The open rates and response rates for Business SMS and Text Messages are stunning. Studies show that 90% of SMS messages are read within the first three minutes. According to CTIA.org, the average response time for an SMS message is just 90 seconds while the average response time for an email is 90 minutes. This often causes business people to immediately start comparing Business SMS and Email Marketing. However, this is dangerous ground.
Why Business SMS Works
Those great open and response rates exist because SMS has evolved as a Person-to-Person form of communication. In our recent blog post about text-based customer service, we quoted Meredith Flynn-Ripley, vice president of mobile messaging at Salesforce.com states, “Messaging apps are a natural extension of how customers are already communicating every day, so it’s an effortless and seamless experience from their perspective.” People respond to text-messages like they do because they have gotten used to communicating with actual friends and family using this channel.
If texting is over-used for marketing, it will soon suffer the same fate as email marketing, with most messages being ignored or stuck in a spam filter. There are already regulations in place regarding spam texting. Here is a great article about the subject.
The Ultimate Personalized Customer Experience
The best use of Business SMS is to create and maintain the ultimate personalized customer experience.
First, you want your messages to come from your business, not from some third-party service. To do this, you need to get your main business number SMS enabled. With the right partner, you can do this without changing carriers or purchasing any additional equipment. Your text messages come from the same number that customers use to call you. If your business is in their contact list, then your text messages are displayed with your business name on them.
Messages are sent from a mobile or desktop application, like MessagePro Office, and NOT from your personal cell phone or the personal phones of your employees.
Second, you should make your Business SMS messages highly relevant. Appointment reminders, subscription renewals, and expected arrival time for a service person are all examples of highly relevant messages that are a great use of Business SMS.
Although less personally relevant, daily specials or sale announcements are also a good use of Business SMS. You just have to be careful and not send too many of these, otherwise you will quickly go into the “ignore bucket.” This could result in your important messages getting ignored as well.
Adding BOTS and Automation For A More Personalized Customer Experience
BOTS can be used to create a dialog with customers. For example, a local pizza shop can be set up to accept orders via SMS. The customer sets-up a “regular order” and can then just text a code to the business to place the order. A BOT can then be used to alert the customer that there is a special available for something that is not part of their regular order. Or the order entry system can recognize that they took advantage of a special last time they ordered, and offer that item again, or offer to add it to their regular order.
A time-based or location-based message can be created using automation. A travel agent has set-up a service that monitors the arrival of flights on which they have booked clients. When the plane gets to its destination, they send an automated SMS to remind the traveler that they can call or text their agent if they need any assistance while on their trip. The same system sends the traveler a “welcome home” message at the end of their trip.
Endless Possibilities for Business SMS
Your imagination and the application partner you choose are the only limits when using Business SMS. By choosing MessagePro you can start using MessagePro Office to enhance your business and better engage your customers.
It takes just two easy steps to set-up MessagePro Office. First, SMS enable the main company telephone number with MessagePro. Second, employees download the MessagePro Office App for their mobile device. T
You can find out more about MessagePro office here.