Texting is a relatively new and absolutely great communications channel for enterprise. Those that do implement this strategy making waves–enterprise SMS traffic has expected to exceed 2 trillion messages by the end of 2017. There are plenty of late adopters that are watching and waiting. My advice to you? Don’t wait too long.
Businesses that are on the fence about texting may be losing out on some big opportunities. For example, Gartner calculates that companies without a true data management and interaction strategy will miss out on a 25% increase in potential new revenue. So what’s holding them back?
Maybe one of these five so-called reasons is keeping is your business from taking advantage of the benefits that enterprise SMS can offer. Time to do some debunking.
Your customers don’t want to be texted
If you think SMS too “personal” of a channel for companies to reach customers on, think again. For time-sensitive notifications, for example, more than half (53%) of respondents to an OpenMarket study said SMS was their preferred method of communication while “on the go.” As long as you don’t overload customers with SMS, and let them opt-in with their phone number rather than have to opt-out, you might be surprised how many customers prefer to interact via text.
SMS is an ineffective outreach tool
Texting is opened faster and read more than email. Just how much more? According to the OpenMarket survey, 85% of respondents said they would prioritize unopened text messages over emails and push notifications from apps. Almost 100% of SMS sent are guaranteed to be opened, 83% of them within three minutes of being received. Studies show that response rates including clicks, replies, or other interactions, were 45% for texts, while the average email response rate is a meager 6%. Also, offers sent via SMS were shown to be redeemed 10 times more frequently than those sent by traditional means.
It costs too much
For targeted campaigns, SMS is actually a very cost-effective option. More overarching campaigns using channels such as voice or email will give you an expected return rate between 1%-2%. Yet targeted SMS marketing initiatives will see rates rise to 12%-15%, globally. Yet getting these figures won’t mean your campaign is 10 times as expensive to launch.
And it’s not just marketing where businesses can see savings. In one case, a healthcare provider used SMS for sending reminders to its patients and brought down the number of missed appointments dramatically. This strategy helped the company save nearly $275,000 in one month at a single facility.
Texting isn’t a reliable channel
The ROI certainly justifies the costs of implementing SMS as an enterprise communications channel. But there are risks to doing it on the cheap. This one myth actually could come true if your provider is using unregulated “grey routes,” the same ones used by spammers and fraudsters, to carry your traffic. Finding a communications provider that can do routing above board and in a compliant way will ensure successful delivery on both ends of SMS interactions between your business and its customers. Take SAP, a company that, by using trusted providers, reports a 97% successful delivery rate of millions of two-factor-authentication tokens sent to operators around the world.
SMS is too complicated to set up
Implementing an application-to-person SMS may have a lot going behind the scenes, but using APIs and other automation tools can make it quite simple. Many communications providers offer out-of-the-box texting capabilities that let you connect with customers on a global scale, with very little setup times. The hardest part may be deciding which services are right for your business, and programmable communications will make the rest easy. Next stop: increased customer engagement!