Transactional SMS messages can improve customer experience and boost sales -- why wouldn’t you want to keep reading?

Transactional SMS messages can improve customer

Research reveals that it takes an average person 90-minutes to respond to an email but only 90-seconds to respond to a text message. Today’s consumers have come to expect personal and engaging messages. To meet these demands, marketers need to develop a mobile strategy that enhances marketing efforts with messages that reach consumers in the most direct way – on their personal devices.

In fact, 75% of consumers want companies to text them for anything from appointment or payment reminders, offers, information, etc. — yet currently only 30% of companies are fulfilling.

The truth is in the numbers. People prefer SMS messages and notifications over the other messaging options available. So why not meet them where they are at?

This is a massive untapped opportunity for marketers. 

Traditional promotional SMS messages focus on marketing efforts - such as one-day sales, product launches, or weekly broadcast campaigns that serve an informative role.

Transactional SMS messages based on triggered events add value for consumers because they are personalized, relevant and timely. They are designed to increase loyalty, prevent lapsed buying behavior and re-engage consumers that represent the most value to your brand.

Let’s take a look at some examples of how transactional SMS messages can be used.

1. Account Activation/Verification (Identity Verification)

With the use of SMS, you can enable an account activation or verification feature to increase security for your customers. When a customer signs in or registers, they will be sent a unique code and will be required to verify their account by clicking an activation link or entering a verification code on their mobile device. 

By adding this extra step, only people that should be allowed access to accounts are given that access. Confirming identities through SMS is an inexpensive yet highly reliable and convenient way to increase security, as well as peace of mind.

This is a great example shows how an activation/verification codes work. For Lyft, ensuring the proper customers is receiving the information and has an account is important for the safety of the rider and driver. With the use of transactional SMS messages, this is a very simple process.

2. Shipping/Delivery/Pickup Notifications

After an order is placed, real-time information about shipping, delivery, and pickup can be shared with your customers via text messages. A simple delivery update, shipping confirmation or pickup notification will allow the customer to know where their shipment is and can notify the customer of changes, status and delivery right on their mobile device. This creates a sense of trust and helps to build and maintain a good customer relationship.

It’s important to provide customers with shipping and delivery information -- especially if you’re shipping them perishables. This transactional SMS lets the customer know that the items are on their way and to keep an eye out for them. 
As more companies are letting customers order online and pick-up in-store, it’s important to let them know when their items are ready. You’ll have an unhappy customer if they show up to the store and their items are not ready. That’s where these types of SMS messages come into play -- a quick notification that they can now stop in to pick up the item..

3. Order Confirmations

Similar to shipping, delivery, and pickup notifications, order confirmation text messages also serve an important purpose. They verify that the order has been successfully placed, reducing post-purchase anxiety and reinforcing your brand’s reliability. 

Order confirmation messages are a good opportunity to not only reassure your customers about their purchase but also provide ways for them to extend the relationship with your business whether it is through another sale or even signing up for your email updates.

Order confirmations are another one of those transactional SMS messages that people welcome. It lets them know that the transaction was completed and their order is now processing. 


4. Time-Triggered Reminders

Missed appointments mean missed opportunities for sales. That’s why it’s so crucial to cut down on no-shows. With the use of time-triggered text messaging, you can make sure customers don’t forget when they’re meeting you by reminding them the day of or even an hour before.

Moreover, you could automatically reach back to customers that purchased consumable products when it is time to replenish their merchandise. The benefit of a text is that it will remind them even if they’re on the go, so it’s right at their fingertips.

When someone makes an appointment weeks or months ahead of time, it can be easy to forget about it when the times comes. A simple reminder text will go along way when with busy customers and lessen the number of missed appointments.

5. Real-Time Alerts

Text messages are the best way to keep customers in the loop, especially if the message is urgent. Phone calls and emails are easily missed, and because only 22% of emails get opened, customers don’t always act on notifications in a timely manner. 

Text alerts deliver important information with immediacy, so customers can act on it right away. Alerting customers with a real-time text of a flight change, a table being ready, their credit card activity or their data usage, helps them feel valued and informed, ultimately improving their satisfaction and increasing the likelihood that they’ll call on your business again.

You may have received these types of texts in your own life -- when you flight times change or maybe when you were at a restaurant waiting for a table. These transactional messages are very helpful and many people like the quick update in these situations.

6. Opt-In Requests

After a customer signs up for an email or mobile list, they expect a confirmation of their request. One example of an opt-in request message would be a welcome message that can simply thank subscribers for signing up or can deliver the discount or offer promised that was used as the opt-in incentive. Make the most of this opportunity by personally engaging each subscriber with content curated to their interests that keeps subscribers interacting with your brand. 

Another example of an opt-in request text message is a birthday message. Sending a short and sweet birthday text accompanied by an exclusive offer, discount or freebie is more than enough to win over a lifetime customer.

Opt-ins are a big thing when it comes to SMS marketing. It’s important that someone receives an email similar to this when they sign-up for your mobile messaging list to ensure you have the proper opt-in permission to send them messages. 

7. Product Alerts

With a product alert text message, you can automatically notify shoppers when inventory levels change. This allows customers to sign up on-site to receive the alerts when the inventory is replenished and keeps an ongoing conversation alive with customers. Being able to leverage product alert text messages allows you to connect with first-time and returning customers on mobile devices.

Product alert SMS messages are perfect for that customer who just hasn’t made up their mind yet. It lets them sign up to receive alerts when an item is running low and lets them know they will want to move fast on it. This will help boost sales on your end by putting a little bit of urgency behind the purchase.

Permissions and Opt-ins

When using SMS, it’s important to understand the regulations about communicating with customers through text messages. A customer that opts-in means they are giving you the right to be targeted by marketing communications via SMS. Transactional SMS requires opt-in, the same as broadcast SMS messages.

Benefits of Transactional SMS Messaging

Transactional SMS messaging offers a number of benefits. Not only are you reaching out to customers on a platform that they are constantly using, but you’re also reaching them in the way they prefer most. In fact, 75% of mobile users prefer a text message over a phone call or email. Here are a few of the benefits of using transactional SMS messaging.

Reaching customers via SMS messaging is much more effective when sending transactional content. In fact, most consumers prefer to be contacted by text messages for important updates such as appointment reminders or security breaches. 

Timely

Transactional SMS messages are time-sensitive, meaning they are triggered to a consumer based on a specific time or event. Because of this, it is critical for marketers to utilize mobile channels that naturally allow for the fast, almost instantaneous delivery of messages to consumers. 

Unlike a personal email account where daily activity is limited by how much time consumers spend in their inboxes, consumers frequently access their mobile phone’s texting application. This presents a prime opportunity for companies to deliver time-sensitive messages that will most likely be opened and read by consumers.

Enhanced Engagement

Transactional SMS messaging keeps your brand top of mind with your customers, reducing your reliance on marketing messages to maintain a connection. For new customers, service-based messages can help establish initial mobile relationships without the need for marketing messaging. It also allows you to opt-in net new subscribers to your mobile database, which can be used for marketing purposes.

Loyalty

Transactional text messaging is 1:1. This close customer relationship allows an enormous marketing opportunity to increase loyalty and boost revenue. By keeping consumers engaged after a conversion, you can establish a direct connection between your brand and your customers, build customer loyalty and drive sales while creating a consistent and seamless experience.

The Value of SMS Messaging 

Transactional SMS messaging offers marketers a quick, easy way to send important information to customers. This streamlines communications dramatically and can lead to a much better customer experience. 

Although they are not marketing messages, customers value the availability of this information so much that it increases the likelihood that they’ll become loyal customers and continue to purchase. By incorporating the tips above into your strategy, you can increase your revenue and build a better brand in as little as 160 characters.