Especially when it comes to small businesses the most baffling part seems to be determining the best process to market the brand to a large number of customers. Out of all the choices available, text message marketing or SMS specifically, seems to be the ideal choice. There are several reasons for it such as:
- Text message marketing works well for any type and size of business
- The process of SMS marketing is quick and easy and
- You will have a greater chance of customers seeing it.
However, there are still a few concerns, misconceptions, and questions about it that may keep you back from clicking the send button in this form of marketing. However, when you know the answers to these questions and clarify your doubts and misconceptions you will see that this form of marketing has more pros than cons thereby making it so effective, popular and productive.
About its effectiveness
The first question that may come to your mind regarding SMS texting is about its effectiveness. Well, as said earlier texting is now the most preferred way of communicating with others and it applies to business purposes as well. How many times you yourself have felt annoyed having to take up a call or found your coworker ignoring a phone call, both being engaged with their smartphone to answer a text message? Well, it is the same for others as well.
- You will be surprised to know that different surveys conducted by Pew found that in America alone more than 95% of adults have a cell phone and out of them more than 77% own a smartphone.
- Another research by Nielsen shows that most Americans text at least twice on an average as compared to making a call.
Both these findings show that people actually own a cellphone and they love texting.
There are also a few other surveys conducted by different agencies that you as a small business owner would love to know. These are:
- Twilio found that 9 out of 10 consumers prefer texting to communicate with different brands and companies
- Franchise Help testified that about 90% of business leads preferred to be contacted by text instead of phoning them
- It is also found that more than 83% of consumers preferred to be informed about offers made by text message and wanted two such offers per month
- There are about 6 billion text messages sent and received per month by the people in the US.
These facts further substantiate the fact that people definitely want something and want it to be offered through texts.
About the use
Since most people think that text messages are mostly for personal use this could be your next question. Once again, the answer is a surprisingly, no. You will find a lot of messages sent to you by different brands that you may or may not know. However, businesses still continue to alert customers, targeted and beyond, about all kinds of things such as:
- An offer and discount
- New product launched
- A promotion or a conference
- Change in appointment
- For password and security verification and even to
- Tell that a table at a restaurant is ready.
Mogreet says that most cell phone users tune into text message alerts and this is the primary reason that more than 95% people read a text message within 3 minutes of receiving it.
Conveying your message
Next you may wonder whether or not you will be able to convey everything in a text message marketing for small business. Yes, once again. However, it is advised that you keep your messages short and simple. This is because there are still a few people who use regular phone though most of the users own a smartphone.
The best way is to consider your messages just as your tweet and keep it well within 160 characters or even less. If you want to make your offer and effort more effective you may include a link to your website. If possible you may also try a little fun fluff, word play, use of special characters and others. This will help you to grab more and easy attention of the customers.
Customer opting in
Now you may ask how you can achieve your primary objective which is to get customers to opt in. To ensure this you cannot simply send text messages to your customers without permission. Remember, this is not a push sale campaign and everyone may not have an unlimited plan for the text rates that their provider may charge from them. Therefore, it is very important that you get your customers to opt in for your business text messages. There are different ways to achieve this.
- To lure them to sign up for your texts you may offer them a gift, an introductory percentage off, a webinar or any other benefit.
- Next, you will need to make sure that the opt-in process is simple and quick. For this you must skip the quotes as these can create a lot of confusion and eventually result in a situation where you may not receive any response from a customer in your system.
Lastly, to make your offers and your brand more trustworthy and authentic you must include a note stating that standard rates for messages and dates are applicable.
About the rules
Lastly, you may want to know about the rules. There are a few specific texting rules to keep in mind such as:
- You must keep it understandable and short as well
- Limit your messages and do send too many to a customer
- Unless it is a very rare flash sale limit the number to two a month
- Use fun elements such as emojis but sparingly to keep things light and on trend
- Create interactive and interesting text so that it will inevitably tempt the consumers to click
- Conduct surveys to know the best ways to get the consumers involved.
Most importantly, make the consumers feel special and valuable, avoid abbreviations and slang and also provide an opt-out option. You may hire someone to plan it for you if you are unsure.