Getting your customers’ attention can be hard — there are infinite messages, ads, and images that are vying for their consideration. With so many sales and marketing channels available to you, it can be difficult to decide which one will resonate with and have the greatest impact on your audience. In fact, what works for one organization may not work for another — even within the same industry. By adding business text messaging services to your solution suite, you can empower your SMB customers with a powerful communication channel.
Business text messaging enables your SMB customers to reach their end users where they spend the most time — on their smartphones. As a SaaS application, it allows SMBs to use their local, toll-free, or VoIP phone numbers to send and receive SMS and MMS messages. SMBs can easily resolve customer inquiries, send reminders, promote events, automate common responses, and more — all from the business phone number their customers already know and trust.
Many consumers not only prefer text messages to phone calls for short exchanges, but also prefer companies that offer text messaging as a communication channel. In fact, almost 63% of consumers would switch to a company that offers it.¹ Which means SMBs and enterprises are seeking out text message solutions to meet their customers’ expectations — creating a substantial market opportunity for service providers.
Business Text Messaging is the ideal solution for any business that seeks to streamline inbound and outbound communications. Service providers can target a wide range of industry verticals to meet SMB needs with ease.
There are some similarities between texts and emails. They’re both universal communication channels, messages are delivered in seconds, engagement is trackable, and both are capable of two-way conversations. When compared side by side, however, they differ in performance.
Email has been (and still is) one of the most accessible and reliable business marketing channels. However, with the rise of mobile phones, SMS and MMS text messaging is quickly becoming the easiest and most effective way for a business to reach their customers.
Let’s take a look at some of the differences between these channels:
Both text messaging and email are effective business communication tools, but one channel may be better suited than the other based on the context of your message and audience you’re trying to reach. When planning your customer communication strategy, consider the following:
• How time-sensitive is the message?
• Is a response required from the recipient (requiring two-way communication)?
• Will the message contain rich media such as images, GIFs, or videos?
• Will your customers need to access the message later?
If your message is time-sensitive or requires urgent action, SMS is the more effective communication channel. If your message needs to be saved by your customers for a later date, email may be preferred. Many businesses also use a no-reply email as their main email address, which doesn’t allow for two-way communication. So, if you want customers to respond, text messaging is the superior method of communication.
The result? While there’s no clear winner between text messaging and email marketing, both tools can compliment each other and are a vital part of omnichannel marketing strategy.
Business text messaging provides another communication channel that can be introduced into a customer’s solution suite — and best of all, it’s not a replacement for existing communication solutions. For service providers who offer this compelling solution, it’ll be much easier to convince SMB or enterprise customers to enhance their impact by introducing a new tool rather than replacing an existing solution with something new.
Yes — In fact, it’s one of the most powerful communication channels a business can use! By incorporating a business text messing solution into an existing solutions suite, SMB grain access to a simple, effective, and completely customizable way to reduce costs and increase efficiency for any company.
SMS and MMS solutions enable any size of company to effectively reach customers at every stage of their engagement lifecycle, on the channel customers prefer. By optimizing customer communication and engagement efforts to meet customer preferences, SMBs can improve their reach, build brand awareness, empower customers, and increase loyalty.
There’s no right or wrong way to craft a business text message, but while most of us are experienced at writing personal texts, professional messages have more nuances. For example, all texts should be casual, friendly, and concise — but you may want to avoid using abbreviations, ALL CAPS, or emoticons for business messages
Here are some additional guidelines to ensure you’re representing your company in the best light:
• Personalize Your Communications. While collecting data, consider asking the customer what they want to receive texts about. Segmenting your contact lists allows you to share only the information those customers want to receive, which will reduce opt-outs.
• Be Concise and Engaging. Since texting feels more personal, have some fun with it! Consider what you can say with words — can you convey the same message with pictures, GIFs, or videos?
• Be Present. If you’re planning to engage customers with a marketing campaign or important reminders, consider both automating common responses and monitoring your inbox. Remember, providing a great customer experience is your mission.
It absolutely can! Text messaging is one of the best ways to reach and support your customers because it’s so fast and easy. Just remember, no one likes getting spam, whether it be unwanted phone calls, emails, or text messages. So, it’s essential that you follow these guidelines to comply with the various laws and regulations surrounding text message marketing:
- Obtain opt-in consent. Only send text messages to consumers who have voluntarily given their express (not implied or assumed) written consent.
- Ensure consent is informed. Disclose the type of messages the consumer will receive (such as marketing promotions or shipment updates), and only add customers to the contact list(s) they have agreed to.
- Honor opt-out requests. Ensure consumers can choose to stop receiving messages at any time, and process opt-out requests daily. And remember, don’t spam your customers!
Easily — with the right tools, of course. A cloud-based solution should provide an intuitive messaging admin portal for provisioning, managing accounts, scheduling bulk messages and more. To accelerate time-to-market and minimize total cost of ownership, seek out a mature cloud communications provider that offers a business text messaging service that is specifically built for business rather than personal use.
With a business text messaging solution, SMBs can easily resolve customer inquiries, send reminders, promote events, automate common responses, and more — all from the business phone number their customers already know and trust.
SMBs can set up text-for-info keywords to automatically respond to common inquiries, schedule messages for drip campaigns or reminders, enable out-of-office messages, and more. With limitless consumer applications, service providers can target an unparalleled range of industry verticals to meet SMB needs with ease.
Alianza’s feature-rich Business Text Messaging solution enables service providers to quickly launch and deliver a profitable business texting solution while maintaining control over pricing, feature bundling, and customer relationships. As a turnkey solution, it also includes account management and all the features SMBs need to automate and streamline customer interactions and improve business performance.
Business Text Messaging is a powerful tool for service providers to improve market differentiation, increase customer stickiness, and expand commercial sales opportunities. Alianza’s solution is well suited for any telecommunications service provider, MSO, or ISP that offers SMB voice services — even CSPs that don’t operate their own voice networks. Sign up for BTM today to increase market opportunities, extend service reach, and grow revenues.
To learn more about how Business Text Messaging can increase revenue, automate end customer onboarding and management, talk to a Alianza representative today.
Learn more: The 2021 SMB Cloud Communications Survey reveals substantial opportunities for service providers.