Mobile phones aren't just devices to make voice calls, they've become an integral part of our lives. From making calls to booking a cab to paying bills to online shopping, mobile phones can help you with it all. Do you know the average U.S. adults use their phones for almost three hours per day? And it's not just younger generations that are using their phones; seniors and members of older generations are catching up fast.
In addition, SMS has an impressive open rate of 98%, which is higher than all other communication channels. That's not all – a whopping 90% of users read text messages within seconds of receiving them. Now think for a minute what these numbers can mean for your business. Start using SMS message marketing today and don't miss this opportunity to connect to these vast potential audiences.
Best Ways to Leverage SMS Texting for Communicating with Customers
There is no better way to interact with customers than to simply have a conversation. SMS texting is one channel that allows you to connect with your customers and have a meaningful conversation with them via two-way texting. It helps businesses engage with existing and potential customers.
Not sure how to use SMS to your advantage? Here are five ways to use SMS as a customer engagement tool and communication channel for your business.
1. Announce Discounts, Sales, and Other Promotional Offers
It's important to have consent prior to sending any promotional content or marketing texts. This means having an opt-in program where customers give explicit permission to a brand to send them marketing messages via SMS.
Once a customer has opted-in to your SMS program, you're good to go! SMS texting is a simple, cost-effective, and concise communication tool. One of the most popular uses for SMS is to announce discounts, sales, and other promotional offers.
Announce the launch of a new product, hype up returning seasonal products, or simply notify customers of a great sale on a year-round product. You can also update subscribers about an upcoming store-wide sale or limited-time-only offer via SMS messages. Text-to-win contests and keyword raffle entries are also popular uses. And to sweeten the deal, you can even include your own digital coupons and QR codes with the texts. All of this will entice customers to come to your store, increasing online or foot traffic and driving sales.
2. Send Delivery Updates
Sending a delivery update is another great and easy way to interact with customers. Waiting for the shipment and last-mile delivery of an order is one hard job. While some customers patiently wait for the order to arrive at their doorstep, others want minute-to-minute updates.
Sending delivery updates via email is fine. But sometimes the shipping notifications and receipts may go to the spam folder, and emails in general are less frequent and take longer to arrive and be read. It's nobody's fault, but it can be very frustrating for customers. However, if you have a customer's mobile number and their permission to send delivery updates, you can keep them informed throughout the process. With SMS updates, tracking an order becomes easy for the customers and adds value to your service.
3. Send Cart Alerts
Shopping works as a therapy for many people, even when they are shopping online; it helps them to relax and spend some quality "me-time." But sometimes people get so distracted that they don't complete the purchase, or they simply change their minds and abandon the cart. SMS texting allows you to send a quick alert to the customer to complete the transactions.
Customers who return to their carts are likely to spend more. The key is to create the content of the reminder alert smartly. You can include some exciting offers, like 10% off or free shipping, to persuade the customer to complete the transaction. For an extra incentive to boost sales, you could offer discounts on the items removed from the customer's cart.
4. Use Two-Way Communication
SMS texting helps you earn the trust and loyalty of the customers. Personalized communication makes the customer feel more connected to your brand. Use two-way texting to facilitate brand loyalty. SMS is not only a customer engagement tool, but it also helps to increase operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.
But two-way texting also serves a more functional, and serious, purpose. According to the US Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA), businesses use SMS as a marketing tool must provide support to the customers. Your SMS program must respond to keywords HELP and STOP. A customer may register a complaint or ask for assistance texting in the keyword HELP. It is important to send a message in response to the text and assist the customer.
The two-way communication, i.e., the instant chat over the SMS helps to establish a strong relationship with the customer.
5. Get Instant Feedback
The personal element or direct messaging feature makes SMS an ideal channel for honest and instant feedback. Reaching out to customers via text message gets you candid and precise feedback compared to review sites. It is the simplest and most cost-effective method to evaluate the success of your products, services, or business as a whole.
A generic request to post a review on your website does not appeal to a customer in the way a personal text would do. Telling the customer that you value their feedback takes customer engagement and satisfaction to a whole new level. It helps you learn about the wants and needs of your customers.
You can conduct a quick survey to get customers' feedback about your service via SMS. All you have to do is send a link to a mobile-friendly web survey. In addition, you can also send a two-way SMS-enabled survey that the customer can answer with few clicks on their phone.
With a whopping 98% open rate, SMS texting is sure to get your message to the customer. Text marketing allows businesses to notify customers with order confirmation, update them with order delivery status, announce promotional offers, and more. However, it is important to know that SMS texting is more effective for customer engagement when the communication is two-way.
SMS is the most responsive medium, with higher conversation rates and response rates. It is a cost-effective communication channel that bridges the gap between brands and customers, thereby keeping them connected. You can leverage this powerful tool for customer engagement in many ways.