Monday, September 17, 2018
In 2016, more than 1.6 trillion text messages were sent in the U.S, according to Statista. Pair that stat with this one from FranchiseHelp: 90 percent of business leads would rather receive a text message over a phone call.
Now what do you get? A good reason to start using SMS text messaging to engage your customers.
And, did you know that our cloud-based communications system, OfficeSuite UC®, now allows you to connect with your customers using SMS text? You won’t have to share your personal cell phone number, and it’s as simple as logging onto your MyOfficeSuite portal, clicking the “start message” button, entering the phone number you want to text and composing that work of art. (Note that some features like mass text messaging and multimedia messaging are not yet available as OfficeSuite features, but we consistently work to make your experience better by bringing you the tools you need.)
Now that you’ve got the means to connect with your customers in a new format, let’s talk about how you can use that to your advantage, giving your consumers the best possible experience.
It is illegal to solicit customers with text or email messages if they have not opted in to your subscription lists.
This gives you a unique chance to learn more about your target audiences through techniques like surveys, polls or even soliciting feedback. Getting to know your customers better can help you tailor specific messages to them, which can ultimately mean more for your bottom line.
Keep in mind that you can gain further insight into your consumers by including trackable links to a specific page on your website. And if you’re set up a platform like Google Analytics, you can expand your knowledge about them even more!
Just like social media channels, you’ll want to personalize your text messages to your target audiences. What would one specific group want to hear from you that others would not? What are some things you can teach them about your small business that they can’t get anywhere else?
And don’t forget that personal touch: address your customers by name, and, if you wrote a little note, sign it with either your name or someone else’s at your small business. If you know a customer’s birthdate, send a message — with a special offer, even — to them on that day. Personalized touches would also do well with loyalty programs or classes of subscribers. As an example, send a message to one group that has subscribed to your small business for one year.
This could be divided up into subcategories. Make it convenient for you. By that, we mean, you can automate certain messages, like those welcoming subscribers or those sent as a follow-up as a response to some of your messages.
Make it convenient for your customer base, too. What exactly does that mean? It comes down to being relevant. For example, if you own a restaurant, it might be a good idea to text an offer or coupon to your customers as they’re leaving work and heading home for dinner. Or, If you own a clinic, a salon, or any other professional service company, use texts to remind customers about appointments. Your texts can allow for responses with a short numeric code should customers need to reschedule or confirm appointments. If you’re an HVAC technician, send texts when it’s starting to get cold outside with tips about how to prep that heating system to keep it running all winter.
As you can see, the possibilities are endless! Remember, though, not to overdo the messages. No one wants to get spammed with marketing.
And also know that if your small business is new to text marketing, you’ll want to tell your customers all about it. After all, it’s only as good if you have a subscriber list!