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On the average, text messages get a response in 90 seconds. So, one thing is clear: text messages get seen. Learning how to send great business text messages improves the results of your sales funnel. Every text message can help you move a potential customer one step closer to making a purchase.
So, you're ready to start texting your customers. How do you ensure that your business text messages ultimately lead to making more sales? You'll learn how to do send business text messages with Podium in this tutorial.
What Is a Business Text Message?
When you build your marketing strategy, you're trying to build connections. This means engaging an audience on their own terms. Business text messaging is one way to do it.
Here are common examples of business text messages:
- Promotional texts. Launching a new product? Starting a sale? Either way, sending text messages is a great way to start the conversation and create awareness.
Transactional texts. Believe it or not, you can use business text messaging to complete a sale with no other tools needed. Take payments, book appointments, and grow your sales.
Support texts. A quick correspondence with a customer can solve issues in real-time. You can help make every interaction more positive with support texts that answer questions or provide solutions.
- Ask for feedback. How about asking customers to leave feedback on popular sites like Google Reviews or Facebook? It has a dual benefit: provide coaching to your team to improve, plus build social proof about your business.
Learn more about one-to-one business texting in the article, What Is One-to-One Business Texting?
It often seems like everyone is always on their phones or other SMS-enabled devices. These days, even watches receive texts! This makes text messaging in business communication completely natural. Let's learn how to reach more customers with texting.
How to Use Business Text Messaging as Part of Your Sales Funnel
For sales-based businesses, you're leading customers on a journey from interest to sale. This process is called a sales funnel, and it requires engagement to succeed.
Think about the shape of a funnel. The top of the funnel is where every sales lead starts. Each step of moving down a sales funnel moves a potential customer closer to a sale.
Every organization defines the steps in their sales funnel a bit differently, but here are a few common steps:
- Awareness. To make a sale, your customer has to be aware of your business. Maybe they become aware simply walking by your storefront, seeing an ad on social media, or receiving a word-of-mouth referral.
Interest. Once a customer is aware of your business, the sales process really begins. Interest shows that the consumer isn't ready to make a purchase, but they've begun to build awareness of your business and what it offers.
- Consideration. Awareness and interest help set the stage for a potential customer to purchase. They start weighing their wants and needs against your value offer, seeing how it fits with their preferences.
- Purchase. The bottom of the funnel represents converting the lead to a purchase. It takes one last push to move from consideration to transaction (and business text messaging with Podium can play a role in this!)
Unlike a well-made real-world funnel, sales funnels are leaky. That means that not every customer will move to the next step. You'll lose potential leads along the journey from awareness to purchase. The goal is to optimize the sales funnel to improve results.
So, how do you use business text messaging to improve your funnel? Let's look at the steps to do just that:
1. Choose a Business Text Messaging Platform
If you aren't sure how to send business text messages, here's a recommended first step: choose an app to help. Don't spend all day hunched over your smartphone personally writing and sending your text messages.
Instead, choose a business text messaging platform that makes your life easier. Tools like this cover many essential parts of business text messaging. We'll cover these in the steps below, like list building, automated text messaging, and more.
Think of your app as the hub for all your business text messaging. It's one centralized tool to maintain your list of recipients, schedule messages, and correspond with your customers.
Make sure to check out our article on the top tools to send business text messages, 20 Best Business SMS Text Messaging Software & Apps for 2020.
2. Build Your Text Messaging List
A well-written text message helps you succeed. To market with business text messaging, you need to work to build a list of recipients. It's the classic marketing "chicken and egg equation." To succeed, you need an audience, but how do you find them?
Remember, awareness is the first step in every sales funnel. Here are a few tried-and-true principles to grow your business text messaging list and increase awareness:
Use Existing Lists With Caution
Just because a customer opted in to your email list doesn't mean they want to receive a text message, too. Even if you've captured a cell number, be mindful and considerate. If you use existing lists, make sure you opt-in the recipients.
Generate Inbound Messages
More than ever, customers want to reach you via text. Instead of calling and waiting on hold, it's far simpler to trade text messages.
So, how do you let your customers know that you're ready to respond? Here are three tactics that are sure to help:
- Add your contact details to your website, especially including a specific mention on your Contact page.
- Include in your social bios like Instagram and Twitter that you can be reached via SMS.
Update your Google My Business listing to include the "message" button. So, a potential customer can message you directly from the listing. This is a great way to show a potential customer that you're reachable via text from the first exchange.
All these steps show that your business takes texting seriously. That's sure to help your list grow in no time.
Incentives matter. They drive your customers to take certain actions.
What if you offered a reward for opting into promotional text messages? Everyone loves a deal, and the cost of promotion is far less than the potential of future marketing.
Consider using SMS to offer mobile-specific deals. A well-placed sign in-store or on your website promoting the "mobile-only deal" is one of the best ways to grow your list.
3. Compose Great Content
After you've built your text message list, you have a chance to reach your audience. Write content that improves the results of your sales funnel. It's crucial to tailor your content to match your sales funnel's goal.
We outlined four basic parts of a sales funnel (awareness, interest, consideration, and purchase) earlier in this post. As you put together your sales funnel, you might find that you're losing customers at specific steps.
Let's look at strategies to improve each of the four parts of the sales funnel, including sample sales text messages.
Texts to Increase Awareness
To increase awareness, business texting is all about "being there" for a customer. Maybe they have questions about hours, location, and more. Respond rapidly, and you increase the chances that you take a customer from awareness to interest.
Awareness also means making a potential customer aware of specifics about your business. Let's say you're a restaurant that's accustomed to serving customers in a dining room. When you start offering delivery, make sure to use business texting to let them know.
Texts to Increase Interest
Maybe you're using business text messaging to up the ante on interest. Remember, this is the step where consumers begin to grow their knowledge of your business and the products or services you offer.
Sample sales text messages to increase interest could include:
- "We're open today from 10 am to 5 pm! Everything is freshly baked and ready for you to sample."
- "Have you seen our new spring lineup? We've just restocked with over 20 items in our showroom." (Make sure to include a photo in your SMS)
- "We've just reopened! Make sure to stop by any of our five locations to see our new look stores."
All these business testing examples help you move your customer to the next part of a funnel. Share what you're working on, and customers are bound to take an interest.
Text to Increase Consideration
The consideration step is a crucial one that leads to success. Remember that once a lead is considering your offer, you have the chance to tell them more and sell to their specific interest.
At this point, you might know more about your potential customer. Segmenting your recipients based on what you learned can improve your results.
For example, if you find a specific part of your list through a marketing campaign on Facebook for a product line, make sure that your "consideration" texts reiterate that message.
In any case, a "consideration" message should promote something specific that might lead to purchase. Here's a great example of a sample sales text message that increases your conversion rate:
- "Did you know that we know offer dog washing at our location on Smith Street? Text back 1 to set an appointment."
In one simple message, you show the customer how your business offering differs. Plus, giving the opportunity to text to set an appointment can immediately lead to the "purchase" part of our sales funnel.
Text to Increase Purchases
Think about it: improving your sales is all about removing friction. If your potential customer has to leave home, come to the store, try the product out, and then consider the purchase, you risk losing them.
Instead, use a purchase link inside a text message to remove friction. Text messaging apps like Podium can automate including a payment link in an SMS. It's a great way to close a sale in your funnel. You can complete an entire sale via text message with these features.
Completing the sales funnel means completing a transaction with your customer. With fewer steps thanks to "pay now" business text messages, you'll see more customers hit the "purchase" part of your funnel.
4. Monitor, Measure, and Revise
Don't be frustrated if your business texting efforts don't immediately succeed. It takes time to refine your marketing message. Plus, you'll discover the ways that customers want to interact via text.
Here's the key question: how do you know if your text messaging in business communication works?
You need analytics to monitor your results. Analytics about your business like reviews ensure that you're meeting expectations. Plus, analytics about your text messaging like new leads and response times are important to help you refine your texts.
As you decide how to send business text messages, it's crucial to capture meaningful data. With analytics, you can grasp exactly what your audience engages with.
Analytics help you focus your business texting. In turn, you can provide more of that winning content, and cut the rest. It's really the ultimate in control of your marketing strategy.
Use Business Texting For Customer Retention
The sales funnel concept is all about taking a customer from interest to the sale. But this can be a limited view because it overlooks an important part of running your business: customer retention.
A key thing to consider when you think of how to send business text messages is the members of your audience. Many business texting tools enable personalization—even with messages sent en masse. Personalization and capitalizing on the relationship you've already built improves your retention efforts.
Business texting and customer retention go together. Too often, businesses suffer from "out of sight, out of mind" with potential customers. A well-timed business texting campaign can remind customers of your offer and spark a sale. For more ideas about texting your customers with Podium study the article, 7 Ways to Start Texting Your Customers Today.
Start Using Business Text Messaging Today
With the right strategies, business text messaging is sure to be a powerful part of your sales funnel. Whether you use messages to send special offers or accept payments, business text messaging gives you a chance to connect with customers.
Remember: optimizing your sales funnel is always a work in progress. Use analytics and data as you learn how to send business text messaging with Podium. Business texting plays a role in every step of the funnel, from creating awareness to closing a sale.