If you ask a room of people how much time they spend on their phones, be prepared for some sheepish grins.
Most people spend an average of three hours and 15 minutes on their phones, with the top 20 percent of smartphone users exceeding four-and-a-half hours of screen time daily. To top it off, an average American will pick up their phones 47 times daily for quick check-ins, with half of them within three minutes of each other.
It’s surprising that more companies aren’t capitalizing on the opportunity to communicate through text messaging when people spend so much time on their phones. Instead, they continue to rely on the more popular, but less effective communication methods such as email and telemarketing.
To put it in perspective, text messages have a 98 percent open rate and a 45 persent response rate. Ninety-five percent of these SMS (short message service) are opened within three minutes, and are replied to within an average of 90 seconds, while emails are only opened 20 percent of the time with a 6 percent response rate. Of those surveyed, 75 percent of people would like to receive promotional offers via SMS.
Yet, this is a widely overlooked form of communication and remains an untapped strategy by most businesses. In fact, only 39 percent of businesses are actively using it.
Your business can not only greatly benefit from using text messaging as a powerful engagement tool, but also grow steadily if it is implemented effectively.
Below are five ways your business can use two-way business text messaging to communicate with your customers, along with examples to give you inspiration.
1. Optimize inbound sales experience. When your company follows up with leads in a timely, non-imposing manner, you’re more likely to get them to a demo and increase the chances of them buying your products. However, it can be frustrating for a customer when they have to jump over many hurdles just to make a simple inquiry.
Integrating a method of quick and accessible communication between the sales demo intake form, customer service portal, and website chat, can optimize inbound sales experiences. It starts with setting up an integrated communication channel of your CRM, website chat, and support desk software. And, you can do so with Nextiva’s setup guide.
The team at Salesmsg —a simple two-way business texting solution—has recently shared an amazing flow that led 90 percent of the people who contacted them for a demo to actually show up for their appointments. Here is how it looks:
- Demo request form. Qualifiers, such as team size, are asked. PlusThis then redirects based on the team size. If there are less than 10, the customer is redirected to a sales video. If there are more than 10, the customer is redirected to book a demo on Calendly.
- SMS from Salesmsg (Zapier) is triggered to engage the lead in real-time. The conversation is sped up, as there is an 85 percent response rate to the text messages, and a service desk rep will directly call the lead to further qualify for a demo booking.
- Calendy sends email reminders, and Salesmsg sends a follow-up SMS an hour before the call. These reminders further drive demo attendance, resulting in an average show-up rate of 90 percent.
- Demo leads to closing sales. Text messaging was a great help to directly engage leads instantly, leading to a successful demo and close with new customers.
If you’re interested in automating these steps above using SMS, you can view the Salesmsg team’s walk-through on how to set up follow-ups with Zapier.
2. Convert Facebook leads better with SMS follow-up. Facebook lead ads are a great way to collect lead information, and can be set up very quickly. They are effective, as you can select a custom audience to reach people similar to your existing customers, and it’s quick for leads to answer questions in the form. Since this method of collection is less imposing, people are more inclined to share their information if the ad piques their interest.
On the other hand, collecting a large number of leads won’t be a great accomplishment unless they convert. You can improve on your lead conversion by instantly sending an SMS follow-up after a form is submitted. Zapier can help you automate this process easily without any coding experience—you just need to select a trigger, and then select an action that follows.
Here’s an example: