It should come as no surprise that people prefer to receive SMSes over other forms of communication. And that holds true for business buyers as well as consumers. SMS campaigns are the number one way to reach buyers and convert leads into sales. It’s important to note though that the SMS industry is heavily regulated and you’ll find yourself in hot water if a customer's cell number is abused in any way.
A recent study by Google and Millward Brown Digital of 3,000 B2B decision-makers about their research and purchase habits found that B2B mobile usage has intensified throughout the entire buying cycle.
Their findings include:
Nearly half of all B2B researchers are millennials.
B2B researchers who aren't in the c-suite influence purchase decisions
71% of B2B researchers start their research with a generic search
B2B researchers are using mobile throughout their entire buying cycle
B2B researchers watch video during their path to purchase
These statistics make sense as SMS campaign messages are more likely to be opened and are opened more speedily than emails. The study concluded that the most important thing to be thinking about is whether or not your marketing efforts are targeted to this changing audience.
"B2B influencers are likely younger than expected, and you need to make sure you're reaching them where they are and providing them with the content they're seeking. That means stepping up the intensity in your search, mobile, and video efforts. Delivering content-rich mobile and video experiences are now critical to successfully reaching your B2B customers and moving them through the path to purchase," the researchers wrote.
Marketers need to keep in mind that SMS best practices for appealing to business buyers are very different than appealing to consumers. There are important things they should definitely be doing and here are some of them.
The first SMS marketing messages sent to your list shouldn’t aim to sell your products or services. Instead, they should offer a solution to buyers’ needs. If you help them to solve a particular business problem, they’ll be more likely to think of you when it’s time to sign up with a new provider.
Because 71% of B2B researchers start their research with a generic search, it’s important that your website, social and SMS campaigns all answer users’ questions. All it takes is a little bit of research to find what users’ are looking for. In this way, you’re able to provide answers to questions that your buyers hadn’t yet thought to ask.
Research has found that companies which post regular content, especially blog posts, at least 16 each month, receive more leads than companies which only produce up to four. This cements your business’ executives as thought leaders to others in the industry and to your clients, both current and potential. Use SMSes to drive your list to check out recent content on your site.
Messages must be valuable to customers and create a sense of urgency. They must also be personalized to each customer or buyer and should, if possible, include an easy to remember short code. These points will ensure that your messages are valued rather than distrusted and prove your company is one that should be trusted.
If you’d like to know more about SMS best practices, have a look at our recent article about SMS marketing do’s and don’ts. It explains what you should and shouldn’t be doing when putting together your SMS campaigns.
To start sending out successful SMS campaigns, have a look at Clickatell Platform - a powerful, customizable, and fully scalable communication system that enables you to manage your business communication more effectively. Sign up for a free account today and take advantage of unlimited free testing in the sandbox environment.
SMS and two-way channels, automation, call center integration, payments - do it all with Clickatell's Chat Commerce platform.