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The joy of text

Surya Maneesh from SMS Warriors gives some step-by-step tips on using SMS for successful 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 December 3, 1992. 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. What would be easier? Opening a web browser, filling out a form and then sending them an e-mail? Wouldn’t it be easier to just unlock your phone and send a text right away?

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.

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.

You’ve probably seen something like this: “Text ‘Ninja’ to 60075 for our latest discounts and 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 e-mail signatures or just about everywhere. A text messaging platform will be all you need to get the most out of SMS Lead Generation.

How do you use SMS for lead generation?

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 e-mail for further details. So, there you go, you have collected phone number as well as the e-mail address of the client. Now you can combine both email and SMS channels to engage better with your prospects and clients.

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.

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.

Whether it is your website, advertisement, social media pages or 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 or short code?

Having a contact number for SMS will provide you with many benefits.

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.

Text messages will make the communication between you and your customers a lot easier. Customers will not have to spend time finding an e-mail address and contacting you.

Having an SMS text number will also increase your customers. Humans today always look for an easier way. When people know that your business is easy to work and communicate with, you will become popular in the social circles of your customers, and hence you will be increasing the traffic to your website.

How can you use SMS to boost 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.

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. Make it clear with a proper heading, so that the viewer on your website can easily find and access it. Make it available on the advertisements that you post so that wherever the customer sees you, they can contact you right away.

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, they will get irritated and eventually lose interest in you, which is certainly not something that you want. 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 and Google always ask for reviews from their users.

Drawing 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 e-mail be if it stays in the spam folder? People are more likely to respond to a text message compared to an e-mail or 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.

Still, don’t irritate your clients with a dozen texts every day. Talk about the most important things. 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.

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