It’s no secret that the modern customer has changed significantly over the past couple of years. They are always online. They are willing to drive farther and pay more to patronize a business with higher reviews and better customer feedback. And if you don’t cater to their preferred communication channels, they’ll switch to a business that does.
So, how can you keep up?
To cater to the always-on customer, you need a multifunctional channel that can increase personalization and convenience throughout the customer journey. Text marketing has been proven to significantly increase revenue, loyalty, and quality of customer experience. Read on to learn how to use text marketing to connect with your customers.
The Always-On Customer
These days, consumers want immediate information and the ability to communicate with brands any time, anywhere. They are constantly looking for socially conscious, purpose-driven brands that will go the extra mile to cater to their lifestyle—they expect nothing less than total flexibility and convenience. Furthermore, the always-on customer wants—and expects—to see personalized communication and marketing from brands.
The expected level of personalization has risen dramatically over the years. The always-on customer expects you to address them by name with only the most relevant information and marketing. Whether consciously or not, they expect you to be intimately familiar with their customer data—their purchase history with you, their browsing history, their preferences, and their lifestyle. And they expect you to take this data into account and adapt their customer journey accordingly.
How do you connect with such a demanding customer? Enter always-on marketing.
What is Always-On Marketing?
Always-on marketing centers around moving away from traditional campaign-based marketing and tailoring communication to specific moments in the customer journey. It is pin-pointed and designed to optimize every key opportunity for customer interaction to facilitate the highest level of engagement. Most importantly, it includes leveling up from one-way marketing to two-way marketing—encouraging continued engagement and conversation instead of one-way blasts.
This type of marketing has many critical benefits. Always-on marketing increases the personalization of your communications along with their continuity. It involves creating high-value threads that continue throughout the entire customer journey. Because you’re opening a two-way line of communication, always-on marketing can strengthen your customer relationships and lead to increased customer loyalty.
How Can Text Message Marketing Help?
Text marketing is exactly what it sounds like—the practice of using text messages to convert leads and keep customers engaged. Messages can include a number of multimedia elements such as pictures, videos, GIFs, and links.
Because it increases convenience, personalization, and continuity, text messaging is one of the best ways to connect with the always-on customer. Text marketing is also extremely effective and has been proven to significantly increase revenue, loyalty, and quality of experience. In fact, it’s become a make-or-break marketing tactic; your customers are begging for it.
Consider the following text messaging statistics:
- 40.5% of consumers say they are likely to switch to a different business because they offer text messaging to communicate
- Text has a 209% higher response rate than phone, email, or Facebook
- 65.6% of consumers think texting makes working with a local business more convenient
- Consumers about twice as likely to prefer texting to any other communication method
If you want to reach the always-on customer, offering text as a means of communicating with your business is a necessity.
And it’s not just about improving customer satisfaction. Text message marketing can also help you gather feedback so that you can understand what your business is doing well and where there is room for improvement. For example, text can completely overhaul the way you do surveys—and actually get your customers to take them.
Surveys via text:
- 30-40% average response rate from customers
- 82% of customers respond within two hours
- 80% of consumers want to engage with businesses via text for ratings, surveys, and general feedback
Reviews are another area that can be completely revamped by text. Many businesses find it extremely difficult to consistently collect great reviews, regardless of how spectacular their customer experience is. However, making the process ridiculously easy for customers by simply sending them a text message with a link they can click to leave a review eliminates barriers to entry and opens the floodgates to some of your best reviews.
Reviews via text:
- 6% average increase in revenue reported by Podium customers
- 90 reviews on average are generated per business in the first three months
- 99% of business text messages get a 99% open rate
Text Message Marketing Best Practices
Of course, as straightforward as it is, text message marketing takes practice to be successful. You have to send the right content at the right time or you risk losing your customers’ interest. No one wants spam-like messaging with irrelevant information. So, what makes text message marketing successful?
- Communicate like a human. Personalize the message with both the customer’s name and yours.
- Make it easy. Include a link to the product or promotion in question, or a special payment link for the promotion.
- Make it fun. Include emojis to reflect your brand image. (Messages with emojis convert better, too.)
- Keep it short and sweet. Messages should stay under 120 characters.
- Have fun with it! If the message doesn’t entice you, it won’t entice your customers either.
For more tips, check out the following three winning examples of SMS marketing:
- Pinki Palm
In this example, Pinki Palm does a nice job including an expiration date, personalizing their message, and encouraging specific questions that lead to a transaction. Their textable payment link makes this conversation even more worthwhile for Sadie, who can purchase and pay in the most convenient way possible.
- Kegan Insurance
Kegan Insurance masters the human element by telling Jack the specific employee who is texting him and offering relevant info along with a promo to encourage attendance. It’s clear they’ve established a reputation of responsiveness as Jack feels confident that he will receive a response to his individual question.
- Taf & Sons
This thread is the perfect example of sending the right promo at the right time. Taf & Sons anticipates their customers’ needs for the upcoming winter season and sends a relevant promotion.
How to Grow Your Opt-In List
To get started with SMS marketing, you need to collect opt-ins. An “opt-in” is someone who chooses to subscribe to your messaging communications. The more you have, the more likely your campaigns are to offer great returns.
How do you turn interactions into opt-ins? The key is to integrate opt-in entry points at every possible step of the customer journey. There are a number of customer touchpoints along your customer journey where collecting an opt-in is natural, and even expected. If you take advantage of these touchpoints, the list will build itself.
These touchpoints can include:
- Online sign-up pages and forms
- Website banners, pop-ups, and prompts
- Website chat
- Point of sale or transaction
- URL & QR code
- Sign-up/opt-in station
- Social media
With the right tools, connecting with the always-on customer is a cinch. Podium’s text message marketing software provides:
Learn how Podium can help you connect the modern way and increase your customer focus by watching this demo.