Are you looking for a way to reach your new customers via SMS? Linking up your WordPress website forms to SMS messages can help build the client relationship further.
Is SMS dead? It seems that in a world of instant messaging and emails, the old text message has had its day. However, research shows that SMS certainly has a place for businesses and their customers. Marketing statistics show that the open rates of SMS messages are far higher than that of emails.
Just think, how many emails do you see a day and how many do you just ignore and delete? Can you say the same about SMS message? With fewer text messages coming through, you're much more likely to pay attention when one does ping on your phone. That's a golden opportunity for businesses to stand out.
Plus, in some scenarios, sending automated texts is more effective than emails for auto-responses anyway. For example, if you book an appointment somewhere, many businesses will send a confirmation or reminder SMS of the booking.
Of course there isn't someone sitting there sending out hundreds of text messages a day. So, how do you automate this process and save time? You may be looking for SMS schedulers or a specific WordPress plugin to handle it all for you, but there is a simpler, neater option.
Linking SMS messages to your website forms is a simple solution that requires very little set up. In this post, we'll show you how to do it with Formidable Forms.
To set this all up, we will be using the Twilio WordPress SMS plugin. Our add-on will connect your WordPress forms to Twilio so you can send and receive SMS messages related to certain form actions.
Step 1 – Activate the Twilio SMS plugin for WordPress
In your WordPress admin area, start by going to Formidable > Add-ons. There you’ll find an option for the Twilio plugin. Simply click Install and you’re ready to go.
Step 2 – Set Twilio up
Once you’ve activated the plugin, it’s time to set it up and make adjustments. Go to Formidable > Global Settings and find the Twilio tab.
Here, you’ll need to insert your Twilio Account SID and Auth Token. You can find these on your Twilio account page. However, if you’re using a trial version, you must also verify the number you’re sending messages to first.
Step 3 – Connect Twilio to Wordpress form submissions
To set up SMS messages as an auto-response to form submissions, you’ll need to first create the form you will be using for this.
When you create a form, you’ll need to include a Phone Number field. Users will then be able to input their phone number and receive an automated SMS message once they’ve submitted the form.
Next, go to your form Settings and click on Form Actions. You will see a series of icons for add-ons to include in your form. Click on the phone icon, as shown below:
To make things easier, give your Twilio action a Label. This will only be visible to those with access to the back-end of your website, it's just for easy reference.
Step 4 – Set your To and From fields
In your options, you should see a To box. In this box, insert the Phone Number field ID. This will link to the Phone Number Field you added to the form earlier. Alternatively, you can enter specific phone numbers, but if adding multiple ones, you’ll need to separate them with a comma. In this case, a separate text will be sent to each phone number included.
In the From box, you’ll need to insert your Twilio phone number. Be aware that if you’re using an international number, you’ll need to include your international code too.
Step 5 – Compose your SMS message
Next up is to add the message you want your recipients to receive in the Message box.
It’s entirely up to you what you want to include here. An example could be ‘Thanks for submitting an application' or 'Your booking has been confirmed'.
Step 6 – Use conditional logic
Once you’ve composed your message, it’s time to apply conditional logic to tie everything together.
Scroll down and find the Trigger this action after option. This should have a dropdown box with a few options, as shown below. Depending on what add-ons you have activated, different triggers may appear.
Here’s what each of those options mean:
Create - This will send a text when a user submits a form
Update - This will send a text when a form entry is updated
Delete - This will send a text when a form entry is deleted
If you want to send a text once a form has been submitted, click Create.
Next, click Use Conditional Logic. Here is where you will tell the plugin what to do when this form is submitted. For example, you could send a text message, only if the user agrees and ticks 'Yes’ on a checkbox.
Read our post on how to add a signup checkbox to a form. In that post, rather than linking it to MailChimp, you can just set up a checkbox option labelled something like ‘Do you want to receive a SMS response?’.
When you’re happy with everything, click Update. You should now have a fully functioning SMS auto-response system for your form submissions. When SMS is built into your forms, it will be a nice touch for those looking to make an impression with new customers. They will appreciate the more personal feel than the typical mass email that we’re all used to these days.
What else can you do with the Twilio SMS plugin?
Schedule SMS messages for later (optional)
Don't want to send SMS messages right away? You can also schedule them for a later date by using our Scheduled Autoresponders add-on. For example, you may wish to add a personal touch to your client relationship by scheduling birthday SMS messages or appointment reminders. Clients will appreciate these gestures as they go above and beyond what they've signed up for.
Set up automated conversations (optional)
If you wish to receive SMS responses to your Twilio number, it helps to have an automated message set up to save you from manually responding to each one. With our Twilio add-on, you can set up conditional responses, based on the contents of the text. That way you barely even have to think about it.
Set up text voting (optional)
Do you want to set up text voting with your community? Setting up GUI-less submissions means you can allow anyone to text in votes to your forms. Users won't have to take time out to visit your site. They can send responses directly from their phones. This boosts conversions because it's minimal effort for them. To do this, you can follow our instructions in the documentation.
We hope this has helped you do more with your WordPress forms. We've got plenty of new things for you to try out on your website, with our range of intuitive features. Not yet using Formidable Pro? Upgrade in just a few clicks to get access to a wide range of additional features and add-ons!