A good night's sleep is crucial to good health and a lot of common sleep issues can be tackled by building better sleep habits. That's why we created our 7 Day Sleep BETTER SMS Bot, an expert-led, personalized text messaging program that would help users unlock the secrets to better sleep by giving them the tools to understand their individual sleep patterns. For one week, we sent tips via text to help improve the quantity and quality of sleep. When users signed up, they were asked a short series of questions to help tailor and personalize the sleep tips.
We were looking to not only create an experience that would be easy to use, especially for an audience that might have limited previous experience with texting bots, but also provide some new and unique utility not offered on our other social platforms. On the technical side, the system was created by meshing together a messaging alerts system that was created in-house just for this project with a pre-existing platform that is normally used for e-commerce customer service that we repurposed for the office hour Q&A sessions with the sleep doctors.
One of our over-arching goals at NBC News Digital is to increase loyalty among our audience. Experimenting with SMS messages is a perfect fit for that particular goal since texting feels like a much more personal and intimate interaction than other social platforms. We wanted it to feel like you were getting advice from a trusted friend. We received a bunch of direct feedback and now plan to do this experiment in the future!