Even though business SMS and mass text marketing have started to become major assets to many companies, there is a certain level of stigma still associated with using texting for business purposes. After all, isn’t sending someone an SMS message directly to their phone invasive? Still, others believe that business SMS is outdated, so what is the truth?
The reality is that there has never been a better time to get involved with SMS marketing. Most of the misconceptions that business owners have stems from a simple misunderstanding of what business SMS is and how it can help make a difference for your customers.
In order to clear the air and help you get started on what could be a revolutionary customer retention technique for your business, we have put together this article on how to properly use SMS for your business. Your customers need to be engaged for them to stick around, let’s figure out how to do that together.
Cold hard stats
For those of you who are reading this and are still unconvinced, before we get into exactly how you can make a difference with your customers, let’s take a look at some cold hard stats.
- 75% of people would like to have offers sent to them via a text.
- 66% of people subscribed to mobile marketing have made a purchase as a result of receiving a text message.
- SMS reminder can increase the attendance rate to an event by 45%.
- It takes the average person 90 minutes to respond to email, but only 90 seconds to respond to a text message.
And, the most impressive of all:
- SMS messages have a 97% open rate.
When you compare these stats to similar marketing channels such as email or social media, the difference is striking. However, the question still remains to be answered: how do we use this information to provide added value for our customers? Good question.
How to make a difference
The hardest thing for most people to wrap their minds around is exactly how powerful business SMS is. The ability to send targeted messaging to your customers and moments later have them read it is something previously unheard of.
However, like Spiderman, with this power comes great responsibility. In order to help you make sure you are getting the most out of SMS marketing, here are some of the best practices and benefits for using it to your advantage.
While it used to be that with email marketing and other channels that you wouldn’t know if the user had received your message, you know that your customers are getting your texts with business SMS. This is a double-edged sword. While it is great that your communication with customers has significantly improved, sending them the wrong messages will end you up worse than when you started.
Before you send your first mass text message, you need to understand that unless your message has a clear call-to-action that will provide benefit to your customers, it probably isn’t worth sending. The reason customers open SMS messages at such high rates is because they expect it to be important. Don’t tarnish this by sending them a lot of information that they don’t need. The best way to avoid this is with our next best practice: personalization.
The best way to make sure that your business SMS message provides value to your customers is through personalization. In fact, unless there is general information that you need to spread to your customer base, all of your SMS marketing should be personalized to some level.
Make sure that you have your customers segmented into the proper channels before beginning to maximize efficiency. Once this is done, craft messages that meet customers where they are. For instance, if you run a restaurant, personalize your messaging to when your customers are coming to your establishment.
Not only that, but if you can track their user engagement metrics, you may even be able to send them an offer of their favorite item off of your menu. Every added personalization to your message increases the chance that the customer will convert into a sale or take the next step. Even if they don’t, they will remember your attempt come next time.
Now, you may be wondering, “How will I have enough information about the customers to know how to personalize for them?” Well, one of the benefits of business SMS is that customers have to opt-in to receiving messages. This is to avoid customers receiving spam messages, another reason why blasting your customers with general messaging is not a good idea.
You, however, can utilize the opt-in feature to capture new information on your customers that can then be used for personalization in the messaging. When they opt-in, simply ask them a few questions about what they expect to receive with these messages. Then, all you have to do is meet their expectations and you are golden.
Keep it short
Our last word of advice for you is to keep it short and simple. Although we have covered many different tips and tricks to making sure your brand messaging is on point in your business SMS, there is also something to be said for brevity.
Like any marketing channel, you need to work with what you have. Most SMS providers have character limits, so you should definitely stay within those. But by embracing the power of business SMS, you also need to keep it to just the important parts of the message.
Keep it short. Say what you need to say. Provide a follow-up action, preferable with a link to complete that action. Get out. Do this, and not only will your customers thank you, but your wallet will too.
When it boils down to it, business SMS marketing is rather simple. You just need to provide information of value to your customers when they need it. It’s definitely not rocket science.
Hopefully now that you understand exactly the value you should be offering and how to get it into the hands of your customers you will have no problem improving your business with this under-utilized technique. With so much potential, who knows what will come next?
Co-Founder, Gleantap & Mastera