In a world overflown with info, it becomes harder and harder for brands to stand out. The ad appears anywhere nowadays, both in offline and online worlds, so how your ads can be the ones that drive the focus of your clients and ask them to interact with you and proceed to order or purchases? 

One of the powerful solutions is an engaging text messaging marketing. You probably send texts in bulk with general info, which also is a working strategy. However, switching to more engaging, even conversational messages would probably help to connect with customers via text and boost the reaction. 

Customer engagement is an objective that is needed to be taken into account here. Whether the clients are interacting with your Instagram profile, opening and replying to the SMS or email, or making an online purchase, they are engaging with your brand. Of course, you might ask yourself: why should I track it, if I can track something more measurable, for example, sales? Fully engaged customers are the biggest fans and brand spokesmen, moreover, they are a 23% premium in share of revenue and profitability. 

In this article, Testelium connects these two concepts — SMS marketing and customer engagement — and prepares a few useful ideas on how to increase customer engagement with SMS.

How can SMS service be used to engage users?

There are several approaches to SMS messages. You can send SMS and don’t imply that any reply is needed, you can let customers send your replies with limited capabilities (for example, “yes” or “no”), or you can carry the conversation as you would do it with your family, friends or colleagues. The latest, conversational messages are your best shot to engage clients, though it might be more challenging than the first two options. 

Through conversational texts, it is possible to build a relationship with a customer. When you address your customer personally, you have a chance to win his or her loyalty and turn into the brand that is really looking after your customers. 

Other approaches, like special offers, reminders and notifications, updates, show their influence on customer engagement. Anything that makes clients’ lives easier and more convenient will give a positive image to your brand, but it’s important not to overdo it as well — no one enjoys too much SMS. It’s also important to control how your message looks after sending to be sure it’s displayed correctly, that’s why you might need SMS delivery reports.

Let’s look at some ways to engage SMS users. 

Domino’s, the worldwide top pizza restaurant chain, has successfully embraced SMS marketing. Through the regular SMS campaign, it offers special deals, promo codes, and other offers to customers, thereby stimulating them to keep on making orders. 

IKEA, the famous Swedish retailer, implemented an SMS strategy in its communication. For example, targeted messages are used for the loyalty program, as well as for in-store campaigns or feedback requests. Depending on the branches, IKEA stores use SMS differently, but successfully: in Spain, Bilbao, the company offered a discount via text and 9% of the receivers used it.

Premium clothing retailer Tommy Hilfiger created their own version of SMS campaigns and called them “Tommy Texts”. Through this, the company notifies clients about the new models coming, and users need to opt in to agree to receive messages.

If you are looking for the same SMS quality as these companies, your first need to test SMS gateway.

TOP 7 SMS customer engagement strategies

The power of creative texting allows you to approach customers in different ways. You can be fun, you can be cocky, or you can be sweet — it’s always a good idea to send a test text and try various styles to determine the most efficient one. However, SMS engagement already has some proven strategies that are easy to use immediately.

Appointment reminders

Any organization that arranges appointments with clients, for example,  health clinics, beauty salons, showrooms, etc., should embrace this practice. Such reminders have double benefits: as for customers, they help notify about an upcoming appointment in case they forgot about it; as for you, they help keep track of all meetings and reduce the amount of missed ones. 

You can send reminders a few times, for example, three days before and the same day when the appointment is scheduled. But again, don’t come too strong and keep the message tone unconstrained and friendly.

Bonuses and rewards (Customer Loyalty Program)

Make SMS a significant part of your loyalty program. It’s a great solution to how to engage with customers in retail: your regular customers would be glad to receive special bonuses or discounts for holidays, birthdays, or the anniversary of the first time a client bought from you. 

For the brand, it’s a great way to charm the customer, and the customer can feel that he or she is appreciated.

Sending polls and reviews

Any brand reaches success only thanks to its customers. So it’s always worth listening to the clients’ opinions and reviews. SMS is a perfect medium for this goal: as it has the highest open rate, the likelihood that it will be read is pretty high. 

Asking for feedback gives a lot of advantages. Firstly, it may give you new insights into your business strength and disadvantages, as well as help you to gain a wider understanding of clients’ needs. Secondly, it manages negative reactions: if the customer isn’t glad about services or products, they can express the discontent directly to your managers instead of going public on social media. 

Personalization

If we are talking about superb SMS experience, it’s important to personalize messages as much as possible. Name, birthday, the latest purchases, anniversary dates — you can use a special SMS platform for customer engagement, store this valuable information, and later refer to it while preparing the campaigns. The more it becomes personal, the better result you may expect!

Include Opt-Ins and Opt-Outs

It’s all about consent. Send your text only to those customers who agreed upon receiving, otherwise, instead of increased engagement, you risk gaining some angry feedback. 

Also, don’t forget about the capability to refuse to get the messages — the users should have such an option, and it’s only a courtesy to the choices of your clients.

Last-minute tips and reminders

Show that you care through useful advice and reminders. It doesn’t matter what your business is about — there is always a professional insight worth sharing in every industry. If you’re food retail, for example, you can share seasonal recipes, and if you’re a doctor, you can send a reminder on the date of the next check-up required. 

Offers and deals

If you are thinking about how to engage customers in sales, it’s your choice. Everyone loves special offers, so why not use them? Two-for-one may look appealing for someone and become a final reason to decide on a purchase. 

The Bottom Line

An engaged customer is a valuable customer. Increasing the number of such clients should be a priority for any business. To engage customers through texting may be resourceful, but it brings results. Hopefully, our tips will help you to reach your goal, as well as test your SMS routes.