What’s the first thing you do after you wake up in the morning? Take a shower? Walk your dog? Or just grab your phone and stay in bed for a little while? Well, an IDC research has shown that over 80% of people reach out for their smartphones within the first 15 minutes of waking up to check email, SMS messages, weather or Facebook. According to the same research, 79% of smartphone users have their phones by them 22 hours per day.
This close relationship people share with their smartphones explains why SMS marketing remains one of the most efficient ways to increase a company’s brand awareness and customer engagement. SMS has an incredible reach: it can be used with the most basic mobile handset as well as the latest smartphone. Despite the growing number of “high-tech” marketing channels, mobile marketing offers several unrivalled benefits which don’t require heavy investments.
SMS is one of the most direct and immediate channels of communication. It takes seconds to
get your SMS text message to your audience. Most of mobile users have their phones on hand and open messages within the first 15 minutes of delivery. SMS also trumps email with an open rate of 97% compared to the average 27-28% open rate of the latter.
Mobile marketing allows sending either a bunch of SMS text messages to all your customers or dividing your subscribers’ list into several groups according to specific needs and send out targeted, personalised content. If you use messaging software, you can also schedule your mobile campaign in advance and deliver time-specific messages to your customers. Although SMS is a good stand-alone channel, it can be perfectly matched with other marketing channels to enhance the effectiveness and ROI of your campaign. You can send SMS to remind your customers to read an e-mail sent days ago or to check a promotion posted in a social network. This will lead to an increase of email open rates and better interaction in social sites.
Direct two-way communication
Savvy marketers know that the key to a successful marketing campaign is genuine and meaningful communication with customers. But very often we get messages from unidentified numbers that are impossible to respond, or even worse, we send a response and it gets nowhere. Failing to keep in touch with customers, companies risk losing revenue and brand loyalty. In order to boost customer interaction and engagement you should make sure to have a two-way, real-time dialogue with your customers. One of the greatest advantages of SMS marketing is that it gives you the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of two-way texting and enter into a direct communication with your clients.
Why two-way texting?
More and more companies are starting to use two-way SMS as the most effective way to build positive and long-lasting relationships with their customers. But what’s the secret behind the incredible effectiveness of this advanced marketing tool?
- People feel comfortable with SMS as a personal and discreet way of communication. As such, it’s a good alternative to voice calls. It’s a way to get concise bits of information into the pockets of your audience without chasing them with unwanted or ill-timed phone-calls. Your customers can read and respond to your messages at their convenience without feeling stressed or embarrassed to talk to someone they hardly know. Unlike a phone-call with a live agent, a two-way SMS doesn’t put the customers on the spot, instead it gives them time to think before answering.
- Customers want to know that you care about what they want and what they think. Two-way texting allows asking questions to your customers, giving recommendations and getting their feedback. One-on-one interactive conversation lets people feel heard and important. It shows the human side of your business and leads to higher engagement rates.
How to use two-way SMS?
So, how to use two-way SMS to improve customer interaction and to turn uninterested customers into diligent and loyal clients?
You don’t have to engage a team of IT experts or to make huge investments to enjoy the benefits of two-way texting. Two-way SMS is affordable for any company, from startups with a tight budget to large businesses. All you need to get close and hear back from your customers is an SMS messaging platform which combines outbound and inbound messaging services, like Textedly. It will provide you with an online messaging platform where you can schedule and monitor your campaign, send and receive messages and track ROI.
Rather than using the traditional “fire and forget” approach to texting you can start a genuine and meaningful conversation with your customers. Engaging existing and prospective clients into an interactive communication process will help you guide them through their choice, provide targeted recommendations, find what works best for them and collect valuable data for your future marketing campaigns. Taking the right approach to your audience and balancing between distance and intimacy, you can uncover a lot of important information of business value.
Regardless of the service you provide you should consider several practical implications to get most out of your SMS marketing strategy. In order to avoid sending unwanted messages which can damage your brand image you should have subscribers opt-in for your SMS text messages by sending a keyword to your short code. Then they’ll receive an automatic customised reply within 3-5 seconds. Given the increase in the usage of smartphones, you can include links to your product’s landing page or your website to boost sales. Most advanced messaging providers (like Textedly) will notify you the instant you get an inbound message. Using this feature will help you send on-time responses to your customers.
Two-way texting is an excellent way to reach out for your customers and show that their opinion really matters to you. As an advanced approach to mobile marketing, it’s a valuable weapon in any marketer’s arsenal.