Did you know?

The average person sends and receives an average of 42 text messages per day. And if we look at younger demographics, that number is even higher, with groups of teenagers averaging over 100 messages per day!

Not only that,

Business Texting

But of those texts, 97% of them are opened and read. With numbers like this, it’s not hard to understand why business texting and SMS marketing have taken off in recent years.

If you are even on the lower end of these ranges, you are probably still familiar with SMS and texting for personal use.

Today we are going to take the knowledge you already have on texting and show you how you can turn the latest trend in marketing into a success for your company.

As Julie Andrews said in the Sound of Music, the best place to start is at the beginning. In the spirit of this song, let’s start by taking a look at where business texting came from and how we got to this point where business texting is becoming a dominant force in marketing.

Where did SMS come from?

Ever since the first SMS message was sent in 1992, the technology has been improving by leaps and bounds. While messaging services like WhatsApp and GroupMe allow users to send messages without a cellular plan, the idea of instant messaging in this way is more popular than ever.

sms marketing strategyBut this still begs the question, how did sending texts to your friends turn into the trend of mass text marketing? Simply put, SMS and business texting are simply taking advantage of four key elements that are perfect for business purposes. Those are:

  • No internet required: SMS doesn’t rely on an internet connection.
  • Speed: SMS is incredibly fast. Almost all text messages are delivered in 15 seconds or less, but the average is well below that.
  • Reach: Business texting and SMS allow you to reach anyone with a mobile plan and device. This means that you have access to roughly 90% of the adult population at your fingertips.
  • Devices: SMS can be used with any type of mobile device.

Each of these factors, but specifically no need for internet and no device restrictions, are the reason why SMS has higher engagement rates than email, Facebook messaging, or other programs like iMessage and Skype.

What is SMS Marketing?

Now that you have some background and context for why business texting has become a popular trend, let’s talk about the uses of SMS marketing services for your business.

Being that SMS is fast, efficient, and direct, there are a series of different business uses for it. Each of these uses can be broken down into two categories: automated, one-way texts and customized, two-way texts.

sms marketing

Automated, one-way text messages

Opt-in notifications

By signing up to receive SMS messages when your bills are due or there is a needed action on your account, you can stay on top of your account and stay engaged. Business should use this to engage customers and keep them up-to-date on time-sensitive activities.

SMS Marketing Campaigns

By having your customers opt-in to receiving marketing messages you can reach them at appropriate times for your business. For example, a restaurant could send a text around 11:30 am to encourage the user to go to their establishment for lunch.

However, be aware that sending a targeted marketing message at the wrong time can turn off your customers quickly. Make sure you understand the timing of your message before hitting ‘send.’

Real-time info on request

business texting serviceBusiness texting allows you the option to send real-time information to your customers as they need it. For instance, a bus company could alert their customers to change in routes and update times as they happen. Not only will these be helpful to the end user, but you will be reminding them of who you are, so it can double as a marketing campaign.

Customized, two-way text messages

Sales

Salespeople have started to notice that traditional means of sales communication are no longer working like they used to. Phone calls, emails, and other channels are falling by the wayside. However, business text marketing strategies are rising.

This is due to the fact that not only does SMS have a 97% read rate, but a 35%-45% response rate as well. Your prospects are already on their phones. If you want to reach them, this is where they are.

Support

In 2018, more customers than ever before prefer to have their support claims and questions done through SMS marketing. Since most of the messages for this can be created beforehand, this increases the efficiency for both the company and the customer.

Not only can this help you to increase customer engagement and satisfaction, but it truly is a great way to help your customers out in a pinch. You can deliver how-to guides, advice, or simple things like password resets all directly to their mobile device.

Customer Engagement

Customer retention marketing and engagement is another recent trend that has begun to pick up steam. Instead of focusing on acquiring new customers, businesses today are shifting their focus toward taking care of the customers they already have.

customer retention marketing

Business texting is the perfect fit for this recent trend in marketing strategy. By simply sending a targeted SMS message ever so often, you can do more to keep your customers engaged than some full-fledged marketing campaigns. Use SMS to keep your customers engaged, even if all that means is sending a ‘thank you’ message.

Customer loyalty

Another advantage to working with SMS is how easy it is to incorporate with a customer loyalty program. Many businesses now use customer loyalty programs to increase engagement with the company and repeat visits to the physical location. When you pair this with the potency of SMS marketing, it can be a marketing force to be reckoned with.

However, like any SMS campaign, their are a few best practices that can ensure your customer loyalty program is as powerful as possible. For instance, you can increase interaction with the program by giving your audience an easy call-to-action via text message marketing to get more of your customers enrolled in the program. The more they use it, the more they will come into the business and tell their friends.

Best Practices For Business Text Messaging

While there are more sms marketing best practices that we will go over in another article, we wanted to leave you with a few that you should always keep in mind.

  • Communicate your intentions clearly and right away. Tell your contacts that you are going to text them. Your customers will likely be open to receiving texts over email, but only if you ask first!
  • Don’t spam your customers. One of the reasons why business texting is so powerful is that there are stricter codes when it comes to sending texts over emails. Not only will your customers not appreciate your spamming, but you might have legal recourse as well.
  • Avoid mass texts without purpose. While a mass text campaign might make sense every once in a while, less-frequent personalized SMS messages are likely to have a higher success rate.
  • Deliver value. Before every text you send, ask yourself, “Does this deliver value to the customer?” Unless the answer is yes, DO NOT SEND THE MESSAGE. Only send target messages when it brings immediate value to the customer.
  • Provide a way out. Sometimes customers accidentally sign up for texting or they realize that they don’t want to be signed up. Include an unsubscribe option with each text so that they have an easy time leaving. However, the best way to avoid this is by sending the right messages the first time.

While text message marketing for small business can be a powerful tool when done correctly, it can also be an efficient way to lose customers when done poorly. However, as long as you follow the best practices laid out here, you should be just fine.