Staying competitive in business is essential for every company, but small businesses sometimes have unique challenges. In addition to often having less manpower to get the word out or support the day to day operations of a business, there is often a smaller budget available than competitor businesses. In all things, then, small businesses are often forced to do more with less. This includes advertising. Like most things for small businesses, however, the right technology can help them save money and time while increasing engagement and even revenue. That’s why text message marketing for small business is a smart thing to consider.
Benefits to text message marketing
Texting is direct and effective. Take a look at some of these business stats to understand why text messaging marketing for small businesses is a smart way to spend some of your marketing budgets.
- Many businesses defer to email as the main way they communicate with customers, but while a good open rate of an email is 20% of those its sent to click to read it, 90% of texts are read within three minutes of receiving it.
- SMS can be deployed globally easily. Because SMS works on 2G as well as 3G and 4G mobile networks, it’s a reliable way to reach audiences anywhere.
- Texts are opt-in only – this means that the audience you’re texting with has given you permission to communicate with them and are already likely interested in your product, service, or business. This is not always the case with email marketing, giving SMS an advantage for some users.
Of course, text message marketing is going to be a perfect fit for every business or audience, but it does have several things for small businesses to consider.
What businesses benefit the most from small business text message marketing?
Almost any B2C company can see some benefit from using SMS as a customer engagement tool, but these businesses especially should consider seeing how it might be useful for them:
- Doctor and dentist offices
- Spas and salons
- Churches and other religious organizations
- Nonprofit organizations
- Gyms and fitness studios
- Real estate agents
- Auto dealers and service centers
Most of these organizations have a local presence somewhere, meaning they can create hyper-local text marketing that is even more immediate and relevant to their customers.
How to use text message marketing for your small business
Texting customers is about more than just getting them to spend more – it’s about growing your brand awareness and building relationships. Let your customers know that you’re involved with a charity and you’d like to partner with them. Sending a message that tells customers you’ll match every text donation they make is a way to do some good in the community while also showcasing your brand or business as caring and involved.
#Special or local deals
This is a great way to quickly reach people for a last-minute or impromptu special. If you’ve got a lot of extra bagels on your hands after a slow morning at the bakery, send out an announcement to customers on your text list to let them know that they can get buy 1, get 2 free bagels today only. You can also let them know about upcoming sales that have been planned for months that you periodically text them to remind them about. Finally, one of the best ways to get a customer phone number in the first place is to offer them a coupon or special gift in exchange for opting into giving you their contact information.
Customers are your greatest source of feedback about how to do better business. After your customer leaves your business after an appointment or makes a purchase, follow up with them via text to ask them for any feedback they have. This can be as simple as rating their experience on a scale of 1-5 or asking for more specific feedback about how their experience could be improved.
Despite the best social media and email tools, customers might still miss event invitation to spam folders and other posts clogging up their feed. Sending a text event invite can be a direct way to let customers know about something you’re hosting that they should attend.
A quick text can be a fast, easy way to remind a customer to take action. If you recently sent them a form for feedback, you can remind them to submit it back to you. If they’re an existing client who’s due for services such as a dental cleaning or oil change, you can send a message inviting them back to your location.
It’s easy for too many texts to seem just as “spammy” as marketing emails, so the most important thing to consider when using text communications with customers is to make sure you’re creating value. Offering special pricing, announcing a new product or company involvement with something, or ensuring excellent customer experiences are all valuable uses of text and keep communication with your customers relevant.