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Community Text App Strategy

The Community Text App Strategy: Transform Your Brand and Grow Your Business

Ever wished you had a direct line to your customers?

The truth is, you do — if you know how to use it.

Think about it. Every day, we text our family and friends. More and more, we’re texting businesses as well. 

The benefits go both ways. For brands, texting is one of the best ways to grow awareness and build your audience list. It’s a 1:1 line of communication with current and future customers.

And for customers, texting is convenient — and expected. In fact, over 75% of customers say they want to receive offers via text.

If that weren’t enough, 60% of customers open texts between 1-5 minutes after they get them, and 67 million Americans use mobile phones to redeem coupons. 

In this article, we’ll show you how to build your own text message community to boost brand growth and drive sales.

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What is a community text app?

A community text app is a web application that puts you in direct contact with a community — aka, your present and future customers.

Text messaging (or SMS messaging) is a highly effective marketing strategy, but getting started can feel overwhelming. Once you have your customers’ phone numbers, what do you do with them? After that, how do you text them all at once? And when will you have time to respond?

To make SMS marketing easy, there are several tools you can use. These include MobileMonkey, Community, and Twilio.

Why use one of these? Because as far back as 2019, Mark Zuckerberg predicted that direct messaging would continue to see high levels of engagement

To quote Zuckerberg himself: “Today we already see that private messaging, ephemeral stories, and small groups are by far the fastest growing areas of online communication.”

Today, the average open rate for text messages is 98%. This means that the messages you send to your customers are almost guaranteed to get read.

So, to make the most of SMS marketing, look for a community text app that includes the following features:

8 features to look for in a community text app

A good community text app makes it easy to…

1. Build your list, save contacts to a database, and view contacts on-demand

Your contact list is vital. Without a contact database, it’s hard to keep track of the vast amount of data you’ve collected over SMS. 

✔️ MobileMonkey
❌ Community
✔️ Twilio

2. Upload contacts you receive from other sources 

If a customer has already given you a phone number, don’t ask for it again. Instead, pipe it in from your CRM or Point of Sale system.

✔️ MobileMonkey
❌ Community
✔️ Twilio

3. Download contacts from the platform 

Being able to download contacts from your community text app is an important feature. That’s because it allows you to migrate them to another platform, or to use them in another application.

✔️ MobileMonkey
❌ Community
❌ Twilio (users can export SMS and call logs only)

4. Segment your audience by time zone and interests

Sorting your audience by physical location and interests means you avoid blasting customers at 3AM. It’s a must-have for every community text app system. 

✔️ MobileMonkey
✔️ Community
✔️ Twilio

5. Send out text message blasts

When you’ve got a message that everyone in your audience (or audience segment) should hear, you need a community text app system that can send out a large amount of texts at once.

✔️ MobileMonkey
✔️ Community
✔️ Twilio

6. Program automated messages and drip campaigns

Whenever a new customer joins your database, the best practice is to send them a welcome message. It’s also a good idea to send out customized drip campaigns to nurture leads and onboard new customers.

✔️ MobileMonkey
✔️ Community
✔️ Twilio

7. Save audience replies to enrich the contact profile, so you know what interests them

If your community text app software can’t save audience replies, you’re missing out on crucial data points.

✔️ MobileMonkey
❌ Community (replies must be manually saved to contact profiles)
❌ Twilio (messages are kept in Twilio’s cloud storage until a customer requests them to be removed)

8. Send manual replies to messages, including notifications when someone requires follow-up

Automated messages are the best way to greet new customers, spread company news, and make offers, but sometimes a customer needs manual follow-up.

A good community text app lets you do this — and the best ones notify you when a customer needs help.

✔️ MobileMonkey
❌ Community (manual messages, no follow-up notifications)
❌ Twilio (manual messages, no follow-up notifications) 

3 popular community text app solutions

Not all community text apps are created equal. When choosing one, pick the app that best fits your SMS marketing strategy goals.

1. MobileMonkey SMS community tools

MobileMonkey’s homepage

Yup, it’s us! MobileMonkey is an OmniChat marketing platform that supports SMS as well as Instagram, Facebook Messenger, and website chat. 

Who is it for? 

B2C businesses, Coaches, Creators, and Entrepreneurs

When did it launch?

2017, with SMS tools launching in 2019

How does it work? 

MobileMonkey users build their SMS campaigns in a single-bot building interface. It looks like this: 

MobileMonkey SMS blaster visual campaign builder

With it, you can send text, emojis, and images to your followers. It’s also got multi-user management tools and a unified messaging inbox for all channels — meaning you can see all your messages in the same place.

MobileMonkey gives you an SMS phone number that you can promote to your community, as well as list-building tools to help you on your way.

You can build anything inside the software, including a welcome message for new subscribers and a questionnaire to help segment your audience.

Speaking of segmentation, MobileMonkey allows you to group your audience by birthday, location, age, gender identity, and interests. 

There’s no limit on the amount of interests you can add, meaning that you can tailor your messages to individual subscribers. 

From there, you can send messages on demand — or you can use MobileMonkey’s automation to send messages whenever a user triggers the software.

How much does it cost?

MobileMonkey starts at $22/month for unlimited contacts. It scales by number of SMS sends.

2. Community

Community text app homepage

Community is an app that connects leaders with their fans via SMS texting.

Who is it for?

Influencers, celebrities, brands, and anyone who wants to communicate one-on-one with their fans.

When did it launch? 

Community launched in 2019. At first, only celebrities could join…but eventually, it opened up to everyone. (Sound familiar?

How does it work?

Community’s website is vague on the details, but first, you have to text them and see if you qualify.

Once you’re in, you can pick a 10-digit number and share it with your followers. Everyone who texts you will first receive an automated message (that you can customize) asking them to fill out a data-entry form.

Then, you can use that data to segment your audience by date of birth, location, interests, age, and gender identity. 

How much does it cost?

Child: What did it cost? Thanos: Everything.

We’re just kidding. Community is one of the pricier apps out there, starting at $99/month for up to 1000 subscribers. After that, it scales by number of followers.

3. Twilio

Twilio homepage

Twilio is a cloud communications platform that can automate phone calls, text messages, emails, and more.

Who is it for?

B2C brands, SMBs, Enterprise Brands

When did it launch?

Twilio launched in 2008, with its SMS functions launching in 2010.

How does it work?

Twilio lets you build out text message flows and view conversations within Twilio Studio, a drag-and-drop automation builder. 

With it, you can set up multiple iterations, keep conversations flowing across multiple systems, and segment your customer base. 

It also integrates with Interactive Voice Response (IVR), which works well for companies that need both an automated messaging system and automated phone calls.

How much does it cost?

For US-based users, sending and receiving texts with Twilio costs $0.0075 each (if you don’t send images). 

Once you pass 5 million messages, you get a volume discount. (By the time you send 5 million messages, you’ll have spent $37,500.)

4 ways to know which community text app is best for your business

1. What are your goals?

How do you want to use a community text app to grow your business? Do you want to spend time holding personal back-and-forths with your customers? Or are you looking for an efficient way to send SMS special offers?

For example, MobileMonkey’s SMS Blaster lets you build unique conversation flows, segment your audience, schedule your texts, and switch to live takeover. 

Community lets you speak directly with fans, and announce local events (like tours) to segmented groups.

Twilio allows you to pay-per-send, automate appointments, and integrate with IVR. 

Check your goals against what each community text app can do, and choose accordingly. 

2. How big is your customer base? 

Community’s business model expects its users to have at least 1000 followers on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook who are ready to text you at a moment’s notice. 

If you have much less than 1000 followers, you may not be accepted to the app in the first place. 

Meanwhile, Twilio charges per message sent and received. The bigger your audience, the more you pay.

MobileMonkey enables businesses to start from zero. It also supports small and medium businesses, as it allows you to bring in hundreds or thousands of followers right away. 

3. What’s your SMS marketing budget?

Community gets expensive fast. Unless you have a solid marketing plan for the app (or you’re a celebrity with cash to burn), make sure to check if Community’s pricing matches your company’s budget.

Meanwhile, Twilio’s pay-per-message model means that you might have a low-priced month followed by a huge bill, depending on how many messages you’re sending and receiving. 

MobileMonkey’s SMS tools start at $22/month for 400 send credits and unlimited contacts. 

4. Do other customer messaging channels matter to you?

Community is an SMS-based app only. Twilio supports SMS, IVM, Facebook messenger, WhatsApp, email, and web chat.

Meanwhile, MobileMonkey supports SMS, Facebook messenger, and web chat — as well as hosting Instagram-approved tools for automating DMs, comments, and Story mentions on Instagram.

If you know your customers hang out on Instagram, look for a community text app that supports SMS messaging and Instagram automation on the same platform. 

MobileMonkey’s interface is built with an inbox that lets you view all your chat conversations in the same place, which makes building a direct messaging strategy over multiple platforms much simpler. 

Should you use a community text app to grow your business?

If your customers text, then yes. Almost everyone owns a mobile phone nowadays, and texting is one of the best ways to stay in touch.

To get you started, MobileMonkey’s SMS Blaster is coding-free and offers advanced segmentation. 

MobileMonkey SMS Blaster keyword opt in

It also includes reports on open and response rates, three integrated SMS contact list growth tools, and more. You can try the SMS Blaster in a free trial of any of MobileMonkey’s subscription plans

In the meantime, we’d love to see you stick around! If you want to learn about SMS Marketing, Instagram Marketing, Growth Marketing, and more, consider subscribing. You can sign up using the form on the right-hand sidebar.

Re-Engage & Nurture Leads via SMS Text Messages

Take customer communications to the next level with consumers #1 preferred channel. Create an account and get your own SMS phone number setup today!

sms chat

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