What are some of the sounds that always get your attention? If you’re like most people these days, one sound that you probably won’t ignore is the sound of a text message notification. And with almost 4 billion texts being sent around the world every day, there are a whole lot of people checking their phones when they hear that sound! So what does all this have to do with your business? Well, there are ways you can use the popularity of text messaging to your advantage, and grow your business with the power of SMS.
What Makes Text Messaging So Powerful?
Before we get into how to use text messaging to grow your business, let’s take a look at exactly why text messaging can be such a powerful tool for your business. The numbers surrounding text messaging are pretty astounding, and might make you wonder why you haven’t tapped into this area of communication and marketing before. Just check this out:
- 81% of the US population (or over 250 million people) use text messaging.
- Incredibly, according to a study by Singlepoint, texts have a 99% open rate (as opposed to emails, which have an open rate of anywhere from only 10-30%). And Forbes reported that 95% of texts are read within three minutes.
- A study by Velocify reports that 45% of text messages receive a response, compared to 6% of emails.
- Only 17% of cell phone users say that getting texts from businesses they frequent is obtrusive.
- A Pew study found that 33% of American adults prefer texts to all other forms of communication, regardless of who is sending that text or what the message is about.
- Consumers actually prefer certain business interactions to be handled by text, such as checking order status (38%), scheduling or changing an appointment (32%), or confirming reservations (31%).
So it’s clear that people (otherwise known as your customers!) are definitely on board with text messaging coming from businesses. In fact, to add to the stats above, 78% of consumers polled wished they could text a business, but most businesses don’t have this option available. According to Twilio, only 48% of businesses are equipped to handle messaging. What does that mean for you? Adopting text messaging could mean a giant leg up on your competition. Not only because you’ll be doing something that other businesses aren’t, but also because you’ll be reaching customers far more quickly than your competition. And remember, studies show that shoppers tend to choose the company that they can get in touch with first! Just look at these stats proving how fast text messaging is:
- Sending and receiving a text is 10 times faster than placing a voice call.
- It takes less than five seconds to read most text messages.
- You can receive a response incredibly quickly, within 90 seconds on average. Email, on the other hand, takes 90 minutes on average.
These are all some pretty compelling statistics, so you might now be wondering how to harness the power of texting for your business. Let’s take a look at some strategies for using SMS to grow your business.
Text Messaging Marketing Strategies
Using text messaging internally at your business can be a great way of communicating with your team, saving you time and keeping everything running smoothly and efficiently, but it’s time to also start thinking about how to use text messaging to attract customers and keep them satisfied. Try the following easy and cost-effective texting tactics:
1. Texts for Customer Service Support
There are so many great things about text messaging, not least of which is that it is a form of two-way communication. That means you can set your business up to receive inquiries from customers, and then answer them at lightning speed. You can also allow customers to make and confirm appointments with you, so they never need to take extra time out of their busy schedules to call you and wait on hold, meaning you’ll both free up more of your time!
2. MMS Text Promotions
Who says you have to stick to simple SMS messages that only include a short sentence? That’s great for answering questions quickly and succinctly, but if you want to get people to sit up and take notice of a promotion you’re running, try using MMS, or Multimedia Messaging Service. Using this type of texting will allow you to include photos, coupons, videos, and other engaging content, so you’re even more likely to get customers to click.
3. Text-to-Win Sweepstakes
Want to get more subscribers? Try offering a text-to-win sweepstakes with a tempting prize! Advertise your giveaway, asking customers to text a specific word to your number; they’ll be excited to sign up, and you’ll gain a whole bunch of new text subscribers.
4. Automated Text Campaigns
Do you like the ease of sending out automated emails and using drip email campaigns? You can do the same thing with text messaging, with a much higher click-through rate. As with email campaigns, you can set up text messages to go out at set times, like after they subscribe, after they make a purchase, or when you’re having a promotion. In all of these cases, you can also send out a personalized coupon code to keep them coming back for more.
5. Texts to Give Peace of Mind
No business wants to run the risk of data breaches, and all customers want to know that their information is protected. You can give your customers peace of mind (and add an extra layer of security to protect your business) by asking for customers’ phone numbers to send them a verification code via text to confirm a purchase. Everyone wins security-wise, and you’ll also be able to add more customers’ phone numbers to your list.
6. Texts to Get People in the Door
Businesses can use what’s known as “geofencing,” or a service that sends texts to customers based on their location. That means you’ll be able to send notices and coupons to your subscribers when they are close to your business, which means they’ll be more likely to stop in!
7. Texts to Get More Info
You don’t have to limit your text messaging to just promotions and ways to get customers into your business – you can also use them to better understand your customers. Send out text messages with quick and easy surveys and polls, and you’ll be much more likely to get a response, and get some valuable info to improve your business.
Rules to Remember
There are so many ways to use text messaging, and the numbers prove that it’s pretty likely that using SMS and MMS will be beneficial to your business. But there are a few things to remember that can help ensure the success of your texting campaign:
- Always get each customer’s permission before you start sending business texts to them
- Try to personalize your texts when you can – studies have shown that personalized messages are 202% more likely to convert
- Respond to text messages from customers as quickly as possible, within an hour if possible – 82% of customers expect an immediate response to texts, after all!
- Remember to speak your customers’ language, and avoid too much slang or too much jargon
- Be consistent with your communication, but don’t bombard customers: for promotional texts, 3 a month is a good starting target
There are so many types of technology that can help level the playing field for small businesses these days, and text messaging can be a very powerful tool in your belt. This convenient, immediate, and cheap way of connecting with your customers can open up some seriously beneficial channels for engaging with your customers, and reaching them right where they already are: on their phones! The convenience, service, and enticing promotions that you’ll be able to offer will create a memorable experience for them, and grow your business so you can reach your goals!