Would it be too intrusive to SMS customers once a month?


In the signup process for our CRM software, we collect cell phone numbers from customers. Would it be too intrusive to SMS a tip on how to better use the software once/twice a month?

They would be able to disable this in their settings if they'd prefer not to receive the text messages anymore.

The main reason behind doing this is we get a lot of signups for the trial, but few convert at the end of the trial. We're thinking of trying this out and see if it increases conversions.

Software Customers Trial Conversion SMS

asked Jun 16 '14 at 14:40
Jennifer Hillyard
14 points

1 Answer


The thing about SMS is it's very interuptive, which makes unwanted notifications especially annoying. It's also not very actionable. Am I going to click a link from the text and use your web app from my smartphone? Doubtful.

If you're really set on trying it, I'd use texting as a way to opt trial customers in to a one-time call with a sales / customer experience person who can talk with them about their needs / walk them through how to use it. Try using a text like:

"Hey [customer name], saw you might be having trouble with the [service-name] trial. Would you be up for a quick call, where I can answer any questions / show you some of the really valuable ways to use it? --Jennifer @ [service-name]"

It's not super scalable (unless you're also scaling a sales force), but at the beginning, that's okay. These calls could be great customer development for you.

Some other things to consider:

  • Lifecycle emails are the method most startups use to do this kind of thing. Have you set these up and tested / optimized your headlines & calls-to-action enough yet?
  • Trial users not signing up is normal -- a lot of signups are tire-kickers, people doing research on what's out there, or people taking a look at software they'd like to use before they're actually ready to use it. See if you can better qualify users before wasting effort on trying to convert the unconvertable.
  • Make sure you're paying attention to timezones! An unwanted text that interrupts my day is bad, an unwanted text that interrupts my sleep is rage-inducing.
answered Jun 16 '14 at 17:04
Jay Neely
6,050 points
  • +1. Everything I was thinking about saying and a lot more. Extra emphasis on having people opt-in (rather than opt-out) to this kind of service. Unsolicited texting is far more annoying than unsolicited email. – rbwhitaker 7 years ago
  • If you're going to do this, do it properly. Put some tracking analytics in your product and send the message just after someone has got to a certain point and then gone idle. This way you'll already be in their mind when you "just happen" to make contact. Also "...would you be up for..?" is a closed question which is easy to respond "no". Instead, ask something that infers a yes answer, such as "when would be a good time for me to call you?". – Nick Stevens 7 years ago

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Software Customers Trial Conversion SMS