Text message marketing is absolutely essential for your marketing strategy. Why?
Check out what text message marketing has done for businesses in just a span of a few months.
It’s not just the amazing returns that SMS has to offer which makes it a good marketing channel.
The fact that it is a highly underutilized channel in such a competitive business world (61% of marketers still haven’t incorporated SMS in their marketing strategy) makes it an opportunity for marketers to break away from all the clutter and target customers through a personalized channel.
In this article, I’ll be focusing on the different ways you can use text messaging as a marketing channel:
#1. Interaction with customers
Because text messaging is so direct and its only use is to send and receive messages, it’s a highly personalized form of communication.
SMS was initially developed for personal communication among individuals until businesses saw the potential of this channel and began using it as a marketing channel.
But I won’t bore you with the history.
Let’s fast forward to the different ways you can use it to interact with customers:
If you want to constantly improve your products and services, marketing tools won’t cut it.
They’ll tell you how well you’re performing so that you can make improvements, but software can’t accurately depict human customer experiences so you’re going to have to ask your customers directly for that:
Asking customers to rate your product/brand is one of the two most common ways to ask customers for feedback, and in my personal experience, this has proved to be the most effective because it requires minimum effort on the customer’s part.
All they have to do is reply with a 1-2 digit number and businesses can always contact unhappy customers later for details.
You can always rectify the bad customer experience by offering them a free product or improved services.
This will save you a lot of negative word of mouth, which is 5x more powerful than positive word of mouth.
Customer are not charged to reply because texting is a part of all major carriers plans but some may hesitate to do so, which brings me to another great option:
You can include a hyperlink in their text message. This way, they can fill out the response form online.
However, this method is less direct and requires more effort on the customer’s part which is why most businesses go for the first method.
However, it’s entirely up to you.
If you require detailed feedback, online forms through hyperlinks are the best way to go.
You can always provide customers with incentives like discounts and free samples in exchange for feedback. This will also motivate them to provide a more honest response.
Customers are always looking for all sorts of information – business timings, holiday schedules, payments, shipping, and whatnot.
Instead of having your customers wait for hours on end to speak to customer representatives on call, it’s best to set up customer support via text message (and upload a complete profile on Google my Business)
This way, if there’s anything your customers can’t find on Google, they can simply drop in a query via SMS and customer representatives can respond as soon as they get a chance:
Plus, it’s even better if you sign up with SMS text platforms that have advanced software that allows you to send automated replies, similar to the concept of chatbots (which are one of the biggest marketing trends of 2020, by the way).
This will speed up your customer support system and ease the burden on employees.
However, personalization is just as important so make sure you incorporate human, employee interaction as well.
This was probably the first use of text messaging when businesses started using it as a marketing channel.
SMS is a great way to send exciting discounts and sales offers to your customers.
It’s fast, it requires no internet access and Americans check their phones 80 times a day so they’re definitely not going to miss your message.
You can always make it more engaging by incorporating MMS to catch the attention of your customers:
Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text.
Yepp, let that sink in.
The biggest upcoming marketing trends for 2020 also show that interactive and engaging content is a hit with customers, so you can take your SMS Campaign up a notch by incorporating MMS.
Plus, you can take advantage of the immediacy of text messages and send out texts at the last minute to ensure that your consumers don’t forget and avail the offer immediately.
Make sure to add an end date for your offer because that creates a sense of urgency.
#2. Valuing loyal customers
Only the consumers who really love your products and services are likely to put in the effort of signing up for your SMS Campaign.
Think about it, why else would someone go through the trouble of subscribing?
Thus, an SMS marketing channel is a great way to identify your most loyal customers and use this to make them feel valued.
❖ Customized texts
Most SMS platforms allow you to personalize each text to the sender’s name:
All you have to do is sit back and send out personalized texts with just one click! But how do platforms customize mass texts?
Either you feed this information to your software i.e. get customers to sign up online and fill out their details which are then saved onto the database.
On the other hand, if customers subscribe by texting the relevant keyword to your business number, you can manually feed the details to your database:
❖ Exclusive offers
Personalized messages are great, but what’s even better is a discount offer especially made for you.
That’s exactly how your loyal customers feel when you tell them that you are offering lower prices just for them:
You can also use discounts as an incentive to get customers to subscribe to your campaign in the first place.
#3. Emergency alerts
This marketing feature is specifically only for businesses that handle sensitive information, for example, banks and other financial institutions.
This category mostly falls in the service sector, but if your business fits this profile nevertheless; your primary motive should be to market your SMS Campaign by providing emergency alerts.
So, for example, there’s been a transaction in your bank/PayPal account through a wallet app.
However, you haven’t made that transaction because you’re off vacationing in a private resort that barely gets any Wi-Fi signals.
Luckily, you’ve subscribed to emergency alerts from your bank and it notifies you right away.
That allows you to seal off your account before you lose any more money. And what do you have to thank for that? Speedy SMS alerts!
Plus, this doesn’t fall into marketing, but emergency alerts are great for communicating with employees as well:
#4. Updates & Notifications
The only difference between updates and emergency alerts is that updates are not as urgent.
However, updates are still as important because they’re great for putting your customers at ease.
My favorite use is order tracking.
Online companies will either text or email you to inform you about order details, for example, once your order has been dispatched and before it is about to reach:
This helps save a lot of time for businesses because it ensures that someone will be there to receive the order when it’s delivered; thus reducing waiting time.
You know how the old saying goes: in business, time is money.
Plus, it provides double confirmation to customers when they place an online order; thus, putting them at ease and increasing loyalty.
#5. Hosting competitions
Need to engage your business customers after a dry sales spell?
Host a competition!
There are a lot of channels which could be effective for this, including social media, but hosting them via text is a great way to expand your SMS Campaign subscriber list:
Gadget Show is effectively marketing its campaign by giving the automatically entering new subscribers to its lucky draw.
With the incentive of winning prizes, interested consumers will subscribe.
However, an important thing to note here is that you need to target the right customers.
If you’re giving our gadgets, you’ll only want to target millennials and adults from all genders who are INTERESTED in tech-savvy products.
Do your research and then target only the most specific, niche group that is likely to be interested in your products. This will save you tons of resources and time as well as yield better results.
Plus, you could always engage your existing subscribers by hosting a competition exclusive to them where they have the chance of winning free or discounted products and services – especially in off-seasons.
#6. Reservations & Appointments
I hate it when I’m trying to reach a clinic and their phone line is constantly busy up until the time I completely forget that I had to book an appointment.
It’s a nuisance, really.
Plus, I’m pretty sure all millennials prefer texting over human interaction (probably also why self serve counters are also becoming a hit everywhere).
Text message marketing solves all these problems.
Customers can simply drop in a text about their preferred appointment time and representatives can get back to them on doctor availability.
And this doesn’t just go for clinics. It’s great for tailors, designers, event managers and a lot of other industries out there.
Plus, when it comes to small businesses, business owners can directly interact with customers via text at their convenience and availability; thus, having better control over appointments.
Once your business grows, you can always hire representatives and assistants to manage this job for you.
Conclusion to text message marketing
So text message marketing can be used for a variety of different purposes, each great for most businesses.
Whether you own a small, medium-sized or large business, SMS Marketing is a great source of revenue and a great channel to market your brand.
If you haven’t incorporated text messaging into your marketing strategy, sign up with ExpressText or other SMS platforms (whichever provides the features and pricing best suited to your business needs) so that you can get your SMS Campaign going.
However, if you are using text message marketing but you need to improve your ROI, check out my guide on text messaging for business which talks about how to effectively make use of texting.