Wednesday, August 8, 2018

In a mobile-focused world, it’s no surprise that people prefer to receive text messages over emails. And this fact rings true for business decision-makers as well as consumers. 97 percent of American business professionals are within three feet of their mobile phone at all times.

The capabilities of SMS text message marketing are expanding rapidly, making SMS just as important to your B2B marketing campaigns as email and paid advertising. SMS messages boast open rates well above 90%, and text messages typically get opened within 90 seconds.

B2B SMS marketing is a great way to maintain relationships with existing clients and nurture prospects with quick, easy and personalized messages. In this blog, we’ll discuss the benefits of SMS campaigns and share tips for implementing them in your B2B marketing strategy.

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The Benefits of Adding SMS to Your B2B Campaigns

There’s a common misconception that text message marketing is only effective in B2C campaigns. But your business clients share many traits with regular consumers – including their reliance on mobile devices.

Texting has become a popular business communication channel — 80 percent of professionals use SMS for business purposes. Businesses can leverage SMS to send relevant content and offers to leads and customers who have subscribed to their list.

The many benefits of B2B SMS marketing include:

  • High Open Rate: Up to 98 percent of text messages get opened, compared to an average open rate of 22 percent for email.
  • Cost Effective: Easily scale SMS marketing to fit any size budget, from an enterprise corporation to a local neighborhood business.
  • Mobile Friendly: SMS is compatible with nearly every type of mobile phone. SMS can provide similar content to email in a more condensed and accessible format.
  • Strong Customer Engagement: SMS produces six to eight times higher engagement than email, with an average click-through rate of 19% (compared to email’s 4.2%). SMS keeps you connected to your customers at all times on their preferred device. The average response time for SMS is only 90 seconds , while it takes an average of two days for people to respond to emails. • Fast Delivery: In marketing, time is precious. Text messages require very little prep work. B2B SMS marketing lets you deliver your message to the right person at the right time – without having to wait on designs, asset creation and campaign approvals. All you need to do is craft your message and hit send.

Tips for SMS B2B Campaigns That Generate Results

Here are some important tips to remember for integrating SMS in your marketing strategy.

Learn the Rules and Stick to Them

The SMS industry is heavily regulated. There are strict guidelines in place to prevent businesses from abusing customers’ cell phone numbers. Read up on the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). According to the law:

  • A consumer’s written consent is required before you send any text messages for commercial or marketing purposes. You can collect signatures of consent electronically through email, website forms, text message, etc., as long as the electronic signature complies with the E-Sign Act of 2000.
  • Recipients must be able to opt out of receiving correspondence by replying directly to the text message.

The last thing you want to do is upset existing clients by spamming them with texts or making it difficult to opt out. Following proper SMS practices will keep you in good standing with customers – and the law.

See our guide to SMS compliance.

Build a B2B SMS List

You can’t blast your list with text messages without consent, so you’ll need to build your SMS list from the ground up. Here are some methods to encourage your contacts to text into a keyword and build up your list:

  • Email your database. Use your existing email marketing list to promote your SMS campaign. Let them know what kind of information you’ll be communicating via SMS.
  • Promote your SMS campaign on your website. Add CTAs to your high-converting web pages to encourage people to text your Keyword.
  • Use social media. Write social posts and create ads to promote your offer and Keyword .

Come Up With a Compelling Offer

Customers need an irresistible reason to opt in to your SMS campaign. Offer a free template, business consultation or gift card to customers who join your SMS list. Use this opportunity to get creative and come up with an offer that’s relevant and attractive to your audience.

For the best results, explicitly outline the action you want readers to take and create urgency with limited-time offers. Including your company name can also help eliminate confusion and increase open rates.

Segment Your List

Segment your list so you can promote different SMS codes for different types of messages. If someone opts in to receive software updates, you won’t want to spam them with PR announcements.

Send Relevant Content

Your SMS messages should feature helpful, entertaining or useful content that encourages customers to act or respond. Here are some examples of content you can send via SMS:

  • New product updates
  • Discount offers
  • Answers to common questions
  • Links to new blogs, webinars, podcasts and other company content
  • Polls and surveys
  • PR announcements

Brevity and relevance are critical to launching a B2B SMS campaign that drives action. Use a URL shortener like Bitly to avoid sending long-winded texts, and keep your message short and direct.

Leverage Two-Way Messaging to Improve Your SMS B2B Campaigns

Two-way SMS messaging makes it easy to continuously develop and improve your SMS B2B campaigns based on client feedback.

By creating a dialogue with your clients and streamlining engagement, two-way messaging lets you easily track your clients’ behavior and preferences and collect data for future marketing.

Polls, questionnaires and short code text responses are useful SMS tactics for B2B marketers trying to understand their audiences.

Set Up Your SMS B2B Campaign With CallFire

SMS offers everything you need to increase engagement and nurture relationships with potential and existing clients. It integrates seamlessly with your overall B2B marketing strategy, and it can be more effective than email when used properly.

To avoid hiring additional IT staff to set up and manage your B2B SMS campaign, you can partner with a mobile SMS messaging provider.

CallFireCallFire offers a powerful and versatile text messaging platform for businesses of all sizes. For just pennies per message, you can drive drastically more sales and engagement for your B2B brand.

Ready to set up your B2B SMS campaign? Sign up for your free CallFire account today.