For most of us, text messages have become part of our lives. They have, in fact, become such a normal aspect of our everyday routine that we fail to stop and wonder, “How do text messages really work?”
Short Message Services, more commonly known as SMS or text messages, were developed by Telenor in the Scandinavian Region primarily for communication purposes. It has been used pervasively around the globe, allowing for short messages to be sent from one cell phone to another. Text messaging is very cheap in most parts of the world and are either included in plans or are added as an extra cost.
In the business context, however, SMS is an efficient way of sending customer service messages to people’s cell phones. In this way, people don’t have to call to get more information and help. Gradually, SMS has become a great way to market and send other types of functional messages.
As a business owner, text messaging can greatly benefit your business in many ways. But to be able to fully utilize this tool, you must first understand how text messages work. Let’s take a look:
How Do Text Messages Work?
You probably send a bunch of texts every day. But when you hit the send button, what happens?
To send a message from your phone, the electricity from your battery jiggles electrons from the antennae of your phone, giving off a kind of light, though one that is not visible. These are radio waves, which can be thought off as invisible lights.
These invisible lights then encode your messages in binary codes, which will then be sent to cells. That is how basically messages are sent and received from one mobile phone to another.
From a business standpoint, despite the rapid advancements and innovations brought about by technology, text messaging remains as one of the many ways to effectively do marketing.
The first thing to secure when you do text message marketing is getting permission to send text messages to a prospective customer or client. Asking permission can be done by letting them text in a keyword or a code to signify that they agree to receive messages from you. Through this, you are doing a marketing campaign via SMS legally.
For a more effective text messaging marketing campaign, you may work with an agency to help you with the mobile marketing rollout. The services they offer might involve mobile coupons, different, fun games, or fun ways to interact with your database.
Try working with companies such as Drop Cowboy, which serves every type of business, even non-profit organizations, by utilizing ringless voicemail and text messages to engage with customers.
Once the customer opts-in, they will receive an automated message or special offer promoting your products or services.
But it doesn’t stop there, because you now have a means to personally contact your targeted audience anytime you want to inform them of great new deals and special offers. It’s just like having a line of people outside your store waiting for the right opportunity to make a purchase.
How To Do Business Using Text Messages?
Once you have permission to send text messages to your customers or clients, you can try several ways to run mobile marketing campaigns via text messages. Below are some examples:
- Collecting Data – You can ask a customer via text about their personal preferences. A survey can be done using text messages about what the majority of customers prefer, what brand of shampoo they use, etc.
With this information, you can streamline your marketing efforts to better suit the preferences of your target audience. This is also a great way of knowing what customers expect from your business.
- Voting Or Polling For Your Business – This is another way to get customers engaged in your business. Allow them to take part in polls or cast votes. For example, if you’re an ice cream company, you can ask your customers to vote which ice cream flavours are the best for them.
If your existing marketing strategies do not seem to reap benefits, you can tweak or improve them based on the information gathered from votes or polls.
- Trivia – Sending trivia to your list of subscribers is another fun thing to try. You can upgrade this technique as a means to market your products or services by linking them with the trivia.
- Text To Win Games – This is another fun option for your subscribers: you can have them text codes so they can win a game. This is a modern marketing strategy that aims to entice new customers and retain professional relationships with existing customers.
When you use this marketing strategy, you will have to send an SMS to your target audience, instructing them to send a code to a computer-generated number. Recipients who will follow this instruction will be added to your subscriber list and will have a chance to win prizes.
If you’re introducing a new product to the market, consider giving them away as prizes. This serves as a reward for loyal customers that will eventually attract new customers to subscribe to your business as well.
- Premium SMS – You can charge people to receive exclusive content like videos, articles, games, or a text message.
However, if you don’t fancy text messaging and would like to do calls instead for your marketing strategy, you can check out companies like Call Cowboy. The company’s dialling platform allows you to quickly dial callers using landline or mobile numbers through their Auto Dialer and Predictive Dialer software.
How Your Business Can Benefit From Text Message Marketing
As a business owner, you need to be careful with the purchases you make for the business. For you to successfully operate, you have to effectively manage your finances and ensure that every purchase brings benefits to the business. This is especially true for startups that usually have limited financial resources.
Incorporating text messages to your marketing campaign is a smart investment for businesses. Paying for this service is cost-effective because it’s easy to use, and convenient for everyone—for both your staff and the target audience. Several businesses now offer mass text messaging services, allowing you to choose one that fits your business’s budget.
Here’s how your business can benefit from text message marketing:
1. Direct And Personal Line To Your Customers
In marketing your business, what you need is a direct line to your customers, a way to contact them, anytime, day or night. One way to do that is via text messages.
Sending personalized text messages to your targeted customers is like chatting with them about your products and services personally. Aside from the fact that text messages are cheaper compared to other means of marketing, your customers neither need data nor internet access for them to receive the info.
2. Seamless And Wider Reach
Thanks to advances in technology, around 5.2 billion people have mobile phones with them right now, which makes up two-thirds of the world’s current population. Through these numbers alone, you can safely say that mobile marketing is one of the fastest ways of connecting with an audience anytime, anywhere.
While it can be argued that the internet is the number one way of reaching customers and clients, not everyone has access to data or internet connectivity—but every mobile phone user can receive text messages.
Moreover, not all people check their emails as frequently as they check their text messages. The latter gives an impression of urgency, which prompts people to open it faster than they do messages sent via email.
3. Higher Chances Of Conversion
A 2014 study found that, on average, the response rate for text messages is 97%. While the study was taken from a medical standpoint, wherein patient-reported outcomes via text messages were being measured, the figures can still be applicable to businesses as the data suggests that more people have a tendency to answer surveys or provide relevant information via text messaging compared to other methods of data collection.
This can mean having a higher chance of converting a lead into a loyal customer by generating interest in your products or services, as well as getting them to provide you with information that you can use to prompt them to take action or make a purchase immediately.
4. Allows You To Send Valuable And Unique Offers
A text messaging marketing campaign must have two components. First, it must be valuable. This means that once a customer opts-in to your text messaging marketing campaign, you have to provide them with valuable and useful information that won’t waste the time they take to open your message.
This information can be about offers, coupons, advice, tips, and the like. Avoid sending messages that contain vague information or those that do not prompt a customer to take action. An example of this is sending a message that says, “It’s a really nice day outside.” Aside from not being very helpful, this may have a negative impact on your business as your customers might simply treat your messages as spam in the long run.
The second component of an effective text messaging marketing campaign is providing unique offers. This one is critical. Having a unique offer doesn’t necessarily mean that the offer itself must be entirely unique or out-of-this-world.
It only means that it has to be exclusive to your text message subscribers. If you have an offer that you send out to your mobile subscribers, avoid posting them on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, or posting them on TV or billboards as this would devalue the uniqueness of your offer.
As a marketer, you have to understand that a mobile phone number is one of the best pieces of information that you can have about a customer because it still has that sense of privacy. They would not have provided this information if they simply wanted to receive the same offers as everybody else.
Thus, through text messaging, you can always send unique and valuable offers that will gain your customer loyalty, as well as brand recall.
5. Allows You to Measure Results
In-text message marketing, you can measure everything. You can measure clicks, how many people are getting them, and how many are responding, among several other factors. You can use this information to modify your campaign, update it, send different things, and try different things.
This can keep your campaign from stagnating, thus making it more effective for your business in the long run. What happens with a lot of text message marketing campaigns is that one message is sent out, and when it seems like it works, similar messages will just be sent over and over as if a template is being used.
To make text messaging work for your business, you need to send out different kinds of campaigns. Thereafter, you can measure the success of those campaigns and use the components that are working to build new messages. Since text messages can be measured in terms of clicks and responses, you can use this information to retain what works and get rid of the elements that don’t.
Marketing via text messaging is by far the best option when effectivity and efficiency are taken into account. Though the process is a lot cheaper compared to other techniques, its effectivity is by far the most reliable.
Based on the research and statistics that have been provided, text messages are most often read by consumers compared to emails and other messaging platforms. Because of this, customers are more likely to take action when they have read the message compared to when they have not read your message at all.
Without the use of too much data and with little to no internet connection required, text message marketing offers a low-cost, personalized, and more client-friendly approach to marketing.
It can target customers of all ages at any time, anywhere, provided you have their mobile number. Having a list of phone numbers on your database is like having a line of customers outside your store waiting for the next big sale.
Aside from efficiency and effectivity, text messaging (though old-school) is the most practical way of communicating as it has been proven to prompt immediate action and response from recipients. Thus, if your business has been idle for some time or it seems to be hitting rock-bottom, you always have text message marketing as an option, and there would be no harm in trying.