Discover how your organization can effectively use SMS for outreach
Short message service (SMS) outreach is crucial for any organization that wants to gain a competitive edge. Your organization can quickly and easily engage with consumers via smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. Plus, you won't have to break your budget to send SMS notifications. You can even use SMS to learn more about your target audience and find effective ways to engage with them.
The bottom line: SMS outreach can deliver significant benefits for organizations in a wide range of industries. To understand its value, let's examine three use cases that highlight what this technology does for different types of businesses.
Use case #1: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) uses SMS to keep members informed
The DoD plays a key role in national security, and it needs a quick, reliable way to keep thousands of people up to date. To achieve its goal, the DoD leverages mass SMS to connect with personnel across fire, police, and other public safety departments across its bases.
Email is generally the go-to communication method for the DoD. But, when it comes to disseminating information in real-time, SMS is pivotal. This is due to the fact that SMS – unlike email – ensures stakeholders can instantly receive news and updates via their mobile devices.
The DoD needs to ensure certain messages don’t get lost in an inbox, and that means texting is the solution. On average, emails have an open rate of 20%. Comparatively, the open rate of SMS is usually around 98%, making texting much more reliable for crucial updates.
Much of their communication needs a follow-up action or quick response. While it takes a notification recipient about 90 seconds to respond to an SMS message, comparatively it takes about 90 minutes for a recipient to respond to an email.
Today, the DoD uses SMS for real-time notifications relating to last-minute alerts, work tasks, scheduled events, moving and housing information, and more. SMS lets the DoD reach mobile device users in seconds – without disrupting their day-to-day activities – and could prove to be exceedingly important to the department in the years to come.
Use case #2: Houston Thyroid and Endocrine Specialists (HTES) improves patient outreach with SMS
HTES, a medical practice that specializes in endocrine gland dysfunction treatment, leverages SMS to optimize patient outreach. The practice utilizes SMS to provide its patients with an additional option to connect with it to schedule appointments, get information, and receive the support they need and deserve.
Prior to using SMS, HTES relied primarily on telephone patient outreach, but it found that staff were forced to commit significant time, resources, and energy to engage with patients over the phone. HTES also had limited personnel at its disposal, which made it virtually impossible to provide patients with the exceptional support HTES prides itself on.
SMS now makes it simple for HTES to reach out to patients quickly and efficiently. HTES uses SMS to securely send appointment reminders to patients' mobile devices. In doing so, it ensures patients stay informed about their appointments and can reschedule them as needed. At the same time, SMS helps HTES reduce the risk that patients will forget appointments and makes sure they continue to receive the care they need to achieve their desired medical outcomes.
Use case #3: Nordstrom deploys SMS to deliver styling and shopping services
Nordstrom was one of the first retailers to use SMS to deliver styling and shopping services via its TextStyle mobile app.
TextStyle enables consumers to use their mobile devices with Nordstrom in-store sales associates. The app also allows consumers to receive photos of recommended products, as well as quickly and securely purchase items.
Along with those benefits, TextStyle allows Nordstrom to track customer preferences and analyze customer data. This allows the retailer to identify customer patterns and trends and gain the insights it needs to deliver personalized mobile shopping experiences.
Best Practices for SMS Outreach
The benefits of SMS outreach extend beyond organizations in the government, healthcare, and retail sectors. In fact, organizations – regardless of industry or size – can benefit from SMS outreach if they know how to effectively utilize it.
Here are five best practices for SMS outreach that today's organizations need to know:
1. SMS is short, be direct
SMS notifications must be clear, concise, and easy to understand. Each message contains a maximum of 140 characters, so try to make every one count. If your SMS notifications hit the mark with consumers, they will help foster long-lasting partnerships with your organization.
2. Send messages consistently
Deliver two to four SMS notifications per month to your target audience. If you find consumers respond positively to these notifications, you can increase the frequency. Or, if consumers ignore your SMS messages, you can cut back the frequency.
3. Learn about your target audience
Identify your target audience and think about why it would benefit from SMS notifications. Then craft a plan to deliver timely, relevant, and actionable SMS notifications that resonate with them.
4. Analyze feedback
Review opt-in and opt-out rates to evaluate the effectiveness of your SMS outreach. You can also send SMS surveys to collect feedback from your customers and find ways to continuously improve your SMS outreach strategy.
5. Strive for ongoing improvement
Accept the results of your SMS notifications – both positive and negative – and search for ways to improve on them. Remember, SMS outreach is an ongoing effort, and there is always room for improvement. If you consider innovative ways to bolster your SMS outreach, you may be able to use it to help your brand increase revenues, differentiate from industry rivals, and accelerate growth.
At Mobilize Comms, we offer mobile communications plans designed to help you optimize your SMS outreach. They allow you to deliver SMS messages to millions of people in minutes, with a 98% read rate. To learn more, please contact us today.