Business SMS is a great alternative or accompaniment to marketing methods like phone calls and the use of apps. An effective and cost-efficient element of any marketing campaign, it can be used in various ways to meet different goals.
1. Outbound business SMS
It is hard to beat SMS as a marketing tool when you consider both its effectiveness and its low cost.
The versatility of texting means that it can be used as part of almost any business model and marketing campaign. It can be used to let customers know of special offers, confirm sales, and offer customer services.
With an open rate of 95% within the first five minutes of sending, it is a great way of reaching all of your audience at once. Web site content, email and apps will only reach the portion of an audience that regularly uses the internet. Especially for companies who have lots of older customers, this is not always ideal.
On the other hand, the majority of adults have a mobile phone, and texting is still a popular activity among the general population. CEO of SMS specialist Collstream argues that “Text messaging is well loved, and the industry doesn’t believe text messaging has peaked.”
It gets even better when you consider that a text message costs only pence to send, and reduces the time and energy required for other sales and marketing methods. Making phone calls is costly, and can be a long process considering that many people are not reached first time. Producing apps, too, is expensive as it requires a team of designers and developers to create it.
2. Inbound business SMS
Business SMS isn’t all about you doing the contacting, though. You can allow potential and current customers to communicate with you by text. They can respond to marketing campaigns, enter competitions, request information to be send automatically, leave feedback, and much more.
Inbound messaging can even be combined with other methods. To save time and money spent on calling, Collstream has created a program called Text2CallBack, which allows customers to text in a time that is convenient for them to talk.
SMS has also been successfully paired with apps to encourage people to download them. Apps are an expensive method for consumers not to engage with, so employing the cheaper technique of texting alongside makes it worthwhile.
3. IVR (Interactive Voice Response)
Mobile phone marketing doesn’t have to be based on text, though. IVR allows customers to hear a message on their phone and then respond, and this is a versatile method of communication.
It is an efficient way of taking payment. Many customers prefer to make a payment quickly, rather than having to speak to someone to do so, and this also saves on call costs. It also solves the problem of not being able to contact people during working hours when they are busy. An automated telephone service can be used 24 hours a day.
There are also fun ways to use IVR that make a lasting impression on both potential and current customers. One of Collstream’s customers, Manchester City FC, contacted fans with the voice of manager Roberto Mancini after a match, reminding them to get tickets for the next game.
Different industries could take advantage of this idea, using the voices of relevant leading figures or celebrities as the voice of their customer communications. For example, companies that sell men’s skincare products and employ male sports stars in their adverts could also use their voices in IVR messages, and adventure companies could greet their customers with a message from Bear Grylls.
Whether integrating business SMS into your wider marketing strategy, or employing it as the central method of communications, it is an effective way of both saving money and grabbing consumer attention.