Want to know the most effective form of marketing? It’s
There’s social media, emails, online paid ads, Google and so much more. These digital forms of marketing have made conventional methods of marketing completely outdated. But what makes text messaging better than all of these? There are a number of reasons but the first is speed. Text messages are received instantly. No other channel can match this speed and for one sole purpose only: they require an active internet connection. While we live in a world where there is internet everywhere – we all dread the low battery that forces us to switch our phones to low power modes and turn off any extra battery usage (Tip: mobile data causes huge battery drainage!) Anyway, no matter which mode your phone is in, you will always be able to receive calls and texts. And since customers are not always available and willing to listen to promotional phone calls, text messaging is the best way to go! Whether they are in a meeting or sitting at home, they will receive and read texts instantly. Did you know that people check their phones on an average of 85 times a day? What can I say, this generation is addicted to their phones! If you have a business, take advantage of this and get yourself registered with an SMS platform.
If you’re not familiar with mass messaging, you might be wondering what an SMS platform is. When it comes to business marketing, it’s not as simple as directly contacting your customers through your phone. In fact, especially when you have a large clientele, it is not possible to message each customer individually. That’s where mass messages and SMS platforms come into the picture. An SMS platform or gateway allows messages to be sent and received through a computer. It makes life easier because it provides businesses with access to features such as two-way communication, shortcodes and mobile keywords for campaigns, short links and much more. If you’re looking for an SMS platform in the US, you have a number of options – ExpressText, EZ Texting, SlickText and a variety of others. However, ExpressText clearly makes the cut for being one of the best platforms because (well, for a number of reasons) but mostly because it offers great quality service the most affordable prices. At the end of the day, it is the cost that you’re trying to minimize at the best possible service, right?
In this fast-moving world full of complex technology, some of us just crave simplicity. There’s no ins and outs to learning how to text. You simply type in your message and hit send. Unlike social media or email, there are no complicated features in SMS. It’s simple, direct conversation with the other person. This makes life easier especially for people above the age of 40 who are not so well versed with technology or millennials who are on an internet cleanse (which is becoming quite common given the addiction to social media). Again, SMS is one platform where you can reach anybody anywhere and be sure (well, 98% sure) that they will receive the message.
Since people are likely to read text messages almost immediately, high security, sensitive information can be communicated via text. Suppose there is a security breach in a person’s bank account and they are at an important work event where they cannot receive calls. How does the bank communicate the urgency of the situation? They text their customers! If the person reads a text message, he/she will be able to take action immediately. Moreover, text messaging is also secure because it is integrated with digital payments which can be confirmed instantly via text. I for sure feel at ease if I send a large sum of money from my account once I receive a text confirming the payment amount and the receiver’s information.
It puts customers’ minds at ease
Not only does good security put a customer’s mind at ease, but also frequent interaction with a customer during the process of purchase and delivery. This is highly important for those who have online businesses, so if you own or manage one, take note. You need to give your customers frequent updates (you could do that via various channels but texting is the fastest and cheapest). This interaction with a business is sure to put their minds at ease. Suppose a customer orders a very expensive suit online and makes the payment via his/her credit card. If the company makes no contact after the purchase, after a while the customer is likely to feel antsy. They’re probably thinking, did this website scam me? Or did they make a mistake in the payment? Instead of letting your customers go through this stress and worry, you should update them at every step of the process (from making the purchase to receiving it). This way, they are a lot more likely to appreciate you. Here are the 4 times when a text should be sent:
Before, putting in so much effort and time with customers was a luxury that only a few businesses could afford. However, technology and mass messaging have made it possible to interact with hundreds and even thousands of customers at the same time.
It creates value
Why don’t other channels create the same value that SMS does? Mostly because they are not as direct or intimate as SMS. Social media is a rich platform but it does not provide completely personalized interaction. Emails, on the other hand, could sit unread for days, so that is not the right platform to choose for speedy and personalized communication either. SMS, however, is one of the only pre-installed application in every phone (whether smartphone or not). It’s available to billions of users worldwide and that rate cannot be reached by any other digital platform because all of them except SMS require a smartphone to function. Anyhow, let’s move on to how mass texting can create value. Customer representatives can be employed around the clock to cater to customer needs at any hour. Whether it is general queries about the business, complaints about service or any such reason, dealing with customers and resolving their problems will earn the brand a good reputation. Listening to the customers will make them feel valued. Another way to create value is to address each customer by his/her name. ExpressText is one such platform that can customize each text to the customer’s name automatically. Moreover, offering loyal customers special discounts will also make them feel valued. You could send out a text saying ‘Dear Ms. Amber, to thank you for using our services since the last 5 years you may redeem any service at 50% for the entire month’. This text can be sent out on a mass scale to all the loyal customers of the business.
(Pro tip: Create a separate group on an ExpressText for your loyal customers so that you do not have to manually select names each time you send a text)
Also, last but not least, get highly personal with your clients. Wish them on their birthdays, send the greetings on Christmas and stay involved with them. Don’t be too personal though, make sure you text them only during working hours and maintain a professional, business-like tone in your texts. Also, make sure you use only the information that the customers themselves have given you or they may feel too invaded. A balance between professionalism and intimacy is optimal.
It improves your business
Creating value, adding security, frequently interacting with customers – all of this improves your reputation and customer loyalty. However, feedback is probably the key component in improving the sales of a business – especially if the company is not doing well. Suppose a fast food chain has lost 40% of its clientele over the last few months. That’s quite worrisome, but the company has no idea why. How do they recognize the problem? They ask their customers! The restaurant can text all the customers that have purchased food previously or do so currently and ask them what they think of the restaurant. This can include taste, quality of food, quality of services, hygiene and other elements essential for a food business. Suppose the majority of answers respond with a negative review of taste. The business further inspects into the matter and finds out that ever since they changed their meat supplier, their clientele significantly went down. This was accompanied by a few minor complaints about poor service and hygiene. What the business can do to rectify the situation is to hire a meat supplier with exceptional taste. Samples of the new menu can be sent to the very customers who sent in complaints and if the business receives satisfactory results, they can offer discounts to win their clientele back. Smaller issues like hygiene and service can also be fixed. The whole point is, mass text plays a major role in collecting feedback from customers which could otherwise have been very costly and time-consuming. SMS is fast and can help point the business in the right direction to improve sales.
While there is no downside to SMS, (unbelievable but true) every channel comes with its challenges. Perhaps the hardest part of mass texting is getting customers to opt-in. Only customers who are really interested in the brand are willing to make the effort, so companies have to invest a lot of time in other customers to convince them to opt in. This process cannot be eliminated either because companies are not legally allowed to message customers without their consent. However, the upside is that if customers are asked for permission beforehand, they are likely to value the business more. Moreover, texts need to be unique, refreshing and exciting otherwise people will stop reading them. This is a challenge that only the best of marketers can deal with tactfully to prove the best SMS advertising.
Overall, mass messages bring about a number of advantages with little downsides. If you need to improve sales or cut down on costs, mass texting is the way to go!