You can check any online source and they’ll all tell you the same thing – SMS Messaging for business simply works.
It’s not only a great marketing tool for you to market your brand to customers but also to interact with employees and other stakeholders.
But what makes it so great?
- Speed: 90% of text messages are read within the first 3 minutes
- Convenience: Not everyone has access to a smartphone, but 5 billion people in the world can send and receive texts
- Personalisation: 48.7 billion consumers choose to receive business text messages
These are only 3 among many other benefits of SMS messaging for business, and all statistics point towards the fact that text messaging is the preferred form of communication for consumers – which makes it essential for any business’s marketing strategy.
SMS Messaging for Business
#1. Creating brand awareness
Creating product or brand awareness requires a huge investment because, at the introduction stage, you need aggressive advertising on multiple platforms to ensure that people get to know your brand.
Well established companies can get really creative when they want to get consumer attention.
In my childhood, I’ve seen huge banners in the sky behind planes for an icecream brand.
But that’s exactly the problem.
Brands throw so much money into advertising that they become bankrupt and fail within the first 5 years.
Text messaging is the perfect solution for this: it’s great for small businesses that don’t have the resources to get creative and it’s a great way for larger businesses to save money that can be better utilised in other departments like R&D.
You can send out thousands of text messages in under $150! And for every dollar that you spend on text message marketing, you’ll receive a $30 return on average.
It’s best to keep your text messages short and to the point to ensure that readers remain engaged.
There’s just one thing to remember.
Text messaging is a permission-based marketing channel so you’ll have to ask customers to opt into your campaign before sending them any promotional offers.
Here’s what your first conversation should look like:
Worried about the technical details on the side?
That’s what SMS platforms are for.
All you have to do is sign up with a platform of your choice, upload your contact list, choose a payment plan and you’re good to go.
Your platform will provide you with the keywords that customers use to opt-in to your campaign, a registered number for your business and an entire database that records all details about your subscribers.
#2. Discount offers
This is by far the most commonly used feature of business text messaging.
75% of millennials prefer text message communication for deliveries, promotions and surveys (and that’s basically everything) which makes SMS the perfect medium to promote discount offers.
I specifically chose this text because it has all the important elements that a promotional text should contain:
- Catchy heading
Most of your recipients are going to decide whether your text is interesting enough or not based on the notification preview.
That means that the first line of your text should be captivating enough for the reader to know more.
In this example, the word VIP sounds exclusive which intrigues consumers to know more.
- Complete information
Usually, hyperlinks are a great addition to business text messages so that users can view details and avail offers.
The idea is to keep texts as short as possible and hyperlinks aid in doing that, but Tommy has efficiently provided all the relevant information for customers to avail the offer without being redirected to another page.
Note that grammar and full sentences aren’t a requirement in text messages because the platform is so personal and direct, and if used right, it can make texts a lot more engaging:
- Sense of urgency
This is something most businesses don’t realise, but adding an end date creates a sense of urgency because customers know that they need to avail the offer before a certain time period.
- Follows legal guidelines
In the US and most other countries, the law states that businesses cannot send promotional messages to consumers without their consent.
Along with this, businesses are required to clearly state instructions on how consumers can opt-out (since it is a permission-based platform) and Tommy is clearly doing that by adding instructions at the end of the text.
It’s best if you add opt-out instructions at the end of each text that you send to your consumers which ensures that they voluntarily remain subscribed to the SMS campaign.
#3. Integration with other apps
This is one of the biggest reasons why business text messaging hasn’t died down and survived up till now.
Why? Because there are a lot of social media platforms that are effective for marketing or brand awareness, but nothing beats the speed of SMS which makes it essential for integration with other apps:
- Tracking orders
Email and SMS messages for business are the two most common ways to reach customers about online orders.
Plus, SMS acts as a double confirmation when you make a purchase online so that you know the payment went through without any issues.
Courier companies also allow you to track orders.
Usually, you text your order to the company’s dedicated shortcode and they’ll give you an update on the current status of your order.
Plus, if you order food, your rider can text you in advance to let you know that your order will arrive soon so that you can keep the payment ready and receive it as soon as it arrives; thus, saving time.
I know I would love to see more companies doing this because I’m always running around last minute looking for cash when the delivery person arrives, and I’m not alone because 64% of consumers believe that businesses should contact them via text more often:
- Wallet apps
Financial transactions are the most sensitive type of information obviously because of their monetary value, so a confirmation for them is vital.
Despite safety checks in place, bank theft continues to be an ongoing problem globally as digital transactions make financial information more vulnerable.
If you sign up for text notifications with your bank or financial institution, they’ll update you every time a transaction is made from your account.
This way, you’ll be notified immediately of any unusual activity on your account that you have not made; thus, being able to protect your financial belongings quicker and reducing the likelihood of online hackers getting access to your financial information.
Every time you download an app or turn on double login confirmation for websites, you’ll receive a code via text so that the device can confirm that only the authorised person has access.
It’s a great way to protect information because it’s much harder to hack into someone’s phone instead of an online account.
The security of text message, as opposed to internet-based platforms, is yet another advantage which is why it is used frequently to make confirmations.
Sure, the personalized letterbox invitations are nice for really formal and fancy events, but in most situations, you or your consumers don’t have the time for sending and receiving invites the traditional way.
With text, you could send out invitations at the last minute and still get a good turnout because it’s so fast.
It’s great for casual events like gig nights or night-club parties to create brand awareness and recognition.
Plus, if it’s a formal event you can always ask your consumers to RSVP by replying via text or confirming online (use a hyperlink to direct them to the specified web page).
This will help you estimate the predicted turnout so that you can make arrangements accordingly.
However, what do you do when it’s an exclusive event? Use MMS to send your invitees a QR code that they can scan and enter the event:
I personally love this as a consumer because I don’t have to fret over where I put my ticket and going home each time when I realize I’ve forgotten it at home, or worse, lost it!
SMS Messaging for Business Employees
#1. Emergency alerts
Emergency alerts are a great feature of SMS messaging for business and they’re great for organizations who want to get the word out in immediately in a time-sensitive situation:
So, for example, there is a possibility of unknown intrusion within a university campus.
As part of the security protocol, the school administration sends out a mass text to its entire staff to take the necessary measures to remain safe.
This is the fastest way to get the word out on such a large scale because most of your recipients will read a text in under 90 seconds.
The open rate of email is only 20% and calls cannot be made in bulk so it would be too time-consuming to contact each individual on such short notice – making text message the best possible solution.
I’ll be honest – there are a lot of online platforms out there that are great for teamwork and integration (such as Slack or Trello) but if you’re looking for an informal communication channel, I’d say go for SMS.
I recently started using Slack to communicate with my own team members and it has great features but it’s been a month and I still haven’t figured out how to un-snooze those notifications!
So again, SMS is a great platform for people like me who are not good with new tech. Plus, it doesn’t require an active internet connection so it’s the fastest way to converse.
Holding an impromptu meeting? Having issues with JIT inventory? Just text your workgroup and get the answers you need!
#3. Notifications and Updates
This is similar to workgroups except it usually works vertically in the line of hierarchy i.e. from higher administration to lower-level employees or vice versa.
I’ll tell you why it’s so crucial; because it reduces the time taken to communicate a new decision to the entire company.
So, for example, you work for a security firm and there’s been an attempted breach into the system last night. Thus, security was tightened just this morning.
A simple text message to all your employees on how to issue security clearance will save time and ensure a hassle-free process so that everyone can easily adjust to the new changes.
Similarly, there are a lot of miscommunications in larger companies, especially multinationals and text is one way to avoid that.
Every time a major decision is taken within the company, instead of speculation and rumors that run around for days until the official information is passed, why not text your subordinates to convey information within seconds?
SMS Messaging for business has a number of features that you can take advantage of, but nevertheless, it’s great for interaction with your employees, customers, and the general public.
If your marketing strategy isn’t working, reassess the need for text message as a marketing channel and use it the right way to ensure high ROI and effectiveness.