Employee typing on the phone

avatarBy Vahagn Aydinyan

The rapid pace of technological development means that marketers and business owners engage with new concepts all the time. That includes everything from NFC-enabled billboards to user-generated content. It also includes concepts like SMS marketing, text message marketing, and business texting.

What do these terms mean and why have they suddenly become relevant for the advertising, communications, and direct response marketing industries? Let’s look at some of the key facts and consider what business texting means for your business.

Where business texting is used:

Advertising

Text messaging is a great tool for engaging customers. However, not when it refers to annoying bulk messages, the kind which has created the common misconception that text messaging is SPAM. When done correctly, it’s far from it.

SMS Marketing can be integrated at different engagement points to attract and engage the audience. This example illustrates how to engage customers through smart posters.

Customer Support

Text-based customer support is probably the most novel way in which businesses use text messaging. Imagine if every time a customer needed information about your products or services, or needed a tech professional to walk them through an activity, all they had to do was enter a simple text message code and receive instant support?

That’s the power of SMS-enabled customer support.

It’s also important to upgrade your customer support system with a toll-free feature. You really don’t want to charge customers every time they send a text message to your support staff.

Internal Communications

Text messaging helps you better serve your customers in less direct ways, too. For example: implementing a firm-wide text messaging system makes it easier for your employees to communicate.

It also means that when someone has left the office, they can still be easily reached. SMS group chat means that you can conduct meetings with the click of a smartphone.

You can quickly get information to employees in the event of an emergency, event cancellations, upcoming events, closure dates, tech failure, and any other important dates. You can even use messaging to conduct employee surveys.

Events

Have you ever given a presentation, keynote speech or Ted Talk that required you to engage with the audience? Maybe you needed audience members to ask/answer questions, fill out surveys and interact with each other. Could that process have been made easier by allowing them to engage with you by text messaging?

Live event polling is efficient, inexpensive, and allows you to track analytics in real time. Knowing how your audience felt about the event will help you prepare an even better one for the next time around.

Example: the Direct Marketing Association of Canada used live SMS event polling to learn more about their audience, leading to better results down the line.

Survey and Research

Getting feedback from customers is essential, but it’s not easy. Most people don’t want to be bothered to answer questions about the quality of your burger joint or the helpfulness of the staff at your boutique clothing store.

You need to make giving feedback easy and rewarding. Text messaging is one way to do that. Stores across Canada have found success asking customers to fill out a short in-store survey with their smartphones. Offering an instant reward (coupon or promotion) also boosts response rates. It also allows marketers to more easily track analytics.

In fact, market research has shown that customers prefer to give feedback by text message than by other means. It’s faster, simpler, and doesn’t require an internet connection.

Expect to see more text message surveys. The City of Vaughan is experimenting with an SMS system to get feedback from residents regarding the quality of the city’s public services.

Business Texting Benefits:

Low cost

Text messaging is inexpensive. You just need to sign up for a business-wide texting plan, and each message sent out to customers, employees, or clients costs just pennies. When compared to more traditional forms of marketing such as billboards or TV/radio advertisements, it’s an unbelievable bargain.

Everyone has access (No connection, no apps required)

The problem with email marketing is that it requires internet connectivity. Posting information on your business’s web page has the same problem. Enter SMS for business.

Everyone with a mobile phone has the ability to receive and send text messages, so there are no connectivity problems. Plus, research has shown that roughly 98 percent of text messages get opened, a much higher number than you find with email.

It’s easy and simple

Sending text messages to customers requires very little effort. You just draft a short message and send it out to your mailing list. If you plan to use SMS for internal communications, it’s even simpler.

Everyone know how to use text messaging, so there is little complexity involved.

Easy Integration

Perhaps best of all, SMS solutions don’t need to disrupt your current business or marketing model. You can integrate it with what you’re already doing, improving your operation rather than replacing it.

For example, you probably already provide customer service via telephone and/or instant messaging. Why not augment that with text messaging? It won’t cost much more, and it won’t get in the way of your existing system.

Or, why not add text messaging to your offline marketing strategy? You can still use those tried-and-true billboards, banner ads, and radio spots, but now they’ll feature your company’s text messaging code. A small investment of time and money can result in a lot of new customers coming through your doors.

Who it Works For:

Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

Text messaging is a good tool for small businesses to scale up in an efficient way. It’s easy and affordable to subscribe to a service, get the software and start a marketing campaign or launch internal communications activities or text-based customer support. Expensive overhead isn’t required, so it’s cost-effective.

Large Corporations

Large corporations usually have their own CRM and customer support tools, as well as advertising channels and analytics software. Each of those things can be made more effective, however, by integrating them with SMS-powered software.

For example, text messaging has made CRM easier than ever. Plus, integrating offline marketing channels with SMS is an efficient, effective way to track offline advertising performance as well.

We help small and medium size businesses to enhance their communication channels. Contact your Toronto SMS Marketing experts today and add business texting to your marketing and communications toolbox.


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