[Author: Cindy Feldman, 05.20 | Keyword: Marketing, Texting]
With a 98% read rate, text messaging has become a popular and effective marketing trend. Nine out of 10 consumers prefer to text with businesses and text messages are more likely to be read than emails.
But as more companies adopt text messaging, you’ll need to keep your strategy fresh by capitalizing on the latest Short Message Service (SMS) marketing trends in 2020. Consider these eight text marketing trends for your strategy this year:
1. Move from Phone to SMS in Customer Service
Customer service plays a supporting role in marketing departments by delivering on the brand promise. Studies show 52% of consumers prefer texting customer support reps, and this practice is becoming more mainstream. Nearly 60% of consumers aren’t willing to wait on hold with customer service for more than one minute, and consumer attention spans will only shorten.
Texting with customer support allows anyone with a cell phone to resolve issues quickly – without enduring long hold times and transfers. Shorter resolution times also encourage consumer trust and help boost the bottom line.
2. Growth Across Promotions, Sales and Offers
SMS boasts a near 14% conversion rate and is quickly becoming one of the most popular marketing channels for generating revenue through sales and promotions. Around 49 million consumers “opt in” to receive text messages from businesses.
Beyond promotions, marketers can leverage the platform by incorporating cart abandonment offers, VIP programs and birthday or anniversary specials to boost brand loyalty. Generating higher response rates than phone calls, email or Facebook, adding SMS as a promotion channel should be a no-brainer.
3. Cross-Selling Through Transactional SMS Updates
With increasingly cluttered email inboxes, more consumers are opting into SMS to receive order updates. More than 75% have a positive perception of companies that keep them informed through text.
Text messages let companies provide instant value through transaction updates such as order confirmation and shipping/delivery notifications. And sending status update text messages gives companies an “in” to cross-sell or provide discounts for future orders while customers are already engaged.
4. Mainstream Availability of AI-Enhanced Chatbots
SMS chatbots are a huge text marketing trend that started taking off this year. They save time and effort by automating parts of the customer experience and providing instant answers to common customer inquiries.
Breakthroughs in AI have made the technology more pervasive in mainstream software products and these advances will continue to spill into SMS software. You’ll see AI-powered chatbots step in to answer customer questions, complete tasks and facilitate orders without the need for human intervention. Plus, AI allows for greater personalization, which will enable companies to customize messaging and create meaningful customer interactions at scale.
5. Increased Usage of Trigger-Based Messages
Just as email automation has allowed marketers to scale communications dramatically, trigger-based messages offer a similar benefit to text marketers. For instance, you can set triggers to celebrate milestones, notify potential customers of an abandoned cart or even request feedback. SMS also adds a more personal touch to automation, so your audience is more likely to connect with the message and act.
6. SMS Will Become a Top-Performing Marketing Channel
Email marketing has been touted as the highest ROI marketing channel. However, few studies have been conducted on the ROI of SMS marketing.
Compared to SMS software, email marketing platforms can be expensive. While email lists tend to be larger than SMS, engagement and conversion rates are much lower for email. And as more companies build out their SMS programs, they’ll quickly identify text marketing as a high-ROI digital marketing channel.
7. Review Requests Will Escalate
Reviews weigh heavily on a consumer’s purchase decision; 72% say positive reviews make them trust a
local business more. However, collecting customer reviews isn’t easy. With a more engaged base, SMS offers an effective way to extract customer reviews and build trust. And because reviews play such a critical role in marketing and sales, more companies will leverage the high engagement of SMS to grow their customer reviews.
For six years, Cindy has managed marketing and communication efforts for the Association and Power Farming Shows through print, digital and social media. Outside of work, Cindy can be found traveling, hunting for cool vintage finds, running, biking and hanging out with her dog, Jack.