“Cellit reviewed 1,180 campaigns sent by national retailers and analyzed how they are using SMS to grow their databases, retain loyal subscribers and drive sales. One of the key findings is that SMS produces engagement rates six to eight times higher than retailers normally achieve via email marketing when used for redemption, data collection and brand awareness.” – Retail Dive
You might consider SMS as an old-school form of mobile communication, but the reality is that it’s alive and well. And while many people turn to other communication platforms for social chat, SMS remains a leading tool for business messaging – when done correctly. Through SMS API and SMS Gateway, your business will be able to connect with customers in their most personal inbox. And, because text has an incredibly high conversion rate – around 80% - you’re much more likely to convert that interest into a purchase using the SMS platform. Here’s a look at exactly why SMS should form part of your Retail Digital Experience.
You’re no doubt familiar with SMS, but how do you go from that simple text message to connecting with thousands of customers across the globe? By partnering with a provider of SMS or Text API, or SMS Gateway depending on your need.
Bulk SMS Gateway: This allows you to send thousands of messages to mobile networks around the world to increase your conversion rate.
SMS API: API - application programming interface - adapts commands from one system to allow other systems to understand those commands.
There are so many industries that have already realised the potential posed by an SMS Gateway, with many more realising the benefits every day.
- SMS for healthcare
You can send patients appointment reminders, test results and prescription reminders. During the pandemic, SMS was a valuable tool for alerting people to Covid-19 waves, lockdown regulations, and gathering data on those vaccinated.
- SMS for travel
You can keep customers updated on travel arrangements, including flight schedules and cancellations, with book-ins and luggage checks managed via SMS.
- SMS for foodservice
Modern dining often involves takeaways and food can be ordered simply and easily via SMS. They can access restaurant menus, place an order, and track the order on the platform.
- SMS for property
Clients can be alerted to new property listings in their area with real estate agents sending appointment reminders and other pertinent details over SMS.
- SMS for banking
Banks are increasingly using SMS for security measures with one-time pins shared via this platform. Other information like fraud alerts and tips can also be communicated quickly.
Once you’re working with a Text API provider, you’re already on the right track to increasing sales and conversation rates for your business. But you can drastically elevate this conversion rate by incorporating some best practice techniques for SMS.
1. Keep it short but detailed
You might be used to the 160-character limit of a traditional SMS, but with an SMS API platform, there is no such limit on the length, and you can opt for long-form messaging. Remember that SMS is a popular communication platform because it’s a SHORT message system, so just because you have more characters to work with, you don’t want to send out essays to your customers. This is a quick way to alienate customers, which you don’t want to do. That being said, you can use SMS API cleverly by including a lot of detail and calls to action without being overwhelming. Useful links and incentives are always great ways to add text value.
2. Use text speak
We’re not saying you need to throw the grammar book out the window and revert to symbols and numbers only, but text speak does differ from regular online writing and it’s worth adopting this to meet your customers’ tone and style. Shortening of certain words and phrases is encouraged to maximise space, as long as they are understood by your target group. Keep the tone upbeat and fun while ensuring your message is clear. If something does require an explanation, incorporate links for further reading.
3. Tailor your messaging
Personalized marketing is the way of the future, because everyone wants to feel special, especially when you’re trying to sell them something! You can rely on historical data or customer surveys as a way to create a profile of your customer base and then tailor the messaging to this accordingly. Just because it’s bulk SMS API, doesn’t mean that your messaging has to be a copy and paste – that’s the beauty of SMS.
4. Optimise landing pages
Text messaging is available on the mobile platform, so when you include a link and direct readers to your website, you’d better make sure that it’s optimized for mobile use. If a customer clicks on the link and the page doesn’t load properly or is difficult to navigate on a phone, they’re not going to go any further. Optimize all your landing pages for mobile users before embarking on the SMS API platform.
5. Timing is important
As with all communication, the timing has to be considered! Make sure that you’re keeping tabs on local news and events so that your SMS is culturally and politically sensitive, otherwise you will have a massive PR crisis on your hands. Another timing element to consider is that people have very short memories, so you don’t want to send your SMS out too soon for a launch or event, as they will quickly be forgotten. If you need to alert customers early, then you might want to consider sending an SMS reminder a little closer to the time.
6. Make purchasing simple
When it comes to finalizing a sale, you need to make the payment process as simple as possible. Work with an SMS API provider who can facilitate the payment process via SMS so customers don’t have to go to another site. Cybersecurity must also be top of mind! The simpler the process, the more likely they will pay.
SMS and two-way channels, automation, call center integration, payments - do it all with Clickatell's Chat Commerce platform.