A year or so ago, I left my dentist’s office, was buckling up and adjusting my sunglasses when I got a text from my dentist thanking me for my business. I have really crappy teeth and spend some serious money with him, so he should be thanking me. Nevertheless, I was struck by the thoughtfulness of this communication.
A year later, text messaging has gone mainstream
While phone and email aren’t dead, they’re oversaturated. Email inboxes are flooded and it’s easy to miss an email. We end up playing phone tag when we want to connect. With texting, we can avoid all of these problems and reach the customer immediately. On the fence about whether/not you should incorporate text messaging into your communication plan? Look at these stats:
- 98% of texts are opened, compared to 40-50% of emails
- 89% of customers prefer to interact with business via text message rather than a phone call
Second most-preferred global communication channel
SMS marketing (also known as text message marketing) is an effective marketing tool when used appropriately. According to the 2021 State of Experience Marketing, a whopping 63% of multilocation businesses are already texting with their customers; 28% are now sending personalized SMS marketing messages every day. SMS is the second-most preferred global communication channel. SMS marketing continues to gain popularity, expected to increase by 52% by 2023.
Pay attention to best practices:
- Get Permission with opt-ins. SMS marketing is an example of permission-based marketing. Users need to opt in to your campaigns before you start messaging.
- Diversify your marketing channels. Not everyone loves texting.
- Call-to-action. Get to it. “Sign up”, “call back”, “text us back”, etc.
- Real–time conversations. Text messaging should be a two-way conversation. Allow customers to respond.
For one of my clients, a local moving and storage company, we’re using text messaging to promote our new winter rates that are 30% lower than those of the big guys. We’ll also use texts to confirm appointments and pickup times. It’s a really good way to stay top of mind. We’re using Twilio. There’s a lot of room to get clever with these campaigns, but we’re keeping it simple to start. Our clients are those who are moving or those who need a place for temporary storage.
Who’s using text campaigns?
Game of Thrones text campaign wins 70K new subscribers
HBO tapped into the power of SMS to send personalized text messages for their Three-Eyed Raven campaign. They sent reminders, clues, and links that teased out upcoming episodes. They gained 70,000 subscribers within the first two months of launching, totally hyping the season premiere.
Airbnb text messaging reaches hosts in mission-critical time frames
I’m a big fan of Airbnb and have used it many times for international travel. Once a guest has sent in a reservation request, the host has just 32 hours to accept or decline the booking. Texts provide a quick, reliable way to respond to requests within critical time frames.