Email has long been at the center of every business communication strategy. In terms of digital engagement, it’s a reliable tool and widely adopted around the world. Email gives you the ability to tell a visual story and it is well suited for longer form communications with graphical elements.
But email also has some significant drawbacks:
- Email inboxes are overflowing
- Accounts are getting inundated with marketing emails and spam
- Important or urgent emails can get lost or, in many cases, remain unread
When it comes to sending time sensitive, urgentbusiness communications to customers, many businesses are setting their sights on text. They are reserving the text channel for sending alerts, notifications or reminders related to the customer’s account (e.g., “your statement is ready” or “your payment is due”). While some consumers will always prefer email, text is proving to be a highly effective channel for urgent and time-sensitive engagement.
The advantages and benefits of texting
Text messaging, also referred to as SMS (Short Message Service), is an ideal channel for urgent business communications.
Here are just a few reasons why it should be an integral part of your Customer Communications Management (CCM) strategy:
Texting is fast and efficient
According to Pew Research, over 97% of consumers today have a smartphone or cell phone with a data service connection that’s capable of receiving texts. Composing a message to these consumers is quick and easy. In addition, messages are transmitted instantly, in near-real time.
Text messages get delivered
Unlike email, which is known for spam filters, text messages go straight to your contact’s mobile phone. And, since most people bring their phone with them wherever they go, in their pocket or purse, engagement is fast, easy, and convenient.
Character limits force direct, clear messaging
While text messages do have a character limit, this limit forces the author to get to the point – resulting in messages that are clear and direct.
Having a clear message and call to action is essential for operational business communications, since they encourage customers to take immediate actions for things like reviewing or signing a document or paying an invoice.
Customers respond to text messages
Another advantage of text messages is their high open rates and engagement. It is estimated that consumers read 98% of their text messages and 50% of consumers respond within 3 minutes of receiving them.
Compare that to email. Email has a much lower open rate at around 28% and a response rate of around 3.8%. Overall, consumers are 4.5X more likely to open and respond to a text message than they are an email.
One of the key requirements of urgent business communications is speed. Having the communication delivered, opened, and responded to quickly is of the utmost importance – and texting is clearly the best way to achieve these objectives.
Text messages can be personalized with templates, tags, media, and links
Email is the standard for business messaging and communication because it’s easy to compose and personalize. But authoring a text message is just as quick and easy to personalize with the inclusion of tags, media, and links to documents or other sites you want to communicate. Did you know you can even save a text message as a reusable template? This template can include personalization tags that auto-insert a recipient’s first name into every text.
Many people can be reached at once with text message broadcasts
While email is effective for mass engagement, text message broadcasts give you an alternative way to reach just as many people. All you need to do is upload a contact list, create groups, attach a text message template, and hit send (Autodesk).
Text messages can be scheduled and automated
Just like email, you can automate the sending of text messages and can set up autoresponders. Scheduling automated payment reminders, for example, can enhance your service to customers and reduce your Days Sales Outstanding (DSO). Creating an autoresponder to notify customers when you’re away or out of the office can help manage customer service expectations and reduce calls and inquiries.
A well-rounded messaging strategy
Text messaging is a flexible channel for digital engagement – and one that is particularly well suited to urgent or important business communications in which you need a fast delivery, receipt, and response.
With its high delivery, open, and response rates, text messaging allows you to be one of the 10 text conversations your customers receive each day, and your messages are almost 10x more likely to drive customer action.
But in the end, a well-rounded digital messaging strategy will take advantage of SMS and email. You need both. They each serve a complementary purpose.
Doxim CCM offers text-based customer engagement, and much more
When it comes to customer communications and engagement for regulated industries, Doxim has deep experience and expertise. From data management to communication delivery, we offer a variety of engagement channels (print, web, customer portal, email, IVR and text/SMS) – each with their own advantages and use cases!
For urgent communications, such as notifications, alerts and reminders, text/SMS is an excellent choice.
Here are some of the ways text/SMS is used by our clients:
- Alerts or notifications related to the customer’s account activity using our Digital Business Messaging solution. These text/SMS messages can be 1-way operational messages (e.g., ‘you statement is ready to view’) or 2-way messages, enabling the customer to respond.
- Direct delivery of regulatory documents to customers via link sent by text/SMS through our Secure Document Delivery (SDD) solution – which leverages 2 factor authentication for heightened security.Payment reminders that trigger the pay-by-text workflow, enabled through our payment platform.
Do you send notifications, alerts, and reminders? Is text part of your communication strategy?
Contact us to discuss the benefits of text/SMS and how you can incorporate it as an effective channel for improved engagement, customer satisfaction and bottom-line results. Let’s chat