By the end of 2023, an estimated 6.8 billion people will own a smartphone. This widespread use of smartphones combined with a 98% text message open rate make text marketing a powerful tool for businesses.
But what exactly is text message marketing and what impact can it have on your business?
What is text message marketing?
Text message marketing is a marketing strategy where promotional and informational messages are sent to customers or leads via SMS (short message service). These messages often contain information about new products or services, promotions, and exclusive deals.
There are two different types of text marketing you should be aware of: one-way and two-way.
One-way text marketing means a business sends texts to its customers and customers aren’t able or expected to respond back. A business uses one-way texting to push out information only. You’ve likely gotten one-way text messages from a business’ 5- or 6-digit short code number before.
Two-way text marketing allows customers to respond and engage with the business, enabling more personalized interactions.
While one-way text marketing works great for broadcasting information, two-way text marketing offers greater opportunities for building customer relationships and gathering feedback. Both one-way and two-way text marketing benefit businesses at times, but you ideally want to choose two-way texting so your customers or leads can actually respond and interact with you.
Before you start sending any messages though, recipients must opt in to receive text messages from you. To stay compliant with federal rules and regulations like the TCPA, never send messages to anyone unless they give you permission. To simplify the opt-in process, gain consent to text customers through web forms, when a customer makes a purchase, or through texting in a keyword.
You also must honor all opt-outs immediately. From time to time, include opt-out instructions, such as “Reply STOP to unsubscribe at any time,” in your messages. Always make the opt-out instructions clear, reasonable, and easily accessible on your website or in your app.
Five ways text message marketing positively impacts the way you do business
1. Reach your customers anytime, anywhere
One of the biggest advantages of text message marketing? Reach your customers anytime, anywhere. Most people keep their mobile phones with them at all times. You easily communicate with them and keep them informed about the products and services they care about.
This is particularly beneficial for businesses that communicate time-sensitive or urgent information. For example, restaurant managers send texts promoting a limited-time offer on lunch specials, which helps attract customers during slower times of the day. Similarly, someone who owns an ecommerce store sends a text alert to notify customers about a flash sale or a limited-time discount.
Although you can reach customers anytime and place, still respect their time. Stick to sending messages during normal business hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m Unless you establish with customers that it’s okay to text them at other times, be mindful of interrupting their routines.
2. Increase customer engagement
As mentioned earlier, text messages have a 98% open rate. Customers are more likely to read your text than an email or social media post. They’re definitely going to read a text over answering a phone call.
Text message marketing increases your engagement with your customers because not only do people read texts, but texts also make it convenient for people to reply.
Use conversational language in your messaging to encourage customers to respond and engage with your business in real time. Ask open-ended questions, get to know their needs and likes, and build a genuine relationship. Make it clear they can and should respond and that you’ll reply back.
For example, send a text message survey to gather feedback from customers or a text message poll to gauge customer preferences. Continue the conversation based on their answers. Simply asking an open-ended question prompts customers to engage.
3. Build stronger customer relationships
Unlike generic email marketing that a lot of businesses do, text messages should always be highly targeted and customized to each individual recipient. Personalized messaging helps you build authentic relationships with customers and then you get rewarded with higher engagement rates (including replies and click-throughs) and ultimately higher conversions. That could be more appointments booked, more referrals, more reviews, or more sales.
Send messages based on customer data like past purchase history, preferences, feedback, etc., to help create a more personalized experience. Provide relevant information in every message to establish trust and loyalty. Because the best text marketing allows for two-way communication, customers easily provide feedback, ask questions, or request additional information.
People want to buy from people, not businesses. With the relationships that you build through texting you show that you care about your customers. It boosts retention and opens the door for more selling opportunities later on.
4. Streamline customer service
Text marketing streamlines customer service by providing a convenient and easy way for customers to get in touch with your business. As long as you make it clear that customers can and should text you, that is.
Publish your texting number on your site for customers to ask questions or report issues. This reduces the number of phone calls and emails your business receives, freeing up time and resources for other tasks.
Even better, add a “text us” widget on your site to further encourage customers to text you. Skipio’s Web2Txt goes on any page of your site and gives people a way to text you directly. You reply and the messages go right to the person’s phone.
To make customer experiences more convenient, automate certain customer service messages like appointment reminders, confirmations, and responses to frequently asked questions. For instance, if you do any sort of consultations or appointments, automate text reminders about upcoming appointments to reduce no-shows and improve the overall customer experience.
5. Track and analyze additional customer data
Text messages give you valuable insights into customer behavior, preferences, and demographics. Analyze messaging data like link clicks, response rates, and response times to make more informed marketing decisions.
For example, if you notice that a particular segment of customers responds more positively to a certain offer/deal through texting, you then want to find ways to replicate that success in other marketing channels. Alternatively, if text response rates are low across the board, your messaging or offer is not resonating with customers and you need to rethink your approach.
Overall, these metrics help you understand how your customers engage with your messages and whether your messages actually drive the desired actions. Use this data to optimize your campaigns and improve your results.
Increase your revenue with text marketing
Text message marketing clearly impacts business growth when used right. Your business communicates with customers quickly, conveniently, and personally. Ultimately, adding text messaging to your marketing toolbox for outreach to leads and customers gives you an increase in sales and revenue.
Take a tour of Skipio and explore two-way messaging tools made specifically to help you engage leads consistently and keep customers longer.