These quick, immediate messages are a great way to reach customers — and they’re receptive to them
What’s the best way to reach consumers these days? Try the same method you probably use to communicate with friends, family and colleagues — text.
In a new survey, 58% of consumers say they prefer text messages from businesses over phone calls or emails.
Indeed, phone calls often go unanswered and voicemails are ignored — especially by younger consumers. Many people’s email inboxes are so stuffed, your message can get lost forever. But short text messages are more likely to be read — and responded to — as soon as they are received, a trend accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Zipwhip, a Seattle-based text platform provider that recently surveyed 2,000 U.S. businesses and consumers.
“With in-person interactions curtailed, consumers are turning to their phones instead. Sixty-four percent of consumers are spending more time on their personal cellphones every day, and of those, 26% are spending more than four additional hours a day on their devices,” says a Zipwhip news release.
The survey found that more than two-thirds of consumers check their phones within five minutes of waking up each day, and a text from you could be among the first things they see.
“Most businesses have realized over the past few years that texting was their missing communication channel, and for the remaining few who hadn’t yet, Covid-19 was a wake-up call,” says John Lauer, Zipwhip chief executive officer. “The overnight shift to remote work, remote socializing and remote errands cemented the need for a quick and easy way to communicate with customers. After forming this habit for the last year, we’re not going back.”
If you want to make texting part of your overall marketing strategies, follow these tips:
- Give fair warning. Be sure to include an opt-in/opt-out feature and warn consumers that, depending on their plan, they may face charges from your cellphone provider for text messages.
- Use an SMS management tool. It will help organize your lists and allow you to send messages from either a computer or mobile phone. The right one also can help you comply with telecommunications rules.
- Be pithy. Keep it short. Consumers don’t want to read text threads.
- Be judicious. Just because consumers prefer texts doesn’t mean they want to be flooded withs messages. According to the survey, consumers think the most valuable types of texts to receive from a business are appointment reminders (64%), shipment and delivery updates (48%), and discounts on products or services (29%).
- Integrate texts with your payment systems. According to the survey, 46% of consumers say they would like to be able to pay for products — safely and securely — via text.