Do you toil away trying to publish on social media regularly and answer comments as quickly as possible, just to find that, despite your best efforts, your posts only reach a fraction of your target audience? Like 90 million other SMEs, you have a Facebook page1 for your business and you’re trying to profit from it while decreasing engagement rates are hindering your visibility. In the retail sector, for example, the average engagement rate per post was only 0.08% in 20192.
Often, social media can only reach a segment of subscribers who happen to be online at the right time and place. Text messaging, on the contrary, allows SMEs to reach all their customers at once, regardless of their social media use.
Why send text messages to subscribers if you already send newsletters? Simply because people are much more likely to read text messages than emails. This trend is explained particularly by the fact that half of emails received are junk mail, while less than 3% of text messages are unwanted3. In addition, most texts get opened within a few minutes of being received. When sending a text message about a sale, a new product launch or an event announcement, sellers can rest assured that their recipients will be notified on time.
If you’re not sure how to initiate a dialogue by text, try sending a simple thank you after customers make a purchase. Some 41% of consumers aged 18-65 find this polite gesture to be one of the most positive interactions they can have with a brand4.
Once the connection has been established, retailers can notify customers by text message when a new product is available. Designers, for their part, can announce the launch of their latest collection. They can then, if they wish, invite those who are interested to click on a link to a detailed article on their company page or website. Or they can direct customers straight to their online shop or offer a discount for their next in-store visit.
Did you know that a rating of less than 4 stars on social media can put off roughly half of your potential customers5? Thanks to business text messaging’s rating feature, sellers can encourage satisfied customers to share their positive experiences on Facebook and Google. You’re sure to catch the eye of potential customers with your countless positive reviews!
According to a survey of 8,000 North American and European respondents, 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that recognize them and provide personalized offers6. In fact, 83% of consumers are willing to share their personal data in exchange for a tailored shopping experience.
The best way for sellers to handle the pandemic and its repercussions is to communicate directly with their customers. After all, the health crisis has highlighted how important authenticity and empathy are to consumers7. Business text messaging has dynamic fields that retrieve information directly from your database or an Excel file, which allows for personalized communication with your customers. Far from being limited to using customers’ names, personalized texts can draw on information such as your customers’ preferences and purchase history. A customer could be reminded of that bike she asked about in the shop. Or a dog owner could be sent dog food and accessory recommendations based on his dog’s size and age.
In addition, the performance rating tools made available to sellers provide information about the targeted text campaigns. Managers can see the messages’ response rate and the number of hyperlinks that were clicked on, as well as the engagement of each customer.
If customers have any questions, employees can have private discussions with them. Since conversations are automatically archived, sellers can save all the information and conversations in one place and share them with their employees. The same goes for reviews that customers leave on Facebook and Google, which are directly accessible in the text messaging platform.
Have you ever signed up to a store’s loyalty program to get an instant discount at the checkout, only to unsubscribe a few days or months later? The privileged access provided by text messaging is earned. If you had received incentives not only upon subscription, but throughout your relation with the business, would you have been so quick to unsubscribe?
In practical terms, a seller can offer a 10% discount on the next purchase to customers who subscribe. It’s preferable for sellers to disclose from the outset the type of messages they will be sending to their customers. Legally, customers have the right to unsubscribe at any time, which is why it’s important for sellers to determine the optimal communication frequency for their public. You can then give customers 15% off when they remain subscribed for a month. These personalized messages get sent automatically, with no action required from the seller. Text message offers are redeemed 10 times more often than printed offers8, giving sellers the best odds of seeing their customers back in store.
With a scaled reward system set by the seller, customers could receive a 2-for-1 offer for a popular product after three months. After six months, they could receive a 20% discount, and after a year, they could get a free gift with a purchase of $75 or more. You can tailor the loyalty program however you prefer. What matters is that you’re showing your customers you care about them even after they’ve made their purchase. In short, sellers must strive not only to attract new customers, but also to retain their existing customers.
In terms of trust, close to 6 consumers out of 10 say that surprise offers and gifts are the most important way a brand can interact with them9. As VIP members, customers could receive a special offer during their birthday month. Once campaigns have been created, they are sent automatically to all relevant customers, without interfering with other promotions or one-off announcements.
Is your business organizing a contest, survey or any other event on social media? A member of your team can just send a text message with a hyperlink, and your customers will be invited to like one of your Facebook posts to enter a contest or tag themselves and a friend on Instagram. Take advantage of the synergy between your contacts made in store and your social media followers to extend the reach of your posts and promote your goods and services.
Shop owners who want to poll their customers to get a better idea of their needs and concerns before stocking a new product can send the survey link by text to everyone on their mailing list. That way, they can give all their customers and business relations a voice. In addition, by increasing the odds of getting feedback from those they care about, sellers reduce the proportion of trolls and strollers that may skew the results.
Text messaging helps increase the engagement rate of those that really matter to your business.
At the end of emails, your professional signature includes links to your website and social media profiles, but did you know you could add these to your business text messages too? What would be a tedious chore on a personal phone is done automatically with a text messaging app.
In turn, customers can text an activation code to a phone number to consent to communicating with the seller. However, it’s important that the information be easy to find. A director could make sure to include this info in company emails and on the company’s website, social media banners, receipts and in-store displays.
Give your shoppers the opportunity to stay connected with your business. It’s a respectful way to increase your database while ensuring that your customers remember you the next time they need something.
In short, you may be a wizard with algorithms, but their evolving nature means the rules of the games keep changing surreptitiously. Instead of constantly trying to keep up with the latest and hottest social media, why not consolidate your learning and integrate text messaging to your communication strategy? Rather than being an additional channel to manage, text messaging seamlessly integrates with other platforms to optimize their effectiveness. Don’t let your contact list just sit there collecting dust. Harness its potential to reach all your customers at once, regardless of where they are.
If you haven’t tried text messaging to communicate with customers yet, you’ll find that it’s the best solution for your needs. Learn about our platform.
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