There’s no question that texting is an extraordinarily effective way of reaching customers. Research shows that 98% of text messages are read, 90% of them within the first three seconds, and as many as 80% of customers respond.
But to succeed with mobile messaging, you need to do more than sit back and encourage your staff to text customers. Unlike email campaigns, texts can be tough to track—they reside on the personal phone of the employee who sends them. If that person is absent or leaves, other staffers have no idea where the customer is in the buyer journey. They may not even know who the customer is.
Another problem is that ordinary texting doesn’t lend itself to data analysis, an important tool to show you now only who’s buying, but why. And it doesn’t integrate nicely with your CRM database or your marketing templates the way email does.
Fortunately, all of these problems can be solved with the right enterprise mobile messaging program. But before shopping for a solution, take some time to consider your business’s needs. What mobile messaging features are most important to you?
In an IDG/Heymarket survey, 52% of businesses said they wanted the ability to message multiple customers at once. Forty-five percent wanted scheduled message delivery, 42% wanted autoreplies, and 41% wanted full-on automated messages.
A San Francisco Bay Area real estate broker is among that 52%. Agents can easily tailor and send a message to multiple recipients at once, personalizing it with the first name of each person receiving the message. Team leader Kenny Truong sends a “Home Buyers Kit” that includes a Dropbox link with helpful documents. Says Truong, “People are now replying to my buyer’s kit. Last week I had 2 out of 3 people receiving that message reply to me.”
Other businesses want to merge SMS with their customer databases to personalize messages or send targeted campaigns to different market segments using templates.
It’s possible to do all of these things with enterprise text messaging. The more you automate formatting and delivery, the more time your employees have focus on individual customers’ needs.
An enterprise messaging system also allows employees to work better as a team. You can designate a single text message “number” for all your customers—or for groups of customers. That enables any workers you designate to see customer texts, instead of just the worker who initiated contact.
Customers are more responsive to texts, and they also expect a quicker response from you. If a client needs immediate help, they’re more likely to get it if their text goes to a team, especially if it’s after hours.
“Heymarket makes life easy for my clients as well, says Patty Chen, General Manager for the Loft, an exclusive, New York event space that caters to corporate clients and curated social gatherings. “They can quickly book our event space over text messaging at their convenience. And they love that I can now manage their RSVPs and guest list.”
Another reason you might want to consider enterprise SMS is sending videos. Like texting, videos are extremely effective in capturing customers’ attention. Including a video in an email increases click-through rate s by 200 to 300%, according to Forrester. Seventy percent of marketers report that video converts better than any other medium.
But emailed videos can be blocked by customer firewalls, and they sometimes take hours to get through. An enterprise SMS program can ensure fast, effective delivery. That’s especially helpful if your video shows customers how to use your product or solve a problem. With texting, they’ll get back to you right away if they need additional help—and will be impressed by your prompt support.
In today’s fast-paced world, customers expect business dialog to be direct and immediate, like a conversation. With enterprise SMS, you can achieve that while retaining all the sophisticated features of a traditional email campaign.