Texting for business is one of the most underrated marketing platforms out there. It’s important to know the features of texting so you can fully take advantage of it.
incorporating all the features of texting in your marketing strategy is important so that your SMS Campaigns run smoothly and efficiently.
I’ve listed down all the advanced features of texting and how to use them at the right time and place to maximum Return on Investment:
Since business text messaging is a permission-based marketing channel, businesses have to carry out an SMS Campaign.
By using a unique shortcode or long code (basically a contact number assigned to the business), companies can interact with customers who want to subscribe to their campaign:
But how do you convince customers to subscribe?
Luckily, SMS is the preferred form of communication for most consumers. According to a study by Twilio that surveyed over 6000 consumers worldwide, 89% of customers wanted businesses to interact with them via text.
With that large a sample, you can’t fight the facts.
So all you have to do as a marketer is to create awareness about your SMS Campaign.
Utilize all the right platforms – email, SMS itself, posters, social media, and websites.
Don’t randomly place ads though.
Make sure you conduct behavioral targeting to ensure that your ad only reaches consumers who are likely to be interested in your product because of course, only they will be willing to subscribe.
Just design a simple advert with clear instructors for consumers on how to subscribe:
Offering an incentive like the discount above will also increase the likelihood of higher subscriptions.
Lastly, a lot of SMS platforms offer a double opt-in feature.
This means that users have to give some sort of verification or confirm their consent before being added to the subscriber’s list:
This means more effort on the customer’s part which reduces the number of subscribers, but that also increases the chances of sale turnouts and availing offers.
However, it depends entirely on the nature of the business whether you prefer a double opt-in or not.
Platforms like ExpressText allow you to turn off this feature and also activate it with just one click!
Also, keep in mind that as a responsible business, you need to provide clear instructions to customers on how to opt-out if they wish to do so.
#2. Auto replies
Did you know that one of the biggest marketing trends in 2020 is the use of chatbots?
This means that the use of automated replies for customer service is also rapidly growing.
A lot of SMS platforms allow auto-reply features. You can simply choose a response from the pre-written list and hit send.
This greatly improves response time especially during rush hours when you’re swamped with customer’s queries.
Faster response time can motivate your customers to purchase from you because of your business’s helpful nature; thus, making you money.
If you want to take automation up a notch without having to hire customer representatives at all, you can integrate your SMS Campaign with automated chat marketing platforms like Intercom and ManyChat.
These tools will provide a variety of services including capturing and converting leads, onboarding and engaging customers, supporting and retaining customers, and providing self-service support.
With an efficient chat system, you’ll eventually get more leads and generate higher revenues; thus, making a good return on your investment.
Check out Crazy Egg’s list of 15 top live chat solutions.
#3. Email capturing
Even with the rise of interactive platforms like social media, email still continues to grow.
With an average ROI of $38 on every dollar spent, email has one of the highest ROIs among all digital platforms.
This is exactly why you should have an email marketing channel as well. It’s appropriate for all age groups and is an affordable, professional way to communicate with your target audience.
SMS can be used as a marketing platform for your email campaign.
You can do two things with SMS – when customers fill out their details to sign up for your SMS Campaign, you can automatically add them to your email list as well or you can simply add hyperlinks to direct customers to your webpage where they can sign up for your mailing list:
The best thing about texting (and my personal favorite) is the fact that you can communicate with the masses within seconds and still personalize your messages to each sender!
Here’s how you can customize your text messages to create customer value and loyalty:
- Addressing recipients
Most SMS platforms will offer a feature that allows you to personalize each text to the sender’s name:
If something is addressed specifically to you, it automatically feels a lot more personalized and special. It shows that the other person cares, which is exactly the impression consumers get of a business – even if they know that it’s an automated system sending out mass texts.
- Birthday texts
Platforms like ExpressText offer a special birthday feature that allows you to create a personal relationship with your customers.
Since customers fill out basic details (including their birthdate) when subscribing to an SMS Campaign, this information gets recorded in your business account on an SMS platform.
You can either choose to ignore this – or take advantage of it.
All you have to do is get this information and the software of most platforms will automatically send out personalized, custom birthday messages to each and every subscriber.
You could even tweak this feature to offer a discount or gift voucher to your customers/subscribers on their birthday.
Personalization is a great way to get ahead of the competition.
In most industries, there are so many new entrants that you’ll find 10 businesses selling the exact same products, which is precisely why you need to build a brand name for yourself that differentiates you from your competitors.
People buy Nike and Adidas because they’ve built a brand name for themselves, otherwise, there are so many brands out there that sell the same style and designs.
Heck, I’ve seen a pair of shoes that look exactly like the Yeezy’s but I’d never buy them from anywhere except Adidas because I trust it.
At the end of the day, it’s all about the perception that you create in the minds of consumers.
Like I said before, time is money when it comes down to business – and scheduling is an important part of saving time.
Text messages communicate the message to customers within minutes, so you could send out a text in the middle of the night offering a midnight discount on food and most of your customers would avail it.
And the best part about it is that your employees don’t need to work long hours or overtime to ensure that text messages are sent at just the right time.
If you want to send out a text outside of office hours, simply schedule it before you leave!
This comes in handy especially if you have a small business.
Suppose you’re sitting at home and one of your competitors is doing really great so you decide to have an impromptu sale.
Just use your SMS platform phone app to schedule a text message to be sent out at a specific time and make sure the sale goes live an hour later because, within an hour, over 90% of your customers will have read the text.
Moreover, you can schedule important events months in advance e.g. a greeting text to be sent out to all your customers on Christmas, New Year’s, Independence Day and other holidays.
Reminding your customers that your relationship extends beyond the buying process will instill stronger loyalty towards the brand.
Plus, you can schedule custom text messages as well.
It always comes in handy to send out reminder text messages before appointments in case your customers have forgotten about them.
Most of the time, your customers will want to shift timings or confirm appointments before they visit, and a text from the business shows effort on the brand’s part which will incline customers to make repeat purchases.
All in all, scheduling will help to improve accuracy, consistency and ensure professionalism.
There’s a key difference between MMS and SMS: visuals.
With an MMS, you can add a subject line, a multimedia file and a longer text message (usually up to 500 characters).
Your multimedia file can be an image, video, V-card, gift or whatever you want it to be.
MMS will cost you a bit more than text since multimedia files are heavier and take longer to process, but the difference isn’t too much.
The great thing about MMS is that they are much more interactive and engaging. It’s more attractive for consumers to look at pictures rather than plain text.
Plus, you can take advantage of SMS with many of the newest marketing trends, for example, QR codes.
QR codes are being used everywhere – to get discounts, sign in to exclusive memberships, subscribe to newsletters and campaigns, enter at events and so much more.
With MMS, you can add a QR code within a text without having to add a hyperlink that directs customers to the relevant webpage so that customers can directly access it.
On a side note, check out this great website where you can generate your own QR code for free.
I’ve probably said this in all my articles – but a major part of ensuring success is to monitor the performance of your campaign so that you can make adjustments accordingly to ensure a stronger strategy for the future.
The best platforms out there understand this need and provide the right features to help you track your performance:
- Link tracking
Hyperlinks are a very important part of business text messages.
The message itself remains short and relevant while details are included in hyperlinks for those who want to take action or know more information.
However, it is important to know how many visitors actually clicked on your link to measure the effectiveness of your campaign.
So for example, by tracking the number of people who clicked on your link, you can determine the exact number of people who downloaded your app.
With link tracking, you can estimate whether the click-through rate meets your desired results or not. If not, you can make the desired changes to see improvements.
Let’s take the above picture as an example again.
Suppose you offered a 20% discount on the first purchase to consumers who downloaded the app.
This incentive will motivate more customers to click on the link and download the app; thus, improving click-through rate and ultimately, revenues.
- Graphed reports
Just like scheduling, graphed reports save you time and paint a clearer picture:
Link tracking, open and read rates, delivery rates, and other characteristics can be measured easily with the use of graphs.
Suppose your open rate is low in a specific geographical region and a graphed report allows you to see exactly which region it is.
This will help you to concentrate your target audience to places where your campaign is most effective; thus, saving you time and resources.
Conclusion Features Of Texting
These features of texting are crucial to ensure an effective SMS Campaign that promotes your brand and creates customer relationships.
Make sure to sign up with the right platform and incorporate all the features that your customers require to ensure seamless and smooth interaction.
Text messaging is an instant, direct, personal form of communication, which arrives right on people’s mobile devices, and that can provide valuable information or promotions in a short, digestable form for easy consumption by customers.
Text messages have some great marketing statistics, including that over 97% of Americans send or receive at least one text a week, 40% or more who receive a text are likely to convert, and only 16% of businesses worldwide are currently taking advantage of this marketing channel.
Sending a text from an online platform like Express Text is almost identical to sending a text on a smartphone or mobile device, the only difference being that the message originates on computer software, and you can upload lists of up to thousands of customers to text at once.
Anyone can get started sending bulk text marketing messages today. Just sign up for a free trial account with Express Text, upload your customers’ phone numbers, create a keyword and your first message, and get texting!