You want to reach into the marketplace and engage your customers? Simple. Send them a text message.
Not everyone is always on social media platforms, but you can be certain that your outreach effort will be received if delivered in the form of a text. The reason why is simple, and it’s something that can be understood easily if you honestly answer this question for yourself,
…When was the last time you received a text that you did not read?
For most of us, the simple answer is a resounding NEVER! Not only do we open and read our text’s, the time period that it takes can usually be measured in seconds or minutes. Why? Well, answer this question honestly,
…How far away from your mobile device are you right now at this very moment?
Once again, for the vast majority of us, typically this distance can be measured in inches. Or, like many of us, you are actually reading this article on your mobile device right now. Time for a moment of clarity: guess what Mr. or Mrs. business owner… it’s the same with your customers.
The undeniable truth about your customers and consumers in general is that they are incredibly sophisticated when it comes to their mobile devices. We can’t even reference the word “phone” and relate it to a home phone anymore! The fact is your current and future customers are absolutely tethered to their mobile devices, well-versed in its useage and absolutely without a doubt prefer message-based communications over voice.
The problems with mobile device based marketing are typically found with the business itself that is doing the marketing campaign. Usually, they approach an sms campaign from the traditional media perspective: x-amount of ad dollars = x-amount of leads/sales. WRONGO in the world of text message marketing, and to a certain extent this approach fails equally in social media platforms. The reason is simple: our mobile devices are our personal space and when encroached by aggressive marketing messages, we sour pretty darn quickly over that messaging and shut it out of this space quite fast.
The solution is actually quite simple. Use this space to make consumers happy! Be infrequent with offers and campaigns, and most importantly provide something of value that isn’t necessarily related to an offer. Sure, there’s a time and place for offerings, but it’s just so cliche to view text message marketing as a coupon delivery platform. Get out of that mindset and get into a creative one!
Here’s an idea: service businesses (that generate revenue based upon their customers showing up for a scheduled event) should be sending a very short and simple text that reads,
“Hi! We look fwd to seeing you at our office on 4/18/2016 for your appointment with us!”.
Payment reminders, as well as simple text messages to follow up on delinquent accounts will likely have a better response rate. This is because most account delinquencies are the result of simple forgetfulness. A payment reminder as a text message will also remove those potentially difficult conversations from customers you know by name, eliminate pressure on staff and keep those relationships well intact.
Your service technician should be sending text notifications before they depart to their next service appointment, letting the homeowner know the approximate arrival time. Not only does this help eliminate missed appointments, ensuring that revenue, but it is also engaging customers and providing something that they will actually be appreciative of.
Effectively using mobile marketing via text message requires the business and it’s mobile campaign design to be more about outreach and engaging customers and far, far less about sending simple purchase offers.
James Crandall is the owner of MovilExchange.com, an AGILE software firm that focuses on developing highly functional and lightweight web-based applications for mobile marketing solutions.