Engaging with your customers via texting is one of the best ways to have the convenient, fast conversations customers want. And, texting has an innate casualness to it that allows your business to develop a familiar relationship with customers — something 64 percent of people say they want. The best SMS texting services on the market can help you strengthen these relationships.
Because 85 percent of people have their phone within arms reach most of the time, and the average American checks her phone almost 100 times a day, texting has the capability of speaking to your customers exactly where they are.
The response from texting is immediate, which sets this channel apart from slower, more traditional communication channels like email and phone calls, which millennials have dubbed altogether “too time consuming.” Choosing one of the best SMS texting services to enhance your customer comms can bring more efficiency and speed to your business practices, whether you’re using it for marketing, sales, operations or customer support — or all of the above.
Why SMS texting works best for businesses
If you’re going to go the route of text messaging your customers and leads, you will need to decide between using SMS and a messaging app. The truth is, there is no competition — at least not anymore. In fact, 98 percent of businesses that messaged consumers used SMS to reach them in 2020, not apps like Messenger or WhatsApp. Messaging apps have grown overall in the last year, but not for business messaging. Why not? They don’t tend to have the same MMS capabilities and they require your customers and leads to download a special app. With the best SMS texting services, you can talk to them right away — no app required.
What are the business benefits of using SMS texting?
Using SMS to have conversations with your customers actually has the potential to move the needle — something that lots of services claim to do but few actually deliver on.
The best SMS texting services are not only more affordable for businesses — calls are measured in dollars while texts are measured in cents — but they have plenty of other tangible business-boosting benefits.
Text messaging has a whopping 98 percent open rate, which beats email’s 20 percent open rate any day of the week. SMS messages also see a 45 percent response rate, which, again, blows email’s 6 percent response rate out of the water.
But it’s not just about how many people have seen and responded to your communications. It’s about how many of them take action. Turns out, SMS sees better results in that too. Businesses see a 40 percent higher conversion rate from customers they text compared to customers they don’t text. And, after initial contact has been made (and the crucial opt-in secured), conversion rates go up after sales teams text their leads.
What features do the best SMS texting services have?
Business text messaging has seen massive growth over the past couple years — growth that has been compounded by a year spent in a pandemic. Companies around the world sent 2.7 trillion text messages to consumers in 2020, which is 10 percent more than they sent the previous year. Plus, more than 48.7 million consumers opted in to receive business texts in 2020.
It’s no surprise that brands are jumping on the trend and trying to get their hands on the best SMS texting services. But in order to find the best, companies should look out for a specific set of features that help boost your relationship with customers, your team’s capabilities and your bottom line.
First, your SMS service should have a centralized platform to manage all incoming and outgoing messages quickly and efficiently and a shared inbox so you can route messages to the right person on your team.
The best SMS texting services will have integration capabilities that allow your texting program to slip right into your existing customer comms. Your SMS service should integrate with your CRM, especially Salesforce, and other software you use on a daily basis, whether it’s Slack or Microsoft Teams.
Of course, you should look for MMS capabilities so you can send multimedia content such as video, images, and links to your customers. For marketing purposes, MMS engages customers 20 percent more than regular SMS messages, so if you’re planning to text your marketing leads, you’ll want to have MMS capabilities.
The best SMS texting services will include live chat capabilities so you can catch customers on your website and continue to chat offline. This transition is especially helpful when customer service or marketing need to pass off a lead to sales or an agent needs to continue a conversation beyond the scope of the website via a method that’s convenient for both customer and business.
Tags that your team can apply to any one of your contacts help with easy segmentation. They help make automation simple and accurate so you can target the best audience for marketing messages and fit SMS contacts into your CRM with ease.
The best SMS texting services aren’t only convenient for the customer. They are also be easy for your team to use. That’s why you should consider a texting software that includes a mobile app for your team. In particular, if you’re using SMS texting for sales or customer service, you want your teams messaging contacts in real-time without making customers wait. Giving employees the option to message from their phones enables faster, more efficient communication between your business and your customers.