Think about how many ways you can put your company and its products and services in front of potential customers – direct mail, billboards, radio, television, phone calls, magazines, newspapers and email. Each one has positives and negatives, and you probably use a combination of channels to increase your chances of reaching your target audience.
After all, mixing your messaging channels is a time-tested marketing strategy.
Right now, one channel that’s coming into its own is text messaging. Globally, we send more than 5 billion texts each day, and we read 98 percent of them. Texts are delivered to our phones, and we normally have our phones handy. That means texts are coming directly to us, wherever we are. It’s a marketer’s dream.
As effective as it is, however, text messaging doesn’t reach everyone, and it has certain requirements that other channels don’t have. For example, you must have permission to send text messages to your customers and potential customers before the initial marketing text message goes out. That means you must get permission first.
Fortunately, email, direct mail, applications, interest cards and other customer-facing materials, can allow you to collect texting permission while you’re getting names, addresses, and other customer information. Once you have permission to text, you have access to a marketing channel that is effective and preferred by your customers.
When we say customers, we mean anyone who might benefit from your products and services. That could be customers, clients, applicants or patients. This strategy cuts across industry lines and can be beneficial to any company trying to reach its constituents. For the sake of brevity, we’ll refer to your constituents as customers for now.
We’d be willing to bet that your sales team (and sometimes your customer service team) doesn’t always end a conversation with a sale. Sometimes the customer needs more time. Or they need to compare products. Or the price is too high. Or sometimes, the customer simply doesn’t qualify for your product.
Mortgage lenders, for example, want customers who have certain income levels and credit scores. The prospect may not qualify during the initial contact but may qualify six months later. Jobs change, debt is paid, marital status changes.
Because eligibility can change, mortgage companies want to keep in touch with prospects, and text messaging can help. With a text messaging campaign, you can send information on a regular basis to customers who aren’t quite ready to do business. You can send links to helpful information or other materials that can help your prospect become a customer. And because you’re sending texts, you know that your message is cutting through the chaos so that your prospect can respond.
When you plan regular communications, you help keep prospects in the pipeline by building a relationship with them. They will be less likely to move to your competitor if they have a future with you.
Starting a list of prospects who have given you permission to text them, however, may take a little time. Of course, you can text just a handful of prospects, but while the list is growing, you can plan your campaigns. Think about the interactions you have with your customers now. Do some interactions have patterns that require the same cadence regardless of the customer?
This exchange between a customer and the company can be completely automated. You set the triggering event and the text in each step. You can ask your customer to perform a task or send more information. You can direct them to additional information or remind them that a deadline or appointment is approaching. You can even highlight the personality of your company during these sequences. Nothing says the messages must be boring; you can insert humor or a personal touch, even in an automated message.
Also at any point during the exchange, you can provide extra help to the customer. At SMS-Magic, we are working on a chat function that will help send more information to your customers or allow a live customer service representative to step in when needed.
Once you’ve introduced live customer service reps to the conversation, you can use our mobile app to free up your team members. With the SMS-Magic mobile app, your team can respond to your customers wherever they are. And they can use their own phones. This gives your staff the ability to offer personalized customer experiences while they are away from their desks.
It’s a competitive world and if you’re able to respond to your customers faster than your competition, you have earned an amazing competitive advantage. Your customers may not expect much from customer service, but you can earn new customers, while keeping your existing customers, by delighting them every time they contact you. Quick responses to their emergencies or inquiries can help you develop the positive customer relationships that drive your business.
And we know that if you use a CRM like Salesforce or Zoho, you want to keep track of all your customer interactions. We can connect the mobile app to your CRM. All of your incoming texts and your responses will be archived in your CRM just like you were responding from your desktop.
The SMS-Magic mobile app can also keep track of messages sent from a variety of platforms, starting with native mobile text capabilities and expanding to OTT apps like Messenger, WhatsApp, SnapChat or the others as needed.
Building authentic customer relationships is increasingly important in today’s business world. Staying in touch with your existing customers and getting to know your potential customers has become a requirement. SMS-Magic, through conversational and automated text messaging, can help you reach out to customers in new ways.
SMS-Magic offers a free trial so that you can get a feel for our product. If you’re as pleased as we think you will be, you can choose the level of service that’s best for your company.Contact us to set up a demo or to start your free trial. Let us show you how you can engage your customers in new ways!