Every company needs to engage customers and make sales to stay in business. Modern technology and traditional marketing methods combine to provide practically endless ways you can gain your customers’ attention and share information. Yet many businesses overlook an easy communication method that customers actually favor.
The 2022 Local Business Messaging Trends report revealed that text is the preferred communication tool of all age groups but is only used by 12% of businesses. This presents an opportunity for small businesses to improve their customer communication efforts. By implementing a text messaging service for business, you can position your company as a customer-centric brand and initiate interactions with your target audience.
6 Benefits of Using a Text Messaging Service for Businesses to Connect with Customers
Your customers’ preference for text as a communication method may not come as a surprise. You probably even use it for your own personal communications. Yet the idea of communicating with your customers via SMS messaging might not be as easy to imagine. You might be concerned your clients won’t take your communications seriously or will find them too personal. The truth is, using a text messaging service for business comes with substantial benefits.
- Get Your Messages See
The most beautifully crafted ads and messages will never hit their mark if they go unseen. Phone calls are easily ignored, and emails can go unopened for days. On the other hand, interactions with text messages surpass both of these with a 98% open rate, in comparison to 20% for email and 2% CTR for PPC ads.
- Improve Your Targeting Efforts
Federal regulations prevent businesses from sending marketing messages to customers without asking permission. In other words, customers have to opt in to receive your texts. While this might seem like a barrier, it’s actually a powerful tool to identify your target audience. By sending messages only to customers who have agreed to receive them, you narrow down your audience to those who are most likely to respond to your marketing efforts.
- Give Customers What They Want
Seventy-four percent of consumers want to communicate through text with real people at the businesses they interact with. Text messages are brief and convenient. They’re personalized messages that give your customers opportunities to gain the benefits of interacting with your business. By communicating with customers on their terms, you’re more likely to get a positive response. In your efforts to supply your customers with this added convenience, you also show them that you care about their needs.
- Receive Better Returns on Promotional Events
Text messages aren’t only a convenient and desirable form of mobile business communication—they’re effective. Another important statistic from the Business Messaging Trends report clarifies exactly how frequently customers respond to SMS messages that provide opportunities. Consumers are 10 times more likely to redeem SMS coupons versus any other type. This gives you the power to maximize one of the most affordable forms of advertising to gain overwhelming results.
- Instant Delivery
Everything about mobile marketing is fast. You can set up an SMS marketing campaign in minutes, and once you hit send, it goes out to hundreds or thousands of people. The convenience of text is only half of the equation. The brevity of the messages makes them easy to craft and quick to read.
According to MobileSQUARED, a mobile research firm, 90% of people read a text within three minutes of receiving it. This timeline, combined with the fact that messages are only a couple of sentences long, means you can get responses immediately.
- Promote Interaction
Offering a way for your customers to reply creates engagement with your brand. Not only does this mean you can interact in the way customers crave, but it also gives you an opportunity to gain valuable feedback.
With a quick tap of the reply button or by clicking a link, your customers can share their valuable opinions about your products and services. They can also immediately take advantage of promotional offers and be directed to your website. As you become more creative with your SMS business marketing campaigns, you’re likely to find more ways to authentically interact with your customers.
Best Practices when Communicating with Customers through SMS
Now that you understand the power of using a text messaging service for business, you might be ready to get started immediately. Instead of jumping in without a plan, putting some strategies in place can help you improve the effectiveness of your SMS messages. These tips can help you develop text messages that engage your customers and improve sales.
Modern consumers want more than a purchase from the brands they do business with. They want personalized interactions with real people. The format of SMS messages naturally makes them more conversational.
You can take a giant leap forward with this effect by crafting your messages like a conversation. In fact, the Messaging Trends report mentioned above revealed that 50% of consumers say they’re more likely to answer business texts when the sender introduces themself. Why? Because it provides the personalized conversational style customers seek from businesses.
Make it Fun with Multimedia Messages
Text messages already have the advantage of being informal and conversational. You can make them even more engaging by adding photos and videos to the mix. In the same way that images make other marketing efforts stand out, they add an eye-catching element to your SMS marketing messages.
Know the Rules
There are regulations surrounding telemarketing communications, including SMS messaging. These guidelines can vary from state to state, so it’s important to learn about requirements in your location.
However, many rules fall under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which outlines the rights of consumer privacy with these measures:
- Get written consent before contacting customers with commercial or marketing offers.
- Identify your company and clearly state your reason for contacting consumers.
- Send communications between the hours of 8 AM and 9 PM.
- Provide an opt-out function that allows consumers to opt out of the company’s subscriber list at any time.
Text During Regular Hours
Your customers won’t be thrilled to wake up at 3 AM to learn about your next sale. In fact, your lack of consideration could annoy them so much that they avoid the sale entirely. As with every aspect of interacting with customers, SMS marketing requires you to act with general courtesy. Additionally, texting during regular hours promotes the interactivity of text messages. When you send a promotional message during business hours, your customers are more likely to take action.
Provide Value with Every Message
Remember, your customers chose to communicate with you via text messages. It’s your job to make it worth their time. Send fresh and exciting messages that offer your customers something they can use. Whether you’re sharing information, coupons, or a promotional message, make it an exclusive offer likely to interest your target audience.
Include an Exit Strategy
We mentioned that the requirement for customers to opt in to receive text messages from your business naturally helps you reach your target audience. At the same time, some customers may change their minds and want a way out. The good news is, opting out of your SMS messaging service doesn’t mean your customers aren’t interested in doing business with you anymore. However, forcing them to receive messages they no longer want could make them feel that way over time.
When your customers opted in to receive your SMS messages, you likely shared information that allows them to opt out. It’s important that you refresh this information from time to time so your customers will have easily available options if they change their minds. While you don’t have to include instructions with every text, a reminder should be offered routinely to promote customer choice.
Adopt a Versatile Text Messaging Service to Increase Engagement and See Real Results
When you’re running a small business, you need to find creative ways to gain and keep the attention of your target audience. A text messaging service for business provides you with an affordable and convenient way to interact with your customers. Perhaps more importantly, it gives your customers promotional messages and other communications in the format they’re already seeking. By adopting proven strategies for successful business SMS, you can expand your communication efforts in a way that will make your small business stand out from the competition.
Phone.com is a modern small business communication solution that lets users connect a business phone number to any device. Send and receive SMS messages using any of your business numbers to upgrade your marketing efforts and meet consumers’ demands. Learn more about how we can help you improve customer engagement and increase sales with an efficient communication system.