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5 ways to use texting to increase your sales and marketing

5 ways to use texting to increase your sales and marketing

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You need to capture the attention of customers, and text messaging is one of the best ways to achieve this. Most texts are read instantly, and typical response times are within a few minutes. No other channel has that kind of consistent engagement.

Once you have customer attention, you can do a myriad of things to improve your sales and marketing and grow your business. Below is a breakdown of the five:

1. Leverage Inbound Marketing and Lead Generation

You spend time and money getting people to your website or your physical location. Make sure you can convert those people into paying customers.

Website visitors have questions that they need to answer before buying, and they often prefer to ask someone rather than research it themselves. An SMS chat (web chat widget for texting) solves this.

The visitor starts a conversation on your site via chat, and your response goes to their text messages. This gives you their cell phone number – ideal for future follow-up – and once they leave your website the conversation continues.

In addition to SMS chat, you can ask customers to “text us at this number”. Providing customers with a keyword to receive certain benefits or discounts works well both in-store and online (for example, “Text for free number To get…”). This will bring you the first time subscriber and prepare you for subsequent SMS promotions.

related: What growth metrics really matter for startups?

2. Follow up before competitors to win more sales

Prospects reach out to many businesses when trying to make a purchase. The business that responds first wins the most deals. Texting helps you answer first.

Ask for a potential person’s cell phone number on any web form, and send an automated text confirming that you’ve received their request upon submission. This is a great customer experience and opens up texting as a communication channel when your rep has a moment to respond in person.

Depending on your sales momentum, you may be able to schedule an appointment, provide an estimate or close the deal entirely via text. If you need more information first, send a text message to find a few minutes for the phone call. Texting is also great for getting quick updates on potential people’s decision-making process and taking them to action so you can finalize a deal.

related: 3 Steps to Set Up Sales KPIs That Actually Work

3. Tap into past customers with new, seasonal and additional offers

SMS promotions give instant boost to any company. Use them to sell to existing customers, bring back old customers, and re-engage cold leads. New products, additional services and seasonal discounts are all great offers for promotion.

Pull up your list of customers or a specific segment of customers you want to reach. Your customer relationship manager (CRM) or texting service may already make this easier for you. The keywords mentioned in point one, also help you build an ongoing customer list.

Send a message that explains the offer and how to take advantage of it. Include an image or website URL to pack an extra punch. For example, a retailer might say, “Hello [first name]We are running our end of season sale. Get up to 70% off on summer clothes at! Check out your perfect fit before you go.” A monthly campaign brings the best balance of high ROI and minimal opt-out.

related: 5 Steps to Creating a Successful Marketing Campaign

4. Convert Happy Customers to Online Reviews to Get More Customers

Potential customers look at online reviews before making a purchase. The companies with the most positive reviews stand out, and texting will bring you more online reviews. Simply text customers to ask for a review, and include a link to the review site of your choice.

To automate these requests, you need an action in your CRM, point of sale (POS) or other software system on which to trigger the request. This can happen after a purchase or after a service is marked as complete.

At any time, you can manually text messages to customers asking for reviews, either in person or via mass text – such as the one SMS promotion mentioned above.

5. Collect More Payments With Less Headaches

Every business needs contactless payments, and sending a text message gives you two options. First, you can ask a customer to pay, and include a link to pay online. Text them reminders when needed. This will dramatically speed up your payment process compared to sending a paper or email invoice.

Second, you can associate your business texting number with your payment processor for “text-to-pay.” This way you can receive payments securely in real-time, entirely via text.

The first payment request asks customers to enter their payment information through a secure online portal. The following requests ask customers to respond with only a confirmation code. That confirmation code triggers the transaction. This works even if existing customers’ credit cards have expired, and you need to get updated information.

Start by using a texting service to text-enabled your business phone numbers. This creates some work-life balance, so you’re not always using your personal cell number, and it also gives you more functionality – like mass texting, automation, payments, multiple users, and so on.

Pick a use case to lean on as you go. Then apply as many layers as you feel comfortable with. Before long, you’ll wonder how you ran sales and marketing without texting.

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5 ways to use texting to increase your sales and marketing

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