Business texting is a growing channel for marketers to connect with leads and customers, but this should come as no surprise.
Texting is the preferred channel of communication for many people. Having said that, it’s still not used as often in business as it could be. In this episode of AMP Up Your Digital Marketing, host Glenn Gaudet talks with Scott Heimes, Chief Marketing Officer at Zipwhip, a business texting software platform. They cover the advantages of texting leads and customers, why it works better than calling or emailing, and the stigma around texting.
- Why business texting works.
- What marketers should keep in mind to run a text messaging campaign successfully.
- What guardrails marketers should look out for so they don’t mishandle business texting.
Why Use Business Texting?
People prefer to text in their social and personal lives, and a lot of these people are your customers and prospective clients. It only makes sense that this channel of communication carries over into their professional lives.
Business text messaging is advantageous for both a marketer and a lead for a few reasons.
For marketers, you can avoid being drowned out in an email inbox, and you’re more likely to receive a response than if you were cold calling. Many people don’t answer the phone if they don’t recognize who is calling. Some people never even bother to check their voicemails. For this simple reason, cold calling is a difficult practice.
In the eyes of a prospective client, they don’t answer cold calls because they don’t like them. And they don’t like emails too much because many emails are just spam. Everyone utilizes email, and you can’t possibly be interested in every company that emails you.
The text channel is easy, convenient, and preferred.
According to an AT&T research report, 85% of mobile device users prefer a text from businesses over phone calls or emails.
It does require the lead to opt-in, but once you have that, it’s very effective, Scott said.
“The response rate is off the charts compared to other channels,” he said.
Marketers can see that the message was received and read. It doesn’t have the same level of tracking that you’ll get in email, but it’s worth the tradeoff, Scott added.
“It’s a tradeoff of the ability to reach and actually have the user see the text,” he said. “The preference of the channel itself is super strong. It’s really powerful.”
The Zipwhip platform integrates with popular CRM systems so marketers can track analytics based on text conversations.
Getting Buy-in for Business Texting
It’s tough to give an exact opt-in rate for text messaging by clients or leads because it depends on how you market it.
But the opt-in rate can be very strong, especially for customer support and highly interested leads. Typically, if you offer customers or website visitors the option to text or call your number if they’d like to reach out, a large majority of people will opt for text messaging over calling, Scott said.
This isn’t surprising as most people prefer to text each other, especially among younger generations. If texting is the preferred option in their personal lives, then it only makes sense that text messaging carries over into their professional lives as well.
Marketers want to make communication easy for prospective clients and texting is a way to do that.
Marketing Guardrails of Business Texting
Text messaging as a marketing channel has its benefits. It’s easy, and it has a higher probability of the recipient reading the message.
But there are some things marketers need to look out for to make sure they run a text message marketing campaign correctly.
First, you need to make sure your leads opted-in to your texting campaign. If you don’t have permission to text them, you can’t text them.
Second, you have to be creative with your copy. It’s important to be concise, and leverage images in a smart way. If people don’t like the texts they get from you, they won’t want to get texts from you.
Third, you need a way to manage your conversations, track analytics, and have good reporting.
Lastly, pay attention to frequency. How often are you reaching out to people? You don’t want to burden the medium. Similar to email, it’s important to manage how often you message people and you need to be able to stop and go when you need to. This will help you long-term.
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