SMS marketing is now mainstream thanks to its cost-effectiveness and ability to meet customers where they almost always are – on their mobile devices. But just blasting out messages in high volume and hoping for the best is a waste of time and money at best. Instead, your business should carefully plan how you utilize SMS to both maximize the ROI on your campaigns and ensure you’re following best practices and respecting your leads’ and customers’ boundaries. The following represent some of the best ways your business can utilize SMS messaging to do more with your leads, maintain better customer relationships, and close more sales.
Use SMS to Collect More Inbound Leads
SMS can be a simple and effective way to collect inbound leads – the lifeblood of every sales funnel. Giving interested prospects the ability to text in their name and contact information can be a great supplement to other passive lead collection methods like website signup forms. With the right software, it’s even possible to automate the processing of inbound SMS messages to parse the phone number and included information into a usable lead account with no agent intervention necessary.
Automate Lightning-Fast SMS Follow-Ups
When interested leads make contact through web forms or inbound SMS messages, the speed with which you reply has an enormous impact on the relationship. An immediate response allows you to start a two-way dialogue while the lead’s interest is already peaked. A delayed response risks the lead’s interest waning. SMS messages can be automated to respond to a lead instantaneously through a medium they already use as a preferred means of communication. By sending an automated, yet personalized follow-up on behalf of an assigned agent, a lead can be activated and the sales process can begin within seconds, maximizing the chances the lead will make it all the way through the funnel to a sale.
Maintain Contact to Keep Leads from Going Cold
The longer you go without contacting a lead, the more and more likely the opportunity to make a sale is lost. Yet, not all leads are ready to buy right away, making it important to find a way to keep a dialogue open in an unobtrusive manner. Occasional text messages are a great way to maintain contact. Texts can even be set to go out automatically whenever a pre-set amount of time has elapsed, ensuring no quality lead ever slips through the cracks due to inaction.
Send Direct SMS Offers to Interested Customers
SMS can be a powerful way to get special offers in front of prospects and customers. However, SMS offers can also be annoying when unwanted and, if done wrong, can actually turn people away to competitors. The key is to make sure three conditions are met. First, that the recipient has clearly indicated that they’re interested in receiving special offers. Second, that offer being sent is truly exciting – something the prospect will be glad to receive. And finally, that it’s as easy as possible for the recipient to stop future messages whenever they choose. As long as all three of those conditions are met, SMS messages represent a low-cost but potentially highly-effective way of communicating offers directly to customers.
Use Two-Way SMS to Let Clients and Prospects Control Interactions
In some cases, SMS messaging can be tied into scheduling systems allowing clients to respond to automatic text reminders to confirm, cancel, or reschedule everything from sales meetings to dental appointments automatically. It’s a simple but highly effective way to give clients a little extra control, both improving their experience and minimizing wasted time due to missed appointments.
Take Control Over Message Timing to Maximize Success
One nice thing about SMS messages is that they can be scheduled specifically to maximize read and response rates depending on the time of day they arrive on a prospect’s phone. Research has been done identifying the ideal time windows for appointment reminders, special offers, coupons, and every other type of marketing text message. You can also track your own campaigns to generate insight into your own target demographics’ behaviors. Easily identified time windows, combined with the non-intrusive nature of SMS compared to phone calls make text messaging an easily targetable and highly effective marketing channel.
Utilize a Customer Resource Management Platform to Centralize SMS
One of the most powerful ways to manage SMS messaging operations is to centralize them with a customer resource management system (CRM). A good CRM with an SMS suite will connect SMS messaging directly to your customer database, enabling you to launch text messages directly from a lead’s profile and collect new customer data automatically from inbound messages. CRM systems like CRMDialer also enable you to automate your SMS messaging to send follow-ups or promotions whenever a lead enters a new category status, hits a preset time interval without contact, or meets any number of other trigger criteria.
To find out more about how a CRM can enhance and streamline your SMS messaging and help you close more sales, reach out to a member of the CRMDialer team or start your no-commitment 14-day free trial today.