We all are more likely to answer a text message than answer a call from an unknown number, right?
Texting cuts through the noise and gets the attention of your customers without being intrusive.
It’s the most popular method of communication among your customers - and we speak from experience when we say this – it’s the method of communication your millennial employees prefer as well.
Is text marketing effective?
Text marketing is one of the most cost-effective direct communication channels between sales leaders and their target audiences. The ‘spray-and-pray’ approach to reach a broad spectrum of consumers with the aim to capture a mere 1% conversion isn’t so sustainable anymore.
However, with personalized, targeted SMS Marketing campaigns, you are more likely to be rewarded with returns between 12% and 15%. Effective text message marketing captures the attention of the prospects and leads in less than 160 characters.
How do you text prospective customers?
It’s important that you really emphasize your value proposition when you’re texting sales prospects. Make sure that every text message you send does either of the following two things-
- Gives your customer valuable, relevant info
- Asks open-ended questions that elicit a valuable response from the customer
While sending text messages to customers and leads, the crucial thing to keep in mind is to sell without selling.
Let me elaborate – the goal of sending SMS for sales should be to nurture a connection with those you are texting. You want the customer conversations to build meaningful relationships so that when the time comes for you to make the sales pitch, you are confident they’ll at least hear you out. You have to earn the right to make the pitch.
The best SMS marketing strategy has three tenets-
- Sell through advice
- Sell through conversations
- Sell through expertise
Taking either of these three approaches will reward you with a much better conversion rate than directly bombarding your customers with sales pitches without building a relationship first.
What are some of the text marketing best practices for driving sales?
Don’t rush through your list
One of the greatest advantages of texting is – you don’t have to know the best possible solution you can offer to the customer right away. So, don’t just rush through your list to complete your customer outreach quota. Take a couple of minutes to really understand the requirements of each customer, browse through the solutions your company provides, then suggest the best fit.
Select the right text marketing tool for SMS lead generation
It’s vital you use the right text marketing tool for your campaigns. It’s not realistic to expect your sales teams to just whip up their phones and start texting your leads. There’s got to be a procedure in place to ensure smooth execution of the messaging campaign. That way you can audit what’s happening on your frontline, who needs to be followed up with, what’s the right time to send the message, at what stage of the sales funnel your leads are at, and what sort of trigger is needed to make the sale happen.
Segment your data before drafting the text marketing copy
As a sales leader, you’re sure to have access to a ton of rich customer data and you need to use it to your advantage. The effectiveness of your sales campaigns largely depends on how well you segment your customer data prior to outreach.
When the goal is to ultimately make a sale at the end of the conversation, or nudge your customer to take some high value action that would likely lead to a sale in the near term (a store visit, for example) you need to be very careful about the relevance of your messaging. A repeat customer with a high NPS should not receive the same text message as the customer who has a high risk of churning or a brand new customer.
At Statflo, we help sales leaders in this regard with our Smart Lists. This feature integrates with your data and gives your sales associates the information they need to make every conversation relevant.
Creative text marketing is all about being human
The real "human" element here is empathy. All marketing should start with empathy for the customer - whether that's a text, an email, a call, a product, you name it. Before you send a message to the customer, ask yourself, "What would I think of this text if I received it from XYZ vendor?" Your answer will help you frame your conversation better.
Don’t text your customers a robotic sales pitch - add your own personality to it and try to keep it as casual as possible. You are a human texting another human; why should your text message sound like a robot? Customers are more likely to respond in affirmative if they get a friendly, personalized text, rather than a cold sales message. In fact, a study by Hubspot says that personalized content specifically tailored outperforms static content by 42% - that’s a huge difference!
Keep the flow of the conversation informative
Another important thing to remember when using text messaging to drive sales – do not give out all the important information right at the start! Try to build up the conversation by sharing the info in bits and pieces – this will keep interaction going and will give you a chance to get to know the needs of your prospects and leads better.
Pay attention to follow-up text messages
Don’t take customer responses personally and don’t give up on the conversations at the first sign of a negative response. Respectfully follow-up with them and always try to provide them with multiple options.
Look at negative replies as opportunities to find out more about your customers. Try to genuinely help your customers as best as you can – that’s more likely to keep the customer interested in the conversation. Address their existing concern before you try to sell and only offer them RELEVANT solutions. You never know, a genuine interaction might lead to a sales opportunity with you recommending them another product/service of yours that solves their issue.
The other opportunity here is to take note of objections and common topics that lead to conversation failures or communication breakdowns. Taking note of common roadblocks in a conversation should drive behavior change at the front line and reflect in the form of an evolving text marketing strategy.
Specify a clear Call-to-Action
As you come to the end of your text conversations, make sure you specify a clear call-to-action. There is nothing worse than confusing the customer and driving them away. Highlight the next steps for them clearly and answer any queries they might have about the process. Keep sending them friendly reminders about the actions required on their part. This will help you to close the sale as quickly as possible.
All in all, lead generation through text marketing is a low cost and a highly effective affair. As with other marketing channels, it drives conversions only when it’s done through a data-backed, streamlined process.