Artificial Intelligence Bots are on the Brink of Something Big

AI Article

It’s a familiar voice we all know far too well. 

“If you know the extension of the person you would like to reach, you may dial it at any time. Press 0 to speak with a representative. For all other callers, please listen to the following options: for account information press 1, for questions about a product you purchased press 2, for…”

The experience is a nightmare. It’s 2016 and messaging is evolving as the next platform for conversational commerce. Not only is texting useful and practical, it is also the most personal form of digital communication.

Right now, there are nearly 7 billion people with mobile phones in hand, totaling about 95.5% of the world’s population. With an open rate of 98% for SMS messages, Silicon Valley investors are finding it hard to ignore the space. What once drew headline conversations for “cloud” or “cloud-based services” is now being replaced by buzzwords like “artificial intelligence” “messenger” and “chat bots.”

So what does artificial intelligence mean for mobile messaging, and how can the technology benefit your business?

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How to Use Data to Personalize SMS

This morning you probably received dozens of marketing emails from various companies. How many of them were actually relevant to your current needs? And how many of them did you simply “mark as read” or delete without even opening?

We are so bombarded by marketing messages that we tune out the vast majority of them just so we can get through the day. As a marketer, this means you have to be smarter about the ways you engage customers.

Perhaps the most effective way to cut through this noise is to simply provide relevant messages based on a customer’s needs and behavior. Or, in other words, personalize your marketing.

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Why Your Company Needs a Mobile Messaging Strategy in 2016

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What is Mobile Messaging?

The term mobile messaging refers to any asynchronous, text-based communication. This includes popular messaging channels such as SMS, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Line, SnapChat and many more.

1- It’s Where your Customers Are

These apps have grown immensely in usage over the last few years, some of them with hundreds of millions of active users. The most widely-used mobile messaging channels, in order:

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Introducing Sonar 2.0

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Conversational interfaces (mobile messaging platforms) are the future of how companies will communicate with customers. This is why we started Sonar and this is where the world is heading. Most mobile messaging platforms are not quite there yet, but SMS in its’ beautiful simplicity is a great channel to offer this interface to customers (Facebook Messenger is almost there). If you aren’t already offering a way for your customers to reach you over SMS or other mobile messaging platforms, what are you waiting for?
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Accepting Payments over SMS with Stripe

You can imagine texting with your customers, but imagine this: doing fully integrated orders through text. No app or special web-app necessary. Here’s an example:

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Example Order with Stripe

You can do all this too! In this tutorial, we’ll talk about implementing one of the most requested walkthroughs we’ve had: using Stripe to invoice customers over SMS.
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Taylor Wang, COO, Mayvenn

How Mayvenn Grew Its Community Using SMS

Mayvenn Is Killing It Because of Community

Today was a big day for Sonar’s first customer, Mayvenn, a startup that reinvented the distribution channel for hair extensions by allowing hair stylists to sell hair directly to their customers. MayvennMayvenn announced an Andreessen Horowitz led $10mm round of fundraising (including celebs like Serena Williams and Jimmy Iovine), revenue figures in the tens of millions, a community of 30,000 hair stylists, and an order of magnitude more direct customers.

Yesterday, we asked Mayvenn’s COO, Taylor Wang, for the secrets of Mayvenn’s success. His response— community. “Mayvenn is a multi-directional community. We share with our community, they share with us, and they share with each other. To keep the conversation going, we use images, video and SMS.”
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Text First Services – Part 1: The text-only revolution and why you need to pay attention

This is my first article in a series of articles on text-first services.

tldr; SMS and Text Messaging is experiencing a resurgence like you’ve never seen and you should get with it because you’re going to love every minute (it will do your business goood).

A few things have been going on over the past fifteen years — the internet has gotten more mature, computers have gotten faster, phones have gotten smarter, and the challenges for businesses have been mostly the same: customer onboarding, service, and retention. To this end, many build their business around web-apps, and others create smart phone apps. While these solutions are great for some businesses, they are costly investments for others. So, what if you could provide high-quality, high-touch customer-service in a cost-effective and reliable way?
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6 Reasons Your SMS Strategy Is Failing

SMS has been in tech news a lot lately. Companies are being built as “invisible apps” (a phrase that I heard from Ryan Hoover), which basically means using SMS for all communication and transactions, replacing any need to visit a website or download an app. Obviously, we’re very excited about this trend at Sonar.

However, even with these shining examples of how to use SMS properly to increase engagement, conversions, and customer satisfaction, there are still plenty of examples of companies that are doing things wrong.

Here are 6 ways your company’s SMS strategy is failing:giphy

Not Informing Customers

You’re an awesome company because you’re using SMS to drive engagement, but you’re failing because your customers don’t actually know that you allow them to text message you! Your customers can’t just guess what your SMS-enabled phone number is, you have to tell them!
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Susie takes the worry out of meal-planning. Just text her!

We’re excited to see more companies using SMS to deliver high-touch, personalized experiences.

tldr; Go to susiedelivers.com, give Susie your phone number, and let her take care of your meals. She’ll take care of everything by SMS!

Susie seems like yet another food delivery service, but how many services learn about you and what you need to eat? Susie is all about making those nights where you can’t decide what to eat, disappear. There’s no app, there’s no menu, there’s no choosing and thinking about what you want.

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