Texting as a business strategy has a proven record of effectively attracting and engaging customers that is only increasing in popularity. In fact, 85% of consumers prefer to receive text over a voice call or email. Organizations that don’t utilize this channel miss out on one of today’s most customer-friendly marketing strategies. Texting also has the benefit of versatility. It can be used by several departments such as sales, marketing, operations and customer service for various purposes. Business texting platforms can help organizations implement text strategies for today’s business environment. Texting can be used across your organization to increase communication with customers, prospects and employees.
Why Deploy Text in Your Business
There are few channels more universal and immediate than texting. With the smartphone’s wide adoption, most customers have native texting apps that they use throughout the day. They are far more likely to check an incoming text than an email. In fact, texts have an open rate of 98% compared to a 20% open rate for email. Why not utilize this highly effective channel?
SMS vs. MMS
Text communications encompasses both SMS and MMS formats. SMS, or Short Message Service, is the most popular type of message and literally contains only text. MMS, or Multi-media Messaging Service, allows messages to contain emojis, images, and videos.
Ways to Implement Texting Within a Business
Due to the personal nature and immediate response time, texting can be a strong advantage for sales teams. Salespeople can engage with their customers in a friendlier, more intimate manner than other channels. In addition, automated text sequences can qualify incoming leads based on responses to pre-defined prompts. Salespeople can engage with leads after they have been qualified and spend their time with leads most likely to convert. Texting also supports upsell or cross-sell opportunities since sales teams can easily reach satisfied customers.
Business texting is also a great option from a marketing standpoint, since customers tend to pay more attention to texts than email. SMS marketing allows you to send customized promotions to opted-in prospects and this can be a great way to engage with leads. You can also A/B test your texting campaigns to engage more effectively. By implementing a business texting service, you can also automate follow-up sequences triggered by specific keywords or user actions. The personal feel of conversations over text can help your brand build trust.
Operations or Field Communications
Keeping employees and partners up to date can be a challenge for businesses with distributed locations and employees in the field. Using text within an organization can help keep team members informed of their schedules, potential blockers, or incoming opportunities in real time. Similar to distribution groups for email, teams can be formed in most text platforms enabling managers to send custom messages to specific groups. If you’re a franchise or multi-location business, check out these top texting strategies for franchise organizations.
There are benefits to texting throughout the customer journey. Deploying texting in your Customer Service or Support departments can offer a positive customer experience since issues can be addressed and resolved in near real time, and often much quicker than through other channels. Even if a support issue requires more involvement than can reasonably happen over text, the ease of connecting with someone who can help can be reassuring to the customer as they are routed to the appropriate resource.
Industry Compliance and Text Etiquette
Historically, there have been a few ways to send out business text messages: short codes, long codes and toll-free phone numbers. High volume senders and larger businesses would use short codes—five-to-six-digit phone numbers specifically created to handle thousands of messages per day. However, short codes can be time consuming to set up and quite expensive to maintain.
Long codes are typical 10-digit phone numbers with a local area code. These are less costly, but traditionally limited on the volume of messages one could send each day. To save on set up and maintenance costs, some businesses would resort to sending high-volume messages from local or toll-free long codes. The carriers saw an increase in unwanted text messages and the industry determined to make a change.
Thus, the 10-digit long code (10DLC) standard was designed specifically for A2P (application to person) usage. Businesses that expect to send A2P messages are required to register their phone number with the carriers or choose a partner who can handle this on their behalf. With the new carrier regulations, 10DLC numbers can support a much higher volume of messages while maintaining a similar cost to historical local phone numbers.
Regardless of your preferred method of sending text messages, strive to adhere to accepted text best practices, and receive opt-in consent from each recipient. It’s important to find a partner that makes this easy on your customers, and your company.
There are a few common ways to implement texting in your organization including:
- Lead qualification for Sales
- Customized campaigns for Marketing
- Real-time communication with team members
- Customer support
In addition, there are countless unique and customizable solutions depending on what you want to accomplish. For instance, texting has been used to support the operations of a mobile claim center during a natural disaster, and as an application screener for mortgage companies and hiring firms.
If you’re ready to get started with texting in your business, connect with us today to schedule a consultation and a demo of our award-winning text message platform, Marchex Sonar. Get started.