Text Marketing 101

by Clate Mask

In my experience, the key to business success is communicating the right message to the right clients at the right time. When businesspeople communicate effectively with current and prospective clients, they can increase conversion, reduce churn and build long-term relationships that result in more sales.

But engaging with customers and prospects can be difficult if the right marketing channels are not being used. Email has been the predominant channel for small business because it’s efficient, but email open rates have been on the decline. The use of text messaging, on the other hand, has substantially increased in professional settings. Research shows that customers respond to text messages within four minutes, compared to 48 hours for email, and they are 10 times more likely to redeem an offer sent via text message, making text a powerful tool for your marketing needs.

Let’s examine how text marketing can help improve customer engagement and bolster the bottom line.

Speed Conversion

When a potential customer visits a business’s site, the business wants to engage them as quickly as possible. Gone are the days of struggling to send one-off texts. Utilizing automated text messaging allows a business to send prospects a relevant text based on their specific action. For example, as soon as they complete a form on a business’s website or subscribe to its email list, it can send a welcome text that includes a link to book an appointment or a discount code for their first purchase. This helps move prospects further into the sales funnel.

Encourage Referrals

Sending a text message automatically to thank the customer for their purchase is a best practice, but this is also a great opportunity to upsell a complimentary product or service. The business might also ask for a positive review on Google or another site — or even squeeze in a little extra incentive to motivate customers to refer a friend.

Appointment Reminders

A business can schedule a text message to be sent to customers a few hours ahead of their appointment and include a means to inform that business if they’re unable to make it, so the business can follow up with them afterward. While 1:1 texts are great for communicating information, it’s not efficient when there’s a need to communicate to multiple customers at once. Fortunately, businesses can utilize broadcast text messaging to notify customers of open appointment slots resulting from cancellations, which can increase sales.

Special Offers and Loyalty Programs

Seasonal promotions are great for attracting new customers, and loyalty programs are ideal for rewarding those repeat customers every business depends on. Broadcast text messaging allows businesses to efficiently communicate to all their customers at once or they can choose just a select segment of their customer list.

Keeping Customers Informed

Leverage text messages to share information about new services or products. It’s a great way for businesses to remind customers they may not have heard from in a while that the business offering continues to evolve.

Text messaging is quickly becoming a critical sales and marketing tool for small businesses. Leveraging personalized text messages that are timely and relevant enables businesses to enhance the customer experience and generate more business. Savvy marketers are effectively utilizing text messaging to increase conversion, promote new offerings and special deals, encourage referrals, and build brand loyalty.

Clate Mask is founder and CEO of Keap, a maker of sales and marketing automation software for small businesses, and co-author of “Conquer the Chaos: How to Grow a Successful Small Business Without Going Crazy.”

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