EB is your guide to eCommerce


Using text messaging for business – It doesn’t suck!


Selling strategies lesson 1

This is the first lesson of our selling strategies. In this lesson, we’ll focus on how to start using text messaging for business. If you have missed, please try our previous Business school lessons too.


Advertisement


Emails can sit unread, but SMS open rate is 98%

We check our phones more than 85 times a day. Also, the text messages have an impressive open rate of 98% on average, and 90% of them get read within 3 seconds. However, email marketing has an average open rate of 24%. 

Many sellers believe that using text messaging for business is outdated. This is a clear misunderstanding. By using text messaging for your business, the likelihood of getting your message to your target customers is vastly higher than email or social media marketing.

What are we going to learn about using text messaging for business

  • The benefits of using text messaging for business
  • How to set up text messaging for your business
  • What kind of messages you can send to market and sell your products

The benefits of using text messaging for business

  • Using text messages for business is super effective. As we discussed earlier, 98% of the text messages get read.
  • People are more likely to shop with a business that they can text directly. It provides customers with a personal feel to their communication.
  • You can use text messaging to engage with your customers by sharing information about new promotions, new content, and the pictures of the products.
  • Also, you can handle your customer services via text messaging to provide a personal feel and to provide answers to their specific questions.

How to set up text messaging for your business

All right, now this section is going to be bit detailed. Here we will try to learn the best way to build a powerful SMS marketing campaign for your business.

Here we will talk about:

  • How to select the right platform(s) for text messaging
  • Getting the right tools for your campaign
  • Tips and tricks to quickly build a subscriber list for your SMS marketing campaign

Advertisement


How to select the right platform(s) for text messaging

Apart from the default SMS app on the phone, now there are many different messaging apps that people use on their phones. For example, messaging apps like Whatsapp and Viber are catching up pretty fast.

The most popular messaging apps of your customers often depends on where your target audience lives and depending on what type of phones they use. So, as the first step, you have to do a little bit of research to see what types of messaging apps they use. You don’t have to stick to one platform. You can keep exploring and start using multiple messaging apps to build a strong SMS marketing campaign.

Getting the right tools for your SMS marketing campaign

There are two ways to build a text messaging campaign for your business. You can use your phone and manually send text messages to your audience, or you can use a third-party client app to handle your text messages.

If your audience is pretty small, there is nothing wrong with sending manual text messages for your business. If so, you might want to get a dedicated phone and a phone number for your business. Use two phones for your business and personal contacts. So, you can easily organize your business text messages and calls, without messing up with your personal contacts.

However, if you want to grow your business, the best way is to use a third-party client app to handle your text messages. In this way, you can monitor and track chats in customer services, segment your users to send customized messages, and use the analytical tools to better your strategy. Once you select a third-party SMS service, you can follow their guidelines to start your first text messaging campaign for your business easily.

Tips and tricks to quickly build a subscriber list for your SMS marketing campaign

The hardest part of creating a strong text messaging campaign for your business is building a subscriber list for your messages. So, let’s find out the best and the easiest ways to build a subscriber list for your SMS marketing campaign.

Step 1: Understand the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act) compliance requirement

According to the TCPA requirements, you should never send unsolicited messages with text-message marketing. This means you will need a written opt-in from your customers to receive text messages from your business.

Also, you need to provide a method for your customers to revoke consent to receive text messages in any ‘reasonable’ way, at any time. However, most of the text message services let subscribers to easily opt-in and out straight from their mobile phones.

Step 2: Change your CTAs (Call-to-action) to opt-in for the text messages from your business

The most straightforward way to build your subscriber list is by adding a CTA on your website to opt-in for your text messages. However, make sure to use a double opt-in feature to filter out fake numbers. You can do this by simply sending a confirmation message to the mobile number, asking them to reply with a “Y” or “N” to confirm the mobile number.

Step 3: Build your text messaging subscriber list by sending exclusive deals

You can encourage your customers to join your subscriber list by offering them some value in exchange. For example, you can send uniquely generated coupon codes to your text messaging subscribers and encourage your customers to join your SMS list to receive them.

Step 4: Grow your SMS subscriber list with Facebook lead ads

If you are using Facebook as a marketing tool for your business, you must be familiar with running successful Facebook ads for your business. If so, you can use Lead ads format on Ads manager, to capture the mobile phone numbers from your leads. Then, you can use automation tools like Zapier to integrate your Facebook ad leads to your SMS service. Check below workflow:

Goto the Ads manager, and create a new lead generation ad campaign for your Facebook page.

Using Facebook lead ads to build sms subscriber list

After you complete the audience and budget selection, etc., you can create a form for your ad to capture the phone numbers. (You can add a field for the mobile number under questions tab).

Capture the phone numbers on Facebook lead ads

Once you complete your settings and before you run the ad campaign, you can to integrate your lead ad campaign to your SMS service for and automated process. For example, when someone signs up using the lead ad, your SMS service can take over the process and send a confirmation SMS to your client.

Let us see how you can do this using Zapier. A simple Google search will give you other methods to do this too.

On Zapier, you have to select Facebook Lead ads app and select your SMS service app.

Select Facebook lead ads on Zapier to create automated text messaging for business
Select your texting service on Zapier to create automated text messaging for business

Then, you can head down to the settings and connect your Facebook ads account and SMS service account.

automate text messaging for business with Facebook lead ads

Depending on your requirements, you can format the next step from your SMS service.

Boom, you are done! Now, head back to your Ads Manager and launch your lead generation app. You will start growing your SMS subscriber list in no-time.

What kind of messages you can send to market and sell your products

Once you setup everything, you have to decide what type of text messages that you are going to send to your customers. Under benefits of using text messaging for business, we have already discussed that you can use text messaging to engage with your customers by sharing information about new promotions, new content, and the pictures of the products. Now it is time to dig little deeper!

Using templates for frequently asked questions

Depending on the text messaging app you use, you can create templates to automatically answer to basic and most frequently asked questions about your business. For example, the locations, business hours, links to your products, and menu can be sent using templates.

Decide where you can use your text messaging service

For example, you can use text messaging to let your customers place orders, handle customer service, or simply send new product information.

Create a schedule

If you are using text messaging to send promotions, make sure to follow a specific time table. Too many messages can annoy your customers pretty soon. Also, make sure to be consistent. For example, if you are consistently sending Friday deals, they would be expecting your SMS on Fridays.

Segment your audience and send only the relevant messages

Remember what you had promised when collecting your client’s phone numbers, and deliver them what exactly you promised. Also, segment them using the demographics to send personalized content via your text messages. For example, there is no point of sending product information about wedding shoes to a person who has subscribed for flip flop deals. Personalization is a future marketing trend. So, make your marketing strategy future proof!

Maintain your brand’s tone of business on text messaging

Don’t use different tones on different channels. Being consistent is a great way to gain trust among your followers. Follow your brand’s identity on your text messaging channel too.

Test, test, and test

Change your content, schedule, and other parameters to see what does and what doesn’t work. So, you can unleash the optimum results from your SMS marketing campaigns. Make sure to measure the engagement and do an AB testing to drive your text messages in the right direction.

Don’t forget to respond to your text messages

The whole point of starting text messaging for business is to build communication with your customers. If you do not respond to the messages you get, you are going to miss the opportunity of building communication with your customers. This will result in losing the engagement and damaging the reputation of your business. Of course, as your business grows, you will start getting messages in numbers that you can’t handle. If so, don’t hesitate to hire someone to handle extra work.

Text messaging for business – A definite way to thrive in your business

Once you get your clients to opt-in to your text messaging campaign, you can start delivering your promotional content to engage with them and handle your customer services quickly and efficiently.

There are plenty of creative ways to grow a subscriber list for your text messaging campaign in no-time. However, make sure that you don’t buy any phone numbers from third party suppliers. Sending unsolicited messages is illegal and unethical. It can harm the reputation of your business.

If done right, text messaging for business can be a great way to maintain a personal feel communication with your customers. Using text messaging for business is not outdated! It evolved a lot!


We'd love to hear from you