Research reveals that it takes an average person 90-minutes to respond to an email but only 90-seconds to respond to a text message. Today’s consumers have come to expect personal and engaging messages. To meet these demands, marketers need to develop a mobile strategy that enhances marketing efforts with messages that reach consumers in the most direct way – on their personal devices.
In fact, 75% of consumers want companies to text them for anything from appointment or payment reminders, offers, information, etc. — yet currently only 30% of companies are fulfilling.
This is a massive untapped opportunity for marketers.
Traditional promotional SMS messages focus on marketing efforts – such as one-day sales, product launches, or weekly broadcast campaigns that serve an informative role.
Transactional SMS messages based on triggered events add value for consumers because they are personalized, relevant and timely. They are designed to increase loyalty, prevent lapsed buying behavior and re-engage consumers that represent the most value to your brand.
Some examples of how transactional SMS messages can be used include:
Account Activation/Verification (Identity Verification)
With the use of SMS, you can enable an account activation or verification feature to increase security for your customers. When a customer signs in or registers, they will be sent a unique code and will be required to verify their account by clicking an activation link or entering a verification code on their mobile device. By adding this extra step, only people that should be allowed access to accounts are given that access. Confirming identities through SMS is an inexpensive yet highly reliable and convenient way to increase security, as well as peace of mind.
After an order is placed, real-time information about shipping, delivery and pickup can be shared with your customers via text messages. A simple delivery update, shipping confirmation or pickup notification will allow the customer to know where their shipment is, and can notify the customer of changes, status and delivery right on their mobile device. This creates a sense of trust and helps to build and maintain a good customer relationship.
Similar to shipping, delivery, and pickup notifications, order confirmation text messages also serve an important purpose. They verify that the order has been successfully placed, reducing post-purchase anxiety and reinforcing your brand’s reliability. Order confirmation messages are a good opportunity to not only reassure your customers about their purchase, but also provide ways for them to extend the relationship with your business whether it is through another sale or even signing up for your email updates.
Missed appointments mean missed opportunities for sales. That’s why it’s so crucial to cut down on no-shows. With the use of time-triggered text messaging, you can make sure customers don’t forget when they’re meeting you by reminding them the day or even an hour before.
Moreover, you could automatically reach back to customers that purchased consumable products when it is time to replenish their merchandise. The benefit of a text is that it will remind them even if they’re on the go, so it’s right at their fingertips.
Text messages are the best way to keep customers in the loop, especially if the message is urgent. Phone calls and emails are easily missed, and because only 22% of emails actually get opened, customers don’t always act on notifications in a timely manner. Text alerts deliver important information with immediacy, so customers can act on it right away. Alerting customers with a real-time text of a flight change, a table being ready, their credit card activity or their data usage, helps them feel valued and informed, ultimately improving their satisfaction and increasing the likelihood that they’ll call on your business again.
After a customer signs up for an email or mobile list, they expect a confirmation of their request. One example of an opt in request message would be a welcome message that can simply thank subscribers for signing up or can deliver the discount or offer promised that was used as the opt-in incentive. Make the most of this opportunity by personally engaging each subscriber with content curated to their interests that keeps subscribers interacting with your brand. Another example of an opt in request text message is a birthday message. Sending a short and sweet birthday text accompanied by an exclusive offer, discount or freebie is more than enough to win over a lifetime customer.
With a product alert text message, you can automatically notify shoppers when inventory levels change. This allows customers to sign up onsite to receive the alerts when the inventory is replenished and keeps an ongoing conversation alive with customers. Being able to leverage product alert text messages allows you to connect with first-time and returning customers on mobile devices.
Permissions and Opt-ins
When using SMS, it’s important to understand the regulations about communicating with customers through text messages. A customer that opts-in means they are giving you the right to be targeted by marketing communications via SMS. While broadcast messages need to clearly state how many messages they’ll receive each month (like “up to 8 messages”), transactional messages don’t have that regulation as it’s a one off, not a series. Moreover, for broadcast messages, customers are able to register for DND (Do Not Disturb.) Transactional messages can be sent even if the subscriber is registered to DND. These messages are solicited by the end user and do not contain any promotion, advertising or marketing information.
Benefits of Transactional SMS Messaging
Transactional SMS messages are time sensitive, meaning they are triggered to a consumer based on a specific time or event. Because of this, it is critical for marketers to utilize mobile channels that naturally allow for the fast, almost instantaneous delivery of messages to consumers. Unlike a personal email account where daily activity is limited by how much time consumers spend in their inboxes, consumers frequently access their mobile phone’s texting application. This presents a prime opportunity for companies to deliver time-sensitive messages that will most likely be opened and read by consumers.
Transactional SMS messaging keeps your brand top of mind with your customers, reducing your reliance on marketing messages to maintain a connection. For new customers, service-based messages can help establish initial mobile relationships without the need for marketing messaging. It also allows you to opt-in net new subscribers to your mobile database, which can be used for marketing purposes.
Transactional text messaging is 1:1. This close customer relationship allows an enormous marketing opportunity to increase loyalty and boost revenue. By keeping consumers engaged after a conversion, you can establish a direct connection between your brand and your customers, build customer loyalty and drive sales while creating a consistent and seamless experience.
Transactional SMS messaging offers marketers a quick, easy way to send important information to customers. This streamlines communications dramatically, and can lead to a much better customer experience. Although they are not marketing messages, customers value the availability of this information so much that it increases the likelihood that they’ll become loyal customers and continue to purchase. By incorporating the tips above into your strategy, you can increase your revenue and build a better brand in as little as 160 characters.
Listrak Insights | Retail Marketing Strategies, Insights and Trends