Since the introduction of SMS in 1992 till today in 2020, there has been a significant diversity in the purpose they serve. Earlier they were limited as a source of personal communication which later shifted to become a piece of technology used in more advanced applications to generate a strong connection with current customers and prospects.
With an open rate greater than 95%, the text message has always been an effective marketing trend for those who knew how to use it effectively. Out of every 10 customers, 9 prefer text communication with business which means text messages are more likely to be read than emails. But as more companies are adopting text messaging, you need to stay ahead by capitalizing on the latest SMS trends.
Consider these trends to increase the effectiveness of SMS in your digital marketing strategy
Real-time verification of phone numbers: A top notch data in terms of quality keeps you ahead of competition. The standard procedure of collecting the all data initially and validating them in bulk before initiating the campaign is not preferred anymore. The focus is more on – why let incomplete or wrong information enter the database? Companies now prefer real time API which when integrated in the website forms or mobile apps, ensures only valid number are accepted in the contact list. Higher quality of data provides better edge over the competitors.
Customer service: From call to SMS: Once a customer gets attached to your brand through marketing, keeping them attached is a task of customer service department. SMS has created its strong influence over this department too as studies show more than 60% of the consumers prefer texting the customer supportive representatives instead of calling them. Moreover, calls are considered to be more time consuming and no one is left with the patience of listening to their number in the queue and how much longer they have to wait. Texting allows resolving the issues quickly without enduring long holds and transfer. Shorter and effective resolution times with SMS boosts customer trust and strengthen the bottom line.
Increased availability of AI-enhanced Chatbots: AI enabled chatbots use latest advancement in technology. They effectively converse with customers through SMS, sending instant replies, reminders and answering the frequently asked questions. The chatbots are developed in manner to learn from previous data, collect more from current data, and understand the data to respond the queries in a natural way.
Personalised SMS: Customer information with a business is not just related to name, phone number and Email Address. Having information like birthday, anniversary and other personal information is quite common but they have hardly been used in SMS marketing. Smart marketers and content creators who know the value of building strong a customer relationship, use this information in a manner that increases sale and brand loyalty at the same time. For eg :Sending a text message to a customer wishing him on his birthday providing a customised offer just for him. I will be delighted as a user, won’t you?
Trigger-based messages: Email automation came with a bang, and is still used widely to scale up communications dramatically. Where text messages are concerned, triggered based messages offer a similar benefit to text marketers. The triggers can be set to celebrate milestones, notify customers about products added in the cart but not purchased, availability of a product which was earlier out-of-stock. The triggers add on to the personalisation aspect which makes customer response more likely.
Soon to be top-performing marketing channel: Email marketing is currently the unbeatable king of the marketing world with highest ROI, and with the large number of benefits provided they are meant to rule. But nothing is permanent. With more number of businesses using email marketing now, the speciality of emails has started to fade away. Inbox of customers are bursting with emails. In the coming time, customers may lose interest in opening each email; no subject line will be good enough to attract them. That will be a time the businesses have to look for something new (and that something new is text messaging). Moreover, compared to SMS software, email marketing programs can be more expensive.
Escalation in review requests: A prospect depends highly on the reviews of a customer before making a purchase. In a review nearly 72% agreed to the fact that they make a purchase only after going through the reviews of others. But collecting a customer review is not easy. Many happy customers won’t review your product just because they are lazy to do it and are not losing onto anything. With the highest engagement base, SMS is proving to be an effective way to extract reviews and gain trust.
The conclusion of it - SMS marketing is opening up opportunities for brands whereas other channels are closing down due to over-saturation and spam. Taking up SMS marketing when it has reached its peak point may not be as beneficial as joining it at the time of growth. As a part of a business team, hope these trend updates help you make the right decision at the right time.