Text messaging has become an indispensable tool for businesses of all sizes.
For example, one study by Forrester found that 60% of respondents used SMS for their business, and these brands attributed 12.8% of their online revenue to SMS.
Need to send quick reminders? Promotions? Updates? Customer service inquiries? Text messaging continues to grow in popularity as a channel for doing all of that and everything in between—a convenient way to communicate with customers, employees, and partners.
So what exactly does text messaging in business look like? And how can you best use it for your business?
In this blog post, we’ll explore best practices, examples, platforms, and frequently asked questions, so that you can take advantage of text messaging to its fullest potential.
Business text messaging, also known as SMS messaging, is the use of texting to communicate with customers, leads, employees, and partners. It’s a direct way to reach people on their mobile devices, making it a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes.
In the context of business, text messaging can be used for a wide variety of purposes, such as:
As mentioned above, you can use text messaging for multiple different purposes in business. Here’s a fuller breakdown of some of these different uses.
One of the top ways businesses use texting is for marketing purposes. This can be done through shortcode texting or through 10-digit numbers.
You can incentivize people to sign up for your text list, and then you’ll be able to reach them directly on their phones with promotions and offers.
But the marketing initiatives don’t have to stop with promotions—you can also use it to drive traffic to your website or to collect feedback.
Being able to reach people directly under their noses via SMS is a salesman’s dream.
You can use SMS to follow up with leads, nurture relationships, schedule appointments, and even close deals.
Including SMS as a channel in your customer service process opens up the door to give your customers one of the most convenient and efficient ways to get help.
Think about it—everyone agrees that the typical customer service interaction via phone calls is not good, with its automated menus and endless waiting on hold and re-explaining the problem multiple times.
SMS can help streamline that process.
How do you get mass updates out to employees? How do you send them meeting reminders, HR notices, announcements, and urgent updates?
Have you thought about using SMS? SMS has the benefit that most people will actually read all of their texts, unlike many other communication channels—so your employees will actually see the update.
In addition to mass updates, you can use SMS to keep the lines of communication open within your team—for 2-way back and forth and collaboration.
That way, you can help make sure everyone has an effective means to communicate whenever they have a need.
Here are some tangible examples of different ways you can use texting for each of the use cases mentioned above.
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Hi [name], I hope you enjoyed our demo. Are you interested in learning more about our product?
I hope you're having a great week! Just wanted to say hello and see if you have any questions about our product.
I'm excited to hear that you're interested in our product! Let's discuss pricing and finalize the details.
I understand your concerns. Let me address them one by one.
Would you be willing to share your experience with our product? Your feedback would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for reaching out! Sorry to hear you’ve had some issues. I'm taking a look at your account right now and we’ll get you squared away in no time.
Thank you for your order! Your order number is [number].
Your order is on its way! You will receive a tracking number shortly.
We'd be happy to answer any questions you have about our product. How can I help?
We apologize for the inconvenience. We are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.
We are excited to announce that [name] has been promoted to [position].
Don't forget about our upcoming company picnic! RSVP by [date].
Thank you for your hard work! Your dedication is appreciated.
Performance review reminder:
Your performance review is due on [date].
Company policy update:
Please be aware of the following update to our company policy on [topic].
The [project name] project is on track and on budget.
Team meeting reminder:
Team meeting at [time] in [location].
I've shared the [file name] file with you. Please review and provide feedback.
Does anyone have any questions about the [topic]?
I have an idea for how we can improve [process].
Now that you have an idea of how to use text messaging for your business and what kinds of texts you can send, the next question is… how?
The first step is to select a business SMS platform. Here are a few you can try out.
Our platform Mobile Text Alerts lets you send out all the texts you need at little hassle to you. With easy setup and all the features you’re looking for, you’ll be able to start sending texts in no time.
Here’s a taste of what you’ll get with the platform:
Some other SMS platforms include:
Once you have an account set up with an SMS platform, the process is pretty simple.
You just need to…
Here are some different ways you can get opt-in’s loaded into your text list:
Here are some different ways you can send messages from your SMS platform:
So what are best practices for going about text messaging in business?
Here are just a few.
SMS is not the same as email, so you can’t come to it with the same approach.
You can’t have very long messaging.
You usually can’t send as often.
You don’t have as much control over how it looks and is formatted.
So just remember that it’s a different approach than what you typically do with email. We’d recommend keeping messages as concise as possible and only sending 4 messages per month.
One of the primary concerns with SMS right now is message delivery, since mobile carriers want to make sure that only legitimate traffic gets sent.
Keep an eye on your delivery rates, and if they start slipping, check out the rest of the best practices mentioned here to make sure you’re following them.
If you’re texting links, take extra care.
Mobile carriers scrutinize links that are sent via SMS because they are wary of spam and scams.
If they believe your message to be spam, they will prevent it from being delivered—and they’re more likely to filter it as spam if it includes links, especially publicly shortened links, such as bit.ly links.
One of the best ways to get the best message delivery for your texting efforts is simply to fill out the wireless carrier registration form.
Just by answering a few brief questions about your business and your use case, you can have a lot better delivery rates.
Here are some other frequently asked questions regarding messaging in business contexts.
Yes, texting is now usually considered appropriate for business in many settings. Obviously, you’ll need to follow some common sense boundaries but if you keep your texting business-related, professional, and during business hours, it will typically be considered appropriate.
Plans for Mobile Text Alerts start at $20 per month billed annually or $25 billed month-to-month.
SMS is best used sparingly but regularly. You can use it for almost any situation that involves business communication, but if you over-send, you may annoy your audience and they may start to ignore you.
Advantages of text messaging for business include:
Text messaging is one of the tools you can add to your marketing and communication toolbelt for virtually any communication needs. In many ways it can even be more effective than traditional communication methods, such as email.
Interested in giving an SMS platform a try? Get a free 14-day trial account here.
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