Do you know? According to researchers at the Technical University of Denmark, our attention span has become lower than a goldfish! And it’s because of increased technology usage. What does this mean for businesses? Well, that short and sweet business text messaging is one of the only penetrable forces remaining for effective marketing.
Here’s another stat for you marketers out there. Gartner’s report regarding SMS marketing uncovered that the average open rate for SMS and text messages is around 98%! In contrast, emails are only opened 20% of the time!
Similarly, Asurion’s report states that mobile phone users check their phones at least once every 10 minutes! That’s around 96 times a day! This goes to show how important business text messaging can be in reaching the target customer.
- What Is Business Text Messaging?
- Benefits of Business Text Messaging
- Text Messages Vs Live Chat
- How it Affects Your Communication With Customer?
- Other Business Communications Channels
- Managing Your Customer Interactions
- Business Text Messages Apps:
What Is Business Text Messaging?
If you’ve got that one friend who’s always talking about his pick-up game, you must’ve heard him say the phrase ‘sliding into DMs’ one too many times. And to your wonder, you can’t help but notice how well it works for him!
Similarly, think of business text messaging as marketers sliding into your inbox to score your attention (cheesy reference, I know). And it beautifully fulfils the purpose! We see business text messages every now and then in our inbox, don’t we?
From promotional offers to brand awareness to basic communication between customers and the business, these text messages provide businesses with an easy, systematized way of sending short, targeted texts straight into the user’s inbox. Let’s expand on its benefits further.
Benefits of Business Text Messaging
Since the first text message sent in 1992 till today, around 5 billion people globally send and receive SMS. There are nearly 6.4 billion smartphone users worldwide, spending around 3 hours on their phones every day. Reaching out to this huge chunk of global population without being obtrusive is a feat only possible through business text messaging.
The mobile phone usage stats for the year 2021 show that millennials are the biggest users, and that 75% of them think that text is a helpful way to receive appointment, delivery and payment reminders, as well as surveys and promotions.
When we move towards organisation-centred benefits of business text messaging, it provides businesses with the convenience of sending a structured SMS to a large user base worldwide instantly!
Also, to receive and send business text messages, your phone doesn’t require any internet connectivity. Hence, its accessibility seeps into any corner of the world, wherever a user may be. Oh! one more thing, receiving SMS doesn’t require any additional downloads too! It’s a fundamental function of every phone to receive an SMS.
Business text messaging additionally provides various other benefits for organisations, including immediate delivery and results, personalisation, cost-effectiveness, utmost convenience, marketing on a global scale, and trackability for analytics.
Text Messages Vs Live Chat
Businesses also use text messaging to maintain relationships with their customers through customer support. Sure, live chat is another option for providing customer support. But, if you want to ensure a 328% increase in the conversion rate of prospective customers, research says send three or more texts.
Although both types of features support their own qualities, through SMS texts a business can stay in short, discreet contact with the customer, outside of the website. On the other hand, customers can only do live chats on the company’s website. This restricts the communication to one medium that doesn’t prove most effective for customer acquisition.
That’s why using a text messaging service for business is more profitable and allows greater communication between the customer for longer periods. Also, it fits right into the needs of customers in general!
How it Affects Your Communication With Customer?
About 60% of millennials say that texting is an unobtrusive way to be reminded on their own time about whatever a business is communicating. Whereas 55% believe that it’s the most convenient way to be reminded.
Furthermore, 14% say that business text messaging makes them feel valued by the company; 19% say that texts are more personal, and 53% prefer text as their option for general communication. Hence, it is more for the customer’s convenience than for the business itself.
Other Business Communications Channels
Businesses generally use various communication channels to get in touch with their customers. These include emails, phone calls, face-to-face interactions, video conferencing, online social media, and messaging platforms. Each of them has its own plus points, with each of them being used to convey the same message but in different ways.
Whatever means of communication is used by a business to reach out to its customers, business text messaging is seen to have one of the highest conversion rates and favourability in terms of customer satisfaction.
Managing Your Customer Interactions
We reap what we sow. If businesses employ a certain communication channel to interact with more customers, there needs to be a system to manage this large-scale communication effectively. Managing your customer interactions becomes a major part of ensuring successful customer connection.
Luckily, many business text messaging apps support the function of large-scale management of customer communication. With systematised templates and scheduling of messages, these apps can be integrated with various CRM software too!
Business Text Messages Apps:
Now that you know what business text messaging apps can do, it is easier for you to identify which app to use for your business. For that purpose, you can categorise the apps under certain characteristics.
There are plenty of text messaging services for businesses available in the market. Some of the best are Text Magic, Text Request, Text Local, TextMarks, TextUs, ProTexting, EZ Texting, Textline, Zingle, SendHub, FastSMS, Eagle Messaging, Skipio etc.
Each of these apps have their own distinguishing features that make them best in their own niche. To choose the app that is best for your business, you need to be clear of your own requirements. After that, compare your requirements with the following outlined characteristics of the app:
Contact Management Feature
This is all about market segmentation and management. Good business text messaging apps will allow you to create various lists and classifications based on customer information attributes. Additionally, they could also offer custom fields that allow customization of how you can segment contacts.
With the apps that allow contact management features, you can create contact lists, filter out groups from within, gather contact info in unlimited custom fields, import and export contacts from other apps, and auto-update them constantly.
This will help you manage your customer base that is part of your contact group. You can easily segment the groups according to the market and target your marketing to specific groups for maximum effect.
Messages Automation and Scheduling
For bigger reach, you might need to send scheduled business messages to a large contact base. For this purpose, you will require apps that offer message automation and scheduling features. These apps allow you to craft automated text messages for campaigns to be sent on a set date and time interval.
This allows the business to reach out to its customers regarding the running campaign and greatly lessen the hassle of spreading structured, scheduled messages to everyone, hence increasing productivity. There are many other apps that can enhance your productivity at work and allow you to manage businesses more easily. But these business text messaging apps are the easiest solution to inefficiency in your marketing.
These apps further offer keyword-based autoresponders. These responses are generated by the app and sent to anyone who uses a specified keyword. This helps narrow down response time and content straight to the targeted customer.
Text Messages Templates and Features
If you’re the type of person who likes to do everything themselves, there are various professional text messaging guides and templates available online. But if it’s becoming too much work for you, let the business text messaging app do your work!
These apps have countless professional, formal and business templates that can be easily customised to your heart’s content. This omits the hassle of writing down targeted messages for each customer and introduces speed in communication.
Furthermore, some apps also offer the option of sharing other forms of media over messages, like text images and videos. This can be particularly helpful in marketing your business more attractively.
Tracking and Analytics
So, you finalize a message template and send it to your customers. Wouldn’t you like to know how well it worked for your business? Tracking and recording of all the communication across the messaging channel is a great feature of these apps.
This enables the use of that data for analytics, through which you can uncover deeper insights into the impact of your marketing and how these apps influence your outcomes. Be sure to check whether the app you choose has storage, tracking and recording of data capabilities.
You would be able to analyse the text message delivery rate and link clicks. This gives you a good picture of how your customers react to your message. It finally helps you in calculating your ROI and revenue per text message.
Automated opt-in and opt-out TCPA compliance
Did you know? Text messages are also subject to the same regulations and restrictions as telemarketing calls. So, the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act) enacted regulations in 1991 to protect consumers’ privacy and reduce abusive telecommunications.
In light of this, businesses need to have this consent. Lucky for us, some apps do provide automatic handling of opt-in opt-out compliance. Before choosing the right app, do make sure you get this feature if you’re not familiar with the procedures yourself.
This blog cannot be concluded in a better way than in the words of the research director of Gartner, Charles Golvin who says,
“SMS remains an effective, yet underutilized, mobile tactic among marketing leaders.”
With the importance and characteristics of business text messaging highlighted, there isn’t much left to be convinced of the convenience and personalisation that business text messaging provides. Take your time to understand your needs and choose the app that best fits them.
So, ending on this note, marketers need to ask themselves,
“More than 6 billion text messages are sent each day! What is my business doing to leverage that trend to its advantage?”