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Alexander Haque Co-Founder at Clerk Chat
Alexander Haque

Co-Founder at Clerk Chat

What is Conversational Messaging? The Ultimate Guide

What is Conversational Messaging? The Ultimate Guide

Conversational messaging is the future of brand and consumer interactions.

Why? Because it’s simple, convenient, and fast.

Most of the other methods we use to communicate with companies are fraught with frustrations. Calling a contact center means navigating annoying menus, listening to repetitive hold music, and waiting in queues. Sending an email means hours spent refreshing your inbox.

Sending a message, on the other hand, is quick and natural. In fact, around the world, more than 23 million messages are sent daily by text alone.

But what is conversational messaging exactly? What can companies use it for, and how do you implement an effective strategy?

Here’s everything you need to know.

What is Conversational Messaging? 

Conversational messaging is a form of real-time two-way conversation that often takes place between businesses and their target audience. Crucially, it’s not just another term for two-way text messaging (although conversations can take place over SMS/MMS).

Conversational messages can be sent via any of your customer’s preferred messaging channels, from WhatsApp, to Viber, Facebook Messenger, and beyond. You can even manage conversations through a messaging feature if it’s built into your company’s mobile app.

Companies can use conversational messaging strategies for a range of use cases. You might add conversational messaging to your SMS marketing strategy, to help you engage customers and direct them to products based on their specific interests.

You can also use this method to enhance customer support, giving your customers a new way to contact your team, ask questions, request order updates, and more.

The Rise of Conversational Messaging

Messaging isn’t exactly a new communication channel for most companies. The rising proliferation of smartphones worldwide, and the popularity of apps like WhatsApp have prompted countless businesses to embrace messaging strategies.

However, many of the messages sent to customers by businesses today are still “one-way”. We’re all familiar with the A2P messaging methods companies use to enable things like multi-factor authentication. Plus, plenty of companies use automated text messaging to inform customers about upcoming sales, and promotions, or keep them up to date on their order’s location.

Conversational messaging takes a different approach, by allowing for two-way interactions.

It paves the way for sales, marketing, and customer service conversations between brands and consumers, in an environment that customers feel comfortable and familiar with.

The Benefits of Conversational Messaging

So, why bother with this two-way messaging strategy? Simply put, customers love using messaging to communicate with brands. Studies show that 83% of customers say they feel more confident in brands that offer messaging as an option for communication. That’s why so many clients use Clerk Chat as a way to consistently engage with their audience.

People are using smartphones and messaging apps on a daily basis, and they expect companies to “meet them” where they are. However, while more than 3 billion people use messaging apps every day, many companies still only manage two-way conversations via email and phone.

Embracing a conversational messaging strategy, whether it’s for customer service text messaging, or marketing, is a great way to differentiate yourself from the competition.

Plus, investing in conversational messaging can lead to:

  • Greater reach: Introducing messaging into your customer communication strategy improves your chances of reaching a wider variety of customers. There are billions of customers using messaging apps and SMS worldwide, while only a handful of customers will actually answer a call or read an email from your company.
  • More sales opportunities: Two-way messaging gives you an excellent opportunity to learn more about your customers, nurture relationships, and educate customers about your offerings. That way, you can develop a personalized messaging strategy that significantly increases your chances of sales and conversions.
  • Improved relationships: 89% of customers say they want to engage in two-way conversations via messaging apps. If you can deliver what your customers are asking for, you’ll be more likely to build powerful, long-term relationships.

How to Create a Winning Conversational Messaging Strategy 

So, how do you develop a strong conversational messaging strategy? Fortunately, it’s not as complicated as it seems. While the steps you take will vary depending on things like your industry, and your goals, here’s the step-by-step guide to getting started.

Step 1: Decide on your Conversational Messaging Channels

As mentioned above, there’s more to two-way messaging than just conversational SMS. However, it’s definitely worth embracing SMS to start with. Remember, 95% of people read SMS messages within three minutes, and about 70% of the world’s population uses SMS and MMS messaging regularly.

Business conversations are happening across leading messaging platforms today. Learn your customers’ channel preferences and meet them there. For instance, some customers prefer WhatsApp, where they can look up your business and instantly start a conversation.

Many clients use iMessage daily. Did you know you could also use it for your company’s conversation marketing?

RCS solutions are excellent for marketing campaigns and commerce alerts, because they can include lots of rich media like videos and GIFS and SMS is a versatile communication method.

Most importantly, find out if your communication platform integrates with these channels. If your customers are there, you should be, too.

Step 2: Decide How to Use Conversational Messaging

Once you’ve chosen your channels, the next step is figuring out what kind of two-way conversations you’re going to be having. The most common way to use conversational messages is for customer support.

Instead of just sending customers updates about their orders with transactional SMS, you can use conversational messaging to engage in personalized conversations with customers. Even if you use AI tools for this two-way conversation, it can lead to a much better customer experience.

On top of customer service, you might use conversational messages for:

  • Marketing purposes: E.g. Send a marketing message to a customer promoting a recent product collection, and ask them to respond for more information on a specific item.
  • Engagement: E.g. Sending messages to customers asking them for feedback on your products or services, or asking them to share ideas for your next product.
  • Service delivery: E.g. A bank could use finance SMS messages to deliver product suggestions to customers, or discuss account features with them.
  • Sales: E.g. Retailers can use two-way messaging for conversational commerce, allowing people to purchase products or book services via chat.

Step 3: Choose the Right Conversational Messaging Platform

Now you have your use cases for conversational messaging, you need the right platform. The best conversational messaging platform won’t just enable two-way conversations. It will give you the tools you need to personalize customer experiences, preserve security, and scale your strategies.

For instance, a solution like Clerk Chat makes it easy to develop conversational messaging strategies, with templates and snippets you can personalize to suit each customer, built-in security features, and advanced AI technology. With Clerk Chat you can:

  • Access AI: Leverage the AI Clerk Assistant to send auto response text messages to customers, keeping the conversation going even when human agents aren’t available.
  • Integrate multiple channels: Connect your two-way messaging strategy to your CRM to enable personalization, or link SMS integrations to other messaging channels like WhatsApp.
  • Preserve compliance: Maintain compliance with 10DLC standards, collect opt-in details, and protect yourself from reputational damage.
  • Analyze results: Leverage analytics and reports to track the results of your marketing, sales, and customer support strategies.
  • Scale your strategy: Build on your messaging strategy with additional workflows for transactional SMS, promotional SMS, and more.

Step 4: Focus on Delivering Exceptional Customer Experiences

Studies show that 70% of people feel more connected to companies they can message. However, you can damage your relationship with customers by taking the wrong approach. Your focus with two-way messaging should be on improving customer relationships.

Boost the customer experience by:

  • Personalizing interactions: Link your conversational messaging apps to your CRM system so you can preserve context from one channel to the next, track crucial data, and deliver a relevant, personalized experience to each customer.
  • Make the experience accessible: Use multiple messaging channels where possible to give your customers more options on how to connect with you. Remember, not every customer will necessarily have a WhatsApp (or similar) messaging account.
  • Keep it simple: Make it easy for customers to interact with you. For instance, if you’re using automated tools to enable conversational banking, give your customers a clear list of options when they start interacting with you, to help direct them to the right representative.

Step 5: Leverage AI and Automation

Finally, embracing the power of AI and automation can significantly improve your conversational messaging strategy. AI SMS and messaging solutions can help you gather more information about your customers, which can help you to personalize future conversations and make intelligent decisions about how to improve the customer journey.

Conversational AI tools, like Clerk Chat’s trainable AI Assistant, can also automate some of the discussions you have with your audience, allowing you to offer 24/7 service and support, or proactively reach out to customers to collect data, and deliver personalized product recommendations.

Consider using an AI-powered platform to leverage features like:

  • Instant or delayed responses
  • AI-powered customer service
  • On-brand, peresonalize interactions
  • 24/7 sales operations, following up on leads


Get Started with Clerk Chat’s Conversational Messaging Tools

Conversational messaging is a powerful tool for today’s businesses. It can help you boost customer engagement, accelerate growth, and even unlock additional revenue. However, achieving the right results means investing in the right technology, and the correct strategy.

With Clerk Chat, companies can easily build a conversational messaging strategy that leverages all of the channels their customers want to use for communication.

Clerk Chat supports integrations with a range of messaging apps, as well as your CRM system, paving the way for flexible, personalized conversations.

Plus, with Clerk Chat, you can automate messaging strategies, scale your campaigns with automation, and create branded templates, all while staying compliant with industry standards.

What are you waiting for? Launch your business into the future of customer engagement, and start building your conversational messaging strategy today.

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