7 Tips for Boosting Online Sales with a Text Message (SMS)

Hand holding cell phone with text messages and cartoon charts around it.

By guest author Sophorn Chhay, inbound marketing specialist at Trumpia

It’s estimated that approximately 64 percent of all adults in the United States own a smartphone, and 97 percent of those are texting on a regular basis, according to Pew Research Center. If your online business isn’t incorporating a text message or short message service (SMS) strategy into its content marketing program, then you’re missing out on a valuable way to connect with consumers, build your brand, and, best of all, increase your sales. Check out these seven tips for boosting your bottom line with SMS.

A Better Way to Contact You

Effective and efficient customer service goes a long way toward making sales. But, many customers may be hesitant to reach out with a phone call and have to talk to someone — or worse — be put on hold. And studies support this — over 60 percent of consumers claimed that they would prefer to text customer service support rather than call, according to OneReach. Why not offer customers a better way to reach you by letting them text you instead? Texting also is an easy way to keep accessible records of your communications.

Mobile Coupons

According to the National Retail Federation, more than half of all consumers said that they would be more likely to visit a store if the store issued a coupon. The problem is, only 20 percent of emails ever get opened. Opt instead for mobile coupons. Text messages have an average open rate of an unparalleled 99 percent, and about half of consumers in the U.S. who received a text with a branded QR code, discount or coupon went on to make a purchase. You can combine these direct-to-consumer deals with automated texting and personalization (see below) for an exponentially effective impact that will be just as rewarding to customers as it is to you and your company.

Appointment Reminders

Missed appointments mean missed opportunities for sales. That’s why it’s so crucial to cut down on no-shows. Make sure customers don’t forget when they’re meeting you by reminding them the day or even an hour before. The benefit of a text is that it will remind them even if they’re on the go.

Personalize, Personalize, Personalize

Want a surefire way for your messages to get read? Surveys show that people are 22.2 percent more likely to open an email with a personalized subject line, and that same penchant for personalization carries over to SMS. In fact, 73 percent of consumers surveyed said that they prefer do business with retailers who use personal information to make their shopping experience more relevant. Even when you’re sending out text blasts to thousands of people, you can use SMS management software to insert personalized tidbits such as the recipient’s name, geographic region, favorite song or book, most recently purchased product — whatever is going to make consumers feel like they’re appreciated and valued as an individual.

Send Time-sensitive Messages

Two of the greatest advantages texts have over other channels is its immediacy and ability to grab someone’s attention. So when you need to relay time-sensitive information like a closing deal to your customer, texts are undoubtedly the way to go.

Incorporate Automation

Your days can get extremely busy, and you may not always be able to find the time to carry out your messaging. That’s where mobile automation comes in. These automation technologies work by sending out texts when triggered by customer actions. For example, a client who has just opted in for your weekly SMS app updates could get a welcome text or coupon automatically sent to them. By saving time and energy with automation, you’ll be able to simultaneously boost sales on two fronts.

Build a Relationship

As we all know, it’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to retain one. That in itself proves the worth of building personal relationships with your customers. And while every channel comes with its own set of benefits (i.e., email lets you fully express more complex messages), text messages are a clear frontrunner for connecting with customers. Texts lend themselves to a more conversational and informal communication style. They’re also inherently personal, as the conversation is held on the one thing that never leaves our side, our phones. In fact, according to a study by Morgan Stanley, 91 percent of adults have their smartphones within arm’s reach 100 percent of the time. By building meaningful relationships with your customers, you’ll be able to regularly see repeat business for longer periods of time.

Text messages have grown beyond simply a person-to-person communication tool to become an invaluable resource for businesses looking for a way to increase both connectivity and sales. Texting is widely used, and especially as millennials age and increase buying power, it is rapidly shedding its reputation as a choice, and rather becoming a necessity. In fact, mobile ad spend is projected to top $100 billion worldwide in 2016, according to eMarketer, which would be over half of the digital market. By incorporating the tips above into your strategy, you can increase your revenue and build a better brand in as little as 160 characters.

About the Author:

Sophorn Chhay is an inbound marketer specializing in attracting targeted visitors and generating sales from qualified leads. Through Trumpia’s SMS marketing and cross-channel automation solution, he helps businesses and organizations communicate effectively with their customers and members. Watch Trumpia’s 5-Minute Demo on how to execute an effective mobile marketing strategy.

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