Conversational text marketing is a type of marketing that uses text messages to communicate with customers and clients. It is a more personal way to connect with customers, and it allows businesses to build relationships with their customers that are based on trust.
With the way people text each other, seemingly non-stop these days, you might think that everyone knows everything about conversational SMS marketing and how to use it to grow their businesses, organizations, or communities.
If you thought that, though, guess what?
You'd be wrong.
Amazingly, SMS marketing is a valuable communication tool that has yet to be fully tapped. Seriously, over 3.8 billion people have smartphones, and of those, around 60% check a text message within five minutes of receiving it.
But, business owners, side hustlers, community managers, and more (Oh my!) aren't using two-way text messaging to the fullest extent.
The answer to why that is is something we'll explore further below.
We'll also take a deeper look into conversational text marketing, discuss the pros and cons, the differences between two-way SMS and conversational texting, and much more.
What Is Conversational Text Marketing?
Before we get into the more profound mysteries of conversational texting, we should probably break down what it is for those of you reading this who may not be as familiar with it as others.
So! It differs from traditional SMS marketing in that it allows for two-way communication, meaning customers can reply directly to your messages.
In essence, it's a form of marketing that uses SMS messages to communicate with customers and clients.
This makes conversational texting a powerful tool for customer service, as you can quickly and efficiently reply to any concerns or questions they may have.
As the name suggests, conversational text marketing is about having conversations with your customers. By using SMS messages, you can create a more personal connection with them than you would be able to through traditional forms of communication like email (or even social media).
This can help build trust and loyalty between you and your customers, which in turn can lead to increasing sales and better customer retention.
You might say that conversational SMS marketing incorporates an approach that allows empathy and rapport to seep through your communications. Of course, that permits an emotional connection to develop between your customers, audience, or community members and your team.
A Deep Dive into Conversational SMS
There are a few primary goals that businesses have for conversational text marketing: customer service, lead generation, and sales.
However, there are other benefits to conversational texting that businesses may not have considered yet. For example, building brand awareness and loyalty, strengthening relationships with customers and clients, and even reducing costs related to other forms of communication.
Conversational texting is perfect for fielding customer questions in real-time when it comes to customer service. This helps reduce the load on support staff and allows customers to get their questions answered quickly and easily. Plus, as already noted, it will enable businesses to create a more personal relationship with their customers.
Lead generation is another critical goal of conversational texting. By engaging potential customers in a conversation, businesses can learn more about their interests and needs. This data can then be used to make targeted content and offers that are more likely to convert leads into customers.
In addition to all the stuff we just mentioned about being informative and using targeted content, conversational texting can help businesses follow up with leads faster than their competitors, giving them a competitive edge.
Since conversational texting happens in real-time, businesses can respond to leads immediately and set up appointments or close deals faster than ever before.
And because conversational texts are saved as chat logs, you’ll have a permanent record of all the interactions they've had with potential customers. This is incredibly valuable for future reference and sales pipeline management.
Benefits Of Conversational Text Messaging
Conversational texting can help you create a more personal relationship with your customers, which leads to many other benefits we'll get to in just a moment.
By using their first name and addressing them in a conversational tone, you make them feel like they're the only person who is important at that moment. (Okay, so that might be pushing it a bit. However, you get the idea. Personalization really does make people sit up and pay more attention.)
Here are just a few benefits various types of organizations and people can realize by incorporating text message marketing into their marketing strategies:
Businesses can use conversational text messaging to:
- Generate leads
- Make sales
- Get feedback from customers
- Deliver customer service
Side hustlers can use conversational text messaging to:
- Promote their product or service
- Collect payments for products or services rendered; and
- Enjoy all the same things as traditional businesses
Community leaders can use conversational text messaging to:
- Facilitate communication between members of the community
- Share news and announcements with the community
- Raise money for a cause or service
There are plenty of reasons to use conversational text messaging in your marketing strategy, and the list above is just a sampling. The best way to figure out how conversational text messaging can work for you is to start using it!
Disadvantages of Using Conversational Text Message
Everything has its pros and cons. While there are many more benefits than disadvantages when it comes to SMS marketing, there are certain things you should keep in mind.
All technology has limitations. That's as true of conversational text messaging tech as it is for ancient direct response, snail mail. (Hey, admit it. You don't usually think of paper with words printed on it as technology, right? But there was a time when that was cutting edge!)
If your messaging is crummy, irrelevant, or otherwise something that would go in a person's ear and out the other, well, no technology can make up for that.
If you're going to use conversational text marketing, don't just use it because it's the latest thing. Use it because it's a great way to reach your customers where they are and when they're almost certainly to be receptive to your message.
Differences Between Two-Way SMS and Conversational Texting
It's helpful to understand what kind of messaging there is in the world of text message marketing.
- There are one-way messages: It's just you shouting out to your customers, baby. It's all you.
- There are two-way messages: It's a limited back and forth between you and your customers.
- There's conversational texting: It's an actual conversation over time between you and your customer.
Out of all the above, conversational texting is the most effective way to communicate with customers. It allows you to build relationships, resulting in more sales, raise more money, or coordinate better with team members.
In order to make conversational texting work, you need to be responsive and engaging. Reply quickly to the messages you receive and try to keep the conversation flowing. When it comes down to it, conversational texting is all about being human!
Characteristic Features Of Conversational Content
Conversational content is more informal than how many use SMS marketing, making it more engaging. It relies on short, quick messages that are easy to read and respond to.
The tone is typically more relaxed and conversational, making it an excellent way to build customer relationships. However, keep in mind that conversational content works best when it's used sparingly - too much can be overwhelming or irritating.
Remember that conversational content is written in a friendly tone no matter what you're using it for. This doesn't mean you must be overly familiar or use slang, but it should sound like you're having a conversation with another person and not preaching at them. (Especially with a sales message.)
You want to come across as someone your customer would enjoy talking to.
Here are some identifying features of good conversational texts:
- Tone: informal and engaging
- Brevity: conversational content is more concise than other types of content
- Formatting: paragraphs are short, and sentences are written in easy to read, straightforward language
- Visuals: conversational content uses visuals sparingly and only when they add value (no Insta Pics or selfies just for the sake of using visuals)
While you're trying to keep things informal, engaging, and fun, you should always be professional, polite, and respectful.
The golden rule of conversational text marketing is to imagine you are speaking to the customer one-on-one.
Quick Best Practices
When it comes to using conversational text marketing, there are a few best practices to keep in mind:
- Always get consent before adding someone to your SMS list
- Make everything personal by addressing the individual you're texting by their first name
- Timing: send conversational texts at times when your customer is most likely to be available and responsive
- Length: keep conversational texts short and sweet - get right to the point
- Context: make sure your conversational text makes sense within the context of your overall communication strategy
- If you ask questions, make sure they're relevant
You can start using conversational text marketing to improve your customer communication and drive better results by following these best practices.
How to Boost Customer Engagement Through Two-Way Text Messaging
Think about all the various ways you personally use texts outside of a business context. In other words, suppose for a moment that you're the customer.
What makes you stop what you're doing, pull out your phone, and check your messages? Further, once you're checking messages, what gets you to respond?
You know the golden rule? Do unto others what you'd have done unto you? The same holds true in SMS marketing. If something gets you to take action personally, take note of that thing and then use it when texting your audience.
For example, you probably use texts to:
- Set appointments
- Get delivery updates
- Check out promotional offers
- Ask a business questions
So, as the one initiating the conversation, there are things you can do to keep it engaging once begun.
Send Personalized Offers to Your Customers
Want to increase retention and keep customers coming back for more? You can keep your customers engaged and interested in your brand by sending texts that turn into personalized chats.
Just take a look at your customer data and use it to send relevant and targeted offers.
For example, if you know that a customer just placed an order, you could send them a coupon for their next purchase. Or, if you know that a customer is about to run out of product, you could offer them a special promotion on their next order.
Text Appointment Confirmations and Reminders
The statistics in this post are clear: customers want to communicate with businesses via text, and one of the things they value most is texts involving customer service.
Therefore, texting appointment confirmations and reminders is another great way to use conversational text marketing to improve customer satisfaction and keep your customers engaged with your brand.
Send Customer Surveys for Better Response Rates
Texting is a great way to get real-time feedback from customers. It's fast, easy, and you can have a back and forth conversation with your customer (ask a question – get an answer) to get valuable feedback without missing a beat. Plus, it doesn't require the recipient to be near their computer in order to take the time to fill out a survey.
What are some of the better ways to use texting for customer surveys?
Here are a few ideas:
- Customer service surveys: After resolving an issue, ask the customer how they were treated and if you took care of everything properly. This will help you monitor whether your team provides quality service and meets customer expectations.
- Product surveys: When a customer purchases a product, ask them to rate it and leave feedback. This will help you understand what products are popular among customers and which ones need improvement.
- Event surveys: If you're hosting an event, send out a survey before and after the event to get feedback from attendees. This can help you establish whether or not the event was successful and what changes (if any) should be made for future events.
There are countless other possibilities for conversational text marketing surveys, so get creative! The important thing is to ensure that your questions are relevant to your business and that the survey is easy to complete.
Text Event Invitations and Simplify the RSVP Process
Text invitations are becoming a popular way to invite customers to events. They are quick, easy, and let customers respond in real-time. Plus, it's a super way to boost customer engagement.
After they register, send them a quick follow-up text thanking them for registering. This creates a smooth process that will keep your customers coming back for more.
Texting is also a great way to simplify the RSVP process. When customers receive a text invitation, they can simply reply with their answer, and you will have a meticulous count of how many people will be attending. Plus, this eliminates the need for customers to search through their email for your event invitation.
Finish With a Strong Call To Action
A solid call to action is the perfect way to finish off your conversational text marketing campaign. This ensures that your customers know what you want them to do and how they can take any next steps.
There are a few principle things to keep in mind when crafting your call to action:
- Make it short and sweet. You want to ensure that your customers can easily follow your instructions.
- Use active language. Tell your customers what you want them to do rather than ask them questions.
- Be clear about the next steps. Let your customers know what they need to do in order to take advantage of your offer or product.
Keep in mind that, depending on the customer's needs, they may need different options presented to them in order to make a decision. In that case, you might want to make more than one call to action in the course of your conversation.
In general, though, by following these tips, you can create a compelling call to action that will help you close the sale and drive results for your business.
Conversational Text Marketing: The Bottom Line
Simply put, conversational text marketing is a great way to connect with customers and drive results for your business. (You knew we were going to say that, didn't you.)
But, let's sum it all up and put a bow on the topic, shall we?
In the end, conversational text marketing is a way to use text messages to communicate with customers in a more personal and friendly manner.
- The goals of conversational text messages are to create a closer connection with the customer, increase engagement, and drive sales.
- The benefits of conversational text messaging include increased open rates, CTRs, conversions, and average order values.
- Conversational texting is different from Two-Way texts because it allows for two-way communication between the customer and business; and
- The characteristics of conversational content are that it is informal, uses natural language, includes images and frequently uses emojis.
That's it! Now, go start a conversation with somebody on your phone. We'll likely be doing the same.