Why SMS is not just about selling for small businesses

Holly Barber of FireText Communications presents five reasons for texting customers and prospects.

I’ve heard it again and again, the common misconception that using SMS in business is only used to sell to customers. While it is a great tool to boost sales, that’s not all it does. It’s a chance to be really creative with your communication while not swallowing up your budget.

Text messages sustain a strong 98 per cent open rate in the UK, with the majority of those read within five seconds of being received, so they certainly stand up as a reliable and instant way of reaching customers.

Most mobile users have their phone within arms reach 24/7 so, whatever the message, there’s no chance of it sitting unopened in an inbox for long. How many text messages do you receive that you don’t read?

Generate leads

‘Text RESTAURANT to 82228 for news, promotions and special offers.’

You can set up a ‘keyword’ and advertise it anywhere and everywhere – menus, posters, shop window, print adverts and on your website. This will allow customers to opt-in to your mailing list, providing you with lots of new contacts and letting your customers do the hard work by building your database for you. Each new contact you collect will be a quality lead showing a genuine interest in your business. Give a reason for them to opt-in like a VIP Club or to receive special offers and promotions.

Event planning

‘Hi Liz, the sun is out and the musicians are rehearsing! See you at 5pm tomorrow for Live Festival. Map and directions at www.live.com/map.’

Send tickets, directions or confirm details to all guests at the click of a button. Why SMS over email? Because it’s instant. In particular, if the schedule changes at the last minute SMS is definitely the way to go; because you can be confident that virtually everyone will read it straight away.

Customer service

‘Mr Barker, we hope you enjoyed your stay at the Seaside Resort Hotel. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to improve our service in the future. Have a safe journey home.’

It’s not always about generating new customers, it’s also important to retain the ones you already have and make sure your service is second to none. A welcome message ahead of a hotel stay or a quick follow on message after a visit could really enhance the customer’s overall experience.

Engage with customers

‘How did we do today? We’d love to hear your thoughts, reply FEEDBACK

You could take customer service one step further and open up the conversation. Engage with your customers by asking for feedback. Not only will this enhance their experience of you but it may also provide a valuable insight on how to develop and improve your services.

Booking confirmation

‘Good news Lucy – your tickets have been booked. Simply show reference code FT340 at the gates. Enjoy the show!’

Confirm a package delivery, spa appointment or ticket purchase with a text. Not everyone wants to log into their emails and find that confirmation amongst all the other emails, with SMS that all important information is available instantly and effortlessly in your pocket.

SMS may be be small at just 160 characters long, but don’t underestimate how powerful and versatile it can be for every business.

Further reading on mobile

Holly Barber

Elaina Ruecker

Holly Barber was Marketing Manager at FireText Communications.

Related Topics

Mobile marketing

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