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A Quick-Start Guide to Business Text Messaging

Image of Pam Georgiana
Pam Georgiana

How are you currently communicating with leads, building your customer base or enhancing customer loyalty? If you’re like most businesses, email is an important part of your conversational strategy. But have you thought about using Short Message Services (SMS) or business text messaging? You should! 

When it comes to texting versus email response rates, consumers are 4x more likely to reply to a marketing text than a marketing email.  In fact, nearly 100% of text messages are opened, in contrast only 20% of emails are read. Business text marketing has huge potential for most companies. And now there are automation options that make the strategy simple and easy. 

Learn about business text messaging and how to get started with implementing SMS in your conversational sales strategy.

In this article, you'll get answers to questions like:

  • Why should I start texting leads?
  • What is business text messaging?
  • How do I get started with business text messaging?
  • When is business text messaging especially useful?
  • Can I use AI with business text messaging?

And more!

What is Business Text Messaging? 

Business text messaging is a sales and marketing  strategy of communicating with prospects or customers via SMS text.  Some retailers and other B2C businesses learned this lesson early. Retailers who embrace promotional SMS programs typically see a 23.3% conversion rate. The real estate industry is the reported top industry using business text messaging.  

B2B companies have also embraced business text messaging as a sales and marketing tool.  Use increased by 197% between 2015 and 201780% of professionals use text messaging for expressly business purposes. No matter the industry, 48.7 million marketers deployed business text messaging services in 2020, making it one of the most rapidly growing marketing channels.

Those data points - plus qualitative insights we've gained from working with customers - prove that texting leads is a key strategy for sales success in the modern sales environment.

How Do I Get Started with Business Text Messaging?

There are three ways to implement a business text service:

  1. There is the manual way, where your sales and marketing teams send out personalized texts one at a time.  
  2. There are also semi-automated business text message services, in which templates are used to craft messaging. Alternately, some semi-automated services (like Calldrip) allow you to communicate both via automated messages and live, one-to-one messages. 
  3. Fully automated systems can be set up to handle all outgoing messaging with an automated  send cadence and standardized messaging. 

Your sales and marketing goals should help you decide which system to use. Automated texts are great for quick follow-ups, like responding to an inquiry, confirming an appointment, asking for a review, or sending a thank you note. Personalized manual texts are great for live sales and service conversations.

If you are contemplating a new business text messaging strategy, you can choose between an automated business texting service like Calldrip or find a manual system.

Want to learn more about business text messaging? We recently published this complete guide to automated text messaging for businesses, which you can download for free!

Download the Free Text Message Automation eBook

When is Business Text Messaging Especially Useful?

We love to remind our clients that time is money, especially for your sales team. The longer your sales team waits to contact an interested lead, the less likely they will close the deal. Business text messaging is especially useful for rapid lead response.

If your team texts potential customers within an hour of receiving an inquiry they are seven times more likely to qualify the lead than if they waited to text after an hour. The optimal lead response time is five minutes or lessThat's important because it is also true that 60% of the population opens their texts within five minutes. If you want to be faster when responding to leads, business text messaging is imperative. 

Your team can also use business text messaging to establish a personal connection with each lead. This is crucial to success. Why? Because 82% of American consumers feel like they don’t get enough human interaction in their customer experiences and want more. About 35% of consumers said they would be willing to pay more for some sort of human interaction. That’s a very important detail that all sales teams need to build into their sales process. 

However, customers are also mindful of their time, so efficiency in a sales transaction is also critical.   Automatic text messages put the prospect in charge of their own self-service opportunities like booking appointments and support conversations. They can schedule and confirm meetings, work out logistics like directions, follow up with customized thank you's after meetings or purchases, and collect feedback and those important testimonials and reviews. 

Each of these highly personalized communications builds credibility and trust in your team. 

3 Key Benefits of Business Text Messaging

Still not convinced you need business text messaging? Here are three important benefits to consider. 

  1. Be First: The math proves the point.  Most people open texts within five minutes and 78% of them choose to purchase from the first company that responds. If you can send a quick text message, particularly enabled by text message automation, you are likely to be the first to contact your prospects and win the sale.
  2. Create Connections: We’ve mentioned this point above but it bears repeating: more than 80% of consumers want more human interaction in a brand's customer service. A strong and quick business text messaging strategy can feel like messages are coming from a real person and initiate an authentic human conversation.
  3. Deliver a Positive Customer Experience: With business text messaging, you can create a positive customer experience, the third key benefit. You've hit all of the marks important to most consumers with quick response rates, human interaction, and an easy sales journey.  

Can I Use AI with Business Text Messaging?

Artificial Intelligence can absolutely be used to improve your company's text messaging strategy. There are a plethora of benefits to AI - improved efficiency, deeper insights, easier automations - and business text messaging is one area where we expect to see major changes. 

That said, we believe AI technology can never replace the power of a real, human connection. From our perspective as experts in the sales space, we see AI as a tool to support human connection. After all, people (still) buy from people, especially when making complex decisions. Do you really want to trust all of your sales conversations to a bot? No, of course not!

Our business text messaging solution, Respond, instantly connects your sales team with leads, prospects, and customers via text, and converts that conversation to a phone call. That way, you're able to strike up a conversation quickly and conveniently. Want to see it in action? Try it for yourself today!

Calldrip’s Business Texting Service: Respond

We have a business texting service that offers your sales team lead-to-call and lead-to-text automation. Our proprietary software, Respond, can handle both automated and semi-automated business text messaging and phone conversations for any industry. 

With Respond, you will have access to these crucial features:

  • Automated rapid lead follow up by phone and/or text
  • Pre-built business text message templates to maintain brand standards and streamline response
  • Shared messaging inbox with conversation assignment capabilities to ensure no prospect or customer messages slip through the cracks
  • Texting from a landline number
  • Texting workflows for accountability and to route messages to the right person or team
  • Integrated conversation history that shows both phone calls and text messages
  • Website chat widget, integrated into the text messaging platform

If you want to level up your sales process, business text messaging can be the answer. You'll connect to customers quicker by meeting them where they are, on their cell phones. Contact us today to experience Calldrip's unique approach to sales with Respond, our business text messaging service.

Schedule a Demo

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