Tag: business texting

SMS marketing checklist: 15 best practices you need to follow

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Nine out of every ten text messages are opened and read within three minutes of being delivered. But if your business is in the habit of sending ineffective, irrelevant, or untimely text messages, you’ll see those numbers drop and you may even see open rates decline and opt-outs increase. The following 15 best practices can ensure that your customers will be excited to receive and read your texts.

Include your company name

Even if you register a shortcode, the average person won’t memorize the five or six digit number and remember who is texting them. You don’t want to count on them saving your shortcode as a contact and assigning a name and you don’t want customers to have to search through old texts to find out who’s texting them so make sure your company name is in every text you send.

Personalize the message

Try to segment your phone numbers database according to demographic or interests so that the messages you’re sending feel more personal. A one size-fits all message doesn’t work when one recipient is a 14-year-old girl and the other is a 60-something-year-old man.

Start with a hook

You were taught in school to begin every essay with a hook. That’s good advice for a two-sentence text as well as a five-page paper. The first sentence, phrase, or word should get the recipient’s attention.

Make sure each and every text offers value

There’s never a situation where it’s okay to send a text that does absolutely nothing for the recipient. You’re sure to get opt-outs if you do that. Whether you’re offering a great deal on a product or sharing insightful information or sending a shipping notification, every single text must be doing something to improve the life of the recipient in some small way.

Use clear and concise language

Texts are limited to 160 characters. You can’t afford to be wordy. Carefully proofread each text before sending and make sure there’s not a single word that you could remove without negatively impacting the clarity of the message.

Use dynamic and compelling prose

Study up on creative writing and make sure your writing is interesting and compelling. Use power words like surprising verbs. Play around with syntax to create interesting sentence constructions. Vary your sentence length. Use intentional sentence fragments. Have fun in constructing your text messages.

Use, but don’t abuse, all caps

ALL CAPS ALL THE TIME MAKES IT SEEM LIKE YOU’RE YELLING. You don’t want your recipients to feel as if they’re being yelled at. You can use all caps for a single word here or there to create emphasis.

Include a call to action

Don’t leave it up to your recipients to guess what you’re getting at. Tell them to redeem that coupon, or to click over onto your Facebook page, or whatever it is you want them to do.

Use a URL shortener

A URL shortener is a great way to make a link to a webpage or video look more appealing and it also makes it easier to stay within the character limit for SMS so your text is delivered in a single message and not broken up.

Include opt-out instructions

It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law. Keep it short and sweet though: “Reply ‘STOP’ to opt-out.”

Make sure offers are relevant

Going back to segmentation of your phone number database, you can ensure that you’re only sending offers that are relevant to the people that you’re sending them to.

Make it sound urgent

If recipients don’t act right away, they’re likely to forget about it and more recent texts will move yours to the bottom of the inbox so make every message seem urgent.

Be mindful of timing

No matter how good the offer, people won’t take kindly to receiving it early in the morning or late at night. People are also less receptive to texts received during stressful situations like sitting in traffic or business meetings. Aim for lunch hours, early evenings, weekends, and holidays.

Avoid text speak

Just because all the kids are typing huge strings of letters that are actually acronyms doesn’t mean you should. Though they help keep your character count under control they’re also likely to be misunderstood by a sizable percentage of your recipients.

Don’t use emoticons

Seriously, just don’t. They’re a waste of valuable characters. Including a 😉 uses three characters and adds nothing of value to the text.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Source: business2community. com/mobile-apps/12-text-message-marketing-best-practices-business-using-01893467#cRHesEtMBtzioeD8.97

 

How to get a better return on investment with mobile marketing

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Mobile marketing is no longer just an option you have when it comes to selecting marketing channels. In fact, mobile marketing hasn’t really been just one option among many for several years now. It’s absolutely essential that you have a sold mobile marketing strategy going forward. But as is always the case when you branch out into new marketing channels, there’s a learning curve. If you want to get the best return on your investment into mobile marketing, consider the following advice.

There’s no such thing as too much keyword research

Keyword research is important for all digital marketing channels. Google’s search algorithms rely heavily on keywords so it’s important that you’re using the right ones if you want to show up on the first page of search results. But keyword research is even more important with mobile. Studies have shown that the search strings people type into Google are much more specific on mobile devices than they are on desktops or laptops. That means you have to put more thought into user intent–what things are your potential customers likely to type in to Google’s search bar if they’re searching for a product or service that you offer? Then you have to think about how to incorporate that research into your website copy.

Mobile friendly web design is a must

In 2016, mobile web traffic surpassed non-mobile web traffic for the first time and that gap is growing. Mobile now accounts for just over 50% of all web traffic but in the coming years we may see that number rise to 60%, 70%, or perhaps even higher. Even assuming a constant at 50%, that means if your website isn’t optimized for display on mobile devices, half of the visitors on your site will have a negative experience–slower load times, too-small text, difficulty navigating the site to find what they’re looking for, etc… Mobile web design needs to be simpler and the text needs to be larger. Many website building platforms use responsive design to automatically adjust how the website displays according to the device being used to access it but you may want to invest more in a completely separate mobile version of your site since that’s even better.

Text message marketing is a no-brainer

There are so many different mobile marketing channels that you don’t have to (and probably shouldn’t) try to use all of them. One that you absolutely must use if ROI is important to you (and ROI should always be important to you) is text message marketing. Text messages cost pennies to send and they boast of an open rate around 98%. Not only are texts five times more likely to be opened than emails, offers you send via text are about four times as likely to be redeemed as offers you send via email, and that’s after you account for the 80% of people who delete the email unread in the first place.

Your mobile marketing strategy is never complete

As with all marketing channels, your mobile strategy is never complete. Even if you’re at a point where you are getting great ROI and seeing great results from your efforts, you need to keep tracking metrics and keep fine-tuning. There’s always room for improvement. Remember that once you stop moving forwards, you begin moving backwards.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Source: forbes.   com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2017/07/19/four-ways-to-increase-your-roi-from-mobile-marketing/#4135e2dce075

Customer service automation through chatbot development

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The recent surge in popularity of chatbots has led to more automation of various fields. One prime target for chatbots is customer service automation. Chatbots are already being deployed that can help consumers shop, book flights, make dinner reservations, and schedule their day, so why not resolve customer service issues? If you’re interested in automating some of your customer service efforts, the following information may be of use.

Chat log history is a must

To be effective, chatbots need to be accurate at recognizing what a customer is asking or trying to do when they initiate a conversation with the bot. They also need to accurately choose the best approach to go about answering the customer’s question, correcting their problem, or directing them to the appropriate live agent who can help them from there. Many companies who are developing chatbots are doing so without the benefit of access to chat log history. Chatbots utilize machine learning to teach themselves to be more accurate over time. Chatbot developers can input dozens of probable scenarios and hundreds of different ways that frequently asked questions might be worded but actual chat log history–real transcripts of actual conversations between customers and live agents or chatbots are going to be the most useful of all. By adding this to a chatbot’s memory bank, it will be more accurate.

There’s no such thing as a perfect algorithm, yet

There are all sorts of different algorithms out there to help chatbots more accurately assist customers. They all have different strengths and weaknesses but none of them are one-size-fits-all. The most advanced chatbots will still make plenty of mistakes because the technology to perfectly replicate live customer service agents simply isn’t there yet. The best you can do is carefully research the various chatbot algorithms that are out there and test them for accuracy according to what kind of chatbot you’re trying to develop. You’ll have to decide what’s most important to you in a chatbot when developing it because you can’t have it all.

Recognize the shortcomings

One of the the things that makes chatbot development so difficult is the complexity of writing a program that understands semantic relationships between words. Computers are good at recognizing patterns, word order, and keywords that might clue them in to what a human is asking of them. But they don’t have the common sense knowledge about how the world works that humans do. Even the simplest sentences can be difficult for chatbots because while it can easily access the definition of each word, it can’t take all of them together to understand the meaning of the sentence as a whole. AI researchers are gaining ground on this task but in the meantime, businesses who wish to use chatbots for customer service should have realistic expectations for what chatbots can and can’t do for them.

Chatbots aren’t a replacement for live customer service agents

It goes without saying that a need for live agents still exists and will for some time. Chatbots are best used in conjunction with these live agents. Let chatbots automate answering the simple questions and resolving simpler issues and direct the more difficult ones to the appropriate live agent.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Source: venturebeat.   com/2017/07/01/the-reality-of-automating-customer-service-chat-with-ai-today

 

How to grow and retain your SMS marketing opt-ins

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SMS is a unique marketing channel in that every single person you reach out to via that channel must first give their express permission for you to do so. This presents both a challenge and an opportunity. It can be difficult to grow your database of numbers when customers have to take action in order to get on that database and it can be difficult to retain their permission when every text must include directions for opting-out. On the other hand, these regulations on text message marketing also ensure that the people you’re texting (and you are paying per text) are only those who want to receive them and are therefore more likely to act on them. Still, you want to grow your database and retain your opt-ins as much as possible, the following tips can help you accomplish this.

Offer real value

People won’t give you unrestricted access to reach them via text unless they perceive real value in doing so. The occasional 10% off coupon won’t be sufficient for the vast majority of customers. Value also doesn’t have to mean deals and discounts. Appointment reminders, shipping notifications, and advanced notice of restocked items are additional ways you can use text messaging to make life more convenient for those who opt in.

Integrate SMS with other channels

Registering a shortcode and keyword makes it as easy as possible for customers to opt in since all they have to do is text something like “SIGNUP” to a five- or six-digit number. It also makes it easier for you to advertise your SMS channel for customers. You can very quickly provide customers with instructions for opting in on your website, on banner ads in store, near the point-of-sales in your store, and across various social media platforms and other digital and print channels.

Don’t be annoying

It takes a lot of work to build your SMS database and almost no time at all to lose it. Smartphone users can be an impatient group and the moment they perceive that opting-in is more of a burden than it’s worth, they’ll reply to a text, “STOP,” and you are no longer allowed to text them. Texting too often or at inconvenient times such as weekends, holidays, or too early in the morning or late at night will result in more opt-outs. Also, if every single text is a promotional message, they may feel that you’re taking advantage of the relationship you’ve established to constantly push products/services on them. Promotional content should be no more than half of the texts you send.

Stay compliant with regulations

As already established, SMS is a highly regulated marketing channel and the regulations are updated from time to time. While most bulk SMS marketing platforms will ensure you’re staying compliant and stay on top of new regulations, it’s still a good idea to keep up on them as well since an infraction can result in a fine and repeated infractions could even lead to a lawsuit.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Source: bdaily  .co.uk/articles/2017/06/30/tips-on-crafting-a-valuable-retail-sms-marketing-campaign

Five ways restaurant owners can use SMS to grow their business

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Opening a restaurant is one of the most popular and challenging forms of entrepreneurship. In fact, it’s popularity is one of the reasons it’s so challenging. Restaurant ownership is a crowded marketplace and it can sometimes seem impossible to stand out when there are already so many restaurants offering every kind of cuisine you can imagine. Developing brand identity and finding something unique to offer is critical if you want your restaurant to thrive. Another good strategy to keeping your restaurant successful is to take advantage of the SMS marketing channel. Here are five ways a restaurant can do this.

Send special offers

Probably the most popular use for SMS marketing is sending mobile coupons or other deals to customers. This can be a great way to get more people through the doors during slower times if you do it right. The offer needs to be good enough to incentivize but not so good it will put you out of business if everyone comes to redeem it either.

Send reservation reminders

Missed reservations can really hurt your restaurant’s bottom line. Since 98% of text messages are opened (and 90% of those within minutes of being received) there’s no better way to send a reservation reminder that the recipient is going to see. Best of all, these SMS reservation reminders enable recipients to add the reservation to their calendar app by clicking on the date and time included in your text. This way they can get reminded again by their phone when the time of their reservation is near.

Create an SMS loyalty program

Just as punch-cards reward frequent customers with every ten visits, an SMS loyalty program can reward your frequent customers with exclusive offers that no one else can get. Make sure that at least a portion of the text messages you’re sending are exclusive to those who’ve opted in to receive your texts. If anyone can get the deal regardless of whether they’ve opted-in, then there’s less incentive to do so.

Make table reservations easy

Text messaging is the preferred method of communication for younger generations who are becoming increasingly uncomfortable with calling up a place of business, including your restaurant. You can deploy a chatbot via SMS that allows customers to make a table reservation by simply sending a text to your chatbot. The easier you make it for customers to make a reservation, the more reservations you’ll get.

Gather feedback

Many receipts nowadays have instructions for going to a website to offer feedback in return for some deal during a future visit. These tend to be ineffective because it involves too much work for the customer. A better way is to send a text (if they’ve opted in) a day or so after their visit to your restaurant asking them to participate in a very short survey (three or four questions tops). Since you initiate the survey and they know up front it’s short and they get something in return, you’re going to get more feedback which you can then use to improve your restaurant.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Source: modernrestaurantmanagement  .com/how-restaurants-can-benefit-from-sms/

Why your business needs a Facebook page and how you can make it successful

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If you’re one of the many Facebook users using your personal profile instead of a Facebook page to promote your small business, you’re actually violating one of Facebook’s terms of service: “You will not use your personal timeline primarily for your own commercial gain, and will use a Facebook Page for such purposes.” Even if it wasn’t in violation of Facebook’s terms of service, you still wouldn’t want to do this. That’s because a Facebook page offers a number of advantages over a personal profile.

Facebook pages allow administrators of the page to see how people are interacting with the page to gain valuable insight into how they can make their page more effective. Facebook pages also provide administrators with various tools to help potential customers connect with them. Now that you’re convinced that you actually need a dedicated Facebook page for your small business, here are some tips for making it better.

Stay active

If you aren’t regularly creating new posts or responding to people who comment on posts or write on the page’s wall, it’s not going to show up in people’s newsfeeds. If you don’t regularly check in your page can eventually be made invisible to Facebook users. People who “like” your page won’t see activity in their newsfeeds regarding your page and they may forget all about it. If you can’t dedicate the time, you may want to consider someone part- or full-time to manage the Facebook page and other social media accounts.

Provide good content

Content marketing is inextricably connected to social media marketing. People “like” and “follow” your business’s page because they get value or enjoyment out of the things you’re posting. To gain and keep a good following for your Facebook page, it’s not enough to regularly post stuff, it has to be good stuff that offers real value to your target audience.

Provide varied content

You can use your Facebook page for more than just text and photos. Try experimenting with producing and sharing video content to your Facebook page. You can also use your page to share polls, gather feedback or insight into your customers, and hold contests or giveaways.

Pay attention to metrics

The number of “likes,” shares, and comments you’re getting on the things you post are good indicators of how well-received your posts are. But there are other metrics as well. You can use various tools that are included with having a Facebook page to see user activity on your page. Use this in combination with the previous suggestion of sharing various kinds of content to see which kinds of posts create the best reaction.

Use the profile photo, cover photo, and “about” section to your advantage

Using generic, boring photos for the profile or cover and neglecting your “about” section are big mistakes. These are often the first things people look at when they stumble upon your page. Your profile picture can be your company logo or a picture of a popular product you sell. Your cover photo can include text such as a call to action. Your “about” section is a great place to introduce potential customers to your business in a memorable way.

Help people find your Facebook page

Use existing marketing channels to build a following. SMS (or text message) marketing is an especially effective channel since the majority of the time people spend on Facebook is via mobile app and not desktop computer. You can occasionally send out a text to your customers that links them to your Facebook page. You might consider offering some kind of incentive for people who “like” your page.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Source: business2community  .com/facebook/need-facebook-page-7-tips-improve-01846421#KJVRzbhgbejbfSvY.97

Four benefits of sending text messages to customers

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With each year that passes, more Americans are preferring to communicate by text than by any other channel. Businesses are taking notice of the growing popularity of text messaging and are choosing to utilize this channel to interact with their most loyal customers. Here are four benefits that can be gained from having a text message marketing campaign.

It boosts your brand’s image

While this may seem like a small thing, simply having an SMS campaign shows customers that you’re savvy and stay on top of trends. That goes a long way in making your brand more cool and trustworthy in the eyes of your customers, especially younger ones. If you’re using SMS to create a loyalty program, it also shows customers that your brand is one that really takes care of its customers by giving them special treatment. That’s going to keep loyal customers coming back.

It’s affordable

The cost to send a single text is anywhere from .015 cents to .095 cents depending on where you live and which bulk SMS platform you’re using to send text messages. That’s much less expensive than sending print mailers and while it’s more expensive than bulk email campaigns, the overall cost effectiveness is still better for SMS because of the higher open-rates that you get with sending text messages. Texts are nearly five times as likely to be read compared to emails.

It’s convenient

SMS marketing is convenient for you as a business owner. By using a bulk SMS platform, you can write out messages in advance, set a time for the text to be sent, and the rest is taken care of for you. SMS marketing services automate opt-in and opt-out processes to efficiently manage the database of phone numbers you’re texting and to avoid any violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). It also makes it easy to look at various metrics to see what’s working and what isn’t when it comes to the types of messages you’re sending to your customers.

Not only is texting more convenient for you, it’s convenient for your customers as well. Texts are unobtrusive unlike a phone call or voicemail and customers are free to read the text immediately, or whenever they feel like it. Since they’re always limited to 160 characters, you don’t have to say much, and your customers don’t have to read too much.

It’s effective

Finally and most important, SMS marketing gets better results. In addition to an open-rate that’s nearly 100%, more than 90% of text messages are read within three minutes. That immediacy combined with a higher click-through rate (the percentage of recipients who actually click on any included links within the text message) translates to more conversions. The average conversion rate for a text message is around 8% while you’ll be lucky to see 2% of email recipients converting on the same advertisement.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Source: carwash.com/level-digital-marketing/