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If email is the darling of corporate B2B marketers, we’ll call texting – Short Message Service (SMS) – the questionable outsider.
B2B marketers love to use email, and rightly so: Email engagement was the most measured metric of content marketing success in the first year of the pandemic, as 86% of B2B content marketers saw it continued to pursue it, according to the MarketingProfs and Content Marketing Institute 2021 B2B Content Marketing Report. For many marketers, email has proven itself year after year.
But one thing email can’t advertise is the ability to see the message within seconds of sending it. With SMS you can.
According to a study by OpenMarket, 83% of millennials open text messages within 90 seconds of receiving them. In addition, 90% of all people read texts within three minutes of receiving them and, according to a study by Gartner, SMS has an open rate of 98%.
With more businesses using copywriting as part of their marketing mix, is it time to re-examine the possibilities with SMS?
B2B companies can use SMS in many ways. Please note, however, that, as with emails, there are also rules for texts. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) requires people to sign up for messages and, among other guidelines, they must also be able to easily sign out.
Here are five ideas especially for B2B companies that want to communicate more successfully with their customers via SMS.
SMS campaign 1: Status update
Think of status updates as the equivalent of order updates for B2C businesses. You can use texts to notify customers of upcoming renewal dates, product updates, or upcoming milestones related to their account.
This type of message can be both informative and branding.
SMS campaign 2: Request for feedback
Direct customer feedback is incredibly valuable to marketers, but it can be difficult to get. Sending a text message after a business milestone (such as a sale or a service installation) is an excellent time to get feedback.
A short piece of text with a link to a survey (with details of how long it would take to complete) can be effective. Even less time is needed for a quick feedback option that allows people to respond by SMS with their instant feedback.
Important: When feedback is requested and received, do something with it. Customers are likely to be upset if their complaints are not resolved quickly.
SMS campaign 3: Thought Leadership
SMS offers a quick and concise form of communication. Advice is of course suitable to be delivered in this way, because thought leadership via SMS simply makes sense. They can offer advice about your product or service and link to content marketing materials for more information.
It can also be an opportunity to share an update on industry-wide situations. For example, if government regulations affect your industry and a new law is about to come into force, it would make sense to text a few days before the change is made.
SMS Campaign 4: Brand Awareness
Content marketing material doesn’t have to be shared exclusively via email and social networks. A text message with a quick link and a brief description can grab people’s attention the moment they receive it, increasing the likelihood that they will not only open it but read it as well.
Even if the link is not clicked, brand awareness can be increased by opening the text – and it usually is.
SMS campaign 5: Exclusive offer
People like the feeling of getting a deal, and text messaging can capitalize on it – even in B2B marketing. Submit a text offering current or previous customers a free template, early access to a new product, personal consultation, or any other offer that is specifically relevant to your industry.
This is an opportunity to build both brand awareness and loyalty, a win for marketers looking to strengthen relationships and build new ones.
An exclusive offer can also provide an opportunity to warm up cold leads. If subscribers have long been on the system but haven’t converted, SMS can be a way to get them re-engaged and turn that cold lead into a hot one with a discounted sign up or a paid text message.
Here, too, the persons addressed must already be in the system so that your company can use SMS.
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No matter which campaigns make sense for your company, SMS can be effective for B2B companies.
Text messages open a new dialogue with customers, leads, and past customers that can lead to renewed or strengthened relationships and an improved bottom line.
More resources on SMS campaigns
The 3 Most Important Considerations About SMS Marketing
How SMS Automation bridges the gap between your sales team and your customers and supports digital transformation
Seven tested ways in which copywriting can help your business [Infographic]