SMS Marketing

AdvertisingMobileSMS Marketing

How to Send Business Text Messages to Your Customers

man-3380349_640

SMS or text messaging is still an effective way to connect with your target market. While sending business text messages is one of the oldest technologies to be used in digital marketing, it still holds some key benefits as a consumer relationship-building tool for companies that others fail to see.

It’s personal, direct, and there’s no risk of your business text message being filed into a spam folder. Also, the open rates are the highest at 98%. Despite that, how can we assure that a patron would continue to be happy receiving your SMS messages? Here are the things you need to take note of when sending business text messages.

1. You Only Have 160 Characters.

If you thought you had more, that’s because SMS applications don’t block you from typing when you use them up. Instead, it lets you continue and charge you with the number of text messages your characters use up. Be careful and deliberate when sending bulk SMS to avoid expenses from spiking. You’ll be charged for the equivalent of two messages once you go past 160 characters, even if the total is just 161.

When business texting to large groups in your contact lists, take extra caution because there’s no changing it once sent. Devise, edit and review your SMS marketing campaigns.

2. Gain Consent Before you Send Business Text Messages.

2. Gain Consent Before you Send Business Text Messages.

The business era has moved beyond the times when farming or buying contact information from the internet or agencies was common practice. It’s also very much frowned upon. Buyers also have more influence over brands and are loyal to those that respect their privacy.

Best practice when you want to keep your customers up-to-date is to simply ask them for their email address or mobile number. Do this via your website, social media page, or through your friendly cashier.

3. Always Give Your Customers the Option to Unsubscribe.

3. Always Give Your Customers the Option to Unsubscribe.

B2C text messages are advised to have a Stop message at the end of each one.  This notifies the receiver that they can opt-out of receiving your texts at any time. It can be as simple as “Text STOP to [business hotline] to opt-out.” It can be a separate text sent right after your original or attached at the end as part of the 160 characters to minimize costs.

Get a shortcode to be your company’s number to send business texts. Not only does it keep your Stop note short, but it’s much easier for customers to memorize and reach you via SMS or a phone call for any issue. You’d even get wonderful feedback to be proud of or help your business improve.

4. Keep Things Casual but Professional.

Confused? It simply means be relaxed and communicate just as how you would with family and friends. Your consumers want to receive text messages that are informal, not a message that feels like a work email, especially in their free hours.

Your brand is meant to be an answer to a problem, whether it’s an energy boost or a catalog of products to keep their minds off their job in their spare time. They don’t want to feel stressed and associate you with their boss or the kind of hard-selling salesman they close their doors to.

5. Use Abbreviations Wisely.

Take into account your niche, brand personality and target market. For example, a crafts store wouldn’t need to hesitate using “DIY” with an American craft enthusiasts market because of its commonplace use. However, you wouldn’t want to use “LOL” or laugh out loud with generations older than millennials to be safe.

Some should be avoided, usually those categorized as internal or industry terms that your employees would know but your patrons wouldn’t, similar to “FIFO” or first-in, first-out. Others have swear words or offensive language such as WTF, which should be avoided to retain the professional impression. If you’re switching from email to SMS writing, keep in mind the differences in rules.

6. Show Emotion in Your Text Messages

Show Emotion in Your Text Messages

Because you’re expected to sound like a familiar human being, people enjoy reading emotion when they receive a text message. Have a clever writer do this to ensure you convey it distinctly or, for small businesses without the budget to have a regular copywriter yet, be yourself. This applies when you are your own brand persona.

Remember that some thoughts aren’t easily interpreted the same way as intended when in writing compared to face-to-face interaction. Read and re-read the drafts in different ways to make sure it’s not misunderstood before sending business SMS. Another trick is to add emojis.

7. Be direct.

When texting about a special offer, it’d be safe to start with that to immediately get attention. One instance is “20% OFF ON ALL LADIES’ WINTER WEAR!” It’ll catch their attention immediately, which will increase speed of open rate.

However, if you actually don’t have an offer, don’t make it sound as if you have one. Try it and you’ll quickly have more opt outs. Always be honest with your buyers since their trust in your brand is why they gave you their phone number. Trust and respect are the foundations for all relationships, even between company and patron.

8. Utilize Complete Uppercase or All Caps in a Planned Manner.

Another benefit of SMS messaging is that it’s acceptable to use capital letters when done smart. It also maintains the informality. The words or phrases these would apply to change over time but currently, it works with “FREE” or “SALE.”

You also get to catch their attention and emphasize the most important part of the text, usually what the receiver stands to benefit. Maintain it only for a few words to avoid it from looking like an eyesore or give the impression of being yelling all throughout. Feel free to edit before you send text messages and test what’s more effective.

9. Keep Your Text Messages Signatures Short.

Remember the 160 characters we mentioned at the beginning? This puts some constraint on the signatures, unlike with emails. Plus, without the same formatting features, the long versions don’t look as appealing but cluttered. Instead of putting a full name, stick to the first name.

Also, forget the contact info, the position and complete business name to save on characters. Signing off needs to be as simple as a dash (-) or a single word like, “Love,” followed by the name. Remember to be consistent as in the first name in the emails. If you opt to use a different name, use a similar brand persona that appeals to your target market.

10. Do More Than Selling.

Greet them during their birthdays, if they give you this information, and on important national celebrations, namely the winter holidays, New Year’s Eve, spring break, and Black Friday. Also, thank them for customer anniversaries. That means from your first record of when they purchased from you. It shows they matter to you and you’re not simply after making a sale.

Send them links to important pieces of content or those you know they’d like. A new blog post or a free downloadable ebook would be a great source of information. It’s reciprocity. They do business with you and you give a token back so customers don’t feel like it’s one-sided and consider your business as if it were an actual friend.

 

Does this sound great but still wondering when it’d be appropriate to start? It actually is now, while few competitors are using this. Begin forming a personal relationship with your customers so when the marketing strategy becomes crowded, they’d likely be more loyal to you. For assistance on setting up the right SMS framework, contact us at https://www.forest-interactive.com/contact-us/ or read more about our services here.

 

 

 

read more
MobileSMS Marketing

The‌ ‌Future‌ ‌of‌ ‌‌Telco‌ ‌Companies‌:‌ ‌What‌ ‌Telecomms‌ ‌Should‌ ‌be‌ ‌Focusing‌ ‌On‌

smart-4168483_640

What’s the future of telco companies? and what should they be focusing on in 5-10 years? Telecommunication companies are faced with shifting tides and a shaky future. Several alternative connectivity services are rising, which threaten not just the dominance of telcos, but their complete relevance in modern-day society.

As internet-based and digital economies giants increase in value and resources, they’re starting to look into providing the same service they rely on big telecom companies to do. Ever heard of Google Fiber and Google Fi? What about Elon Musk and SpaceX, a spacecraft manufacturing business that’s set their sites on creating satellite-based internet access?

That’s only a couple firms of probably several who are considering the move but the foreseeable impact of these two is undoubtedly powerful. Whether it’s a win for consumers or simply a turnover of power from old players to new ones, it’s still hazy. For telecom operations, it’s bad news. The urgency to expand their portfolios of products is definitely at throbbing levels to avoid being reduced to commodity wholesalers of network services and data, competing mainly on price. The problem is to what direction should they shift their attention to? 

1. Content Production Through Social Media

What‌ ‌Telecomms‌ ‌Should‌ ‌be‌ ‌Focusing‌ ‌On‌ in the next 5-19 years

This was the strategy a Southeast Asian telecom planned to adopt. While there are no updates if they’ve taken it further, the company’s chairman, Manuel Pangilinan, shared that user-generated content is an option they were looking into.

 

He explicitly said there was “no future” for their business if they were to stay the same then speculated that media would soon merge with the telecom industry. “[We need to] move firmly into the social media, social networking and internet space before they move into ours and eat our lunch.”

 

Why focus on social media, though, and not create Netflix? For context, online streaming subscriptions like Netflix weren’t big in the region around the time the chairman made the statement. Also, he said the allure of social media is other people create the content, unlike with traditional forms. For example, “Your television content is not user-generated, somebody else produces content, your [series], your news, even your radio commentaries.”

 

It would be a wise move if pursued. Research shows that social media platforms have impacted the telecom industry through a widely-embraced communication strategy and the assurance of accurate information.

 2. Big Data

One of the main advantages of the internet is being able to track and measure results more easily and more accurately, with the right software, compared to other channels. Telecommunication businesses have an advantage in this, having access to different kinds of information such as the geography of users, devices used, and more.

 

While some industry players have begun utilizing them, there’s still a lot more to be improved. Data is the bread and butter for many because it eases the execution of business strategy, even molding it. Here are a few of the variety of fields that rely heavily on data gained through the internet.

 

  •       Public Health.

    A lot of data used for hospitals are information shared within their system but internet and web development have made online reporting systems, health tracking, and wearable tech possible.

 

As technology becomes more sophisticated, doctors and governments are better able to make critical decisions, track trends, and develop better treatments, such as for cancer.

 

  •       Marketing.

    Data gives firms better understanding into their customers and allow them to tailor relevant campaigns accordingly. It not only means attractive but also valuable content and offers. The internet has moved marketing away from the hit-and-miss of television, billboards and other means.

 

  •       Banking.

    Systems integrated with the internet allow for faster, even real time, updates of your transactions. That’s why customers expect their current balance to be immediately reflected when they log in to your bank’s mobile app. It also helps them spot red flags immediately, protecting clients from fraud and theft.

 

Data has become part of the framework to how organizations, from businesses to non-profits to governments, conduct their day-to-day functions. So much so that data gathering isn’t a surprise anymore. What’s essential, but often overlooked, isn’t the amount collected but the ethics in gathering input, what they’re applied to, and how well they’re used.

 3. Internet of Things (IoT)

Creating seamlessly flowing lives needs the syncing and automation of different technologies that we use across tasks. For that, manufacturers have begun introducing devices, like light switches, and big items, such as appliances and electronics, that connect to the wifi. The smart TV has been around for a while but did you know about the smart fridge? Or the smart washing machine?

 

Even blinds and shutters can be set up to activate on voice command. The vision for IoT isn’t limited to simply being able to talk to your devices but they’d be able to communicate with each other. Imagine alarm clocks signaling the coffee maker when to start brewing so it’s ready at the exact time when it’s needed. The fridge would order preset groceries once food is low and the delivery will be on its way before anyone realizes what’s happening.

 

In fact, Google and Amazon are now competing for the smart home industry with devices that serve as the hubs, the Google Home and Amazon Echo. The latter is the most popular with their famous character and the customer’s personal assistant, Alexa. The possibilities are endless and while that idea of the future could very much change, we imagine whoever ends up dominating tomorrow’s largely smart homeworld would be one of the most powerful companies.

 

This fluid connectedness between various parts of the home all relies on the internet connection and the infrastructure of telecommunications companies. It wouldn’t be a complete pivot and more like an additional service building on what the industry already provides. Target markets involved are already ones the company is familiar with but with a more updated lifestyle closely tied up with modern tech.

 

Innovation has never been seen at such a scale as we have today, so telecoms won’t run out of options of what to shift to anytime soon. What matters is a clear understanding of the company’s values, mission and goals, and the strategic utilization of current resources. Leveraging by partnering with companies that already have a footing across different tech and tech-related solutions would fill any gaps in expertise and assets. Book a meeting with a trusted brand such as Forest-Interactive.

read more
ChannelsMobileSMS Marketing

7 Benefits of SMS Marketing for Businesses

photo-1556204975-1851fadab092

SMS remains the most popular phone application, proving it’s far from being outdated. It’s also an undervalued marketing gold mine that’s waiting to be discovered. The perfect time to begin using it as one of your company’s marketing strategies is now while it’s yet to become a mainstream trend. There are several benefits your venture will be at the helm of when utilizing SMS marketing as a marketing tactic:

1.    SMS Marketing is Highly Targeted.

Benefits of SMS Marketing

Social media, blogs, TV ads, billboards…each has their own purpose and are effective for unique reasons but one common flaw among them is the “hit and miss.” While digital media enables better targeting through built-in web features or techniques like incorporating keywords, there’s no assurance your message reaches your intended audience.

One scenario is you know your target market opens their Instagram between 9 AM – 11 AM but that’s a two-hour window when you’re competing with posts from others they’re following. They may or may not scroll down far enough on their News Feed to see yours, especially if they don’t follow their normal routine that day. A text message, on the other hand, is sure to be received even if they happen to pass through an underground tunnel or get on an elevator.

2.    SMS Marketing Has the Highest Open Rates Compared to Email and Social Media.

Bulk SMS Marketing

According to research, 98% of text messages are read. Most people can’t resist opening a text message, compared to an email. Stories of having hundreds to thousands of unread emails are common but the exact opposite is the norm for SMS.

Because it’s more direct, a text feels more important and urgent than email does, making it a preferred method of correspondence. This one-on-one medium carries more weight as well as familiarity in just 160 characters. Surprisingly, even a Rich SMS would require less effort than a lengthy and graphics-intensive email marketing campaign while yielding better results.

3.    SMS Marketing Feels More Personal.

SMS Marketing Feels More Personal.

People guard their personal numbers more than they do their email addresses. Knowledge is limited to family, close friends, and workmates. When your customer gives you their cellphone number, whether personal or work, it’s a subtle way of showing trust. They value the information you have to offer.

SMS also creates an impression of better accessibility. Don’t you feel better when you have the mobile number of your therapist or doctor rather than just an email? That’s how customers would feel about having the same direct contact with your company. If you want to create a bond with your target audience, it’s essential to communicate with them through this channel.

4.    There’s Almost No Competition Here.

It’s a highly underused method. Unlike in email where you’re competing with tons of other newsletters your customers opted into, they receive much fewer texts from brands in a day. Only a few companies have recognized its potential and only companies that have cultivated relationships with their customers to be relied upon with their mobile numbers.

Do you know if your competitors are marketing via SMS? This could be an added competitive edge to your business and an early lead would give better chances of market loyalty. If you’re not an early adopter in your industry, you’ll still garner satisfying results when done right.

5.    There’s No Worry About Going Into Spam.

Spam email makes up for more than half of email traffic. Even if the consumer signed up to receive content from you, there’s no guarantee your communications won’t end up in this folder. There are only best practices to follow, and not all may be helpful to the company’s needs and consumers’ tastes.

It’s what all email marketers dread because it’s hard to get back into the Inbox once you do. However, SMS marketers don’t concern themselves with it because there’s no filtering for text messages unless your customer decides to block your number.

6.    SMS Texts are Read Immediately.

SMS Marketing

90% of SMS messages are read within the first 3 minutes after receipt. It’s especially useful for time-sensitive content such as announcements about sales, the release of new merchandise, and information about events. Well-written and beautifully designed marketing materials only matter when they deliver results.

For example, an airline corporation offering a limited number of seats at reduced prices would have a higher possibility of speedy purchases via SMS. A restaurant would ideally announce special deals for employees minutes before lunch hour if they send bulk SMS. Bands holding surprise concerts would quickly gather a crowd from sending texts to their loyal fans an hour or two before the show begins.

 

7.   SMS Can Be Sent in Bulk.

A business can send a text to a large pool of customers minutes before a special offer, event or new release happens which, combined with the high open rates, increases engagement and, in turn, drives high traffic. Few channels have the capability to send in bulk and share the several benefits we mentioned, particularly the level of targeting, feel personal, and have more than satisfactory open rates.

For example, the traditional snail mail is highly targeted and can be sent in bulk but somehow feels less personal and is more likely to end up in the junk pile before they even open it. We’re seeing the same happening to their virtual counterpart, emails. It’s not likely to happen with SMS because it’s underutilized and consumers are more careful about sharing their mobile numbers than their email addresses.

 

With news of innovation for SMS coming, we can only expect these benefits to increase as businesses create more engaging content. Start using SMS marketing to position yourselves as the head in your market and experience the full benefits. For quality SMS services, partner with a tech firm offering easy-to-use sophisticated platforms to fit your needs. Give us a call.

read more
ChannelsMobileSMS Marketing

What You Need to Know About RCS Messaging

RCS Messaging-01-2 (1)

The SMS feature is one of the oldest and somehow remains mostly the same as it was first known with only superficial changes like design and layout. With all of the innovation on mobile phones since the first one was invented, text hasn’t caught up but still remains one of the most popular applications. However, many users are switching to chat apps which offer more robust features and allow for more fluid interaction.

Tech companies are looking to revamp traditional text messaging in response to this shift. As a result, they’ve come up with RCS messaging.

What is RCS Messaging?

Rich Communication Services (RCS) messaging brings the aspects of other communication platforms, such as Messenger and iMessage into one. It addresses the several weaknesses of SMS, aiming to replace it.

SMS or text messaging was conceptualized in 1982 but was only able to function a decade later. It works by sending texts, each 160-characters long, through a system of network signaling. After Apple released the first smartphone, text exchanges resembled a conversation more with the use of speech bubbles. Eventually, a standard layout was adopted with the messages sent on the right, and the messages received on the left.

That was the full extent of its development. Apple went to produce its own form of text messaging called, “iMessage,” exclusively for iPhones, leaving SMS dragging behind. Meanwhile, chat applications like WhatsApp are gaining popularity and increasing in number. RCS takes the most sought-after capabilities of these into what Google is now calling, Chat.

It shows read receipts, has group chat messaging and indicates when the other person is typing. Users can also send files, stickers, and GIFs. Chat will run on data connection and can run on Android, Google, Microsoft and iOS but Apple hasn’t released a statement on whether or not it would support Chat. When communicating with a person who doesn’t have a Chat-capable device, messages would be sent as SMS by default.

Why Did it Take Soo Long to Roll Out RCS Messaging?

Despite the recent move to integrate it for public use recently, it’s not a new technology. The idea was first introduced in 2007 but it didn’t take off because there wasn’t a clear understanding of the costs and benefits. It was only in 2016 when the GSM Association, an organization of mobile operators, came up with the Universal Profile. It’s a set of standards that the industry had set for RCS, including its functions.

In 2017, GSMA released Version 2.0, which saw several additions, like spam protection and privacy control. They estimated RCS to be worth $74 billion by 2021. GSMA went on to create Version 2.1 later that same year and then Version 2.2 in early 2018, introducing chatbots. They work similarly to those on Facebook Messenger, complete with carousels and smart reply options.

Verizon began using a limited version of the software in a couple of its models but users have given it poor ratings. Simply getting access to it is complicated, discouraging other consumers from acquiring RCS. It seemed to come to another standstill until Google decided to take the helm of the roll-out just this year by redesigning and completely replacing what was being currently offered.

What can we expect from Google RCS Messaging?

Chat, as Google has named their RCS, will be preinstalled on the phone but won’t set it as the default app for sending messages. When contacting someone who’s using RCS, a prompt would instantly appear, asking the person whether they prefer to activate Google’s RCS messaging or not. Information exchange about whether the phone supports Chat or not would take place within the system.

Google’s representatives have openly mentioned their frustration with the pace of RCS so it’s safe to estimate we’ll be seeing distribution and improvements coming along much faster. Although there’s yet to be confirmation from Apple, it’s expected that iMessage will remain the default app.

More carriers, such as T-Mobile, are offering RCS messaging to their buyers but it hasn’t been necessarily served the goal of RCS messaging of being interactive messaging across devices. The industry is currently still muddy with some carriers using different versions of the Universal Profile and others not following the standards at all.

Encryption is also an issue because RCS doesn’t provide this service but companies say they simply erase messages stored in their servers. However, with an innovation powerhouse such as Google, it’s exciting to see what other changes might happen. Google has already included its RCS in their Pixel phones to the UK and France, guaranteeing that it would be a richer experience.

With a slew of features and a possibly simpler system on the rise, businesses can interact with customers better, and users will enjoy more seamless communication with their connections and brands.

If you want your company to get ahead of the competition, partner with a provider that understands your needs, your market, and the necessary technicalities in-between. Let’s discuss how our Messaging Gateways can help you get in touch better with your customers. Contact Us Today 

read more
AdvertisingSMS Marketing

SMS Marketing Services for Businesses to Save Expenses

sms-marketing

There are many business expenses that you can actually pull down, as long as you know the best possible ways to do it. One of these big business costs is missed appointments, and you can surely decrease it using SMS marketing services.

The best SMS marketing messages can help you decrease the number of missed appointments by simply reminding invitees to come, or by compelling them to do so. That could greatly reduce wasted cash, time and effort on your end, especially on preparing for an appointment which people only miss.

Making people come can assure you of having the revenue or benefits you want, thus avoiding wasted expenses through the process.

Knowing How SMS marketing services can help your Business save Cash

One of the best ways for your business to save cash is by knowing how to reduce missed appointments, and that’s surely attainable with the help of a reliable SMS messaging platform. It can help you through these two possible ways:

Attract People to Come to the Scheduled Appointment

Sometimes, people think they don’t need your services, products or some other offers anymore. Thus, they don’t think it’s necessary to meet with you.

Of course, you can’t simply let it pass, without doing your part on luring them to actually come. And that’s a basic marketing principle. `

That’s when SMS marketing platforms could help you.

It could help you craft customized SMS messages that could make people come to your scheduled appointment. The best SMS marketing services could be incorporated with your superb copywriting techniques so you can increase the chances of people to meet with you.

Simply Remind People about the Schedule

There are many instances when people really want to meet with you, but they forget about it or they’ve gone too busy during the day. Thus, you can consider choosing between SMS marketing free or paid services, which could help you send reminders to your invitees before the appointment.

This way, you can easily remind them about the time, date and venue of your appointment, helping them to adjust their schedule for it. This could also make them feel that you really expect them to come, thus triggering their courtesy to meet with you.

In addition, that could also give them a good chance of informing you if they couldn’t make it, so you can cancel your preparation and avoid doing further expenses.  

Find a reliable SMS marketing services for your Business now!

You want to have these advantages for your business so you can save significant expenses. Thus, you should look through some SMS marketing examples, and see which one fit your needs best.

That could help you find a reliable platform that you can use. Moreover, know about some features and deals as well so you can make sure of having one that favors you.

Do you want to reduce expenses from missed appointments? Visit Moobig.com, and check out the best SMS marketing services! Compel people to meet with you, or simply remind them about the schedule ahead of time.

read more