What is text marketing?

what is text marketing

If you don’t know what is text marketing, you’re missing out on a lot! Text marketing is a newly hyped marketing method which both businesses and customers prefer. SMS is a channel of communication which is personal and direct, with users having access to it simply with one tap. Thus, it’s fast, it’s effective and most of all, it is affordable! 


Why Texting?  

The email has been around for so long. Social media helps enrich communication so much. Text marketing is essential for any business strategy. It has the highest open rates by far as compared to any other medium of communication at 98%! Moreover, texts are read within the first few MINUTES of receiving them. Messages on social media take hours on average to be read, and emails can sit unread for days. Many people may not realize it, but there’s no channel that provides speedy services like text messaging. Thus, marketing through this channel provides an insanely high Return on Investment too. That is why marketing by text is the key to successful businesses.  


Uses case 

Marketing via text isn’t as simple as sending out promotional text messages. It has a variety of uses, including:  

  1. Communication 
    Texting can be used for general communication between businesses and their customers. Any interested customer can use SMS as a platform to inquire about the business e.g. their location, office timings, product and service pricing, product details, etc. If customers have access to a platform where they can gain more knowledge about the particulars of a business, they are more inclined to purchase a product/service.  
  2. Greetings
    It’s always good for a business to stay in touch with their customers, even on a personal level. Suppose a business sends out birthday greetings to its customers every year. That business is likely to have a highly loyal clientele, because who doesn’t want to feel special on their big day! Similarly, businesses can also send out holiday greetings e.g. on Christmas or Independence Day just to remind their clients of their presence. Businesses can also send their loyal clients special discounts and offers on their birthdays – as a token of appreciation for having used their services for a long time.   
  3. Polls  
    Polling is always fun. It takes seconds to create a poll and is highly engaging for customers. Moreover, a poll doesn’t necessarily have to be related to the business; the subject can be anything. Again, the goal is to create a presence of the business within the minds of the customer. Polls can also be used to give free giveaways to customers. For a chance to win, customers simply have to get the answer right and one or more lucky winners are selected to win prizes. Polls can either be sent directly via text or made online. The text itself promotes the free giveaways and hyperlinks within text messages are used to direct customers to the online poll. 
  4. Surveys
    Feedback is very important to a business. If a business is not doing well, how do you figure out what went wrong? Ask your customers! The bottom line is to make maximum profit, and that can be done only if customers are happy. If not a survey, customers can simply be asked whether they are satisfied with the business’s services or not. Asking for less feedback is more effective as customers are willing to make a small amount of effort. The need for surveys arises only when there is a major issue at hand that requires detailed feedback. Negative feedback should be given more importance as positive feedback does not require much action on the business’s part.  
  5. Appointments 
    It is an absolute nightmare to get an appointment booked with a busy business. That automated voice constantly telling you to wait on hold every time you call. Text messaging is a blessing that has freed us of this hassle. The process is as simple as texting in a convenient time or conversing with a customer representative via text to book an available slot. The ease of use here is that an individual simply has to wait for a text back instead of waiting on hold. This freed up time can be better used elsewhere. Customers can also book appointments online on businesses’ official website through automated systems. Text message marketing is then integrated with this by sending out confirmations to customers once an appointment has been booked. It can also be used to send out cancellations e.g. if a doctor at a clinic is unavailable at the last minute, texts can be sent out informing customers of the inconvenience and to schedule another appointment. 
  6. Reminders 
    SMS made it easier for us to book appointments. But what about remembering them? If customers book appointments a week or earlier, it is likely that they will forget about it by the time it comes. (Full disclosure: I myself forget most of my appointments unless I book them at the last minute!) Many businesses also schedule appointments months in advance to ensure an available slot for the customer. In these cases, it is important to send out text reminders. These can help save time as well as effort. If a customer misses an appointment because he/she forgot, that time slot goes to waste. However, if a customer is given a reminder, they will either show up or have enough time to cancel the appointment so that businesses can utilize that time slot elsewhere.  
  7. Payments
    Millennials are more comfortable with digital payments, unlike the older generation which is used to the conventional methods of payment. Most people under the age of 30 use wallet apps frequently and conduct transactions through their bank account via mobile applications. While SMS cannot directly be used to make payments, it can be integrated with wallet apps to give payment details and confirmation of payment. The extra step of affirming the payment acts as a double check which puts the customer at ease. Texting is fast so customers are notified of any change in bank balance and transactions immediately. That’s faster than any other channel out there!   

Pros

  1. Intimacy 
    Like I mentioned above, creating a personal relationship with customers is just as important as a business relationship. Text message marketing aids a business in creating this intimate relationship as it is a personal and direct platform. Emails are more formal and used for work purposes only. However, text messages are used by customers to interact with one another as well. Small businesses can take advantage of this by communicating with customers directly via text. This way, a customer’s individual demands and needs can be met; thus, not only improving customer loyalty and retention but also gaining positive reviews online.  
  2. Exclusivity  
    The biggest challenge until now was creating exclusivity when targeting the mass market. You can’t make a TV commercial exclusive, neither can you make a billboard commercial exclusive. But texting has changed the game completely. You can target a large number of people and yet be exclusive. But how so? SMS Platforms like ExpressText offer their users a feature which allows them to address each text with the recipient’s name. That’s the first step in creating exclusivity. The second step is to make the customer feel like the promotion being offered is exclusive – even if it isn’t! This is a simple trick that marketers use. They phrase messages in such a way that customers believe the offer is limited on time and is one that has never been offered before. An example of this would be, ‘Save up to 50% on ALL STOCK’. The highlighted words here are 50% and all stock, so many customers tend to believe that the sale is huge and all items are available at half price, even if that is not the case. Thus, the marketer has succeeded in creating the illusion of exclusivity.  
  3. Speed 
    This is the biggest advantage that texting has over other marketing channels. It adds to more security, improved customer turnout and a number of other advantages. Text messages are sent out within seconds because they do not require an active internet connection (unlike all other digital marketing channels). Thus, marketers can take advantage of the immediacy of texting and use it to communicate with customers in a time-sensitive situation. Texting also allows for spontaneity as discounts and promotions can be communicated to customers instantly.  
  4. Budget-friendly  
    As if all the other advantages of texting were not enough, this communication channel is highly affordable. All types of businesses can afford it – from startups to big corporations. ExpressText is one of the most budget-friendly SMS platforms in the US. It offers a number of packages based upon the user’s clientele. Bigger companies can opt for the packages with a higher number of text messages and keywords whereas smaller companies can opt for the basic/starter packages. ExpressText also offers a Pay as you go option which is best suited for those who do not require the platform’s services regularly.
  5.  Permission-based  
    Believe it or not, this is an advantage. If customers willingly subscribe to a campaign, it means they are definitely interested in the offers sent to them. What a business needs to do is make the most of this and send out offers that are so tempting, customers are unable to resist them! The goal is to send them relevant and effective messages so that they remain interested and do not unsubscribe. Moreover, asking for a customer’s consent can make them feel valued about their opinion which in turn leads them to trust a business more.  
  6. To the point 
    This advantage cannot be emphasized upon enough. Text message marketing is a platform where messages are short and to the point, yet give complete and detailed information! How is this? Through the use of advanced features. ExpressText allows its users to insert hyperlinks within text messages. The body of the text message can contain only the introduction of the idea. In fact, an effective text message is one that drives curiosity within customers so that they WANT to open the hyperlink for further details. It is the impression of the text message which will make users want to read it. If it is short and concise, they will be more willing to read it. The hyperlink within the text can be used to direct them anywhere – Google maps for the business’s location, the company’s website, its official Facebook or Instagram page, or even an event page for a specific upcoming event.  

Conclusion

All in all, text marketing offers a good amount of advantages with little to no downsides. Moreover, its a platform that customers themselves prefer. People are addicted to their phones, literally, so there’s no place better to interact with them. Businesses should take advantage of this, especially those that are struggling to survive in the industry. Small business owners have reported an increase in 98% sales within a short span of time! Set up an account on ExpressText today to maximise your earnings.  

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