With email response rates dwindling, brand marketers need to get creative about how they’re engaging with customers. Customer experience is the defining representation of brands and it includes every touchpoint and perception consumers have of your brand throughout their relationship with you.
Business text messaging is unique as a communication channel in several ways:
- Text messaging straddles offline and online and is available to nearly every mobile phone without being reliant on an internet connection.
- Messaging invites two-way conversations, not just one-way pushes of what brands want to say. The way in which consumers respond helps marketers understand and build contextual relevance that enhances experiences with the brand.
- Consumers prefer and respond to text messaging better and faster than other communication channels. How many unread texts are on your phone right now?
- Text messaging complements other channels to help boost traditional campaign performance. Sending a text message reminding your customer to check their email to access a research report, for example, can keep that email from languishing unread and ensure your customers get information important to them through the device where it makes the most sense to engage.
Because our mobile phones are always within reach, it’s prudent to assume that your audience will be reading your messaging and content on their smartphones. Whether email, website, mobile app, video, podcast, Facebook Messenger exchange or text message, the small screen is your entry point to consumer attention and prolonged engagement.
Text messages are responded to quickly – within minutes – making business text messaging the perfect way to connect content and experiences across channels. Everything is moving toward a mobile framework. So too should your marketing and customer experiences.
Use Text Messaging to Have Contextual Conversations
Marketers must move past the idea that they’re marketing the brand. It’s imperative to think about the purpose and meaning driving your customers’ experience. After all, experiences with your brand are being compared to their experiences with Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, and Google. How easy and satisfying is it to engage with your brand?
One of the things we do as marketers is make assumptions. We have a standard for collecting email addresses, so we email messages we want our customers to see. But when was the last time you asked them what device or mode of communication they prefer for specific messages?
Podcasts are most often listened to on mobile phones. How easy are you making it for consumers to listen? Can they tap their messaging queue and tap the link to listen or do they have to scroll through an endless email inbox to find it?
Do you know which topic they’re interested in learning more about or are you assuming because they clicked on several web pages of your site that they’re interested in a topic you covered on one of them? With text messaging, you can ask them. In fact, you can post a sidebar message on an article about the latest in fall fashion for rock climbers that invites them to text ROCK to receive notifications about new arrivals for that category. When they opt-in, you’ve got context around their interests.
Knowing that context and facilitating it seamlessly is what will set your brand apart and bring higher engagement. And the beauty of it is you can continue to engage them with automated messages on that topic.
Marketers are often a bit removed from customers. Text messaging allows you to close that gap by asking a consumer about their preferences or inviting them to ask questions about your products or services that you can answer in real time.
With every message – incoming or outgoing – recorded as a conversational history within their lead or contact record in your CRM, you’ll build that 360° conversational history that helps you personalize your messages without that “creep” factor. When you use what you learn from information your customer has shared, they see the effort and the care you’ve taken to converse with them.
Initiating and continuing contextual conversations with consumers will transform the customer experience. It’s time to break out of the way you’ve always done it and think about how to create more meaningful interactions with your customers.
The Bottom Line
Embracing mobile is not about shrinking experiences made for PCs to fit on a small screen. Advanced text messaging platforms enable marketers to use text messaging as a catalyst for transforming the customer experience.
Using Business Text Messaging Invites Marketers to:
- Think proactively, rather than reactively.
- Think dialogue, rather than monologue.
- Think context, not just content.
Consumers care about receiving the messages they Opt-in for on the device that’s appropriate for that information. Send an order receipt via email to be filed away for a record of the transaction, but send that coupon offer via text so it’s easily redeemable in store and top of mind.
When marketers look beyond the content to the context in which it will be used, channels blur and the focus is on the experience and the interaction.
Your customers will thank you.