12 Awesome Ways to Use Text/SMS Messages for Business
It's hard to overstate the value of sending SMS (simple text messages) or MMS (image and text) to your contacts or clients.
Not only are they married to their phones, which statistics say are checked over 150 times per day, they are super-engaged with text messaging, a simple and unintimidating communication channel which is reserved for those in their immediate social circle.
As a result, statistics show that almost every text message they receive is read (99% according to SitePoint) and most within 3 minutes.
In comparison, only 17% of commercial emails are opened and only a small fraction of your audience ever sees your social media posts.
If you have a message that your audience must see, or you're tired of struggling to penetrate through the sheer volume of email and social media that your clients are subject to each and every day…
…Then SMS (or MMS) is the answer.
So let's look at 12 ways SMS/MMS text messages can be used for businesses or organizations, starting with…
#1. Drive Sales
You won't be surprised to hear that one of the most popular uses of SMS/MMS is for promotional purposes; to drive sales and revenue.
Given that your customer now sees every one of your marketing messages, all that's left for you to do is to offer a compelling incentive (usually in the form of a coupon, discount, or a freebie) and ask them to do more business with you.
Most businesses will find it nearly impossible not to generate a very respectable ROI (return on investment) from any text message marketing they use.
#2. Drive Traffic
Text messaging is very effective for driving traffic; to your grand opening, product unveiling or launch, special event, business mingle and just about anything else you can think of.
Whether it's physical “boots on the ground” showing up at your place of business, or digital ones showing up at a virtual location, you can't go wrong using text messaging.
#3: Solicit Google, Facebook or Yelp Reviews
It's not what you say about your business, it's what your customers say that has the biggest impact on a potential new client.
This is known as “social proof.”
That's why today, most people will check out your business' Google, Facebook, or Yelp reviews before they decide to do business with you.
The best way to ensure what they read is positive and affirming is to be proactive in building a profile featuring reams of positive reviews.
You do this by reaching out to your customers and ask them to leave their feedback about your business and their experience with it.
This is a task perfectly suited for SMS.
Send a short message that thanks your customer for their patronage, ask for a review and include a web link where they can do so.
When prospective new customers see that current clients' experiences are overwhelmingly positive, they'll have no reservations about sending their business your way.
#4. Send Surveys. Solicit Customer Feedback.
As a business owner, two of your most important jobs are to a) make sure the needs of your customers are being served properly and b) anticipate the evolving needs of your customers so that you can best serve them going forward.
Sometimes all you have to go on is your gut, and that's not particularly scientific.
The easiest way to remove the guesswork from this equation is to ask your customers directly for their feedback and input.
Then, take what you find here and use it to make more informed decisions about serving your customers going forward.
Another task perfectly suited for a text messaging!
Give it a try!
#5: Deliver Critical Announcements
As much as text messages are a natural fit for business applications, they are just as much so for non-commercial messaging, like important announcements that you don't want your audience to miss.
Over the last couple of years, we have seen a huge increase in the number of organizations sending notifications to staff and team members by text message, mostly to deal with uncertainties of the COVID 19 pandemic.
As you and I both know, emails aren't always checked often and are easy to miss, while critical messages send by text messages are viewed in anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes.
#6. Send Appointment Reminders
If you have a business where people have to show up on a certain date and time in order for you to earn a living, you know how disruptive missed and forgotten appointments can be.
Not only are you deprived of the revenue that the appointment provides, you may also have to pay a staff member to sit around for the duration of that appointment as well.
A double-whammy, you might say.
The good news is that sending appointment reminders by text message is a hugely effective way to reduce these dramatically, anywhere from 50% and up, according to clinical studies.
In addition, data suggests most people prefer texts for scheduling or confirming appointments, as it's fast and doesn't intrude much on their time.
#7: Send OTP or 2FA Codes
One time passwords or 2 factor authentication codes are idea for SMS; your customer receives their access code in a couple of seconds and there's no fumbling around in their email or worrying that it has been filtered by your ISP.
#8: Send Renewal Notifications
Any important notification is ideal for sending by text, simply because you know your client will get the message. This might include…
- Insurance policy renewals.
- Service contract renewals.
- Mortgage renewals.
… and so on.
#9. Solicit Donations
I've written extensively about how and why non profit organizations should use text messaging – to mobilize volunteers, recruit new ones, and perhaps most importantly, solicit donations.
When your patrons are bombarded on all sides by marketing messages, sending your donation request by SMS solves your biggest problem of all…
… Ensuring your donor actually sees the request.
Compared to mailing a package to each of your donors, a text message costs only a fraction of the amount.
That means more money for your cause.
#10. Provide Help and Support
While most people think of bulk or mass texting when they think of possible uses of SMS, the fact is that text messaging is a great channel for one-to-one business messaging.
And while only a small percentage of businesses are currently able to handle text messaging conversations, statistics indicate customers want to have text conversations with businesses… 89% of them do, in fact (Twilio).
They may have a question about a product or service you offer, wish to order a service call, get help or support for a current product… the list is nearly endless.
And conversing by text message is a requirement if you work exclusively with those in the 18-35 demographic, who don't answer phone calls or check email regularly.
Our CONNECTsms software is used to a large extent by social service, youth and employment agencies, and anyone those whose job it is to support this younger demographic.
In short, implementing a business texting solution (like CONNECTsms) makes it easy for your prospect to reach out to you at their convenience, hence removing one of the common barriers to client communication.
#11. Direct Sales
Normally you'd pick up the phone to call your leads, but data from FranchiseHelp shows that 90% of leads prefer to be texted, rather than called.
In addition, response rates from text messages are over 200% higher than those from a phone call (also from FranchiseHelp).
This isn't that surprising… we know text messages are not instrusive. They are less likely to interrupt your prospect in the middle of something and take less time to address, perhaps leading to an individual who is more receptive to your pitch.
#12. Staff Scheduling
If you're in charge of staff scheduling, you don't need me to tell me what a pain this can be.
Email one person, wait for a response, then email someone else because you haven't heard back from them, then immediately hear back from the first person… it's enough to drive you crazy.
When you do your scheduling by text though, things change. People respond immediately, which makes life much, much easier for you.