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Build customer relationships through 2-way SMS for small business

4 mins
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SMS text messaging, including one-way SMS and two-way SMS is making communications between businesses and their customers easier by providing organisations with direct access into the palm of their customers’ hands. As of 2021, there are over six billion smartphone users worldwide, with millions of text messages sent around the world every day. 

However, when it comes to SMS communications in business, many organisations have yet to catch on. There are only 39% of businesses currently using SMS text messaging to communicate with customers. The statistics speak for themselves: 85% of customers prefer to receive an SMS to a voice call or an email. Not only do customers want to receive one-way SMS, but 60% of customers also want to be able to respond back to SMS text messages sent by a business through 2-way SMS, with 43% saying they have proactively texted a business before. 

This raises some questions: 

  • Why aren’t businesses moving away from traditional forms of communication and utilising SMS?  
  • What exactly is 2-way SMS and what are the benefits for small businesses? 
  • How can you use 2-way SMS in your small business to drive customer engagement? 

We dive in and answer these questions below, including how to send a two-way SMS text message with Notifyre. 

 

What is two-way SMS text messaging?

Put simply, two-way SMS or 2-way SMS provides your customers with the option to respond to text messages sent from your small business. Unlike one-way SMS, 2-way SMS gives you the opportunity to improve customer engagement and interactions with your business through replies and conversations. With only 13% of businesses currently allows for customers to respond their SMS messages, now is the perfect time to utilise two-way SMS in your small business to build lasting relationships with your customers. 

 

Benefits of 2-way SMS for small business

1. Optimise the customer experience

One of the major benefits of utilising 2-way SMS in your small business is to develop a better relationship with customers. 2-way SMS text messaging enables you to create campaigns that communicate effectively with today’s consumers at every stage of the customer journey. By providing your customers with multiple ways to communicate with your small business, you’re optimising the customer experience and ultimately improving customer satisfaction and loyalty with your brand. 

2. Drive sales

We all know that increasing revenue is at the heart of what drives small businesses forward. 2-way SMS text messaging allows you to close the gap between lost sales due to abandoned carts or missed appointments with fast and instant communication with your customers. With SMS open rates as high as 98%, text messaging for small businesses is an incredibly effective way to stay on top of leads and increase customer conversion. Not only is it your customers’ preferred channel, but SMS is also a low-cost, high ROI option. Notifyre’s pay-as-you-go pricing structure means you only pay for what you send and you can get free SMS replies through a shared number (for up to 48 hours) or buy an optional dedicated virtual sms number for unlimited sms replies. 

3. Build brand awareness

2-way SMS text messaging provides your organisation with the ability to build brand awareness with your target audience. As a small business, you are constantly finding new ways to grow and increase your customer base. Text messaging gives you the opportunity to build brand awareness by:  

  • Sending bulk SMS for marketing campaigns that allow customers to reply for sales, promotions, competitions or coupons.  
  • Adding links back to your website to increase website traffic, leads and ultimately a higher customer conversion. 
  • Using a dedicated virtual SMS number so that your customers always know exactly where the text message came from. 

 

Ways to use 2-way SMS in your small business

No matter what industry your small business falls in, whether it’s an ecommerce brand, hair salon, café or real estate agency, 2-way SMS text messaging can be applied to the entire customer lifecycle from awareness all the way to purchase and customer loyalty.  

  • Sales, promotions and competitions - does your small business thrive on sales and promotions? Send out coupons, special offers and competitions via 2-way SMS text messages to your customers.  
  • Confirmations and reminders – do you work in an industry where appointments are necessary to keep your small business revenue flowing? Minimise empty seats or missed appointments by sending 2-way SMS text message confirmations and booking reminders to customers. Provide them with the ability to confirm, cancel and reschedule all through SMS. 
  • Order purchases, receipts and delivery notifications – customers expect rapid communications once they’ve made a purchase from your small business. Instantly send an order purchase confirmation, order receipt, delivery updates, notifications and more all through 2-way SMS communications. Keeping your customers updated throughout their journey builds positive relationships with your small business. 
  • Customer communications and support – does your small business require an active support team to offer ongoing assistance to your customers? 2-way SMS text messaging can help reduce incoming support calls from customers by providing an alternate way for customers to get in touch with your team.  
  • Feedback surveys and customer loyalty – Sometimes all it takes to improve trust in your brand and increase customer satisfaction is by sending out an SMS feedback survey. Giving your customers the opportunity to provide their feedback on your service or product makes them feel valued, as well as gives your small business the opportunity to improve products and/or services where necessary. 

 

How to send a 2-way SMS with Notifyre

There are three different ways to start a two-way conversation with your customers when sending an SMS text message via the Notifyre platform. Please be aware that for 2-way SMS to work, you are unable to use a customised sender ID. 

It’s also important to be aware of SMS best practices when implementing 2-way SMS in your small business. Ensure you follow the correct guidelines and policies when communicating with customers. These guidelines generally involve ensuring you have permission to send an SMS text message and including a way for your customers to unsubscribe or opt out of text messages at any time. 

  1. With a Notifyre system number - select “Notifyre System Number” from the dropdown menu under “From SMS Number”. This allows you to receive replies from customers directly to your Notifyre dashboard via a free shared number for up to 48 hours after the SMS text message has been sent. 
  2. If you have purchased a dedicated virtual SMS number - select “My SMS Numbers” from the dropdown menu under “From SMS Number”. Choose the dedicated virtual mobile number will receive the replies. This method allows your small business to receive infinite SMS replies from customers that will be accessible via the Notifyre dashboard. 
  3. Using a custom mobile number - you have the option to use a custom mobile number of your choice to receive SMS replies from customers. When using this option, you’ll only receive replies directly to the mobile number and replies will not be tracked or accessible via the Notifyre dashboard. 

SMS
2-way SMS
SMS Personalisation
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