5 B2B Text Message Marketing Tips to Help You Reach Prospects
You probably don’t need formal research to know that people are spending more time than ever on their mobile phones these days, but here’s a statistic anyway: Americans look at their phones an average of 52 times each day, up from 47 times a day in 2018. B2C marketers have long taken advantage of our ever-increasing phone addictions to meet people where they are via highly effective text message marketing campaigns. But B2B text message marketing also is growing in popularity, and for good reason.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of text message marketing is the incredible open rates. Get this: 98% of all text messages received are opened, and 90% of people will read a text message mere seconds after receiving it. By contrast, emails can languish in a customer’s inbox for days before being read — if they’re even read at all before being deleted. Moreover, 80% of people are already using texting for business purposes, so clearly it’s not a foreign concept. And Millennials, a generation with a reputation for being more comfortable with texting than calling, now comprise the largest segment of the workforce.
B2B text messaging hits a sweet spot between emailing and phone calls. In addition to the low open rates, email inboxes have become pretty crowded places, so it can be hard to stand out among the flood of other marketing emails. What’s more, not every customer has the time or quiet office space to take a phone call. With text messaging, you can reach customers where they are in real time, but also give them a little more breathing room to engage with the content on their own terms. This means quicker, more authentic engagement with what you’re offering.
Text message marketing is also relatively affordable compared to traditional B2B marketing campaigns. It’s cheaper than putting together a traditional email campaign, especially when you consider that it offers a better return on investment, in addition to being less time-consuming. B2B text message marketing is a rapid and cost-effective way to get the word out for promotional announcements, product updates, and so much more.
Here are five tips to get you started with using B2B text message marketing.
- Let them opt in. Receive permission from your customers before you text them. Not only is it common courtesy, but it’s also the law: the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 was updated to include text messaging. Also, give customers an easy exit strategy, letting them opt out by directly replying to the text. No one wants to feel like their phone is being blitzed with unwanted messages.
- Hook ’em. Think of a good opening appeal to draw in customers and make them feel like receiving your messages is worth it. Consider making an exclusive mobile-only offer, such as a code for a discount or a free trial period. The goal is to make your text message marketing feel unique, and like it offers value beyond what your email or other marketing does.
- Keep it short. A text message is not the time or place to write the next great American novel. Edit your content tightly, and use URL shorteners to keep links visually tidy. You don’t have a lot of space to work with in texts, so make your word choices count. Keep it snappy and to the point, and save the longer-format content for emails or your blog.
- Time it right. The same immediateness that can make text messaging a great marketing strategy can also turn people off if you aren’t careful about the timing of your texts. Unlike B2C marketing, you want to target B2B customers during business hours, not when they are eating dinner at home or relaxing with family and friends on the weekend. And be mindful of the time zones you work across, particularly if you have international clients and prospects. The last thing you want to do is wake a potential customer in the middle of the night.
- Segment your lists. Make sure your customers are getting the messages that are most relevant to them by tailoring your approach carefully. Using a blanket strategy with text message marketing can quickly feel spammy. Your goal is to build trust and offer value. If you ensure that your texts aren’t just selling to them but are actually helping them, they’ll come back for more.
Sarah Mannone is the Executive Vice President of Trekk, a tech-driven creative services agency. She works with Trekk clients to develop strategic marketing plans and craft measurable programs that that span print, web, social, and mobile. As part of the Trekk management team, Sarah is involved in the decisions and strategy around adopting new technologies and applications to meet the current and future needs of Trekk clients. Sarah is a member of the Forbes Agency Council and a frequent speaker at marketing industry events.