Marketers have leveraged SMS to support their B2C communications for decades. High read rates, concise messaging, and strong ROI make it an obvious choice for ensuring that the right people see a brand’s message at the right time. But far fewer marketers have taken advantage of it from a business-to-business perspective.
Traditionally, SMS has been used as a one-way marketing channel where users receiving the message have no way to engage with the brand or business that sent it. With the rise of two-way messaging that’s all changing and SMS is at the forefront of brand and user communication. Here are just a few considerations for any business looking to deploy a two-way messaging strategy with the aim of targeting a B2B audience.
Two-way messaging can take marketing campaigns further than traditional text messaging by enabling businesses to start a conversation with their audience. These conversations with key decision makers generate previously unheard of levels of engagement. It’s personalized and it’s real-time. This counters the ‘send it and forget it’ approach in that it demonstrates the human side of the business. Whether this tone is right for your brand or business depends entirely on the kind of business you run. But trends do show that people are more likely to connect with the human element than corporate.
To leverage two-way messaging efficiently, your marketing team members aren’t all going to have to be IT experts. All that’s required is a simple SMS API that gives marketers the tools to be able to send and receive messages, manage responses, track KPIs, and optimize campaigns within budgets. Clickatell Platform, for example, does just that. This powerful tool enables your business to manage communication more effectively. It SMS-enables any application, website or system to facilitate two-way messaging, can send thousands of messages per second, and is fully-scalable to your business needs. It’s vital that you match your business with the right partner to get the best out of your two-way messaging campaigns.
For a two-way messaging campaign to work effectively, it’s imperative that your mobile partner is able to deliver your message without fail and in the way you want them to. When considering which provider to go with, don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions: Can they cope with sending large quantities of texts? Can they support a global campaign? Does their platform support special characters and meet specific SMS regulations around the world? Do they offer long numbers and short codes? When it comes to Clickatell Platform, the answers to these questions are all a resounding yes.
There’s more to two-way messaging than better customer engagement. B2B marketers can also use this technology to collect valuable customer data. Implemented correctly, two-way messaging can unlock a wealth of information that your business may not have had access to otherwise. Instead of drawn out questionnaires, your recipients can respond with short code texts that give you exactly the information you’re after. This data can also be leveraged further down the line in the form of personalized content or promotions.
Given how just about everyone has a smartphone these days, two-way messaging is the perfect addition to any marketing strategy. A quick message containing the link to a new product or ecommerce site can often result in a sales lead. Of course, marketers need to remain sensitive to their audience, be relevant and keep it targeted. Timing is particularly important for any B2B SMS communication. An SMS could be seen as annoying outside of work hours, for example. It’s likely to be more effective if received during reasonable working hours.
Ultimately, two-way messaging is a technology that any business in can take advantage of. If leveraged appropriately it can be a very effective string in any marketers bow. While its benefits in B2B marketing continue to develop, it's no surprise that two-way messaging is also highly successful in the B2C sectors. In fact, one of our recent articles highlights how 64 percent of clients prefer SMS as a means of communicating with a brand.