Author: Brad Epker
If you’re seeing low engagement rates on your emails, you’re not the only one.
269 billion emails are sent daily and nearly 50% of those are spam. Emails that you spent hours crafting and perfecting may be lost in your customer’s already-cluttered inbox.
How can you stand out in a sea of emails and make sure that you reach – and engage your customers? Use 2-Way SMS instead.
Studies have shown that SMS open and response rates can be as high as 98% and 45% respectively. Emails, in comparison, have open rates around 20% and response rates down to 6%.
Beyond higher engagement rates than emails, using 2-way SMS also allows you to reach your customers in real-time, localize your audience, and improve your overall customer service.
SMS is time-sensitive
Does your customer need to submit an inquiry or claim? What about book an appointment or a flight, a hotel, or rental? What if they need to approve an application for a loan, or accept a job offer?
By using 2-way SMS, you can reach these customers in real time. The average response for SMS is just 90 seconds compared to 90 minutes for email. An email can easily go unseen, but an SMS won’t. After all, as soon as customers receive an SMS, their phone chimes, flashes, or vibrates to get their attention and regularly reminds them if the message goes unread – directing them to your content.
Rather than taking hours of back-and-forth over email, time-sensitive tasks like filling out forms or making reservations can be completed through a 2-way SMS in a few minutes and with little hassle.
SMS can deliver hyper-localized messaging
By using a customer’s address and/or location information, you can easily push messages to customers within very specific geographic areas. This capability for delivering hyper-locally drives increased engagement for marketing and sales.
Here are a few examples of how you can use geo-target with SMS:
- You’re in the real-estate business and a house has just come on the market. You can send an SMS to potential buyers who live within a certain radius of that home to alert them of this new offer.
- You have a team of workers servicing a specific set of communities. Around noon, you can send an SMS to get work order status updates and, if needed, shift scheduled appointments in real-time.
- You’re part of a non-profit looking to engage new volunteers for upcoming events. Simply send a text to show relevant nearby events based on their address.
- You are in the real-estate business and a big storm is approaching. You can send a text message to everyone in the storm’s path warning them, thus reducing claims.
SMS can add a personal touch to otherwise impersonal communications
SMS is highly relational – with just a quick message, you can remind the customer of an appointment, respond to their questions, or send them special offers. SMS lends itself well to personalization — a stark contrast to “one-size-fits-all” mass email. SMS can be personal, which leads to responses and increased engagement.
While these short messages help your business remain at the top of your customer’s mind, they also improve your customer service. Through personalized messages, you can ensure that you’ll maintain consistent communication with every customer and build relationships with them — a surefire way to keep them engaged and boost their brand loyalty.
As a bonus: customers who feel as though your business provides personal, helpful service may likely refer you—granting you additional customers!
Brad Epker has over 30 years enterprise sales and sales management, with time split between Fortune 500 C+ sales experience and start-up sales and market development leadership. He received his MBA in Technology Management from the University of Washington and currently serves as Chatbox’s Chief Revenue Officer.
In addition, Brad has extensive experience within the Salesforce ecosystem helping companies maintain strong, profitable ISV partnerships. He joined Chatbox after watching traditional communication effectiveness plummet, while text messaging effectiveness continues to increase. Chatbox now brings this power and efficacy to business.