Texting has changed a lot since personal cell phones swept the world. Are today’s audiences comfortable with messaging their favorite organizations?
SMS messaging continues to be one of the top ways people communicate. It’s instant, efficient, personal, and direct, creating more meaningful interactions between organizations and their members, donors, customers, and other audiences. The format is no longer reserved for friends and family.
According to the 2020 State of Texting report from Zipwhip, 68% of today’s businesses use texting in some way, and 91% of respondents say they’ve received a text message from a business. The latter is a 20% increase from last year’s Zipwhip report, so it’s clear that more people are interacting with businesses this way.
But do people want these interactions to keep increasing? Let’s cover:
- Key stats to know
- Why texting is effective for businesses
- Best practices for business SMS messaging
Key texting stats to know
While it’s easy to make predictions about how people feel based on changes in the digital landscape, why not look at what the numbers say?
- 63% of U.S. users would make the transition to a brand that offered text messaging for communication
- 75% say it’s helpful to receive texts for appointments and reminders
- 69% would rather talk to brands through texting than phone calls
- 1 in 3 have texted a business and never gotten a response (likely because the business doesn’t yet have a messaging platform)
In addition, most Americans have a cell phone (96%) and 81% have a smartphone. One thing’s clear: people today like to text.
Why texting is effective for businesses
Texting is still a pretty new outlet for brands to reach their audiences. What makes it so effective? The obvious response is its popularity with people of all ages and backgrounds. Texting is simply how modern people communicate, so it’s natural for them to expect to use this channel with the businesses and organizations they support.
Sending an SMS message is more personal than, say, an email. People don’t check their email as much as they do texts since they always have their phones on them. Gartner reported that SMS open rates are as high as 98%, compared to 20% for email, and response rates are 45% for texts and 6% for email. Thus, you have a much better chance of reaching and inspiring a customer with a text message. It’s more direct and attention-grabbing.
6 best practices for SMS messaging
Now that you know just how big of an impact texting has on today’s audiences, here are a few best practices to keep in mind as you get started.
- 1. Be direct: Messages are read immediately, but at a glance. Make sure there is an obvious reason for them to pay attention and look for more information.
- 2. Respond to customer messages directly and ASAP: When you receive a message, always respond as soon as you can. Otherwise, they won’t get the instant answer they’re looking for and may go elsewhere.
- 3. Use an analytics tool: You need to stay on top of metrics with your text campaigns. Use a platform that shows you data like opt-in and opt-outs as well as response rates.
- 4. Keep texts short: The texting format means that it can be challenging for a customer to read a lot of information. Keep things brief and to the point so they’re more likely to read the whole text and respond.
- 5. Be timely: If you’re following up on a conversion, purchase, or event sign-up, make sure you send the text right away. And don’t text at odd times, like late at night — doing so may make your message look like spam and frustrate recipients.
- 6. Use a platform: Texting lots of people at once can get expensive. It’s wise to use a platform, like Mobilize Comms, that offers options to customize the application to your needs and budget.
These best practices will help get your new texting function off the ground to meet your audiences where they are.
Why use Mobilize Comms?
Mobilize Comms gives you all the tools you need to empower a complete messaging strategy, including automated workflows that cut the workload to a fraction of what you may be trying to do today. Send one-to-one messages or text millions of people at the same time. Customize the platform to meet your organization’s specific needs and goals. Collect important data to better analyze your success rate. And personalize your messages to make more meaningful connections with your audiences.