The Marchex Blog

What you need to know about the business texting landscape

Technology has changed how people interact with businesses. The way customers communicate with businesses has evolved and the expectation to receive real-time information is higher than we could’ve ever imagined. Businesses of all industries have turned to text messaging to engage with customers, in addition to traditional strategies like phone, chat, social and email. In fact, it is now estimated that 40% of all businesses use a texting channel of some kind.

A business texting channel has become the preferred platform for consumers because it’s personal, immediate, and interactive, but not intrusive. From a business perspective, it’s the obvious choice of communication with 98% open rates compared to the 22% industry standard for email open rates. Because customers actually see the message, the click through rates skyrocket. SMS has a 19% click through rate compared to emails with a 4% CTR, or Facebook with less than 1% CTR on average.

Since businesses are seeing the success of texting with their customers, the use cases are expanding across departments and applications. Business texting may have started as a one-way blasting system, but the “no-reply” promotional content is quickly becoming outdated. Within any organization the need for increased visibility and engagement with their messaging and content is imperative. Human Resources teams are using text as part of applicant engagement. Support teams can handle more concurrent cases at once using text than they would with phone calls. Companies can effectively reach their entire employee base, or only certain departments, with important updates such as notices that the office will be closed due to weather. And many healthcare organizations can utilize text messaging, alongside integrations with products like Calendly, to confirm patient details and schedule appointments in an automated fashion. The popularity of business texting has increased because it works!

The telecommunications industry is taking note of the sharp rise in demand for text messaging and responding with new rules and compliance standards. Over the last year, 10DLC and the Campaign Registry (TCR) have been implemented by all mobile phone carriers to protect consumers from spam, therefore increasing trust for those who register and otherwise comply with industry standards and associated guidelines. It is crucial that these requirements are understood and followed to prevent penalties or the blocking of an organization from the ability to use SMS-enabled phone numbers. Marchex has an active role in conversations with our service providers, keeping us at the forefront of quickly evolving industry standards.

As organizations begin to adopt business texting, it’s important to be thoughtful about long-term strategies. Given the fast evolution that the texting industry has already seen, it’s best to set up for scale now, no matter where a business is on their texting journey. Your approach to a texting channel should be flexible. It’s essential to be able to efficiently and effectively send mass messages across a large set of customers, as well as to engage in one-on-one messaging. Business reps must also be prepared to respond to every customer. The troubling fact is that customers tend to proactively text businesses, but only a minority receive a reply. Your organization cannot afford to miss out on these potentially lost customers. Luckily, automation and bots are useful tools that can allow your organization to facilitate active conversations with more customers without having to expand your team.

As you set up for scale, it’s also important to adopt methods that introduce communications standards but allow your organization’s tone and personality to shine through and experiment with messages that resonate best for your customers. Our robust permissions set allows a manager visibility into everything going on, while also limiting individual team members’ permissions to only the activities they’re responsible for. Templates and canned responses can also be used to take the best message content and verbiage from an exemplary employee and test with your other employees. Even if you’re just getting started in business texting, start experimenting now to learn what works with your customers and what doesn’t.

To learn about texting in business and Marchex Sonar, request a demo.