It won’t be an overstatement if I say that text messaging is the most powerful communication channel for businesses.
But obviously, you won’t believe that until you see some solid statistics to back up the claim. Here are some interesting facts.
Text messages have an average open rate of 98% while email, the runner up, has only 20%.
Text messages are read within 3 minutes of being received. That means people don’t only read text messages; they also do it quickly as soon as they receive them.
Plus, results from different studies tell us that people actually want and prefer businesses to communicate with them through text messages.
In fact, one such study from Flowroute found that 47% of consumers will actually react negatively if businesses don’t offer SMS as a way to communicate with them.
This gives us important insights on how to invest in our customers in the best possible way.
The key is to use the communication channel they prefer the most: text messaging!
But like all other marketing channels, there is a problem with text messaging as well. If you don’t do it right, it can be seen as invasive, spammy, and pushy.
So how do you do it right, that’s the big question.
First, make sure the people you are sending messages to have actually opted for your messages. Don’t try to spam people with promotional and sales messages – it will only ruin your brand’s impression.
Second, make sure whatever you send to your customers and prospects have got value. It shouldn’t be some junk stuff your customer probably wished they didn’t read.
The key is to provide value to them so that whenever they receive a message from your brand, they’ll be eager to know what you have to say.
Keeping these basic tips in mind, here are some clever and smart ways you can use text messaging to grow your business.
1. Send Updates About Promotions and Sales
The worst thing you experience in shopping is when you need something from your favourite brand and find out their sales and special promotions have only ended the day before. You detest that feeling of regret.
With text messages, you can keep your loyal customers by giving them a simple message about the sales and offers you have.
2. Improve Your Customer Service
Who wants to wait forever trying to reach a customer service representative on the phone? As a consumer, I sometimes rather give up on the idea of complaining about a bad experience or seeking out support for something just because of the fear of ‘phone torture’.
With SMS apps like Twilio Plus, which integrates with Freshdesk, help desk system by Freshworks, you can offer the most convenient way for customers to get support: text messages!
3. Send Valuable Tips and Advice
Remember what I said in the beginning – provide value to your customers. While the rest of the things will provide value as well, one creative way is to send them personalized tips and advice related to the product or service you offer.
For example, if you have a skincare brand, you might send tips to take care of the skin in the winter season. A veterinary clinic might send tips and advice to take care of the pet you have.
Try to personalize the content you send by asking questions from the customer about their interests and their preferences. For example, the veterinary clinic should send advice about the kind of pet you have. There is no use receiving messages about caring for a dog when you actually own a rooster.
Depending on the type of business you have, you can also send inspirational and motivational messages to your customers.
4. Send Appointment Reminders
What’s worse than getting a phone call from the dentist asking you to confirm your appointment, which is just 1 hour away? But obviously, you forgot, and now you are stuck in traffic, not able to reach in time.
While that’s a bad scenario for the client who will have to reschedule his appointment, it’s bad for the business as well as a no-show appointment can affect revenue.
With SMS reminders, you can remind your clients well ahead of time and keep no-shows and cancellations to a minimum.
5. Ask For Feedback
Customers are often not very expressive when giving feedback. Most of the time, they just don’t want to be bothered with those feedback calls.
I remember snapping at a customer service rep who accidentally called me twice to ask how the food was after we had a delivery from their restaurant a day back.
SMS is a convenient way to get feedback from customers without annoying them. Simple messages with a one-word answer really work in getting their feedback.
6. Birthday and Anniversary Messages
Everyone wants to feel special on these days. By sending them birthday and anniversary wishes coupled with a discount offer, we can show our customers that their relationship matters to us.
7. Payment and Billing Reminders
Everyone wants to be paid on time. Payment reminders are very convenient for customers as they know how much is due and when. Instead of keeping track of bills, they have all the information in the asset they treasure the most: their phone!
8. Run Contests
Contests are an exciting and interesting way to engage customers and keep them loyal to you. Have your customers enter contests and sweepstakes by sending a message to your business.
9. Order Confirmations and Delivery Updates
Another way to use SMS is to send order confirmations and delivery updates to customers. Believe me; there are very few things worse than placing an order somewhere and not getting any updates later on. Did the business even receive your order? Is the product available? Are they going to deliver it?
As a consumer, you have faced this dilemma a lot of times. And so, as a business, you can save your customers from this dilemma by giving them SMS notifications about their order.