhances efficiency and customer convenience.

Text-Em-All App

The Text-Em-All app is a convenient tool for businesses to manage two-way communication on the go. It provides real-time updates and response management at each user’s fingertips.

Engage Your Audience with Conversational Texting

Two-way SMS is a powerful tool that can revolutionize how businesses interact with their audience. By understanding how to effectively use it, implementing best practices, and leveraging tools like Text-Em-All, businesses can create a more responsive, personalized, and efficient communication channel. Take the step towards enhancing your customer engagement – try Text-Em-All today.