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7 Ways for Businesses to Use SMS

SMS marketing is a simple way for any business to engage with its consumers. You can send out offers and opportunities, and easily communicate with your target audience.  Indeed, studies have shown that half of consumers actually get mad if your business won’t let them text with you.

But what many businesses want to know is – once I get launch my SMS campaign, what do I actually do with it?

The popular business blog Business 2 Community (B2C) has the answer! They offer seven SMS strategies that just about any business can use.

1. Run Promotions & Sales

When you’re trying to sell your products and services, timing is everything. Reaching the consumer at just the right moment, when they’re most inclined to make a purchase, can be the difference between a passing inclination and a completed transaction.

That’s why text messaging can be vital. Unlike other broadcast media (like, say, TV advertising, or a social meme), text messaging can be timed precisely. As B2C notes, “If you sell pizzas, it’s probably better to send out a promotional push in the evening right when people are starting to feel hungry for dinner.”

Texting also let you segment your audience, so that our hypothetical pizza parlor can send separate messages to pepperoni lovers and pineapple fans.

2. Play with Contests

Offering sweepstakes and giveaways can be a powerful incentive to inspire people to register for your program. We’ve seen firsthand how effective a well-timed contest can be. For example, Simon & Schuster engaged young readers by offering readers the chance to win prizes during Comic-Con.

3. Improve Your Customer Service

“More than half of consumers say they would prefer text as a customer support platform,” says B2C.  Texting is easy for consumers and easy for businesses too.

That’s one reason why more and more hotels are using SMS to communicate with guests.

4. Provide Tips and Advice

“Tips and advice are best when they use customer information to make the advice immediately useful to them,” says B2C. Text messaging’s ability to store information and segment outreach makes it easy to reach out to specific consumers. B2C gives the example of a dentist who sends a root canal patient information on how to care for their healing tooth.

We’ve seen a lot of organizations send out targeted tips, from health care organizations suggesting healthy eating advice to KCRW offering Angelenos restaurant recommendations.

(Why do so many of these have to do with food?)

5. Don’t Forget About Appointment Reminders

“Missed appointments are a hassle for both clients and the businesses they keep waiting,” writes B2C. “For the businesses, it’s a lost hour, usually with high-paid staff waiting around for nothing. For clients, they now have to go to the trouble of re-scheduling.”

SMS is a great way to automate appointment reminders. We’ve seen numerous healthcare organizations use appointment reminders to make sure their patients show up on time. That’s good news for patients – and equally good news for the providers’ bottom line.

6. Personalize
Because a mobile CRM saves all your customers’ data, you can easily send people targeted messages that not only uses their name, but refers to their specific purchase history.

B2C writes that “73% of customers want to engage with businesses that use their personal information to provide more relevant shopping experiences for them.”

7. Ask For Feedback

“How about sending an SMS poll to find out what your customers think of a new menu item you plan to introduce in your restaurant? Or asking them how their last shopping experience was?”

There aren’t a lot of great ways to actually learn what your customers think. An SMS survey or poll can offer you invaluable insight into the people whose opinions matter most. One common usage we’ve seen for surveys: post-event follow-up.

Read the full article at Business 2 Community.

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