Top 10 Text Messaging Considerations for Today’s Organizations
Should today’s businesses be texting with customers? Absolutely! Studies show that text messages have a sky-high 98% open rate, and a 45% response rate, compared to email with an open rate averaging around 20% and response rates about 10%. What’s more, around 9 out of 10 text messages are read within a few seconds and responded to within three to four minutes. Do these engagement rates mean businesses should be texting carte blanche? Not even close! Think about the relationships you have with your closest friends and family members - you don’t want them texting you all hours of the day and night, right? So how should a company behave when texting with customers?
Here’s Mogli’s top 10 best practices for businesses texting their customers:
1. Make sure you have explicit permission to communicate with your clients & customers.
Consumer data privacy acts are serious business. Penalties for violations of GDPR are explicitly defined in the regulations and can reach as much as 4% of the violating firm’s worldwide annual revenue, or 20 Million Euros, whichever is higher. CCPA has defined penalties for violations as well. Be sure to automate the re-opt-in process and secure permission again once the original opt-in time period has expired.
2. Consider your client’s time zones.
Don’t be “that person” (or organization) that sends out text messages when the recipient is very likely to be asleep because it’s 2 AM for them. Make sure your text messages are time-zone appropriate. Stick to “normal business hours” for the time-zone you are sending to. And I would even err on the side of caution here, and consider 10am to 2pm your core texting hours.
3. Text on a regular cadence.
You don’t want your audience to forget who you are, so be sure to communicate with them on a regular basis. Be cautious though, as this could be a double-edged sword, so make sure the texts you send contain valuable information or a great offer. If you communicate too much, your unsubscribe rates could increase as people will lose interest in hearing from you. Too many text messages can easily add unwanted stress to a person’s day.
4. Be consistent.
Always text people from the same number. That way, they will know the message is from you every time, and even without having read the message yet, they will understand the importance of your message. Delivering messages on content that’s important to them, from the same number every time, helps your customer build trust in you and your organization.
5. Stay engaged in the conversation.
Successful communication is two ways. Be sure to respond in a timely and appropriate manner when customers reply to your messages. If they aren’t asking questions, simply thank them for providing their thoughts. Be sure to answer questions quickly and completely. Cite and link to your sources to help clarify your message. That all provides your customers with a learning experience to help them grow. And when your customers succeed, you succeed
6. Surprise and delight your customers.
When you catch your customers doing something amazing, reward them with a great text message and if you can, follow that up with a surprise piece of swag in the mail or something else impactful. For example, if your customer just posted a blog about participating in an activity that impacted the lives of others through doing something good like helping to build a Habitat for Humanity home, call it out & make a donation in their honor to Habitat for Humanity. Want to make them feel even more appreciated? Personalize your text message by using merge fields and call them by their name!
7. Convince your customers they might miss something big.
Nothing creates better engagement than FOMO, the fear of missing out. If you can create the illusion that your customer is about to miss something big, or that they already did miss something big, they will be all-in for the next thing. Events, organization announcements, and opportunities for engagement are all great starting points for creating FOMO.
8. Don’t be overly salesy.
Who really wants to communicate with someone that is trying to sell them something all the time? While the goal of your text campaigns might, in fact, be more sales, remember the number on the other end of the message is actually a human being. Be conversational and friendly. It’s a bit cliche, but if you wouldn’t say it to your mother or your toddler, don’t text it to your customer.
9. Remember the call-to-action.
Ultimately, you are looking to engage the customer in a conversation that will move to the next steps in some sort of purchase, engagement or agreement. Make sure the text message clearly encourages the customer to move forward in their experience with your company. Messages like “Sign up for free!”, “Use code SECRETDEAL at checkout” or “Complete this survey for a chance to win!” go a long way.
10. Give people a way to opt out with every message.
We already mentioned the penalties for texting those who haven’t opted-in. Similarly, it’s a violation to not give recipients a way out, so make sure your messages all include something like this: “Text STOP to opt-out of future messaging.” Additionally, remind people that “Message and data rates may apply.” because not everyone is on an unlimited talk/text/data plan.
Now that you know text messaging provides 98% open rates and 45% response rates, along with the best things to do, and not do, when it comes to text messaging - what are you waiting for? Schedule a call with Mogli today!