Does Text Marketing Work?
Almost everyone is texting, but businesses have been slow to adopt it as part of a comprehensive marketing strategy. Text marketing is not as well known as toll-free phone numbers, but it is efficient, intimate, and can be a useful tool for improving business performance.
Text messaging drives customer engagement. Used well, it can streamline tasks like appointment setting, engaging your best customers in a time-sensitive offer, or providing immediate customer service. Sixty-three percent of consumers would switch to a company that offered text messaging as a communication channel. Like a vanity phone number, text messages are easy for companies to support.
Here are a few of the ways text messaging can bolster your business.
Remarkably High Open Rates
Compared to email, text messaging is a more personal and less costly way to send offers and communicate. Open rates hardly compare. Text open rates are 90%, while email open rates are only 20%.
While not as immediate as calling your toll-free phone number, customers read texts faster than they read emails. Ninety percent of texts are read within three minutes.
Text click-through rates also outshine email. The SMS click-through rate is 19% compared to only 2% with email marketing messages.
Improved Customer Response Rates
People habitually check their phones throughout the day. Since texts are standard in personal communications, customers are more likely to read and respond to a text than an email. SMS marketing beats email response rates by eight times.
It takes 90 seconds for consumers to respond to a text and 90 minutes to reply to an email, on average. Moreover, with texts, there are no spam filters to limit deliverability.
Of course, you can send an email to any address, but business text messaging requires customer opt-in to be legal. The number of people you can reach by email may far exceed your current opt-in list. However, experts recommend offering a text sign-up option everywhere you advertise other marketing channels, such as your custom 800 number or Facebook.
As a surprise to most marketers, 85% of smartphone users would rather receive a text from businesses than a phone call or an email. It is less of an interruption and makes communication fast and efficient.
Increased Sales and Marketing Conversions
Recent research reports that customers who receive text messages convert at a rate of 40% higher. However, this metric can go up or down, depending on the business’ SMS strategy.
According to the same study, texting with your business or toll-free phone number can improve the conversion rate by more than 100%.
Conversely, if a business sends texts to a customer before initial contact, text messages reduce the chances of contact by 39%.
The best conversion rates happen when companies wait until after contact to begin sending texts. To improve conversion rates, the customer relationship should come first, and business texting comes second.
Better Connection with Millennials
Millennials grew up with smartphones and online shopping. They are more advertising-savvy than older generations and tend to respond better to organic marketing.
Known for opting out of emails and ignoring phone calls, 80% of millennials would prefer to text a company’s toll-free phone number rather than calling.
No App Required
Every mobile phone receives text messages. Even customers who use simple mobile phones and may not have Wi-Fi or get emails on their phones can receive texts. Also, texting is easily accessible and requires almost no skill.
Mobile phone users are set up to receive texts. They do not need to download your company’s app or take any action other than opt-in to your company’s text marketing program.
A text message is a specialized tool for one-on-one communication. Adding personal touches to marketing messages, like using a customer’s first name in an email, makes shoppers twice as likely to add items to their cart. Forty percent spend more than they would without the personalization.
SMS can be used at every stage of the buyer’s journey.
Text Marketing: An Underutilized Opportunity
As powerful and effective as text marketing can be, it is also off-putting if misused. The efficacy of texts pivots on how people use them for personal communication.
To make sure that your SMS marketing is received as a trusted friend’s communication, serve your customer first and your brand second.
Done correctly, text-marketing positions your brand as friendly, useful, and accessible. With text exchanges, users are in control of the conversation.
Another way to strengthen customer retention is through a custom 800 number such as 800.com.