Is Online Texting Right for Your Business?
There’s no sense in doing something that won’t bring value, so this guide is here to help you see if online texting could add value to you and your business.
Let's dig in!
What is online texting?
Basically, online texting is messaging back-and-forth between a mobile device and a computer program.
In practice, it often refers to a business representative sending and receiving messages between their desktop computer and a customer’s cell phone. Though it's a flexible tool that can be used in many ways for many reasons.
Without getting too technical, messages go through an “SMS gateway,” which converts them into the correct format for each device (mobile device or computer).
Fun fact, the first text message ever sent - "Merry Christmas" in 1992 - was sent from a computer to a mobile phone.
Since online texting uses standard SMS instead of app-to-app messaging (like WhatsApp or iMessage), no one has to download any apps. It's just a text!
Why is online texting relevant?
Smartphones are continually changing how consumers approach brands, and how we buy things. As they become a bigger and bigger part of consumer behavior, businesses are trying to adapt.
But how can businesses accommodate these new behaviors without compromising reputation or quality?
The viral video and meme approach doesn’t work for the majority of small businesses. So how do you adapt when the most popular approach isn’t a good fit?
This is where online texting comes into play, and why it’s probably relevant to your business.
Texting is the most used form of communication for people under 50 years old. It’s also the most used feature on a smartphone - more than the internet, or any app.
Chances are, more and more people are finding your business online, specifically through their phones. Consumers find you on their phones, and they prefer to text.
We’ll use the questions below to see if online texting is a good fit for your situation, but it's usually a no-brainer, because online texting lets companies fully adapt to mobile consumers without compromising quality.
Do you want to increase mobile engagement and conversions?
How much is a new customer worth to you? As more people turn to mobile for more things, there’s a continually higher chance that people will find your business on their phones instead of on their computers.
How’s your mobile engagement?
Online texting can help you improve your mobile engagement - and your conversions - with a “Click-to-Text" button.
Once your business has a number that can receive texts, you can place a Click-to-Text button on your mobile website wherever you might want a call-to-action.
E.g., you might want to prompt people to contact you on your home page, or on your contact page. When a mobile viewer clicks that button, a text will open up on their phone addressed to your business, like this (click "Text Us!" from your phone):
Plus, anytime someone texts you, you automatically have a record of the sender, their message, and the best number to reach them. It's the perfect tool for follow-ups!
How are your conversions?
If you’re looking to increase conversions, online texting can help you turn people who text you - or any other leads - into paying customers.
Between ⅓ and ½ of sales go to whichever vendor responds to leads first. Texting is the quickest way to reach people!
So if you text your leads, you have a far higher chance of being the first vendor to reach them. That means you have a much higher chance of converting them.
When someone texts your business, you can follow up immediately with an answer to their question, or to set up a call.
Online texting helps you shore up new business being able to reach more people faster. If that would add value to your business, online texting is probably a good choice for you.
Do you need to communicate with customers?
How important are customer communications for your business?
Emails and phone calls can be effective, but they generally leave something to be desired. A good email open rate is about 33%, and a good click-through rate is only 4%.
So if the person in charge of your email communications does their job well, then you still have a small number of people who read your message, and an even smaller number who take action.
Since you’re probably emailing people who have already interacted with your business (how else would you have their email?), you would think these numbers should be higher. Sadly, they aren't.
What about phone calls?
Phone calls can be effective once you get someone on the line, but getting customers to pick up isn't easy!
There's no definitive number, but only about 1 in 5 calls gets answered. That’s not a very good rate either!
If you need to reliably communicate with customers, online texting might be right for you. Here's why.
About 95% of texts are read within just a few minutes. They get an average response rate of 45% (wow!), and have an average response time of about 90-seconds.
How much value would numbers like that bring to your business?
How much value would it bring to know that virtually everyone saw your message almost instantly, and that nearly half of them will take action?
Of course, emails and phone calls - and probably other methods of communication - will still have a place. But online texting can be a great wing man to everything else you do.
If you’ve just sent an important email, follow up with a text to make sure that person reads it. If you need to set up a time to call, use a text to schedule it.
Texts are also a great option if you need to send out confirmations or reminders. The options are nearly limitless.
Online texting can help businesses reach the people they need to reach more quickly, more effectively, and more reliably than other methods alone.
If that’s something that would add value to your business, then online texting is probably a good choice for you.
Would you like a better way to do what you’re already doing?
How valuable would it be to streamline what you’re already doing?
Many businesses need to keep up with employees working outside the office. In these cases, some form of periodic check-in is needed.
Businesses will often use a designated office cell phone for employee check-ins, or will have employees calling in to the office, tying up customer phone lines in the process.
In other situations, expensive software is used for employee communications.
With online texting, people who need to check in can text your dashboard, which automatically records the person, the time, and their message.
If you have any questions or comments for the person who texted in, you can reply to their message just like any other text.
This keeps your phone lines open for valuable customers, it keeps you from needing expensive software or additional cell phones, and it keeps you from having yet another email to check.
With online texting, every message is already in a compliant, company account. There's no need for anything else!
If you think a more efficient way to communicate with employees would be valuable, then online texting is probably a good choice for your business.
Are you tired of calling people, or of not knowing if they got your message?
How much is your business’s time and effort worth?
It’s common for businesses to call for all sorts of reasons, like:
- Appointment scheduling and confirmations
- Checking in with customers
- Simple updates and notifications
- Following up with leads
- And more
That’s a lot of communication! How much time does your business spend on calls like these?
Perhaps a better question is, how effective are they?
Calling every person individually takes a lot of time. And when they don’t answer, how do you know they’ll get your message?
Do you leave a voicemail? Do you leave an email? What happens then?
Why not skip all of these steps and just send a text?
With online texting, you can send your message to one person, a few, or thousands! And it only takes a few seconds.
Text messages have a 99%+ open rate, which means every person you text is virtually guaranteed to see your message. And now you don’t have to spend hours calling, leaving voicemails, and emailing everyone.
If saving time and ensuring people see your message would add value to your business, then online texting is probably a good choice for you.
Which of the following is your business’s priority?
Every business has a goal in mind when making decisions. What’s yours?
If you want your business to grow, you need to do at least 1 of 3 things:
- You need to keep your current customers for longer
- You need to get more from those customers (money, referrals, etc.)
- And you need to bring in new customers
How can do you all of that? Let’s dig in.
Is your priority to keep more customers for longer?
A series of studies has shown that it costs 5-25X more for the average business to gain a new customer than it does to keep an existing customer.
Financially, it’s in your business’s best interest to keep as many customers as possible!
But 79% of customers are frustrated with current customer support options, and it doesn’t take much frustration for customers to look elsewhere. Online texting helps alleviate this problem.
By providing another option - one that most prefer - customers will be happier with your business, and they’ll stay with you for longer.
Plus, even a 5% increase in customer retention can lead to a 25%-95% increase in profit!
In fact, Sarah started using online texting (Text Request) at her company, Healthcare National Marketing, and in only 3 months, said:
"We have seen an increase in sales by 17%, an increase in collections by thousands a week, and a 66% increase in customer retention!"
That's powerful! Online texting can help you keep more customers, save more money, and bring in more profit.
Is your priority to get more out of existing customers?
Online texting can also help you earn more from existing customers.
Studies show that nurtured leads spend almost 50% more than leads who aren’t nurtured. “Lead nurturing” basically means that your brand has been steadily strengthening a relationship with that person.
You’ve sent them personalized messages. You’ve retargeted them online. They’ve engaged with your brand several times, and they’ve communicated with you.
Texting is the native language of mobile consumers, and it’s what we use most to communicate with friends and family.
Online texting puts your business on that same level, and uses that advantage to build stronger relationships with customers and prospects.
This leads to those people spending more with your business. Up to 50% more on average! And the more someone spends with you, the more likely they are to tell their friends about you.
Is your priority to get new customers?
In order to get new customers, you normally have to communicate with them.
As covered above, virtually every text is guaranteed to be read, and when you can reach prospects that effectively, everything else gets better, too.
In fact, studies have shown that including text messaging in your sales funnel can boost overall sales by 100% or even more!
If your business would find value in any of these examples, online texting is probably a good choice.
The text message is an incredibly flexible, personal, and powerful tool. When you can add those characteristics to your business, everyone wins!
In many cases, online texting helps businesses navigate mobile consumer behavior, and improves several aspects of that business. If you think online texting could be right for you, go ahead and give it a shot!