Marketing automation has allowed both B2C and B2B marketers to get more value from email marketing. You get to educate your audience in an ongoing fashion, even as you capture more in-depth data and insights into why people view and respond to your content. There’s a problem though. As more email has been sent, inboxes are stuffed, and open and response rates have declined. SMS messages are gaining traction to jump start those tired response rates and get your marketing performance back in the fast lane.
Most of us know SMS messages through our individual experience on our smartphones. We’re accustomed to texting with family and friends on a one-to-one basis. SMS text marketing platforms for business do what marketing automation did for email. An advanced text messaging platform enables marketers to communicate with prospects and customers with personal or automated messages. All message conversations are tracked within your CRM for 360-degree prospect histories.
SMS messaging has some impressive metrics when compared to email:
Where the read rate for email hovers around 20%, 99% of SMS text messages are read; most of them within five minutes.
Only 6% of emails are responded to, on average, where texting is so natural that 45% of your texts will be answered, creating that two-way dialogue that marketers dream about
Thanks to advanced SMS marketing platforms, businesses can now use messaging for single messages, bulk messages sent to a list, and multi-touch campaigns (nurturing). Finally, the use of automation has expanded to create more impact for your mobile marketing strategies.
Not only can you track, see, and respond to all your messaging conversations being held with prospects and customers, you can measure them too. Analytics allow you to know how many of your messages are delivered, how many responses you’ve received to each campaign or message, and the health of your SMS database via your CRM. When integrated with marketing automation, you can also track CTRs and other behaviors.
Here are a few other examples of how SMS marketing automation can help you get and stay relevant to have better interactive conversations with prospects and customers:
Keywords can be used to get responses from prospects about their interests which automatically trigger follow-on messaging to deliver the right information based on the keyword your prospect texts back to you in response. You’re no longer guessing about what to send them, you know.
Surveys help you gather insights about specific prospects or a segment of your audience. You can ask them about their experience with you, what types of issues they’re trying to resolve, what they like-the list of possibilities is endless. Asking one question at a time will elicit more responses due to the brevity and simplicity of the answer requested vs. asking them via email to go to an online survey that could require ten to twenty minutes of their time to complete.
Switching from automated campaigns to personal outreach is easy with SMS marketing and not something easily achieved with marketing automation for email. When you see a dialogue that needs the personal touch, it’s easy to take command of the conversation to drive higher engagement through the 1:1 conversations you’re having. Then, you can either accelerate buying for the prospect or switch back to the campaign to nurture them further based on what works for them—not you.
Let’s say you notice that a prospective student is responding to your multi-touch campaign about the curriculum at your business school, specifically courses taught by Professor Smith. You can step into the flow and send a personal message to increase the student’s engagement.
Integrating SMS messages as part of your marketing strategy gives you the ability to:
Get that first conversation. Almost 45% of messages get a response from prospects. That’s versus less than 5-10% from emails and lower rates from voicemails. That means you’ll get 6X the responses you get with emails and voicemails. Being the first to start the conversation with a prospect has also been proven to increase the probability of ultimate sales conversion, with conversions increasing by 40%.
Reach prospects you thought were gone. All businesses have a list of prospects we thought were hot that disappeared. With text messaging, you can easily re-engage with these prospects, beginning new conversations that nurture their interest, establish a trusted relationship and bring them back into your pipeline.
Qualify leads quickly. Spending resources to sell to leads that are most likely not qualified is expensive. With text messaging, you get the first conversation and then move forward to qualify every lead so that you and your sales team can focus on those most likely to buy. The rest you can move into a nurture campaign, using messaging.
Get and stay relevant. Lack of relevance is the number-one complaint prospects have about the sales and marketing information they receive. You can use the natural style of a conversation to ask what your prospect wants to know, through a survey or a simple question. When they respond, you’ll know what they need and deliver exactly that information. As the prospect moves through your pipeline, you can check in to learn what else they want to know, so that you are always having relevant conversations.
We’re not suggesting that you replace the marketing programs you’re running today. By integrating SMS marketing into what you’re already doing, you can add an additional channel that’s preferred by your audiences. This helps you boost marketing performance. Blending SMS marketing with email marketing can help you build engagement, increase intent, and put personalization to work in ways you may not have thought possible in the past.