The other day I had a great experience with a local services provider. Here is the sequence.
- Called and got voicemail
- Left message
- Got a text immediately after leaving message asking if they could assist over text.
- I shared my question
- The resolved the issue over text.
It was fabulous.
Business texting is growing in popularity. It's not surprising when you analyze the data. According to Twilio, 89% of consumers want to communicate with businesses via text.
This is especially true for younger generations. Gallup recently found that 68% of Americans under the age of 30 prefer texting over every other form of communication.
What does this mean for your small business marketing? It means you have a golden opportunity to connect with and engage your customers via text. Keep reading to learn how.
What is Business Texting?
Business texting, also known as SMS marketing, is a form of communication that allows businesses to connect with their prospects and customers through text messages.
Businesses use texts to send:
- Appointment Reminders: A simple text to remind your customers about their upcoming appointment can reduce your cancelation rate by as much as 38%.
Special Promotions: Business texting is a great way to distribute coupons and announce deals, leading to more in-store foot traffic and higher sales.
Order Updates: We've all ordered a product or service online and thought, "did it work?" A confirmation text will reassure your customers that their order went through, while delivery updates keep them in the loop during the shipping process.
Customer Service: 56% of people would rather text a business than call customer service. Give your customers what they want and provide them a better experience.
Should Your Business Text Customers?
There are many reasons to start texting your customers.
We can't answer that question for you. But we can tell you that business texting has many benefits. Here are three of them that you should be aware of:
Business Texting is Highly Engaging
98% of text messages are read and 45% are responded to. In other words, business texting is a surefire way to grab your customer's attention and start a conversation with them.
There are two reasons why this is true: one, 91% of Americans have their phones within reach at all times. It's easy to engage someone who's always available. And two, texts feel less intrusive. Customers can respond to them when and if they want. There's no pressure.
Business Texting Can Be Automated
Many business-related texts can be automated, which helps improve team productivity.
There's no reason why your employees should spend their valuable time sending appointment reminders, delivery confirmations, and promotion alerts. There is software that can handle these kinds of basic communications for you.
When your team isn't bogged down by simple tasks, they can focus on more important things.
SMS Texting Leads to Greater Profits For Your Small Business
There are a lot of different ways to use business texting—many of which lead to greater profits. For example, you can use texts to upsell and cross sell to customers.
You can also text your customers and ask them to review your business on sites like Google and Yelp. This is especially important in this day and age. 89% of consumers read reviews before buying. And 75% say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
It's hard to close new business without an updated collection of positive reviews.
How to Get Started With Business Texting
Get started with business texting in four simple steps.
Business texting is an important communication channel in 2021. The question is, how can your business get started with it? It doesn't matter of you represent a law firm or an HVAC installation company, just follow the four-step process below:
1. Invest in the Right Business Texting Tools
Business texting works best when quality software is used. Fortunately, there are many reliable options available to you. The key is choosing the right tool for your needs.
Here's what to look for in a business texting service for your business:
- Ease of Use: The service you choose should be easy to use. Otherwise, what's the point? If it takes a degree in rocket science to get started with a particular tool, cross it off your list. There are plenty of other solutions you can use instead.
Specific Features: Think about how you want to use business texting. Then choose a service that will allow you to do these things. Recommended features include simple subscription options, drip campaigns, appointment reminders, and analytics.
Good Reviews: Lastly, make sure that current customers like the service you choose. Do they enjoy using it? Is it reliable? Does it have shortcomings you need to know about? The best way to learn this information is to read online reviews.
Once you've chosen a business texting service, you can begin to build your SMS list, AKA a list of people who have agreed to receive texts from you. Let's talk about that...
2. Allow Customers to Opt-In to You SMS List
You can't start texting your prospects and customers without their consent. They need to opt-in to your SMS list before you start communicating with them in this way.
There are a few different ways to do build your SMS list:
Update Your Website and Social Profiles
You should update your website and social media profiles with a button and/or link that says something like, "Call or Text Us". That way people know that texting is an option.
But don't stop here. Once your business is ready to accept text messages, tell people about it. Write a blog and publish it on your website. Notify your social media following followers that they can now reach you by text. And make an announcement in your next email newsletter.
Google My Business
Your Google My Business listing is an important company asset—especially when it comes to business texting. By enabling "Click-to-Message", you'll give your prospects and customers the ability to text you directly from your Google Business profile.
The good news is that Click-to-Message is easy to set up:
Login to your Google My Business account.
Select the "Messaging" tab on the left-hand side of your screen.
Add your phone number, then verify it using the code Google sends you.
Engage with prospects and customers when they text your business.
Incentivize People to Join Your SMS Messaging List to improve their customer service and build community.
Why should people join your SMS list? Because they'll get something valuable in return.
"Value" comes in many different forms. For example, you could send text subscribers coupons to use on their next order. Or updates regarding their next service appointment.
If you want people to join your list, you have to give them a compelling reason to do so. So think about the things you can offer your prospects and customers as incentives.
3. Send Your Customers Text Messages
You've invested in a business texting software and built a small SMS list. The next step is to send messages to your prospects and customers.
The content of your messages will depend on the kind of home services business you have and your business texting strategy. Regardless, keep these best practices in mind:
- Always Provide Value: As mentioned above, you need to give prospects and customers a reason to open, read, and respond (if applicable) to your texts. Make sure that every message you send answers the question, "What's in it for them?" If you provide value, your list will look forward to your texts and your business will grow,
Have Conversations: While many of the texts you send will be one-sided (there's no reason for customers to respond to appointment reminders and shipping updates, for example) not all of them will be. Don't forget that your SMS list is full of real people. So have real conversations with them and respond in a timely manner.
Analyze Your Results: How do you know if your business texting efforts are successful or not? You analyze the data. Determine which messages and campaigns get the best results. Then send more of these communications. If you use a proven texting service, this kind of information should be readily accessible to you.
4. Automate as Many Replies as Possible
The final piece of the business texting puzzle is communications and automation.
If you're manually sending appointment alerts, order confirmations, and shipping notifications, you're wasting time that could be spent on other, business-building activities. Thankfully, these kinds of messages are easy to automate with most business texting solutions.
We also suggest automating other kinds of messages, too.
For example, schedule texts to send automatically after you complete a service, thanking customers for their business and asking them to leave you a review on Google. Or automate answers to basic questions you receive like "What are your business hours?"
Connect With Your Customers
Connect with your customer through business texting.
Business texting is a great way to connect with prospects and customers. Once you learn how to send messages your recipients want to read, you'll be able to engage them on a deeper level and grow profits for your company. Just follow the four-step process outlined above.
Wanting a qualified professional to help you craft a winning SMS strategy? Contact Scorpion. We'll help you design a full-fledged marketing strategy that includes amazing text content for your unique audience. Looking forward to working with you!
Let's talk about SMS texting for your business. Schedule a consultation. Talk To Us