The ability to send your prospects and customers text messages is now part of many CRM’s. The CRM companies who don’t offer this feature, will usually have an integration with a business texting service.
But just because you CAN send text messages out of your CRM, SHOULD you?
First I should point out that my product, AllClients, DOES offer text messaging as an add-on feature.
Texting vs Email
The companies selling texting services loudly claim that text messages get a much higher open rate than emails. This is a true statement. However, there is more here than meets the eye.
When you get an email it is not disruptive and you can open and read it on your own terms. You may read that email in an hour, or tonight or tomorrow – but you are in control.
Text messages are different. When you get a text, you might be at work, at the gym or maybe driving. But since most of your texts are from close friends and family, you will probably look at that text right now.
So, yes, text messages do have a much higher open rate than emails. But do you want to be THAT company who invades people’s personal time and space?
Marketing Text Messages
Whether we’re talking about selling something to your current customers or to your prospective customers, using texts for marketing and selling needs to be handled carefully.
Think about your own mobile device and how personal it is to you. If you look at your past several text messages, you will probably find that most, if not all, are from friends and family. How do YOU feel when you get a text, you drop everything to look at it, and it turns out to be someone trying to sell you something?
Email is a better option here, because you can still reach your target audience, but you let them read your messages when it’s convenient for them.
Yesterday, I had an appointment at the DMV. The DMV sent me a text the day before, and a couple texts in the morning reminding me of the appointment and giving me a status on the wait times. I welcomed those texts and found them acceptable and valuable.
Text messages from your doctors office, your bank, or from the pharmacy telling you your prescription is ready are all appropriate business text messages in my opinion.
What I don’t like… is getting a text message from a business that starts with:
When I get those, I reply with “Stop” and “No” in hopes they will honor my request to be taken off of their texting list.
Using text messages in your business can be a tricky balancing act. Not all marketing texts are bad, and not all notification texts are good. If done with a little forethought, texts can be beneficial to your business and not irritating to your customer.
My best advice is to think about text messages for businesses in terms of what type of texts you would welcome. If you think this way, you should be OK.
Oh and I think this goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyways: In any case, if you use text messages to communicate with your customers, make sure you get prior permission before you send your first text out.