Thinking Big: Why Text Messaging is Key to Small Business Growth
It’s immediate, it’s considered more personal, it’s inexpensive and far more effective than email. Your key to better marketing is automating the use of text messages.
Which number appeals more to your marketing appetite: An open rate of 20% or 98%? If that bigger number is more to your liking, it’s attached to the results you can get with text messaging.
Text messages are read within the first three minutes of receiving the message 90% of the time. Used the right way, text messaging can be a powerful tool in jump-starting your small business growth. Here’s how:
Got an appointment-based business? Automated text message reminders can reduce no-shows by up to 40%. The benefit of text message reminders is that the investment in the automated platform quickly pays for itself by dramatically reducing the time and effort your staff must put into manual calls or emails to remind customers about an upcoming appointment.
The ROI calculation is easy to do. What’s the cost to your small business because of a no-show? Base that on the price of an automated text messaging service, while keeping in mind that you may be able to reduce this lost business by as much as 40%.
Orders and confirmations
What superpower allows small businesses to run circles around their big-brother competitors? Customer service. And, while emails can be personalized, they’re trumped by the immediacy of a short text message acknowledging an order and offering thanks. These order confirmation messages can be automated.
You can take this to the next level by allowing your customers to re-order using a text message. Get creative so you’re memorable. Pizza delivery companies, for example, have started letting their existing customers re-order their last pizza request by simply sending a text message with one character—the pizza emoji.
Smart businesses know that an easy avenue to increased engagement and customer satisfaction is to ask them what they think about the brand. In these days of limited attention, it’s likely that you’re not going to get many participants if you send out an in-depth survey.
One email marketing company tells its clients to expect an open rate of between 15% and 20%. “However,” they continue, “not everyone who will open your email will participate in your survey. Therefore, you can expect the percentage of subscribers who respond to the survey to be even less than that.”
A better approach—especially remembering the open rates of text messages—is to implement micro surveys. A single question sent out as an SMS message, along with an easy way to select a response, can help you to engage customers and get necessary feedback. Plus, you can take the interactivity to the next level by offering to share the results of the micro-survey—especially if your answers are multiple-choice.
Text message and coupons
Which sounds like an easier way to get a coupon?
- Follow a link to the webpage (which definitely should be mobile-friendly), sign up for an email newsletter, and then wait for the coupon to be delivered. But maybe not before jumping through a captcha hoop or having to confirm that you really did sign up.
- Scan a QR code with your mobile device, and then receive a text message asking to confirm they want the coupon by tapping “SEND”.
Depending on the product or service your small business offers, the redemption rate for SMS coupons can be up to 10 times the average for a physical coupon. It’s also an efficient way to build a database for future text message campaigns. You know these are interested prospects because they’ve provided you their telephone number in exchange for the coupon.
Our scalable, two-way business texting platform empowers teams to make meaningful connections with prospects and customers without getting bottlenecked by the drawbacks and wait times of email.