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5 Ways to Use SMS for Sales and Text Message Marketing

May 5, 2020
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5 Ways to Use Sales Text Messages and Text Message Marketing

Sales and marketing tactics evolve all the time. Acquiring leads and getting deals done may look different for various businesses but communication and messaging are constants.

Having a website, sending emails and making phone calls are all part of a business's messaging and communication. However, there’s a change taking place. 

When it comes to messaging the vast majority of us would now rather text than talk or email. In fact, 67% of customers would rather use their cell phones to text than talk with a person at business.

But does text messaging have a place in the marketing and sales process? Isn’t it just for consumers? Can text messages actually nurture leads and close deals?

Consider this: text messages have a 98% open rate and a 45% response rate. Emails have around a 20% open rate with only a 6% response rate.

Suggested Article: Text Statistics | Text Messaging Facts, Stats, and Insights

Why Send Sales and Marketing Text Messages?

Engagement closes deals - period. If you don’t engage with leads or prospects with the right message at the right time, then don’t expect a sale.

Now, a lot goes into engagement. We’re talking multiple touches over potentially long periods of time. Not to mention the cost of marketing and sales teams to make all that happen. 

This is where text messaging can potentially be more cost effective. This is especially true when it comes to mass text message blasts and automation. Starting with the right sales message app can actually increase engagement and productivity and start increasing sales.

Not only do text messages get better open and reply rates, they also feel more personal than emails. Some business text messaging apps even let you enter personalization tags. Inserting these into a message personalizes all text blasts to leads and opportunities. More on this later.

Text messages also have a character limit of 160. Some see this as a limitation. However, it actually forces senders to get to the point and make better use of a smaller messaging space.

Long emails often get overlooked and ignored simply because people don’t have the time. It’s why people text the phrase “too long didn’t read” (TLDR). Bottom line: texts get read, emails get deleted and customers don’t answer their phones.

Suggested Article: Texting vs Calling vs Email | All the Pros and Cons of Texting

5 Ways to Use Text Messaging for Marketing and Sales 

1. Nurture Leads

There will always be a need for marketing and sales reps. Someone has to send emails and make phone calls, but texting can help automate some of this.

People love to text. SMS messaging feels comfortable. It’s why 76% of consumers say they don’t like talking to business or getting sales calls on the phone.

Without question, it takes a lot of energy to generate leads and perform outreach. Making phone calls one-by-one down a contact list and sending out email blasts is typically how you do this. 

But, using a business text messaging app, you have some different ways to nurture leads.

Google Ads

Use a direct link to text-enable your Google Ads that are running as part of your digital marketing. This Google Ads feature lets leads and prospects engage with you directly via text. Getting instance answers to questions increases the likelihood of a conversion. 

*NOTE: Since February 2020, Google has deprecated the use of message extensions in Google Ads.

Link to Text on Website

Include a link to text directly on your website. This prompts leads, prospects and customers to text. Try including a CTA like “Click here to text.” This then allows the potential customer to click and send you a text from their phone number. 

A Note on Cold Outreach

Spam and bounced emails are also big issues to consider when doing cold outreach. While text messages have far lower spam rates (compared to email), it’s still important to understand consent.

Be sure the text messaging platform helps you manage opt-in/opt-out and allows contacts and customers to text STOP. It’s all part of compliance with TCPA standards and best practices.

Suggested Article: TCPA Checklist and Guidelines

2. Text Message Marketing

Texts work great for marketing messages and immediate offers. Some businesses even have a marketing team to handle their messaging.

However, if you’re a small business owner, know that SMS marketing campaigns can still be quick, easy and highly successful. Many platforms even gear themselves specifically toward text message marketing for small businesses.

Sales-wise, texts can spark immediate interest and move leads and prospects closer to a sale. Be advised: mass texting should be used in moderation. 

There’s nothing worse than sounding spammy and desperate texting a sales promotion. You don’t want people you’ve been nurturing to opt-out of your messaging.

The other key to success with text marketing is keeping things as personalized as possible. Personalization plays into conversational marketing and the idea that conversational messages feel more comfortable and increase conversions. 

With some text messaging platforms you can personalize messages. Adding tags like {{ First Name }} and {{ Last Name }} into the message will automatically add their name in the text. It keeps you from having to personalize each individual message.

A text message marketing campaign might promote a percentage discount or a limited-time, urgent offer. Text message marketing campaigns are also just a great way to share content. They can help keep you top-mind and spark reengagement in timely moments.

3. Following Up

There’s an art to following up. The real trick is to not sound too nagging or overbearing. Since texts are short, sweet and to the point they can actually work better for instant responses.

Follow up texts can be a simple check-in. They’re great ways to ask questions, create a sense of urgency, or even inform of a sales promotion.

The best way to send follow up engagement texts is to schedule your text message and use pre-saved templates. When timing is crucial for marketing and sales messages templates help you save time and scale your outreach.

Many business text messaging apps like SnapDesk support text message scheduling, recurrence, campaigns, templates and other advanced text messaging features.

4. Create a Sense of Urgency and Close More Deals

Urgency can be a powerful motivator. Creating this for your leads, prospects and existing customers can be tricky though. Text messaging makes this easier because texts are short, punchy and immediate. Remember, 98% open rate!

Sounding urgent over text can also open the door to future conversations. This means potentially more meetings. As text messages create urgency and fill up a sales person’s calendar, the chances of closing more deals goes up.

5. Maintain a Phenomenal Customer Experience

We talk at length about how text messaging helps improve customer experience, but it’s worth touching on again.

How your customers feel about you and your business is wildly important. Customers are your greatest referral source. When things go well they tell their friends about how awesome you are. When things go bad, they do the opposite.

This is where texting can have a big impact. Texts are real time and reactive. They make you and your team available to solve problems on the spot. However, you can also use them proactively.

Consider a customer who’s had a great experience. You know they’re happy, so why not  send a text message with a link to a Google or Yelp review?

When it comes to being reactive, SMS texting is immediate. People who have questions about your product or service get near-instant replies. There’s no need to hold or wait 24 hours for a response from a real person.

Suggested Article: 10 Step Guide | Text Message Etiquette for Business

Many businesses and organizations already use chatbots and other messaging services. These solve the instant messaging problem, but most systems are standalone and don’t support messaging on mobile devices.

You have to be logged in and using the app in most cases, whereas text messages are universal. You can send a text to anyone’s phone.

How to Get Started With a Business Texting App

So, what should you look for in a good business text messaging app? Well, we have some thoughts.

For the full article, these are the most important features to consider when choosing the best texting app. But, overall the best texting apps have these features:

  • Easy to use and get started with

  • Accessible on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices

  • Able to support adding multiple users

  • Use a local 10-digit phone number instead of a short code

  • Support sending messages over 160 characters

  • Equipped with call forwarding features

  • Capable of saving text messages as templates

  • Create groups of contact lists and customers

  • Sends texts to multiple recipients without reply all

  • Schedules text messages for sending later at any time

  • Manages opt-in, opt-out and consent

  • Integrates with other apps

  • Provides good customer service and support

Final Thoughts

Text messaging works great for real-time, conversational messaging. When messages are conversational, personalized and immediate you stand to increase engagement and overall customer satisfaction.

Consider text messaging with SnapDesk as a new way to reach contacts and customers. Learn more and start your SnapDesk trial today.