Step-by-Step Tips for Successful SMS Lead Generation
Text messages are the fastest and the most effective way of communication. They have been there before the evolution of the internet or the social media platform that support real-time chatting. The first text message was sent 25 years ago, on 3rd December 1992 and guess what it was, ‘Merry Christmas.’
So how can you use text messages to boost your lead generation?
Well, let’s talk this through. Imagine you read a company ad, and now you want to make contact. So, what would be easier? Opening a web browser, filling out a form and then sending them an email? What if you don’t have an internet connection? Wouldn’t it be easier to just unlock your phone and send a text right away?
Well, of course, the latter will be the answer. So now apply this to your customers. They do the same. SMS will help you capture a larger audience share, mainly due to its quick connection.
The SMS Keyword and Text Number/Short Codes
Your text number (either short code or long code) will be your means to contact your customers and allow them to contact you. It will serve as the fastest means of communication between you and your client. It will help you connect with thousands of people with just one SMS platform. So let’s go through the important terminology of SMS marketing.
Well, you’ve probably seen something like this: “Text ‘NINJA’ to 60075 for our latest discounts & coupons. So, ‘NINJA’ is the unique keyword your business can use and ‘60075’ is the short code.
SMS SHORT CODES are generally five to six digit phone number that your subscribers use to text in a ‘keyword’ to opt-in to your business database. They might change depending on your SMS provider and country
A KEYWORD is always unique to your business and you can purchase and brand it accordingly.
There is also the other type of SMS text number which is the SMS Long Code. You can use the long code as well on certain different occasions depending on the nature of your business. For example: “Text ‘020 1111 1111’ to book an appointment with the doctor”. But ideally, if your business is using SMS for marketing and high volume notification SMS, it is always advisable to use Short Codes–as they have high throughput rate.
The sky is the limit. Literally, you can play with these codes and text numbers. All you need to do is to get SMS codes out there – either on your website or email signatures or just about everywhere. A text messaging platform will be all you need to get the most out of SMS Lead Generation.
How to Use SMS for Lead Generation?
· Use text to collect email
You can reserve a keyword for your business like those mobile companies have so it’s always your name that pops up on the client’s phone. Once you have established a connection via phone with your client, you can now collect their email for further details. So, there you go, you have collected phone number as well as the email address of the client. Now you can combine both email and SMS channels to engage better with your prospects and clients.
In fact, this strategy helped Greg Hickman to collect 130 emails from a total of 300 people.
· Don’t leave the customers with forms to fill
Answering a simple text is always easier than filling out a complete form. People find it easier as it saves them time. So, don’t make your texts promotional or full surveys. Just try to make a conversation with your clients rather than just promoting yourself.
· Prefer texts over calls
It is very likely that the person you are calling will attend your call or call you back after some time. No one has the time for that, but with text, in their text messages they can easily catch up with you whenever they want. The lesser the pressure on the client, the better they connect with you and your brand.
· Make the information available everywhere
Whether it is your website, your advertisement, your social media pages or your Google listing, your SMS text number must be available in all places to make it easier for the customers to find you from wherever they are.
What are the advantages of having a Text Number/Short Code?
Having a contact number for SMS will provide you with many benefits. To name a few:
· Better connection with customers
An immediate contact facility will enhance the connection between you and your customers. They will be able to better understand your services, as their questions will be answered right away.
· Easier communication
Text messages will make the communication between you and your customers a lot easier. The customers will not have to spend time finding an email address and contacting you via Hotmail or something. It’s a modern world, and you need to keep up.
· More customers
Believe it or not but having an SMS text number will increase your customers. Humans today always look for an easier way. When people know that your business is easy to work with and easy to communicate with, you sure will become popular in the social circles of your customers, and hence you will be increasing the traffic to your website and the people in your company as customers.
How to Use SMS to Enhance Your Business and Boost up Your Lead Generation?
If you use SMS in the right way, you can take all the advantages that come with it. However, there are some pointers that you should follow to get the maximum advantage out of this feature. Let’s list them.
· Easy access to the text number
Well first things first, the text number should be made available on your website. Don’t leave the customers with a challenge to find your contact number, as it is somewhere hidden in your website, written as something unimportant.
Make it clear with a proper heading, so that the viewer on your website can easily find it and access it. Treat it with the same importance as you treat the other parts of your website.
Make it available on the advertisements that you post so that wherever the customer sees you, they can contact you right away. Save the customer’s time, and they will become a profit for you.
· Immediate response
Since all of this effort is being made for faster and effective communication the response to the text messages needs to be fast.
Taking a day to reply to one text message won’t serve the purpose here. The response needs to be in minutes if not seconds. Having a text messaging software to respond to the text messages automatically will be a good choice.
There are many bulk SMS software solutions available that deal with the bulk SMS and respond quickly to all of them. If the user is not getting an immediate response, he/she will get irritated and eventually lose interest in you, which is certainly not something that you want.
· Attract the customers with some deals
You see a lot of ads every day that you hardly ever notice, but you always notice an ad with the tag SALE or SPECIAL OFFER on it.
Well, it’s nothing to be ashamed of because that’s what we all do. It is the human nature. So why not use this psychology for your business.
Get the user to send you a text and give them something in return, like if you have a restaurant, you can keep some daily specials that come with just an SMS. It always works, everyone likes some discount these days or something extra that they don’t have to pay for.
Once you are in the eyes of the customer, they will remember you, and they will return to you, if not today then probably tomorrow, to know if there is any other text that they can send. You need to be on their phones.
· Invite the customers for a review
Reviews always boost up the business mainly because it serves as a conversation starter between you and the customer. All the big websites like Facebook, Google etc. always ask for reviews from their users.
Make it easier for your customers, and make it just a single text. It will also help you to know more about your clients and know what they like and what they dislike about your company. It is a great way for betterment. And then, of course, it is a great way of having a connection with your clients.
You can now talk to them and make them believe that you are going to take the review seriously. Moreover, if you can make the thing that the client complained about better, inform them, and they will surely come up to check.
It’s all about keeping your customers with you at all times.
· An effective marketing strategy
SMS marketing is an effective and essential part of your marketing plan. It keeps the conversation between you and the customers going, and it is a great way to keep your clients informed about what you are doing.
What use will your email be if it stays in the spam folder? People are more likely to respond to a text message compared to an email or a phone call. Phone calls might irritate your customers, and if it’s just about giving the information about your latest offers, nobody has the time to listen to it. But a text message can serve the purpose.
But still, don’t irritate your clients with a dozen texts every day. Talk about the most important things. The things that are of interest to the customers. Your website should also feature the online SMS so that the customers can send you SMS online anytime they want.
SMS Text messaging is a great way to boost your business. It has been seen that businesses that use text messaging are found to be more successful as compared to the ones that don’t use it. Hence, consider introducing SMS into your marketing strategy and you will not regret.