Business texting offers many advantages. It's increasingly used for customer service operations, opening up new avenues for fast and personalised support. And by using SMS marketing software to manage conversations and deliver broadcast messages, communications are more organised and effective, bearing better returns.
Why is texting an effective way of communication?
SMS has a broad local and global reach. There are over 7 billion mobile phone users worldwide (including smartphone and feature phone users). SMS is the native messaging app built-in to all mobile phones, and the transmission of text messages relies only on a cellular network, not an internet connection. This means texts can reach recipients in remote areas with little or no internet coverage.
Moreover, SMS text messages are popular with people of all ages and demographics, even with the rise in instant messaging apps. Why? SMS is familiar, reliable and accessible to everyone with a mobile phone. And it's a technology that here's to stay.
What are some advantages of texting?
In addition to text messages being accessible to virtually everyone on the planet, here are seven other key benefits of texting for businesses.
1. High open rates
According to Gartner, SMS offers incredible open rates as high as 98%. In comparison, email open rates are much lower, as are phone call pick-up rates. This means that a text message is more likely to be read by customers than a communication on these other channels.
2. SMS text messaging causes less disruption
Phone calls are disruptive; they often arrive with a loud ringing, interrupting meetings, work tasks, lunches or personal time. A recipient cannot know whether a call will take five minutes or 45 minutes, and if they're busy, they may decide to reject the call. Thus, phone calls have a high chance of being ignored – in fact, 90% of customers won't answer the phone anymore.
On the other hand, text messages can be opened at the recipient's convenience without intruding on whatever they're doing when they receive the message.
3. Text messaging is quick and immediate
Business text messages are delivered directly and reliably to customers' SMS inboxes. No time is wasted waiting for delivery, except in rare cases, such as when recipients are outside their network coverage area.
Text message marketing (promotional SMS) is also much less likely to be flagged as spam compared to emails, especially when your VoIP number has been approved and verified by network carriers.
4. SMS opens a direct line of communication
Because text messaging is familiar and a preferred channel for many people, it offers a personal connection with customers and makes your business more approachable. Once you have a phone number set up for business texting, customers can contact you by SMS anytime. You can automate responses to common questions using an SMS chatbot for even better customer service.
5. Many people prefer texts over phone calls
Multiple surveys have been carried out over the years, showing that customers prefer to receive marketing materials by text message instead of other channels.
We've already touched on how invasive phone calls can be, but marketing emails are also considered an inconvenience by many. These tend to clutter the email inbox and push down other (more important) messages – work and personal emails, for instance.
6. Responding to text messages is easy
It takes just a few minutes to fire back a text response, which may explain why SMS has a 4.5 times higher response rate than email. There are only 160 characters to use, which forces the interaction to be short, conversational and casual. Therefore, replying to a text message is simple and not mentally draining.
7. Texting is cost-effective
SMS is generally affordable for businesses (and is much less expensive than phone calls). Messente's text message software offers volume-based pricing, which works out at a low cost per SMS.
For example, it costs just 0.010 € per SMS to send 1,000 one-way texts to Canada, which equates to just 10 € per month. Messente also offers custom volume pricing for mass texting to huge audiences.
When shouldn't SMS messaging be used?
An SMS message works for many communications, but there are certain situations when using another channel is best. E.g.
When you need to send long-form messaging – for detailed messages, the 160-character limit may not do them justice. However, there are ways to make short-form SMS copywriting have great impact.
If cell networks are down – this can happen from time to time. In this case, you may need to switch to internet-based communication.
When you need to convey authentic emotion – sometimes an emoji or two might not cut it. Any more than that risks overkill, unprofessionalism and sounding ingenuine.
To avoid confusion – specific messages might need a thorough explanation, and if you don't have two-way SMS enabled to allow responses, customers can't respond with questions.
For media sharing – SMS only allows you to send text-based messages. You could switch to MMS to send images; however, this will be costlier. Plus, mobile carriers impose file size limits on MMS and compress images during transmission, affecting the quality at the recipients' end.
Getting started with sending business text messages
Setting up business text messaging is easy when you use a platform such as Messente. The first step is to sign up for a free account and then apply for a phone number (this can be either a short or long code).
After that, you'll build a list of subscribers or import existing contacts who have already given you permission to be contacted by SMS. Then you'll create your campaign content using the Messente platform, schedule your messages, and send them!
Improve customer satisfaction with business text messages
Texting has many benefits for businesses, especially when used to enhance customer service functions. SMS offers exceptionally high open rates, isn't intrusive and is fast and direct. Text messages are easy to personalise, so they grab attention – and they're more likely to evoke a response than phone calls and emails.
Of course, there are instances where it makes sense to use an alternative channel – for detailed long-form content, when you need to send media files, and in the unlikely event that a cell phone network is down. Messente has you covered in these situations by providing access to other messaging channels such as Viber, and WhatsApp.