Wondering how to use SMS marketing to get more customers and improve customer experience? Here are seven ways to get more customers and improve customer experience with SMS.
In a world where every business is hustling to make its mark in this highly competitive market, the marketing campaigns have multiplied manifolds. Customers are targeted from multiple channels to attract them to new products and entice them to visit the website and place their orders.
Either it’s printed media, television ads, or even promotional posts on social networking sites; numerous brands try to capture the attention of the online user and tempt them to get their hands on the product or service.
Do you think that the entire targeted audience will notice the promotional posts and act according to the desire of the brands? Of course not. For instance, if a brand is promoting its products on social media, there is a great chance that its posts are not noticed by the prospect.
But…what if we told you that there is one marketing channel that is fast, inexpensive, and highly effective?
It’s SMS marketing! Make your promotional messages land directly in the customers’ inboxes.
In the era of social marketing, brands still use SMS marketing to reach out to their customers. This is because the opening rate of an SMS is up to 98%. The messages are read by the receivers in the first 3 minutes after receiving them. Thus, it makes SMS marketing an effective marketing channel for businesses.
So, if you want to reach your customers and tailor a highly targeted message for each segment, give SMS marketing a try.
In today’s article, we will talk about how SMS marketing can help you get more customers and improve customer experience with your business.
7 Ways To Use SMS To Improve Customer Experience And Get More Customers
Here are seven ways to get more customers and improve customer experience with SMS. Make your customers love you by letting them text you.
1. Run Promotion And Sales
Holding a sale? Or offering fat discounts on your products? Let your customers know when to raid your online store or retail shop.
Sending SMS to mass customers is an effective way to notify them about the sale and generate traffic on the store.
Promotional SMSs are like newsletters, except they are short, to the point, and free from all the graphical elements. All a marketer has to do is create a message, and send it out to its customers. He doesn’t have to worry about designing the letterhead, or adding extra elements to make the message attractive.
As we have mentioned earlier the opening rate of the SMS is the highest out of all the other marketing channels. SMS marketing is the best option for marketers for making time-sensitive announcements.
For example, a brand is offering limited-time offers and discounts for the weekends. The customers can only avail of discounts for two days. If the brand announces the sale via social media posts or emails, it wouldn’t receive a lot of customers. Why? Because the opening rate of email is 15%-20%. It means a good majority of the customers will miss out on the offers if they do not open their emails. Similarly, a social media post about the sale will be rendered ineffective, if customers don’t log in to their social media profiles.
On the contrary, a business can expect a great number of customers at the sale if it notified them through SMS. People have become addicted to their smartphones. An average person checks his smartphone around 150 times a day. So, if you have sent a text message to your customers, there is a high chance that it will be noticed and read by them.
SMS marketing gets instant results, especially if the message is concise and contains all relevant information. The device is already in their hands; what’s a minute to browse the title and read the first few lines, right? It’s not like a tremendous amount of their time was wasted. This is why catchy and witty opening lines on SMS messages are encouraged. You want to hook the reader immediately, and a dull first few lines will never make it.
2. Leverage SMS For Appointments And Reminders
Customers sometimes tend to forget their appointments with doctors, dentists, hairdressers, etc. Forgetting about the scheduled appointments is a problem for both the business and customers. When a customer doesn’t show up on the scheduled day or time, the business loses the opportunity to earn revenue from the client. As for customers, they have to visit or call to reschedule their appointments.
Sending a reminder for appointments is an excellent way to inform the customers about their scheduled appointment at a certain date and time. Sending reminders via SMS is the most effective method as it will be quickly seen and read by the customers. Hence, no more missed appointments!
So, if you are running a service-oriented business like a clinic, salon, restaurant, hotel, etc. Reminding your customers about their appointments or reservations, especially the ones made in advance, reduces the chances of no-show.
Sometimes the clients do not miss their appointments because they forget about them. They often miss it because of unforeseeable circumstances such as a busy day at work, feeling under the weather, or due to some professional commitments. Let your customers reschedule the appointment via text message without having to visit the venue, or send ample emails. Providing this ease to customers will make you earn their loyalty.
Businesses can also remind customers about renewing their account, expiration of their subscription, reminders to pay the membership fee, etc. to keep the customer updated about his account or membership details.
This specific tactic not just aims to increase your business’s profit but encourages you to build a relationship with your clients. Your client would feel that they are special and this could be the beginning of stronger loyalty among your clients.
3. Let Your Customers Text Product Or Service Questions
An internet user can order almost everything online from monthly groceries to high-tech digital goods, without saying a single word and just tapping on the screens. Customers have become accustomed to texting and typing in an online world. Thus, they expect businesses to solve their issues without having to go through the formal channel of emails or phone calls.
There are numerous times when a customer has a petty question and trivial concerns about the products or services of the business. If the business has a mobile number, customers can connect with the business by simply texting them their problems to get an immediate response.
Allowing your customers to send you text messages, demolishes the need for a long telephonic call, or back and forth emails. Moreover, replying to your customers over an SMS saves time especially if the questions are about the opening or closing timings of the store, inquiry about the product, or questions related to the shipment.
4. Confirmation Messages
SMS marketing makes it easier for businesses to keep the customers in the loop and update them about their order details.
Many successful businesses have adopted the approach of thanking the customer for their orders or reservations through text messages. Delivering personalized thank you messages helps to strengthen the relationship with the customers and earn their loyalty.
Thus, always send a confirmation message to the customer about their orders and their details to notify them that their order has been accepted by the business. Similarly, send the shipment details to your customers via SMS so that they can be at home when their packages are expected to be delivered.
On the contrary, if the businesses do not update the customer about the package arrival or change in shipment day, it makes the customer take the trouble of picking his parcel from some other location or wait for the business to deliver it again.
5. Ask For Feedback
Customers are kings!
And business should ask the kings if it is serving them right and providing an amazing experience. Asking for feedback and reviews is crucial for the growth of the business. Customer feedback gives the business insight into what areas of the business are performing well and which areas need improvisation to eradicate the shortcomings.
The majority of the customers do not provide the business with valuable feedback or reviews about their products. Even if the person had a bad experience with the brand, he won’t communicate it to the business. In fact, only one person out of twenty-six people will communicate his complaints to the business. The remaining 25 will switch the business or discontinue to be their customers.
Hence, businesses need to make their customers share their concerns and suggestions to provide them an unmatchable experience and retain them for the long term. Once your customer has received his packages, send them a text message and ask him about the product quality, customer service, shipping facility, etc. The customer would appreciate a brand asking for his feedback. On the other hand, the company can get valuable feedback from its customers.
Soliciting feedback from your customers shows that you’re on a journey to improve your products and service, and you don’t settle for just okay. It could identify you as a brand that doesn’t tolerate mediocrity.
6. Run Contests
Running contests or hosting giveaways are excellent tactics to generate traffic on your website, boost engagement rates on social networking accounts, or increase brand awareness.
SMS marketing can help you to direct people to your website or social networking account and get them to participate in the contest or giveaway for winning an exciting gift or discount coupon.
All you have to do is attach the link to your social profile and inform the customers about the amazing prizes the winner will get. Your customer can tap the link to land on your social profile and participate in the contest.
If running a contest or hosting a giveaway is out of the question, you can arrange a lucky draw for your subscribers. Simply ask your customers to reply to you back with a code to enter into the lucky draw.
Reward the lucky winner with the gifts you promised. Don’t forget about the other participants! Send them a discount code as a consolation prize so they look forward to more such contests.
Contests and giveaways keep you engaged with your target market, and this keeps them excited about your brand. Activities like this give them something to look forward to and probably give them more reason to follow your social media pages or subscribe to your email list.
7. Conduct Surveys And Polls
Conducting surveys and polls can help you collect valuable information from your customers. It provides you an insight into what customers expect from your company and how you can improve your brand.
Instead of attaching the link to surveys and questionnaires in the email, attach it to an SMS as it has a higher opening rate than emails. A business can expect to receive a better response on surveys and questionnaires when sent to the customers via SMS.
If you do not want your customer to go to a specific site for filling up the forms or surveys, no problem! You can ask them short questions on the text message, for example:
- Are you satisfied with our products?
- Would you recommend our company in your social circle?
- Which ice cream flavor should we introduce next on our menu?
- Are you happy with the delivery timings of our store?
The customer can easily answer the above questions by replying with one word or line to the business.
Companies also send a few questions to the customers and ask them to rate it out of 10. For instance:
On a scale of ten, how happy are you with the customer service of the business?
How would you rate your last shopping experience from our eCommerce website?
By collecting responses and suggestions from customers, a company can introduce new products or services to meet their expectations and demands.
Best Practices For SMS Marketing
So, to get your SMS marketing programs off on the right foot, consider these best practices for SMS marketing:
1. Take Permission From Your Customers
The first step to SMS marketing is to take the consent of your customers before you include their numbers in the messaging lists. Just as you encourage your customers to sign up for the newsletter, do the same for SMS marketing.
Inform them about what benefits they will receive by sharing their numbers with the company. If the customer has provided you his number for placing his order, do not use it to send him promotional messages if he has not consented to it.
Similarly, if you have got your hands on the contact number of prospects through a friend or business contact, don’t use them. Sending messages to people without their consent can land your business in hot waters and legal implications.
2. Text At Appropriate Timings
Timings are a crucial factor to pull off your marketing campaign. Running a marketing campaign at appropriate timings can bring effective results for the success of the business. Hence, be very mindful when you send SMS to your customers.
If you are holding a sale, inform them a few days before, and remind them again on sale day. Similarly, if you are offering weekend deals, ensure to send them on Thursdays and Fridays so the customers can benefit from them. Sending the messages on the 11th hour will not reap desired results.
Moreover, when your customers have opted-in for receiving the messages, make sure that you don’t make them opt-out. Do not bombard customer’s inboxes with endless messages and promotions. Send the messages in moderation. In addition, be mindful of the time of sending the message. Customers wouldn’t appreciate the businesses sending messages late at night.
3. Keep Things Short
Customers are accustomed to texting because it saves time. Thus, do not write long and never-ending lines. The person will not bother to read a long message and will delete it.
Keep your SMS short and crisp. Come straight to the point to notify the customer about the context of the message.
4. Use Emoji
Using emoji can convey the message without typing any words. SMS marketing is less formal than email marketing; hence, do not shy to use emoticons to send messages to your customers.
Emojis adds a touch of friendliness to your message tones. However, do not go overboard with it.
5. Always Introduce Yourself
Customers are not habitual of saving the number of the businesses. Therefore, whenever you send the message, make sure that you introduce yourself in the beginning so that your customer knows who they’re receiving a text from.
Start your messages by mentioning the name of your business in the message.
6. Indicate How You Got The Number
When you’re sending the welcome message to the new subscriber, make sure that you remind him that he gave out his number willingly to the business for receiving text messages.
It will remind the customer why he signed up for the messages in the first place and will not opt out from this service.
In the era of digital marketing, the environment for the customer has become chaotic. He is targeted from every direction from numerous brands to catch his attention and make him purchase the product or service from the business.
Most of the time the customer doesn’t pay heed to the marketing campaign, but with SMS marketing it is a different story!
SMS marketing can enable the marketers to penetrate all the other marketing campaigns targeted towards the customer and land straight into the customer’s inbox.
So, what are you waiting for? Integrate SMS marketing in your overall marketing campaign to connect with your customers and improve their experience.
About the author: Ricky Hayes is the Co-Founder and Head of Marketing at Debutify – a free Shopify theme, helping dropshippers build high-converting stores in minutes. He is a passionate entrepreneur running multiple businesses, marketing agencies, and mentoring programs.
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