I don’t know about you but when I check my emails, my eyes often glaze over. We receive tens, if not hundreds of emails every day, depending on the quality of your email clients spam filter or how many subscription services you have signed up to. This is why, text messaging is best for business communications.
When I see a text has arrived, I almost always take a look. Text messaging (or SMS – short message service), although comparatively fresh as a method of communication, has the advantage of being both unique enough to be interesting, but is also something that everyone receives them and most likely reads them.
The numbers don’t lie – SMS is best
The fact is, if you use a mobile phone, then SMS is standard – someone flippantly once said that your potential audience for Text Messaging marketing is 5 billion people. All jokes aside, the main advantage of using text is that it actually works. Here are some big numbers to back that up:
90% of SMS messages are opened within the first 3 minutes of being received, rising to 97% after 15 minutes (both according to Gartner)
45% CTR (click through rate) This means of those opened messages, 45% will result in some form of customer engagement
Compare this to email:
20% of business emails will be opened and read
6% CTR for emails – Just 6% of all emails sent will result in customer engagement
So we know email gets low results – maybe you should use the phone?
67% of people would prefer to do business by text message than talking on the phone
52% – Only 52% of calls are now being answered, meaning the rest go straight to voicemail. This rises to 76% if the call comes from an unknown number.
More worryingly, only 33% of people bother to listen to voicemail from business contacts, again this number drops to only 18% if the number is unknown.
So, we know, that SMS marketing is the most effective communication channel available when it comes to reach and engagement.
Text Messaging is more personal but also more effective
We also know that SMS is viewed positively as more intimate and personal than email and yet it is more immediate – being available only via mobile communication, which by now, is regarded by most as simply an extension of our arm – It never leaves our side.
Ever wonder why an SMS is only 160 characters? Well it turns out that they basically established that most postcards are fewer than 150 characters in length. And postcards have been hard at work for quite some time, without dramatic change.
One of the great sells of text messaging is its brevity – it can’t be long and so it never loses the reader’s attention. It can be used to create intrigue, excitement, desire, and anticipation. One of the reasons emails get filed straight in the bin is because…. TLDR (Too long, didn’t read).
SMS marketing offers punchy high engagement communication with a massive ROI and an increasingly uncommon and under used method to engage with people.
Some of the most effective drivers that Text massaging can be used for by business include:
- Nurturing leads
- new product or event promotion.
- Voucher codes messaging, prize competitions
- calendar reminders.
- Shopping basket abandonment
- Time sensitive offers
- CX – Customer Experience
- Most effectively you can gain valuable customer insight with feedback text message marketing campaigns, asking for further information. This method shows your empathy and a personal touch with the reader.
- Survey questionnaire
- Welcome offer
- Birthday discount – sure it might sound a bit twee now, but the fact is, everyone likes feeling special on their birthday if they are remembered and celebrated.
- Logistics reminders – something that has become very prevalent and so effective in bringing about positive engagement. SMS communication for order confirmation, delivery confirmation of both date and even time are all extremely quick, cheap and effective methods of keeping people onside.
- CTA – Call to action. You should always utilise a call to action in your SMS messages. With only 160 characters this is a great way to integrate your communications channels and create more effective marketing campaigns. You can:
- Link to website content and offers
- Link to social media posts
- Cold call message in order to recruit customers – using a one word keyword and short code is all you have to do – ‘if you want more messages from XXXX text back “yes” to 123456. This is extremely inoffensive and effective in gaining new customers as it requires minimal effort and is minimally invasive.
But these methods can also be very effectively used when dealing with inhouse business communications as well. Appointment and meeting reminders, sales achievements and targets and staff discount and freebies are all things which only need a few words to convey but can generate a mountain of goodwill amongst staff and users.
When you want people to stop and read right now, there’s only one option…
What is clear is that when time sensitivity is an issue – either to get your message out, or to make sure as many people that need to read your message do, then Text messaging is the most effective method to use.
At the end of the day, it’s all about engagement and the numbers don’t lie – SMS is where it’s at, for turning our heads. If your business is not using and driving your sales and workforce through text message marketing, you are missing out on one of the most effective sales tools at your disposal.