The humble text message may, for many, have long seemed like simply the way to let people know that you’re running late for an appointment. Or that you’ve run out of milk and to share the essential daily gossip, but in recent times the humble text has gone to the top of the marketing tree. A holistic marketing strategy without text messaging included somewhere just won’t cut it. The text message is both a business and marketing lifeline as well as an opportunity and possibility for further business initiatives.
This article discusses how to use the text message in your business or enterprise, shows exactly how this happens in its varying forms, and finally shows the associated business opportunities provided by the simple yet effective text messaging systems that exist and are being developed.
How to effectively use the text message in modern business
The text message has become the most used means of communication and now marketing that there is. It’s a great tool for progress and sharing, and while we all use it, the way your business chooses to do so will be based on both your knowledge of what can be done as well as your tech and text know-how. There is certain texting etiquette that must be maintained, and it really is worth being aware of these in a time where your clients and customers will know and possibly take it quite seriously.
Marketing tool, brand builder, spreading the business message
Talking to your customers is one of the most important aspects of business. Being able to find out what your clients and customers think of your products and services is one of the only ways to improve these offerings and ensure that you give them what they need and want. Furthermore, those that use your products are the ones who find new and interesting uses for the products that you may never have thought of. A whole new business line or product add-ons’ are often the results of good customer feedback and interaction.
Having a clear communications strategy and objectives must form the basis of your marketing plan and needs to be premised on spreading a positive message related to your brand.
Consumers now spend more time on their phones texting and messaging than using any other applications. Thus, if your brand wants to communicate with consumers and potential customers, you too need to be texting. Sending out texts that are branded and highlight the recent product range and service developments are now some of the best ways to build a positive brand image. This is the starting place for a marketing strategy that will include texting.
The text can be used as a means of fundraising, eliciting donations, or investment.
The text message is also an immediate means of reaching out to potential investors, trusts, and funds. The ability to create an immediate ‘ask’ to access business and or nonprofit funding depending on the nature of your enterprise make the text or SMS a powerful fundraising and financing tool.
The message is only 160 characters, so if it’s an ask, it needs to be succinct and direct, something that you may only be able to do with certain customers. The donate or support now link in the text needs to be a follow-up text or even link the text to email to complete the process. The bottom line is that the text, an accepted marketing tool is also a useful finance and fundraising tool and more than just for the mainstream business sector.
Providing freebies and incentives for customers and prospective clients
Communication is two-way, and as such, it is vital to use the channel as a means of giving back to customers and clients as well as listening to them. The text message with an offer or coupon is the one most cherished and remembered, regardless of whether or not the recipient actually has the time or inclination to take you up on the offer. It serves its purpose and builds your brand.
All start-ups need customers. The idea may be great, and the product may be a winner, but unless you have shared it with potential and possible customers, then it may as well not have been thought of. The initial use of texts by start-ups was to bombard customers with generic product information, and anything new was sent out ‘en masse’. The current text marketing that is proving to be essential for most start-ups is to create rapport and simply communicate with customers. Whether it is about their order or an add-on product to the one they previously bought, the information is specific and personalized.
Charity specific fundraising
The charity sector is another that has seen notable advancements in both monies raised and the message spread by the use of the text message. The number of people that can be reached is enormous, and given that over 97% of the population are likely to have their mobile devices and thus be able to receive texts with them at any given time, it means that this is a surefire way to reach your current and potential customers.
It was a no-brainer that the political sector would pounce on the usefulness of the text to spread a message. The political campaign text message donations for local as well as state elections has skyrocketed and is one of the main avenues for fundraising.
Immediate, responsive marketing and communication through text messages can be achieved and used for political campaigns. With only 20% of email marketing messages opened and read, modern businesses and enterprises have to have multiple routes to their customers, and the text message is proving to be effective in this regard. Political campaigns that use texts have been able to reach a younger demographic as well creating reminders and powerful slogans that resonate.
The upcoming developments in texting
Artificial intelligence apps to automatically use and send texts are all the rage. Based on the use of text messaging as discussed above, it is no wonder that this is a growing sector and provides for business growth and opportunity. Artificial intelligence is arguably the most significant technological change of the last decade, and it is definitely about to impact the way that marketing texts can be sent and received. Yes, the idea is to be in communication with customers and consumers, and the human touch is great. However, the development of AI texts that can be specific and personalized makes for this form of marketing to be immediate and able to provide a high rate of engagement.
Text message analytics
Being able to analyze and use the information from texts, both those sent, opened, and read, as well as any survey results and return messages, is and will be a skill of the future. Marketing campaigns will be based on this information, and as such, this area of development in texting presents as a clear business and or career opportunity.
Businesses that use texts as a part of their marketing strategy should then also be able to use the information provided by customers and consumers to create a clear picture as to who these customers are. Access to big data and cloud computing will mean that a huge amount of data can be saved and analyzed. Customer response times, methods, numbers, and demographics are all some of the most important data that your business will collect, and this can be done using the humble text message. Having the ability to gather, store and then analyze this data over large time scales and for a wide range and number of products will be the next best way to increase sales and build better customer relations.
Brand-specific chat apps
It will no longer be sufficient for top brands to rely on texting, and even automated messages won’t cut it. Most businesses have moved into the socials and will have some presence here, and although these can be personalized and allow for social interaction and chats, they may not be focused and specific enough for your brand. There’s just too much other white noise out there, and thus it will soon become essential to have your own brand-specific communication or texting app. The future of texting is thus one where the brand will have its own text-specific platform that too can be used and accessed on a smart handheld device or mobile phone.
Marketing is all about spreading and sharing a message to create some form of action. The three top uses of the humble text in modern times, as discussed above, are all about this message spreading and show the extent to which the SMS can be used as a marketing tool. Ignore it at your peril.
The article furthermore showed that there is also an opportunity in the actual development and perfection of texting systems and applications that will serve to take the text to the next level.