Text Message Automation for Firearm Businesses

Text Message Automation for Firearm Businesses

Let’s face it: in shooting ranges and firearm businesses, keeping up with customer conversations can feel like aiming at a moving target. Sure, you might be a good shot, but in the flurry of day-to-day operations, it’s all too easy for customer messages to slip through the cracks. That almost always makes potential clients feel dissatisfied, leading to lost revenue. 

But what if you could hit the bullseye every time, ensuring you engage your customers without lifting a finger? That’s where text automation steps in, your trusty tool in customer communication.

Keep reading to learn all about text message automation and how to leverage it for your firearms business. Namely, we’ll explore the 3 ways that OtterText is famous for:

  • Autoresponders: How sending automated thank-yous and booking confirmations can turn inquiries into satisfied customers.
  • ‘After Hours’ Messaging: How to keep the conversation alive, even when the range is closed, with smart, automated responses.
  • Keywords: How a simple text like “AMMO” can trigger instant, engaging responses, keeping your customers looped in and excited.
What Is Text Message Automation? 

Text Message Automation is a skilled assistant dedicated to managing communications efficiently in your firearm business. This system automatically sends text messages in response to specific customer actions. It’s a straightforward yet powerful way to maintain continuous, relevant contact with your clientele.

How Does It Work? Here’s the Breakdown:

  1. Setting the Stage with Triggers: You start by defining ‘triggers’. These are specific customer actions or events, like a new range booking or a firearm purchase. For instance, a customer signs up for a safety training session at your range, triggering an automated message.
  2. Crafting Targeted Messages: Next, you create tailored messages for each trigger. For example, a customer buying a new hunting rifle could trigger a message with care tips or recommended accessories.
  3. Automatic Release: When a trigger event occurs – a customer orders ammo from your online store – the system sends your pre-written message immediately or after a delay. This ensures your customer feels acknowledged and informed.
  4. Fine-Tuning Your Aim: The final step is monitoring and refining. You track how customers respond to your automated texts and adjust your strategy accordingly. This ongoing process ensures your messages remain effective and engaging.

Benefits of Text Message Automation for Firearm Businesses

As a firearm business owner, you know that clear, timely communication is as crucial as a sharp shot. Here’s why text message automation should be part of your arsenal:

  • Customers Read Your Texts Fast: Think about it – 95% of text messages get read and responded to within just three minutes​. When you send a text, you’re almost guaranteed your customer will see it quickly. That’s faster than any email can manage.
  • Your Messages Get Noticed: With a 98% open rate, text messages stand out​​. Emails get lost in the clutter, but a text? It gets right to the point, and more importantly, right in front of your customer’s eyes.
  • Customers Actually Respond: Ever send an email and hear crickets? That’s not the case with texts. Around 45% of text messages get a response​​. Imagine nearly half of your customers engaging with your messages.
  • No Spam Worries: Your customers won’t toss your texts in the spam folder. Less than 3% of SMS messages are considered spam​​. That means more trust and credibility for your messages.
  • Drive Real Action: Here’s the kicker – SMS marketing has an impressive conversion rate of about 45%​​. That’s a lot of customers walking into your store or booking range time because of a simple text.
  • Customers Want Your Texts: This might surprise you, but 91% of customers are happy to receive texts from businesses like yours​​. They’re actually waiting for your offers, updates, and news.

Text Message Automation Types in OtterText for Firearm Businesses

In the firearm business, keeping the lines of communication sharp and responsive is vital. OtterText offers three types of text message automation to help you achieve this: autoresponders, business hours messaging, and keywords. Each type is designed to handle different aspects of customer interaction, ensuring your communication is as precise and effective as possible.

1. Autoresponders: The Automated Trigger Response in OtterText

Autoresponders in OtterText are designed to respond automatically to specific triggers. Here’s how to set them up:

  1. Choose Your Data Source: Start by selecting where your trigger data comes from, like your point of sale or customer sign-ups.
  2. Customize Your Automation: Name your automation, set it as active or inactive, and choose the applicable locations.
  3. Define the Trigger Event: Select the event that will initiate the autoresponder, such as a new customer addition or a purchase.
  4. Schedule the Message: Decide when the automated message should be sent, either immediately or at a scheduled time post-event.
  5. Target Specific Audiences: Define who should receive this automated message, tailoring it to certain customer segments if necessary.
  6. Frequency Settings: Choose whether the message is sent once or repeatedly whenever the trigger occurs.
  7. Message Creation: Use OtterText’s templates or craft a personalized message, integrating customer-specific personalization options like First Name, Last Name, Email, or Birth Day. 
2. Business Hours Messaging: Non-Stop Communication via OtterText

For handling communications outside your operational hours, OtterText allows you to:

  1. Adjust for Time Zone: Ensure your after-hours messaging aligns with your local time zone.
  2. Define Business Hours: Clearly specify the times and days when your business is open.
  3. Create an After-Hours Message: Compose a message that will automatically be sent to customers reaching out after hours.
3. Keywords: Interactive Customer Engagement with OtterText

With OtterText’s keyword feature, customers can initiate specific automated responses:

  1. Choose a Keyword: Select a relevant keyword that customers can text to trigger a response.
  2. Decide on the Response: Opt to send a custom message or a special offer in response to the keyword.
  3. Optional Information Collection: Choose to gather additional customer details, enhancing future personalization.
  4. Activate and Implement: Once set, activate the keyword automation for use.

Effective Use Cases of Text Message Automation in Firearm Businesses

1. Confirming Range Bookings

Picture a customer booking a session at your shooting range online. Immediately, an automated text confirms their reservation, detailing the time, date, and any necessary preparation. This quick confirmation reassures the customer and helps prevent misunderstandings and no-shows.

2. Enhancing Customer Experience Post-Purchase

After a customer purchases a firearm, they receive an automated text thanking them, along with care instructions and an invite to a safety workshop. This proactive approach not only demonstrates excellent customer care but also promotes responsible firearm use.

3. Responsive After-Hours Communication

When customers reach out after business hours, they’re not left waiting. An automated message acknowledges their query, providing information about when they can expect a response. This keeps customers informed and engaged, even outside of regular business hours.

4. Interactive Promotional Campaigns

Launch a special offer on ammunition, where customers can text a keyword like “AMMO” to receive a discount code. This strategy not only boosts sales but also engages customers interactively, enhancing their connection with your business.

5. Personalized Birthday Messages

Set up automated texts to send birthday greetings and special offers to your customers. Such personalized attention can significantly enhance customer loyalty and satisfaction, making them feel valued on their special day.

6. Timely Event Reminders

Before an upcoming event, such as a firearm safety course, participants receive reminders with all necessary details. This ensures they are well-informed and less likely to miss the event, improving attendance and engagement.

Staying Compliant in Firearm Business Text Marketing: A Must-Do

If you’re running a firearm business, navigating text marketing compliance isn’t just a good practice – it’s essential. But don’t worry, it’s less daunting than it sounds, especially with partners like us at OtterText, who are all about education and support in these matters.

Here’s Your Quick Compliance Checklist:
  • Age-Gating Is Key: Ensure your customers are 21+ for firearm-related content. This means using electronic age verification for both opt-ins and any external links in your texts. It’s not just about following rules; it’s about safeguarding minors and showing that you’re a responsible marketer​.
  • ​​​​Clear Opt-In and Opt-Out Processes: Before diving into promotional texts, get a thumbs-up from your customers. And if they want to opt-out, make it easy and respect their choice immediately. It’s about building trust and respecting boundaries​.
  • ​​Timing and Content Matter: Steer clear of the ‘quiet hours’ (9:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m.). Stick to messaging during times when customers are most receptive, like midday or weekends. It’s not just courteous; it’s law-abiding​.
  • ​​Know Your Auditing Basics: With organizations like CTIA keeping an eye on text marketing practices, staying informed and compliant is crucial. This is where having a knowledgeable partner like OtterText can be a game-changer. We’re here to help you stay on top of these regulations​.
  • Register for 10DLC: This is a big one. If you’re using mass text messaging, register for 10DLC (10-Digit Long Code). It’s designed for businesses like yours to send bulk texts legally and efficiently. It’s a step towards legitimacy and maintaining good standing with carriers.

Embrace Text Message Automation with OtterText

As we’ve navigated through the ins and outs of text message automation for firearm businesses, one thing is clear: staying on top of customer conversations is crucial, yet challenging. But, with the right tools and strategies, like those offered by OtterText, you can turn this challenge into an opportunity.

Don’t let another message or opportunity slip through the cracks. Sign up for your 14-day free trial with OtterText and see how we can help you hit the bullseye in every customer interaction. Sign up now and see the difference for yourself!