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Opt It is the premiere provider of text messaging for brands and businesses.
Providing good customer services is a notion that most US companies see as a necessity for survival when it comes to their businesses, and for good reason. Giving your customers great customer service and building strong, lasting, and friendly relationships with them pays off and can set you apart from the competition. Back in the day when the Internet and cell phones weren’t such popular concepts, customer service meant smiling attendants at your store or restaurant attending to the needs of the customer at the moment. However, times have changed, and business need to adapt to the new demands and needs of customers that are ever more supplied by communication channels like texting.
The great thing about texting is that it allows you to communicate with your customers before and after they leave your location. This means you can truly lengthen the experience that customers have with your brand. For example, if you are a clothing store, you could send a text message to a customer right after they leave your store to tell them that you found an item that they wanted, and that you put that item on hold for them. Another example could be to send out a text message when you receive new inventory. This can be especially useful for highly targeted groups, meaning a portion of your list that you know loves shoes would be pleased to learn about a new arrival.
Another great benefit that text message marketing adds to customer service is that it can be used to measure the level of customer service being provided. You can simply run a quick survey immediately after a customer visits your facility and ask them about the attention they received.
The time’s, they are a’ changing’ and falling behind on new marketing trends will only cause repercussions as the rest of your industry moves forward. We highly suggest connecting to your consumers via the mode of communication they like best: texting.
What do Bank of America, text messaging, and overdraft fees all have in common? Soon, via text message, Bank of America is going to be offering its customers the ability to accept an overdraft fee for a purchase that puts them over their spending capabilities.
This is a pilot program for the bank, and customers can enroll to have the option should their spending desires require larger quantities than the amount they currently have in their bank account. When making a purchase that would put the customer in the red, a text message will instantly be sent to the user and they can accept to make the purchase for a $35 overdraft fee.
Bank of America decided to move forward with the program in order to better inform their customers if and when they were going to be negative in their accounts, and to empower them to make a decision as to whether they really want to make a purchase or not.
The decision has a legal basis as well. Last year, law makers decided to ban banks from enrolling customers in overdraft programs without their active consent. Sending a text message is the most active and accurate way to gain approval, because it allows the approval of a purchase that results in an overdraft fee to be made at the time of purchase. The great part is that if the customer deposits the correct amount of money into their account by the end of the day, they do not incur the fee.
Used alongside a mobile web experience like an application, SMS is a great complimentary tool that can really help drive up sales made by a mobile device.
Ninety percent of consumers have said that they like interacting with business in multiple channels. At the top of the list of preferred communication channels is SMS texting. Retailers who want to ensure their customers are engaged with their mobile web sites should add a SMS competent. SMS Texting helps by encouraging people to visit your mobile web site, and it can also help people make a buying decision after receiving a mobile coupon.
It is important to establish a clear link between your mobile URL and text message campaign. To do this, you should insert the URL into a text message being sent out, and recommend that people to add it to their Favorites. Sears, the large department store retailer, has done this with great success. Consider sending out some offers that are only good for purchases made online, directing customers to your mobile site instantly. Also, send out a text notifying your opted in database of users that you have new stock; yet another way to draw them to your site.
Studies have also found that if a user abandons a shopping cart while on a mobile web site, sending a simple SMS message follow up will likely get your customer back on the web page.
SMS is a great tool to use in combination with all marketing mediums, but especially mobile web, as the tools are accessed in the same way and consumers are constantly checking their mobile devices.
An interesting new study done by the University of Pennsylvania shows how consumers value their favorite communication mediums, including email, texting, cell phone calls, and Facebook.
The study divided students into groups and out of the 4 communication mediums listed above, asked them which of those tools they would go without for a week. Once the student chose, he or she were banned from using it for a week. Next, the study participant was asked how much, in monetary value, he or she would like to be compensated for the ban.
“The survey of 84 students ages 18 to 22 found that they thought $44 would be “fair compensation” for going without Facebook for a week — compared with $99 for email, $85 for texting and $73 for cellphone calls. One tool — instant messaging — was identified as less valuable, coming in at $27 for a week.” (Wall Street Journal, How Long Could You Go Without Facebook?)
The reason for this was that students said that they only communicated with acquaintances on Facebook, while texting and email was used for connecting with closer friends and family. For students, email is clearly most important as they work on papers and projects in groups and they need to be able to send large files. However, as a communication tool, it’s clear that texting still reigns, shown here by its compensation value of $85.
On April 17th 2011, co-founders Brian Stafford and Michael Lamb were interviewed live on-air on RSS Rays. They spoke about why all business should be using text message marketing. Read on for a summary of the interview.
Why text message marketing? Text messaging is the best way to reach out to your customer base because 98 percent of the population has the ability to receive a text message. Permission is a big aspect in text message marketing, as all people on your list need to opt in, and people ask to receive your messages. The mobile phone is the most important thing we carry with us, and very little spam is sent to the devices, since the carriers make sure it is a clean market space. Open rates are at 90-98 percent and you can almost ensure recipients will read messages because once a mobile phone buzzes or rings, people check it.
For what kind of business does this make more sense for? Anyone trying to reach their customers in real time; such as a restaurant with supplies expiring or a retailer who needs to get rid of the winter collection to make room for spring merchandise. During a slow time, such a business might send a text to rev up sales in slow period or to get in customers within hours.
How do businesses get people to give permission to send them text messages? The way to start is to pick a text message vendor that has a short code approved by all carriers to deliver the messages into the networks. Then the business must define what it is trying to accomplish. Once this is clear, marketers can put together signage, offers or value propositions that will inspire customers to send a text to allow that group to deliver text messages to them. A great thing about Opt It’s system is that we have taken those best practices and built it into our software. Opt It knows the laws, like how customers should remove themselves, the charges that coincide with these messages, all information the business owner needs to know so that they can create offers that are most valuable to them and their customers.
How often should a business send text messages? This depends on content being sent out and the business itself. Retailers and restaurants typically see success by sending 1-2 texts a week, other businesses can send more as long as the offer is clear and upfront and fits into the daily life of their customers.
What makes Opt It different from others? Opt It’s experience inside the text message marketing space is immense. With almost 7 years under our belts, we are some of the most experienced and have seen much growth and change happen within the industry. Opt It has a deep understanding on how to use the tool to drive business results. We’ve built a strong text message platform from the ground up and are able to offer it to our customers, along with our effective service offerings, at a great price.
Click on the following link to listen to the entire show: RSS Ray Free Podcast: Why Your Business Should Be Using Text Message Marketing
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