Call us for a free quote 1300 13 40 41

What is SMS messaging and is it good for business?

After our recent Customer Experience Management (CXM) post, many individuals enquired about business SMS in particular. Questions ranged from “What is SMS messaging?” to “Is texting for business okay?”.  In response, this article will aim to answers those questions and more in relation to SMS marketing and day-to-day business. 

“Short Message Service,” or SMS, is a popular mobile texting protocol. SMS was originally designed for personal usage, but businesses now utilise it to engage with customers. SMS is instant and opens at a rate of 98%, making it more immediate and engaging than email.

Businesses can communicate with clients directly and politely using SMS. It’s affordable and quick to send sale confirmations, appointment reminders, promotional offers, and customer service updates. Emails can get lost in junk mail, whereas text messages are usually viewed and answered immediately.

We will review some of the best SMS apps, including Podium comprehensive business solutions, and discuss the pros and cons of SMS messaging for business. The greatest strategies to use SMS marketing to help your business succeed and engage clients will also be discussed. Whether you manage a small business or a large corporation, understanding SMS messaging can give you an edge in today’s fast-paced technological world.  

What is SMS messaging?

Many people will be familiar with SMS, or “Short Message Service,” which lets phones send and receive brief text messages. Each 160-character SMS is brief and to the point. SMS was originally developed for personal usage, but businesses today use them to instantly and effectively communicate with customers.  

Basic functionality of SMS

SMS lets you send and receive text messages without internet. SMS is popular because it uses cell phone networks to convey messages fast. Businesses utilise SMS for marketing, customer service, and practical notifications. Business SMS messaging is now generally accepted as a follow up method of communication (rather than the initial point of contact).

Differences between SMS and other communication methods 

SMS is better than email and instant messaging for many reasons:
 

  • High open rates. 98% of SMS texts are opened, compared to roughly 5% to 30% for emails (best case). 
  • Speed and availability. SMS messages are useful for meeting reminders, flash deals, and news because many people receive them immediately. 
  • Direct and personal. SMS goes directly to the recipient’s message folder, making it personal. This allows them to respond faster than emails or social media. 

Importance of SMS in modern communication.

People receive so much information today. SMS’s simplicity and efficiency sets it apart. It helps reach customers who don’t respond well to other digital methods.  

  • Wide reach. SMS can reach many individuals because most cell phones can receive it.  
  • High engagement. SMS’s have great engagement rates since they are short and easy to understand and act on.  
  • Versatility. SMS can be utilised for consumer surveys, marketing, transaction reports (reducing paper waste), and support notifications.  

A business can increase client interactions, service, and success by understanding what is SMS messaging and what benefits it has. We’ll discuss those benefits and how to best use SMS in communication in the next section.  

Male customer service representative at computer using SMS app with smile

Benefits of SMS for business

After understanding what is SMS messaging, it’s important to understand the commercial benefits SMS has. Some of the most important benefits are:

High open rates

SMS communications are opened 98% of the time, according to research. Marketing email typically get less than 20% in comparison. Almost all of business text messages are read by the recipient, ensuring your message reaches the correct individuals.

Immediate communication

Sending an SMS is simple, and most people read them within minutes. SMS is ideal for meeting reminders, flash sales, and news. Since SMS is instant, news is transmitted quickly and efficiently.

Enhanced customer engagement

Business text messages are interesting because they are short and easy to read and respond to. SMS allows businesses to deliver tailored offers, poll customers, and provide real-time help. Direct communication strengthens customer relationships and keeps them coming back. Win-win for customers and business!

Cost-effective

Small and medium-sized businesses save money with SMS marketing. It costs less than many competing marketing platforms but pays out with excellent open and response rates. Many SMS service providers offer customisable pricing for organisations of different sizes and budgets.

Flexibility

SMS can be utilised for several business tasks, including but not limited to

  • Marketing campaigns. Promote products, promotions, and prices to increase sales.  
  • Reminders and notifications. To update customers, send delivery notifications, payment due warnings, payment links, and appointment notes.  
  • Customer service. Customer support can be provided by text message to quickly answer queries and resolve issues.  
  • Feedback and surveys. Formal and informal comments and surveys can reveal what customers like and dislike about your business and how satisfied they truly are.

Reliability and reach

SMS allows everyone to communicate. SMS texts travel right to the recipient’s phone, unlike emails, which can end up in spam bins. This makes SMS a secure means to send messages. SMS doesn’t require internet connectivity and can therefore reach more individuals, especially those without regular internet access.

Increased conversion rates

SMS converts more than other marketing platforms because they are immediate and personal. Reading something immediately makes people act. SMS is better at getting users to click on deal links or make appointments. This is one of the most valuable points when it comes to SMS marketing.

SMS messaging helps organisations engage customers and enhance results. In the next part, we’ll examine the best SMS applications for businesses, including their features, pricing, and usage.

Customer on phone with apps spinning in air including SMS messaging

 

Top SMS Apps for Businesses

Choosing the appropriate SMS app can simplify company communication. Here are the greatest SMS marketing and communication apps, each having tools for varied business needs:

Podium

Podium, an all-in-one platform, improves client interactions and simplifies conversation across SMS, Facebook Messenger, and website chat.
Podium makes texting consumers easy for managing reviews, collecting payments, and linking to schedule tools like Calendly. It also has AI features and is constantly growing as a comprehensive business solution.
Monthly rates start at $249.
Best for businesses seeking an all-in-one customer engagement solution. 

 

Podium Logo

 

SimpleTexting

SimpleTexting is easy to use and economical, making it a suitable alternative for organisations who want to integrate bulk SMS to their email and CRM systems.
Group messaging, contact management, autoresponders, scheduled SMS, and statistics are included. SMS promotion tools include short codes and keywords.
A 500-text plan with local number costs $39 per month.
Best for sole traders or small businesses looking for a basic and affordable SMS solution.

TextMagic

TextMagic makes sending text messages fast and straightforward, making it ideal for businesses that need to start up quickly and integrate several apps.
It supports over 5,000 apps, schedules messages, manages contacts, provides thorough data, and is mobile-friendly.
Pricing: Paid per letter, with a 30-day free trial recommended.
Best for businesses who want a simple but powerful SMS marketing tool.

EZ Texting

EZ Texting offers sophisticated SMS marketing solutions to keep clients engaged and programmes operating successfully.
It supports bulk SMS and MMS, text votes, free two-way texting, and third-party marketing tools.
Monthly rates start at $20 for up to 500 contacts but can go up to $3000/month for enterprises needing 50,000+ contacts.
Best of companies needing complete text marketing tools and connecting capabilities.

Sakari

Sakari is useful for exchanging messages, voice calling, and producing text files. Its features may also be adapted to a developing business.
SMS, MMS, marketing campaign tools, text message themes, and bulk texting are available.
A 500-text plan costs $25 USD per month.
This is ideal for business doing a lot of outbound marketing, voice calls, and alert texting. 

JustCall

JustCall is designed for sales and customer service teams. It can send SMS and MMS and has numerous call centre functionalities.
Features include local/toll-free phone lines, customisable IVR, SMS marketing campaigns, autoresponders, and connectivity to over 100 CRM systems. Monthly user fees start at $19.
Best for Sales and support teams that need a complete contact solution that integrates with their CRM systems.

Choose the best SMS app for your business to increase customer communication, involve them, and simplify other tasks. These tools have varied features and price plans, so you should select the right one for your organisation. Most of them have free trial period to be able to test out the software. Next, we’ll discuss how to maximise SMS marketing production and communication benefits.  

10 stack of blocks assembled into pyramid with key business-related symbols on each

Best Practices for Implementing SMS Messaging

It’s important to plan and follow through to successfully implement SMS for business. First you must understand what is SMS messaging and key features that make it positive. Tips for a good connection and optimal SMS communication include, but are not limited to:

Assess business needs

Before setting up an SMS app for your organisation, consider its goals. Want to improve customer service, boost sales with discounts, get paid, or send timely alerts and notes? Knowing your goals can help you choose the best SMS app for your business.

Choose the right platform

Choose a business SMS app. Consider its usability, integration with email and CRM, scalability, and pricing. Find systems with customer service, automation, scheduling, and analytics. To choose wisely, check out the information in the last section, read reviews, and try things out.

Integrate with existing systems

Choose an SMS app that works with your other apps. This could be a CRM, email marketing, or other communication tool. Integration helps ensure a uniform customer experience across all communication platforms. Team members will also find this much easier to work with.

Personalisation and automation

Personalisation and automation can engage customers. Personal communications with customer names and relevant information generate greater responses. Automating appointment reminders, follow-ups, and sales offers enables you to send them on time. Send personalised texts at the best times using customer data for the best results.

Monitoring and optimisation

Monitor your SMS marketing often. Opens, answers, clicks, and sales matter. Learn about your consumers and their preferences with your SMS app’s analytics capabilities. Change the information, timing, and method you send to see the impact on outcomes.

Gathering and using feedback

Send SMS surveys or follow-up messages to customers to learn what they like and dislike about your products, services, and communication. Use this information to improve operations and show individuals how much you care about their opinions to strengthen trust and confidence. 

Compliance and best practices

Make sure customers consent before sending promotional SMS. Customers should be able to easily unsubscribe with explicit “opt-out” options. Following current regulations can help you maintain trust and avoid legal issues.

Training and support

SMS app training should be provided to relevant staff. They should know how to use the platform’s capabilities, send messages, and interact with customers. SMS app training can maximise its use and ensure proper operation.

If businesses follow these best practices, SMS can improve customer engagement, service, and outcomes. After looking at all the essential points, it seems natural to now include SMS messaging in a business marketing strategy.

Summary

Today’s digital world moves quicker than ever. SMS for business is an excellent tool for communication. It’s a fast and effective approach to contact someone because many people read instant messages. SMS is an inexpensive and versatile approach to increase customer connections and boost revenue, whether for marketing, customer support, or operational notifications.

Top SMS apps like Podium, EZ Texting, and JustCall help businesses enhance customer service, gather feedback, and communicate faster. Each platform includes capabilities tailored to different business need, making it easier for them to choose the correct one for their specific requirements. However, they all allow SMS marketing.

Business SMS works best when staff understand what is SMS messaging and why they need it, choose the right platform, integrate it with other systems, customise messages, and monitor and improve campaigns. To maintain consumer trust and provide a fantastic experience, seek feedback and always follow the legal guidelines.

SMS marketing trends change frequently, so businesses must adapt to stay competitive and satisfy consumer expectations. Making SMS texting a key aspect of your communication plan can help you outperform your competitors and thrive. Most importantly, it helps improve customer experiences with your business.  

ICE standing for Improved Customer Experience written in chalk on blackboard

Action

We invite you to describe how SMS texting improved your business. Which tools work for you? How has SMS contact altered your business and customer interactions? Please share your ideas with other company owners and employees.

Embrace the power of SMS messaging and watch your business thrive through improved customer engagement and communication.  SMS marketing is good for business if it is done the right way.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us or the friendly team at Podium to learn more.