If You Aren’t Using SMS in Your Business, Now’s The Time to Start

Regarding marketing and customer communication, most business owners know about email and social media. But if you do not use SMS, you miss an opportunity to increase your reach.

Why SMS?

Text messaging – or SMS, as it's known before – is ubiquitous in today's society, but do you use it in your own business? If you delay in adopting, simply consider the following :

98% of Americans aged 18 to 29 have a mobile device that can receive a text message. In other words, almost all your audience, no matter how old, uses SMS.
More than half of consumers would prefer to receive an SMS technical assistance (rather than a phone call), while 90% of potential customers say the same thing. SMS is considered less intrusive than the voice and is therefore more likely to produce the desired results.
Although 64% of consumers probably consider a business positively after receiving a text message, only 30% report actually receiving messages from companies from which they buy. This means that the SMS request is there. Customers are simply waiting for brands to catch up and use this powerful media.
The SMS is immediate. There is almost no time between when a message is sent and when it is received. This makes it ideal for sending urgent messages that will not work with direct mail or other media.
Communication with customers can be expensive. With a direct mail item, for example, you have to pay for design, paper, and postage. By cons, SMS are very affordable: they cost only a few cents per message. When you send a message to thousands of customers, it can save you a lot of money.

There was no better way to increase customer engagement than to use SMS to stay above the concerns of your customers.

4 Ways to Use SMS in Business

Not sure where to start with SMS? Here are some ways to seamlessly integrate it into your business to go from the front:

1. Customer Engagement Test

Companies are always looking for ways to determine which customers are fully engaged and which ones are absent. There are many ways to answer this question, but SMS is one of the most effective solutions.

You can easily use SMS to test engagement by sending a simple, short message such as: "Receive 40% off your next order by posting this message when you buy."

With a generous offer like this, you will see who is interested and who has moved on. It's not a foolproof method, but it's a very good indicator. If nothing else, it shows you which customers are convinced by the offers and how effective coupons and promotions can be in future situations.

2. Provide news and updates

Most companies send news and updates via email, but did you know that less than one in four emails is read? In contrast, SMS has an opening rate of 98% . This makes it the ideal way to broadcast important and timely content. You just need to make sure that you use a link shortener. Otherwise, your message could intimidate the recipient.

"A link shortener is simply about turning a long, extended URL into a shorter URL," TextMarks explains . "Using a shorter link can make your message more user-friendly and readable." It can also save valuable space for characters and keep the concise message you want. In addition, link shorteners have no negative impact on SEO, as long as the link works and the conversion is a 301 redirect. "

3. Generation of leads

Did you know that 77% of Internet consumption of the United States comes from mobile devices? If you want to take full advantage of it, you must adopt SMS as a tool to generate additional leads. Something like a "Click-to-Text" button on your website may be enough to create some traction.

4. Provide customer service

Most people are at hand at all times. Whether in a pocket, purse or desk drawer, it's never too far away. This makes SMS the ideal support for providing fast customer service.

SMS can be used to send a tracking number for a package that will be delivered. It is also ideal for informing customers of store closures, delays, pending orders, and other similar issues. From the consumer's point of view, this can allow customers to check the status of their order or to modify an order after their purchase.

5. Offer Coupons

As far as SMS is concerned, the millennium is the best choice. And if we know one thing about millennial consumers, it's that they like to find discounts and offers on the products and services they buy.

SMS is the perfect way to send coupons and offers to customers. With the right platform, you can even send personalized coupons that target customers based on previous buying behavior, current location and demographic information.

6. Launch of Text-to-Win Contest

To succeed with text messaging, you need a large list of SMS subscribers. There are many ways to create your list, but one of the fastest and most effective ways is to run a text-to-win contest.

A winning text contest is extremely simple. You are launching a contest in which people must send an SMS to a specific number and subscribe to your list of subscribers. A handful of people are then randomly selected to win. Prices may include cash, free products, coupons or promotional items.

When launching a text-winning campaign, the most important thing is to advertise and promote it in as many places as possible. You can do this on your website, via social media or even through physical channels such as print ads or in-store displays.

7. Reminders in real time

It is becoming increasingly common for restaurants to use SMS to manage reservations and inform customers that their table is ready. It's much simpler and more cost-effective than using the traditional hardware and software that restaurants have relied on in the past.

From the restaurant point of view, this is also a convenient way to create a list of SMS subscribers. Once a customer has agreed, the restaurant can use the subscriber information to send offers, coupons and updates in the future.

8. Surveys and surveys of customers

Many companies rely on surveys and surveys to keep abreast of market conditions. Unfortunately, traditional polling methods – face-to-face or online – are expensive and time consuming. You must either hire a team of people to go out and ask questions, or you must pay for an expensive placement and promotion online. With SMS, you can avoid both of these options.

SMS is fast and responsive. The average mobile user picks up his phone hundreds of times a day and responds quickly. SMS is also known for its precise answers. Due to anonymity and confidentiality, SMS survey respondents are less likely to have their responses influenced by the person asking the questions.

The use of SMS has another advantage: they are digestible. You can send one question at a time, which prevents the recipient from being overwhelmed. And if a person chooses not to answer the survey, you can still use the comments provided.

9. Additional security

You can never be too safe in today's market. Cybersecurity threats surround us and you do not want your business – or your customers – compromised. One of the best ways to secure your customer accounts is to request (or at least offer the option) a two-factor authentication.

With two-factor authentication, a user needs to know something and have something to be able to connect. Knowledge refers to a standard password. But once the user has entered the password, he is sent a unique PIN code by SMS to a pre-approved mobile device. The user takes this PIN and then uses it to complete the login process. By asking the user to own a specific device, it is much less likely that a hacker will gain illegal access to the account.

Most SMS solutions have some kind of built-in verification system – or at least have the ability to integrate an API for this purpose. If you run an online business or other account-based business, you should definitely consider it.

Start using SMS today

If you are looking for a powerful way to engage your customers do not forget the SMS. It is a versatile point of contact that businesses of all sizes and sectors can use with extremely positive results. Spend some time developing a strategy and trying it out. You will learn what works by trial and error.

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Frank is a freelance journalist who has held various editorial positions for more than 10 years. It covers technology trends with respect to businesses.

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