SMS messaging is not just a powerful marketing tool for reaching and engaging with consumers; it is also immensely valuable to companies operating in the B2B sector. With some imagination and creativity, SMS messaging can work well for any business, whatever the sector and is highly attractive not just because of its exceptional open and response rates, but also the low costs, high ROI and ease of use. If you are looking to build your market penetration in the print industry, SMS messaging has a lot to offer.
1. Your order is ready
SMS marketing has now become one of the most popular ways to notify customers when orders are ready for collection and for good reason. Whereas email was once the preferred medium, one of the inherent problems is that unless you have your inbox synced on your mobile phone, you are unlikely to see every message you receive instantly. In fact, with spam being such a problem today, there is a tendency for people to check more infrequently. Add to this the fact that not everyone is able to get to a computer all the time and it soon becomes clear that it is far from ideal when it comes to important notifications that require prompt attention.
Whilst many people only check their emails a few times a day, text messages are treated very differently. Evidence suggests that it takes customers an average of 90 minutes to see and respond to an email, whereas a text message is typically seen and acted on within the same number of seconds.
For a customer who is waiting on an urgent print job or has multiple deadlines to negotiate, being made aware by SMS is likely to be highly attractive. A job completion notification delivered by SMS is likely to be perceived as value adding to the customer, helping to solve a real problem and enhancing the customer service experience along the way.
2. What’s new?
As a valued print customer who is always on the lookout for new ideas to promote your brand and business, you would most likely appreciate being informed of new products available from your partner of choice. Of course, your print partner could just email you, but we’ve already discussed the fact that many emails are ignored, skipped or read long after they were received.
Sending an SMS message to let customers know that new products are available is a great way to encourage them to get back on board and increase your chances of converting. Again, think upsells and cross-sells – once the customer is back in the ordering process, you have plenty of opportunities to increase the value of the sale.
For maximum effectiveness, use SMS as part of a unified marketing campaign across all your channels.
3. Because you matter…
Let’s admit it, whether a B2C or a B2B customer, everybody likes to feel that they are special. As a loyal customer, the chances are that you feel you deserve to be treated as if you – and your business – matters. SMS messaging is a great way to reinforce this message.
A simple approach is to send a message such as this:
“Dear Mr Jones, as a special thank you for your loyalty, we’d like to offer you 15% off your next order. Just use coupon code PRINT15 online at printit.com or present this text message in store.”
The beauty of this message is that it does not limit the customer to using one particular channel. We should not assume that just because the customer ordered online previously, they won’t want to shop in-store on another occasion. And if you think that such promotions are a waste of time and effort think again – research indicates that SMS coupon codes have exceptional redemption rates, as many as eight times greater than their email counterparts by some estimations.
Remember as well that once you’ve got the customer to the checkout, there is huge potential for upsell in the print industry, so the chances are that your discount will generate plenty of additional sales revenue.
4. Last orders
One of the beautiful things about text messaging is that it lends itself extremely well to real-time marketing. This means that it is a great channel for encouraging customers to take advantage of flash-sales or special offers that are valid for a limited time only. Another common use is to remind customers just as an offer comes to an end. An email that tells a customer about a special offer ending today may well be missed, but a text is likely to be seen straight away.
An example of what your text might look like is:
“SALE! Today only – 20% off all corporate stationery products. Offer must end at 18:00. Excludes executive range. See www.printit.com for t&C’s.”
Note the careful use of uppercase and the sense of urgency created by the phrase ’must end’. The message also follows best practice by stating exclusions and pointing the customer towards the terms and conditions. Remember also, that to be fully compliant, an opt-out is also required for both B2C and B2B recipients.
5. How did we do?
The use of SMS messaging for customer satisfaction surveys has become increasingly popular in recent years and has now become the norm for many businesses. For the print industry, just as with many other sectors, customer service is one of the biggest driving forces for repeat custom. With this in mind, it is essential to canvas your customers for feedback to identify any areas that need to improve – as well as to recognise where you excel.
SMS is a great solution that generates high response rates and demonstrates a great customer service ethos. One of the reasons for this is that customers perceive SMS as being far more personal than email, so it makes them feel much more human – and that, above all else, is the key to keeping customers happy.
If using SMS messaging to obtain customer feedback, be sure to make it as simple as possible for the customer to respond. Many companies now encourage customers to respond to individual questions with a rating from 1 – 5. Others may send a link to an online survey, although the latter is less likely to receive the same response rate.
Whatever your business sector, the award-winning team here at FastSMS have the knowledge and experience to help your business get the most out of SMS messaging. To get started, why not give us a call now on 0800 954 5305 and we’ll connect you with a specialist in your field.