According to Statista, Americans spend 5-6 hours daily on their cell phones, not including work-related smartphone use. 92% of this time goes to apps like social media and entertainment, with numerous notifications from family, work, friends, and... brands!
The tiny problem:
Fed up with tons of useless and time-wasting notifications, people often disable them. For brands, it means one more challenge to promote their products and services. That's why creating an omnichannel customer experience takes place, and that's where SMS marketing helps.
So, if SMS isn't in your omnichannel marketing campaign yet, it's high time to adopt it. Below you'll find some proven SMS texting tips for more effective customer communication, with both dos and don'ts to consider.
Personalization matters to customers: 54% get more inclined to purchase if a brand calls them by name; 68% expect customization in every interaction; 71% click a link within SMS with personalized offers and deals.
SMS texting provides a more personalized feel, so customers will appreciate it if you connect by using their names and including small talk in messages. Also, remember to introduce yourself: Receiving a text from an unknown number brings nothing but frustration. There's no need to write long sentences about who you are; just mention your brand name for a person to understand from whom the message comes.
In the case of customer support communication via SMS, your team member's name is also worth mentioning for a person to know who's writing.
SMS personalization is not about customer names only. According to research, 91% of customers are more likely to buy from brands that recognize and remember them. So, it's critical to build the communication based on all the information about a client (age, gender, location, purchasing history) for stellar customization and providing relevant offers and recommendations.
Personalized text communications build a loyal audience that will see your brand appreciates them as people, not a number of purchases, and provides offers exclusively for them.
One of the most common mistakes marketers make when it comes to SMS texting is their super official and salesy tone. For customers, phone conversations are more about personal touch; that is why brief, light-hearted, and friendly messages will sound more persuasive and responsive.
As you've already noticed from the above examples, a good practice is to use active voice and power verbs in SMS. "Visit," "receive," "check," "reply," "tap," and other short yet clear words help customers understand what you want from them.
It stands to reason that you don't need a call to action when sending order confirmations or appointment reminders. Yet, do your best to include it in every text message aimed at engaging customers:
Feedback or review requests, exclusive offers, customer service, sales, generating leads, payment reminders — all these SMS texts will lose their point if sent with no CTAs.
When adding a link to your SMS, ensure it's short: Use an SMS marketing system with a link shortening feature or consider shortener services. Otherwise, your link will take the whole SMS space, with no chance for you to communicate a message. It's not about blogging or freewriting; plus, long text messages with no shortened links look spammy.
Customers will hardly take your brand seriously if it bombards them with promotional SMS texts at night or early morning.
One of the etiquette rules for written communication is to send text messages during working hours. It signals to a person that you respect their privacy, and it's your chance to boost brand loyalty and its human-like aspect. Plus, it's an opportunity to address a customer's FOMO (fear of missing out) when you have last-minute sales and events:
If, say, your discount expires on Friday night, you can send a message about it on Friday afternoon to encourage customers to act faster. Such SMS texts also work when messaging reminders, to gently nudge a recipient to action.
The best time to send SMS varies depending on your business and message type, but the general rule is to keep it between 11 am and 8 pm during working days.
When sending SMS to customers, you don't do that just to remind them about yourself but to provide some value, right? Your messages should be relevant and useful, providing the information your customer needs: special member-only sales, discounts, new product launches, delivery timing, appointment reminders, etc.
But with the information may come some questions, so you need to be ready to respond. The only critical factor here is the speed of your response:
Response time does matter in customer service interactions. When a person sends you a message, they expect a reply within two minutes. And it's especially true for younger audiences (age 16-24): 71% of them believe a quick response from a brand can drastically improve their customer experience.
Where there are dos, there will always be don'ts. Based on the above information, it is not difficult to imagine five major don'ts to avoid in SMS texting with your customers.
So, please don't send them:
Your customers visit a website, get your emails, follow your brand on social media, and read SMS texts from you — this is what the heart of omnichannel marketing looks like. To make it beat and work genuinely, you need to integrate and unify all those channels, including SMS.
Please do your best to provide customers with a seamless experience throughout their journey regardless of their preferred channel. But ensure your content is consistent and up-to-date across all your communication channels to avoid confusion.