At Tape we’re very focused on transforming what is essentially a simple notification (business SMS/text messages) into a robust and meaningful touch point that can build business relationships, delight customers, and communicate more deeply. In this line of business we’re constantly evaluating text messaging strategies for businesses and have done significant work helping start organizations texting from scratch so they could take advantage of the Tape platform.
Having enhanced over 1MM business text messages has given us the experience to thoughtfully give advice on SMS strategies. And we’re not a hammer that thinks everything is a nail when it comes to advice. There are plenty of situations where our recommendations do not include the use of Tape including one of most common questions we get…
My business doesn’t text today. Where should I start?
Once someone gets excited about a texting strategy, the next step can be overwhelming…where to start?? Should I setup an autoresponder? Do I need a short code? What texting tool is best for my CRM? How often should I text? Is there a good way to measure performance? Emojis or no emojis??
When consulting an eager business who starts trying to answer those questions with me and giving me details about their existing marketing strategy to help inform the starting point I suggest for them, I always cut them off and take a step back. No matter what industry they’re in, where on the marketing sophistication spectrum they are, or how large their organization is, the suggestion I push is the same.
The very first thing any business who is beginning to consider a text message strategy should do is start collecting phone numbers.
Every visitor that goes to your site, person that fills out a lead form, or customer that buys but isn’t giving you their phone number is a piece of gold that has slipped out of your hands. Consider that the open rate of text messages is 98% whereas emails is reported to be 10% and dropping. That’s almost 10x the awareness value.
Some people are afraid of requiring mobile number when collecting information. There are two easy answers to this concern:
First and easiest – ask for but don’t require their mobile number to continue. Even as an optional field, a portion of people will share their number and that is gold! One of our clients in eCommerce reported almost 50% of transacting customers filled out their phone number even though it was an optional.
Second, for many businesses asking for phone numbers as a required field can be a powerful qualifying question. The number of people sharing their information may go down because they’re hesitant to provide their number but what you do know is that those who do share are much more interested in your business.
So start there. Setting up systems to collect mobile numbers with the appropriate opt-in language is a very specific project that needs to be done immediately. Time is money and every minute you’re not capturing phone numbers…you’re losing money.