See Why Text Is the Essential Omnichannel Investment for 2021
In the last decade, text messaging has exploded as a communication tool. The proliferation of smartphones and sophisticated technology has made it easy and inexpensive to use Multimedia Message Services (MMS) to send video and audio clips to consumers. SMS has become a lifeline for businesses who need to not only connect to their customers for mailing list purposes, but to update them on deliveries, provide real time tracking on orders, and otherwise handle real-time situations that may otherwise have needed to be handled in person or over the phone.
And more importantly: Customers welcome text engagement from businesses. Statistics show that 75% of millennials prefer SMS communications for deliveries, promotions, and surveys. More than a novelty or an occasional-use tool, texting has emerged as an essential for omnichannel experiences. “Text enhances the effectiveness of digital and traditional marketing efforts with just a single text reminder dramatically lifting email open and response rates,” notes Mark Little, Chief Customer Officer of EZ Texting. “Increased investment in text will, in turn, lead to an increased sophistication in text as a marketing tool, with more businesses understanding how linking strategies, voice, images, video, and even emojis all impact engagement.”
By thinking of texting as an omnichannel essential — rather than a “nice to have” or “when we have time” — you can strengthen the marketing and communication channels you have that are already working, minimize administrative lift by providing a seamless and convenient way for customers to get in touch with you, and create creative CTA campaigns to drive people toward sign-ups, sales, and more.
Here, how text has become the omnichannel essential you need to invest in:
Text Streamlines Workflows
What time are you open? Do you have x? Can I reserve y? In the past, customers would have to call to have questions answered, and businesses would have to hope someone knowledgeable would pick up the phone. This method can be time-consuming and can lead to false information. Engaging with customers through 1:1 texting allows texts to be answered promptly and knowledgeably, and provides a record of what people are inquiring about, and whether or not they followed through on the inquiry. This can minimize administrative roadblocks and can provide a seamless way for customers to contact you.
Text Operates Across The Funnel
From first-time visitors to loyal customers, texting provides your business opportunities to engage with customers where they are, with tracking tools allowing you to analyze open rates and conversion. Segmenting customers by where they are in the sales process can be a valuable way to target customers and create customized opportunities to invite engagement. This can be time-sensitive coupons (statistics show coupons sent via SMS have a 30-50% redemption rate) surveys, and loyalty messages.
Text Operates on Immediacy
As email inboxes become bloated, email marketing may serve more of a search function for customers. They may not see an email from your business unless they’re actively looking for it. Today, text messaging serves the immediate messaging needs email may have served a decae ago: Communicating with your customers in real time. To that end, it’s important to consider how texting can fulfill immediate message needs. Maybe it’s to drive people to sign-up for an event or webinar, maybe it’s to share time-sensitive coupons, or maybe it’s to create messages to surprise and delight loyalty members, such as contests, quizzes, and enter-to-win surveys that can help you get the pulse on any new initiatives your business may offer.
Text is Expected
The COVID-19 pandemic may have accelerated the adoption of text across businesses, as businesses used it for curbside pickup and contactless delivery alerts. And even as life returns to normal, customers have adapted to curbside pickup and contactless delivery services. Even if your business does not offer these services, is there a way that your customers may appreciate or need a way to communicate with your business in real time? Thinking of pain points in your business — wait times, lines, depleted inventory — and consider how text could be used to maintain convenience and communication with your customers.
Text Allows You To Measure Conversion
Text-based marketing allows you to see what’s working and what’s not, and pivot messaging in real time based on performance. This allows you to also pivot messaging based on local events — weather, local initiatives — that could change the needs and desires of customers. Using analytics to guide text strategy can give you control in driving text marketing to key business initiatives and helps you allocate resources effectively based on what drives customers to your business.
Text Allows Your Customers To Get To Know You
SMS and MMS marketing is a way to allow customers to get to know the voice of your business. Of course, you want to be conscious of your customer’s time and attention. That’s why you can use text message marketing to share creative and funny GIFS or images, invite customers to connect or otherwise use text as the conversational tool customers see it as in their daily lives. Of course, all communication should have some sort of point beyond a check-in, but thinking of text as a conversation between you and your customers is a way to continually tweak messaging, do more of what’s working and allow your content to evolve.