Used responsibly, texting can be an excellent tool for any business. Text messages have a 98 percent open rate, and nine out of 10 texts are read within a few seconds, making texts far better than calls or any other type of business communication.
While mass text messaging was once seen as a one-dimensional marketing tool, it has evolved into a multifaceted strategy that empowers businesses to connect with their audience on a deeper level.
In this comprehensive texting how-to guide, we’ll explore the ins and outs of business texting - how to leverage it, its costs, and when and where to use texts as part of an overall communication strategy.
6 Ways Businesses Leverage Mass Messaging
While initially, it may seem challenging to figure out how to use a text messaging platform for your business, it’s actually pretty simple. Don’t send messages to people who don’t want them, and provide meaningful content to your contacts. Generally, if your message isn’t urgent and can’t be expressed in a few brief sentences - you shouldn’t send it as a text.
Here are some ways businesses leverage mass messaging:
- To maintain customer engagement through polls, surveys, and customer support
- To send transactional updates such as order confirmations, shipping notifications, and payment receipts
- To share appointment reminders to reduce no-shows and optimize appointment schedules
- To nurture existing customer relationships through personalized thank-you messages and loyalty rewards
- To notify employees about safety protocols, closures, and unforeseen emergencies
- To send event notifications and reminders
Choosing the Right Mass Texting Options
In the world of business texting, picking the perfect mass texting option is a bit like choosing the right tool for a job. Each option has its perks and drawbacks, so businesses need to determine what they need before making the final call.
Long codes are standard 10-digit phone numbers used for two-way communication. They are typically used by businesses for one-on-one communication like customer service or personalized marketing. Long codes offer benefits like superior deliverability, two-way texting, and lower costs. Yet, delivery limits make them ideal for personal use rather than business.
Short codes are typically five or six digits long and can be leased by businesses or organizations to communicate with consumers. They are often used for promotional campaigns, voting, donating to charity, and other applications where a standard phone number might not be as convenient or memorable.
Unlike long codes, short codes do not have delivery limits. However, they are more expensive to lease, and providers frequently use the same numbers for all their customers. While this is effective for delivering urgent messages to a large number of contacts at the same time, it isn't suitable for managing individual replies or customer conversations.
Toll-free phone numbers start with a distinct three-digit area code. Some of the most recognized codes in the United States are 800, 833, 844, 855, 866, 877, and 888. These numbers are less restricted than long codes, less expensive than short codes, and well-suited for conversational texting. These numbers are generally recognized and trusted, making them effective for customer service interactions, marketing campaigns, and other business communications.
Plain Text (SMS)
Businesses most frequently use plain text or SMS messages. These messages are purely text-based and are often limited to 160 characters. With Text-Em-All, users have the advantage of a 960-character count!
Multimedia Messages (MMS)
Multimedia messages, or MMS messages, contain multimedia content such as pictures, videos, and GIFs. Businesses may want to send MMS messages occasionally to catch their contacts’ attention, to share photos from an event, or to share an important infographic.
What are the real costs of business text messaging?
While each texting platform takes a different approach to pricing, here's a quick breakdown of pricing models you will likely come across:
- Monthly w/Unlimited ($90/month with unlimited messages)
- Monthly w/Set Messages ($49/month for 2000 messages)
- Monthly w/Unlimited Messages to Some Contacts ($35/month for unlimited messages to 100 contacts)
- Pay-As-You-Go (5 cents per credit)
- Customized Packages (submit a quote)
Be on the lookout for hidden charges. Many service providers charge additional fees for extra features, additional users, and premium support. Not to mention a whole host of services that lock you into long-term contracts with fluffy SLAs (service level agreements) that bosses tend to love but provide very little real value.
What Should Businesses Know About Texting Services?
Downtime is unavoidable
No matter how good the service is, downtime is unavoidable. Almost all service providers rely on aggregators and mobile carriers to deliver messages - in addition, the service provider application is a factor. So inevitably, equipment fails, the API goes down, or a car crashes into a utility pole–a domino effect that results in your messages not going out.
Messages don’t always get delivered
The network isn't perfect, and messages don't always get delivered, especially in rural areas. The FCC is aware of known issues in rural America that result in undelivered messages.
You can text from text-enabled landlines
You don't have to send a text message from a mobile phone. It's now possible to text-enable a landline phone. This capability means you can enable texting on your existing business phone number and send/receive messages from a website interface.
The right communication partner is critical
A company must evaluate beyond just cost and look for a partner who understands their industry, is transparent about their service, offers a simple-to-use service, and makes support one of their highest priorities.
3 Best Practices for Business Texting
Be Mindful of Who You Message
Don’t send messages to anyone you don't have a relationship with. In addition, clean your contact lists often to avoid sending messages to people who might not be interested in receiving your messages anymore.
Don’t Ignore Replies
Just as you wouldn't overlook a voicemail, it's important not to ignore responses to your text messages. This issue becomes a bigger problem when dealing with mass text messaging and can quickly escalate into a significant problem if not handled properly. Having an opt-out system isn't enough. You should be looking for better opt-out solutions.
Provide Meaningful Content to Your Contacts
Before you text your contacts, make sure that it’s information they need to know. Nobody likes spam, so in addition to using common sense, you should follow a responsible use policy like ours.
The Benefits of Business Texting
More and more people are embracing texting with businesses; chances are, your customers are already texting daily. That’s good news for businesses seeking effective communication amid customers’ growing distaste for phone and email interactions.
Most customers find business calls disruptive, but texting allows them to respond when they have time. Texts also have a high open rate, making them superior to calls and other communication methods.
You Can Streamline Your Communication
Managing today's demanding audience or customer base is tricky. Customers expect immediate responses and engage more readily with businesses that offer easy interaction. Lengthy phone waits and complex processes can drive customers away. A business texting service streamlines communication, letting you reach customers at their convenience, and automating repetitive tasks like appointment reminders frees up time to focus on business growth.
Moving Forward with Business Texting
Now that you've unlocked the power of business texting, it's time to take your communication strategy to the next level. At Text-Em-All, we understand the importance of connecting with your audience effectively, and we're here to make it easy for you.
Sign up with Text-Em-All today and elevate your business communication to new heights. Your audience is waiting to hear from you – let's start texting!