Conversational SMS messages bring a lot of value. Whether you’re focused on marketing, sales, or service initiatives, messaging has proven to deliver higher engagement and conversions than other communication channels. Even better, consumers across all generations prefer it to other forms of communication. We hope that providing you with the A to Z on conversational text messaging will inspire you to explore the opportunity to put messages in the palm of your customer’s hands. And we mean that quite literally.
A – A2P or application-to-person communications. A2P is enabled by a messaging platform to send messages to people, not messages that are sent from one individual to another or P2P messaging—like you’d do on your smartphone with a friend. A2P is the equivalent of marketing automation for messaging, instead of email.
B – Bulk messaging. Bulk messaging is when you use a messaging platform to send one message to a large volume of contacts, leads, or customers. This message could be an announcement, alert, product update, promotion, special offer, or other type of transactional message.
C – Conversations. Two-way, interactive messaging with your prospects and customers. This can be automated and triggered by keywords as a marketing initiative or human to human through the messaging platform, as could be the case for sales or service conversations.
D – Delivery. Know that your messages arrived at their intended destination.
E – Engagement through messaging is proven to blow email out of the water with a 45% response rate vs. only 6% for email.
F – Friendly. A smartphone is considered a very personal device that’s pretty much within reach at most hours of the day. People report they can’t go much more than 5 minutes without checking their phones—even without the sound of a notification. Communications from brands who use personalization skillfully and know their customers well can create a friendly exchange that leaves them feeling valued and appreciated.
G – Growth in trusted relationships and revenues.
H – History of prospect and customer conversations. With every message sent by you or your customer recorded in their CRM record, you’ll never lose track of where you stand in the conversation. And, should someone else need to step in, they’ll be able to get up to speed quickly to continue the conversation on the prospect or customer’s terms.
I – Integration with CRM. An advanced messaging platform that’s native to your CRM means your data is automatically integrated. You won’t be dealing with the silos of data and information that you get with point solutions—or the development time it takes to try to integrate them with an API.
J – Just-In-Time (JIT) messaging. JIT messaging are transactional communications that people need right away, such as password verification codes, status updates to service issues, product alerts, event reminders, and more.
K – Keyword-triggered conversations. Invite responses by messaging enticing offers that the prospect can receive by replying with a specific keyword. Then track the activity on that keyword to monitor the success of your campaign.
L – Loyalty program engagement is a prime use for messaging. Creating that VIP experience with exclusive offers, events, product previews, and more will help you keep your customers coming back to buy repeatedly over the longer term—increasing customer lifetime value (CLV).
M – MMS messages. Include videos, pictures, documents, and other content to send richer messages that go beyond plain text.
N – Native to mobile phones. There’s no app to download and every mobile phone comes with messaging capability pre-installed. A messaging platform enables you to create consistent and continuous communications without the cost and resources to build an app on your own.
O – Opt-in for messaging. Due to compliance regulations, your audience must opt-in to receive messaging from a brand. This means your database becomes a valuable asset as a collection of people who want to hear from and interact with your messages and your brand.
P – Personalization. With analytics that mine for prospect and buyer intent, along with conversational histories, the nirvana of gaining a 360° view of your customers is finally within reach.
Q – Q&A. Surveys are a great way to learn more about your prospects and customers quickly. Ask for feedback, experience evaluations to monitor NPS, learn individual preferences, and more to increase the relevance of your messages.
R – Response rates that are unmatched with other communication channels. This is because more than 64% of consumers say they prefer messaging from a brand over other forms of communication. And those who interact with you via messaging are more likely to convert—up to 40% more of them.
S – SMS messages. Contact your prospects and customers via their most preferred communication channel to attract, engage, win, and retain more of them by messaging with them across the entire customer lifecycle.
T – Two-way communications make a conversation sing. Marketers have pushed out monologue, one-way communications for years. As your prospects and customers take more control over their relationships with brands, empowering them to drive the conversation by easily responding to your messages helps build engagement and the personalized interactions consumers crave.
U – User adoption. Messaging platforms are intuitive, easy to use and quickly understood by your marketing, sales, and service teams.
V – Validate that what you believe about your prospects and customers is true with complete conversational histories in your CRM. These insights allow you to validate what you know about a segment of your prospects as well as to learn what you need to know to take marketing from a one-to-many communication to that elusive one-to-one conversation. This increased relevance will help them choose to buy from you—repeatedly.
W – Workflow automation. You need to guide prospects to buy and stay in touch with customers to prevent churn. Workflow automation with messaging means you can create nurture programs for both pre and post purchase. But, unlike email automation, you can also build in alerts that enable a human to step into the conversation when it reaches specific milestones.
X – Xenial (hospitable) communications. Messaging enables you to build a trusted relationship by sharing relevant information that your prospects find valuable, given their context.
Y – Yield better results and conversions than you can get when you rely on email as your main communication channel.
Z – Zealous. How you’ll feel when you see the impact that incorporating messaging into your marketing, sales, and service initiatives has on business growth and customer satisfaction.
From soup to nuts—A to Z—you now have a comprehensive idea of how SMS messages can help to transform the way your company strikes up relevant and compelling conversations across the entirety of the customer lifecycle.