Customers nowadays don't want to merely keep hearing from businesses anymore. They want to engage – to have their needs met – be it wanting to know more about a product, needing help with the checkout process, or even providing feedback. This change has led businesses to put some serious thought into figuring out better ways of holding two-way conversations with their customers instead of bombarding them with bulk messages one after another.

Let's talk about how conversational messaging works and how it can be combined with text marketing to empower businesses to engage prospects, boost customer satisfaction, and run high-converting marketing campaigns.

What is conversational messaging?

Conversational messaging is a type of communication where businesses engage customers in meaningful two-way interactions via various messaging channels. It's a major step up from the old-school communication method of one-way messaging, where businesses keep feeding information to their customers without giving them a chance to respond.

In more traditional settings, customer service agents have played an important role in conversational communication. However, conversational messaging trends have evolved over the years to allow intelligent automation, giving rise to SMS chatbots, virtual agents, message scheduling, and more. Today, communication channels commonly used for conversational messaging include OTT and social media messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, Google's Business Messages, SMS and its more recent extension, Rich Communication Services (RCS), and email.

The key benefits of conversational messaging

Conversational messaging can help marketers unlock the limitless potential of direct, honest customer communications leading up to long-lasting consumer-brand relationships. Here are the key benefits of conversational marketing.

  • Conversational communication leads customer interactions towards authenticity and personalization, fostering a feeling of belonging and making customers feel valued.

  • With conversational messaging, you can ensure that all communication you send out is highly relevant, cutting out all the fluff and making interactions cleaner and more direct.

  • Given how all conversational business texting happens in real time, it provides immediate engagement.

  • Two-way conversations increase the likelihood of responses, especially when you use conversational SMS marketing because that's one channel where it's easy to reply with a quick, short, and simple answer that the customer wouldn't have to put too much thought into.

  • You will be able to collect valuable data from customers, such as feedback on a recent purchase they may have made or an insight into their interest in a certain product that has gone out of stock.

  • Conversational texting enables you to build long-lasting relationships – this is what it all boils down to.

As explored in the Harvard Business Review and several other reports, using some type of messaging app to stay in touch with customers allows businesses to provide tailored offers and promotions, which helps create meaningful relationships.

Bringing a personal touch to your communication with prospective customers can help inspire confidence in your brand and drive conversions. If your marketing efforts are failing to engage members of your target market, you should consider leveraging the power of conversational messaging.

Considering all these advantages, the next step is to integrate SMS into your conversational messaging campaigns.

What is conversational text messaging?

Conversational text messaging takes your SMS marketing efforts to the next level. Rather than distributing messages in bulk, conversational SMS messaging enables you to personalize your communication with prospects and carry out impactful conversations that lead to concrete outcomes.

While many marketers rely on tried-and-true marketing channels, such as email, to engage potential customers, these channels are increasingly saturated. To cut through the noise and engage your target audience, you should consider underutilized and overlooked marketing channels, such as SMS.

Here are a few key statistics highlighting the immense potential of SMS conversations.

Before we go any further, let's establish the key difference between conversational business texting and standard one-way SMS business messaging.

Conversational SMS marketing vs standard SMS business messaging

The emergence of conversational technology is helping to reimagine the possibilities of SMS marketing. You can think of it as the next generation of SMS marketing – enabling businesses to leverage automation in their efforts to provide a personalized and effective customer experience.

Conversational SMS utilizes digital technology to facilitate two-way conversations. If you're trying to streamline your workflows and enhance your ability to deliver exceptional customer experiences, it's time for your organization to unlock the benefits of SMS-powered conversational business texting.

Outbound fire-and-forget messages are a thing of the past. These bog-standard promotional messages often fail to drive conversions because they do not engage prospects in meaningful conversations. By harnessing the power of modern digital solutions, businesses can design a conversational messaging strategy to suit their needs.

With the right conversational SMS solution, teams can boost engagement with a live agent throughout each customer journey. Or they can go a step further. By integrating natural language processing technology and tools like conversational AI with SMS, your team can deliver personalized experiences every time in even less time, helping convert leads faster, increase response rates, and boost sales.

Why is SMS marketing underleveraged by marketers?

Person visiting Facebook using a laptop

SMS messaging is often overlooked as an effective marketing channel capable of driving conversions and developing customer relationships. Despite the immense amount of tools available for email marketing, it's never been easier to get an SMS marketing campaign off the ground with automation.

Adding SMS messaging to your marketing communications will enable you to tap into remarkably high open rates and engage with existing and potential customers. If you're growing tired of low open rates and impersonal customer interactions, now is the time to begin exploring SMS messaging solutions for your business.

Is SMS an effective communication channel?

Website analytics dashboard in a laptop

Our inboxes are getting more cluttered with each passing day. With around 45% of the emails we receive being spam in 2023, email providers like Microsoft and Google work hard to keep marketing emails separate from "more important" messages by removing them from primary inboxes and storing them elsewhere.

When you consider the number of emails people receive every day, it's no surprise to see many marketing emails get deleted as you track the progress of your email marketing campaigns.

In contrast, text messaging typically doesn't face the same difficulties. The average open rate for SMS communication is considerably higher than that for email.

Upon receiving a new SMS, the recipient gets an instant phone alert to capture their attention immediately. In many phone models, these notifications stand out from other types of push notifications. Even if the recipient chooses not to open the text message right away, most SMS messages are short, so it's super easy to read the full text from within the notifications bar or panel only, further maximizing visibility. This infrastructure is extremely advantageous for those running SMS campaigns.

Why incorporate SMS messaging into your marketing strategy?

To get a high ROI on your marketing efforts, incorporating SMS into your marketing strategy is simply a no-brainer. Research by tech research firm Gartner has found SMS open rates to go to as high as 98%, compared to just 20% for emails. When it comes to picking impactful messaging channels, SMS is a clear winner.

On average, it takes someone just 90 seconds to respond to a text and 90 minutes to respond to an email. If you're looking for rapid responses, SMS is the best channel for you. With a solution like Messente, you can use SMS messaging to establish a direct line of communication with existing and potential customers.

From providing instant updates on order statuses to offering important product information, this communication channel can greatly improve your customer service efforts. With its unique ability to facilitate authentic customer conversations, SMS communication has the potential to inspire customer loyalty and take your customer relationships to new heights.

Leveraging SMS conversations to boost customer engagement

Conversational SMS marketing can help boost customer engagement through personalized experiences. Businesses can use conversational texting to craft highly relevant campaigns that are designed to resonate with their target audience.

Conversational messaging can keep prospects engaged throughout the buying process by providing them with a variety of ways to respond. With the right conversational solution at your disposal, you can send SMS messages that prompt fast responses from prospects.

Best practices and tips for conversational text messaging

If you would like to make the best of your conversational business texting campaigns, here are some tips and recommendations from our experts at Messente.

  • Open your text message conversation with short, snappy sentences to immediately capture and retain attention.

  • Follow straightforward questioning that only requires short replies that don't require too much thought.

  • Avoid using passive voice to ensure every sentence is simple and gets right to the point.

  • Make use of personal pronouns to resemble a real-life interaction between two humans.

  • Use easy, natural, everyday language to improve the flow of your SMS conversation.

What is the best conversational messaging platform for businesses?

If you're thinking about ways to leverage conversational SMS messages in your marketing strategy, why not take Messente for a test drive? From business-critical PIN codes to essential marketing messages, our text messaging solution is ideal for those actively exploring SMS marketing.