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SMS marketing is creating a buzz—and not just on the phone of your recipients! More than ever, brands are leveraging the benefits of texting in business. So, what should you be doing to get the advantages of texting?
In this article, we'll show you the way that leading brands are using the benefits of SMS to grow using Podium. You'll see tools, tricks, and case studies that are sure to convince you of the advantages of SMS communication.
The Top Tool for SMS Marketing
Before we talk about the advantages of texting your customers (and potential customers), you might have a question. You might wonder: what's the best tool to text your clients?
Believe me, you don't have time to buy a smartphone and manually send texts one-by-one. Instead, turn to a piece of software like Podium to make it much easier.
Podium is an app you control from your web browser (or manage on mobile when away from your desk.) Inside of one convenient web app, you can create text campaigns, chat with customers, and even request payments.
Tools make our lives and marketing efforts much easier. Let's learn more about the positive effects of text messaging in business.
The 5 Key Advantages of Texting
Let's look at five key benefits of using SMS for your business, along with examples of how companies are using Podium to leverage those benefits:
1. SMS Removes Friction
Think about your current sales process for a moment. You may drive conversions through face-to-face interactions. Or you might lean on phone calls, emails, or responses to advertising. Each of these methods has some level of friction: bottlenecks that delay or even stop sales.
A sales funnel is the set of steps from creating awareness to making a sale. The challenge is keeping potential buyers from leaking out of the funnel before the sale!
To optimize your funnel, you should remove friction. One of the pros of text messaging is that the entire transaction—from promotion to payment—can take place in one conversation. That's a smooth transaction that leads to more sales.
- Get conversational. Sometimes, customers have unanswered questions that cause them to fall out of your funnel. When you make it easy to contact you via text, you're more likely to move them through the sales funnel.
- Make targeted offers. If you operate a bespoke business with customized products, you know that your products aren't for everyone. Send an SMS with offers to key customers to spark interest and start the sale process.
Create repeat business. Restart the process of the sales funnel through continuous marketing efforts. This removes the friction of constantly finding new potential customers.
Imagine personalized and well-timed messages to sell your products. Thanks to Podium's powerful analytics dashboard, this isn't a shot in the dark. It's a robust, data-driven process that gets better with every text you send.
Interaction is another one of the positive effects of text messaging. If you target specific customers, they can actually follow up with questions. The benefits of texting are twofold:
- You build a relationship.
- By addressing specific concerns, you boost the chances of a sale.
RPM Alamo is a Texas-based property management company. Revenue grew by 20% by using Podium to establish direct contact with customers. Plus, this led to peripheral boosts like new and more favorable Google reviews. They operate a "virtual consultation room" using messaging or chat features. It builds a dynamic rapport with new and future clients.
See the power of a sales funnel in our article below. You'll see the positive effects of text messaging that move leads from awareness to sale.
2. SMS Gets Seen
The best marketing message is the one that your audience actually sees.
Email and telephone response rates (especially from unknown senders) continue to decline. Just think about it. How likely are you to open your emails? Or answer a phone call from an unknown number?
Here's the thing: we know that we're all connected to our mobile devices. With every ping or buzz, it's tempting to reach for our devices and see what's happening.
That's one of the top advantages of text messaging in communication. It's still an under-utilized channel, so your marketing message is more likely to stand out and be seen. Podium has found that SMS open rates can be as high as 98%.
Plus, SMS isn't as costly as other marketing channels. On platforms like Facebook and Instagram, it's easy to break the bank quickly by paying for placement. Otherwise, you risk your content being outspent by your competition. But costly campaigns are often a major impediment to growing your business.
In contrast, SMS is a low-cost, high interaction channel. Once you've built your list, costs are easy to manage.
Of course, it's crucial to be respectful and mindful of how you use SMS for marketing. Don't overuse the benefits and inundate your customers with marketing. Make every communication mindful, and you'll reap one of the most positive effects of text messaging: your message gets seen.
3. SMS Helps You Get Paid
It's hard to make a sale. You've got competition, the challenge of standing out from the crowd, and delivering the product.
Once you've made a sale, you need to make the payment process effortless. After all, someone wants to give you money! It should be as easy as possible. Seamless payment (and payment processing) is another of the pros of text messaging.
Most major smartphone providers have their own built-in payment systems. Think of Apple Pay, Google Pay, and others. Many users already have their payment cards linked to their mobile phones. Adding the option via SMS text smooths and streamlines the payment process.
When you use SMS to start taking payments, you're going to make more sales. Imagine a sales process where you send targeted deals to your top customers. In a follow-up message, you give them the ability to pay on the spot.
That's where Podium Payments enters the equation. In seconds, you can link bank accounts to your Podium account. This powerful feature lets customers pay you from right inside an SMS. You can even enable other simple payment options like Apple Pay, and it all takes place inside the message thread.
Ashley Furniture used these features to full advantage. By using Podium, they drove over $3.8 million in sales through the Podium Payments tool. That happened across over 20,000 unique conversations with their customers. No more tedious sales calls! Payments came in faster, sales increased, and sales cycles shortened.
Keep in mind, the benefits of texting in business payments don't stop at the sale. You can also arrange payment plans or send out gentle reminders to customers who owe you. Issue refunds and send custom invoices as well.
In short: SMS helps you get paid fast in a way that's ultra-convenient for you and your customers. The benefits of text messaging and taking payments help to grow your business.
4. SMS Increases Customer Loyalty
Let’s face it: most businesses operate in a competitive environment. That means you absolutely must stand out. Once you attract new customers, you never want to lose them. You need to build customer loyalty.
Building and maintaining loyalty is easier than ever. That's all thanks to the powerful positive effects of text messaging. Apps like Podium help you build a database of information to drive customer-specific messages.
Everyone likes to hear their own name, a great fact to remember as you build loyalty. Sending out blanket messages can be useful, but the real power is personalization. Send texts to specific people—aimed right at their interests, buying habits, and more. The message to your customers is clear: you care about what they want.
Another essential element of loyalty is keeping customers coming back. Often, transactions are decisions of convenience. Pushing reminders for customers to return is a great way to boost loyalty. This is especially useful for service businesses that book appointments.
Pierce Flooring fused the positive effects of text messaging to create repeat business. A new generation of customers wasn’t stopping by the store or answering phone calls. Business texting with Podium proved to be the key to reaching new customers.
In the words of Steve Denny, VP Director of Operations,
"...it makes you look more professional, and people think we are on-the-ball as a business because of our ability to communicate on a level that they understand and appreciate.”
Keep in mind that customer loyalty isn't only about sales and marketing. It also includes service after the sale. The ability to solve problems is another of the advantages of SMS communication.
In seconds, customers can reach out with issues and be connected to your support teams. That's a significant benefit: no slow online chats, no endless phone menus. Build responsive, quick customer support that customers can reach from anywhere.
And sometimes, it pays to just say hello. Checking in occasionally with customers, or sending quick texts on their birthday, goes a long way in building loyalty. Put simply, they show that your business cares. That's another one of the pros of text messaging.
5. SMS Helps You Hear From Customers
Every business wants feedback. One of the pros of text messaging is the ability to collect it quickly. The process of gathering—and reacting to—feedback offers major advantages.
Of course, feedback helps you grow. Positive feedback tells you what's going well. Constructive negative feedback alerts you to areas that need attention. Together, it's a powerful look at how customers perceive your business.
Remember, feedback is used for social proof. Before a customer makes a purchase, they've likely checked sites like Yelp, Facebook, and Google Reviews for a rating. That gives reviews tremendous power: good ones will help your business. Bad reviews (even if they're unfair) can do significant harm.
SMS helps you hear from customers because you're easy to reach. Too often, people only bother posting reviews because of an issue they've experienced. Positive experiences may be taken for granted. Thus, you should take the crucial step of reaching out to customers for feedback and reviews.
That's what Affordable Dentures & Implants found out. They realized that only a small number of customers were leaving reviews. Even worse, it was largely those who weren't satisfied.
When Affordable adopted Podium to begin seeking reviews from customers, average ratings increased by 30%. What’s more: the total volume of Google Reviews increased by almost 50K. The results speak for themselves.
The advantages of reviews are multi-faceted. Search results are often curated based on star ratings. And since that's one of the most common ways for customers to find you, the importance can't be overstated. One study found that 90% of people consider online reviews when making a purchase.
Keep these principles in mind to supercharge your review efforts:
- Seek honest and truthful reviews. Sometimes, this will include criticism and that can be tough. Make sure to address the concerns. Respond publicly to address issues with current customers and show potential customers you care.
Automate reviews. Instead of asking for them one-by-one, use a feature (like the one built into Podium) to ask for reviews.
- Use reviews for customer testimonials. Don't forget to use your top reviews on your website and marketing to make the most of positive feedback.
The benefits of text messaging to capture reviews is all about customer loyalty. You show your customers that you care by asking their opinion. One of the benefits of texting is that it leads to more reviews.
The ability to easily hear from your customers lets them share thoughts and ideas. Seeking those out proves that you genuinely care about their views and experiences. That illustrates one of the ultimate benefits of texting: you talk with people, not to them.
Get The Advantages Of Texting Starting Today
In competitive markets, you need every advantage. The benefits of texting that you saw in this article are a way to set your business apart. Whether you use SMS for payments, getting reviews, or customer service, start using the benefits of text messaging today.
Make sure that you use a tool like Podium that makes it much easier to use the benefits of texting in business. The power of automation plus the freedom to customize your approach are key benefits of SMS.
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