Mobile Messaging is Scary Effective in 2019

Not only do 98% of mobile messages get read – 90% of them get read within 3 seconds of being sent.

It also provides customers with a personal feel to their communication with your business. In one study, 53% of respondents said they are more likely to shop with a business who they can message with directly.

Besides your phone’s typical text messaging app, there are many different apps and services your customers could be using to communicate through texts, voice calls, photos, and other media.

The messaging platforms your customers use often depend on the countries they live in, the types of phones they have, and more. Find the platforms that are most popular with your audience and make sure you’re on them.

Of course, you don’t have to choose just one messenger service. Keep track of new platforms as they appear, and consider adopting them as they gain popularity with your target audience.

Once you’ve chosen your platforms, make sure you have the tools you need to make your mobile communication as efficient and useful as possible.

You might want to get a phone number and phone dedicated to your business, as opposed to just using your personal number and device. This will help you keep things organized in both your business and your personal life.

If you’re looking to really thrive, though, consider looking to a desktop or third-party client that will allow you to better organize your messaging.

A third party client is a tool separate from the messenger service itself that lets you monitor chats, track messages awaiting a reply, create user groups to message in bulk based on interest or need, and see who’s read your messages (affiliate marketing here) ha!

Some messenger services also offer specialized “Business” versions of their apps or services with expanded tools that let you monitor, track, and analyze your messaging without even leaving the platform.

But how do you build a subscriber list? For people to message you, whether it’s for direct customer service, to buy products or services from you, or to get updates about your products or services, they need to know how to contact you.

Make sure your marketing CTAs (calls to action) mention how to contact you, such as a social media handle or phone number. Include contact info in emails, social posts, business cards, outdoor ads, and storefront visuals.

Don’t just drop your handle or number and go. Explain why messaging you is of value to your customers – will they be first to know about product updates, be able to submit orders, receive instant customer service, or something else?
Make sure you let customers know what they need to do to correspond with you – for some services, to be able to broadcast a message to a customer, you need to be in their contacts on their phone and they need to be in yours, too.

Once you’ve set up your messaging, you can start planning out what you’ll actually text to your subscribers and when.

Consider creating templates or automated messages that can quickly provide the basic information or answer frequently asked questions. For example, be prepared to send customers your location, hours, or a link to your products or menu.

You should also have photos and other important information ready to include in responses. Depending on your business, this could be photos of your hotel rooms, lists of allergens in your food dishes, or pictures of the custom guns you sell.

Decide your strategy for messaging – will your messages spread the word about what products you have? Can people place orders through your messages? Are you simply looking to send customers useful information?

Set a calendar of when you’ll send out which messages, and to which group of customers. Be consistent so that you build a relationship with them, but not so frequent that you’re annoying.

It helps to get organized. Think about different demographics to segment your customers into in order to send them messages that they’ll be the most interested in and not irrelevant messages that are only going to bother them.

For example, if you run a shoe store, you might have one list of customers that you send info about high heels and a separate list that you send info on running shoes. Repeat this mantra: right customer, right message, right time.

Next, you’ll want to test out your messages. Make sure to keep them brief, direct, and in your brand’s voice.

Ask yourself, is your brand a friend? A trusted advisor? If it’s a friend, is it a funny friend, or a no-nonsense friend who knows the real deal? Is your messenger service only there to answer customer questions? To receive orders?

Most messages are read quickly, so they’re ideal for delivering timely information. For example, an ice cream shop could say they’re launching a new flavor that day, or a hat store could announce that beanies are back in stock.

See what does and doesn’t work. Do certain messages to certain groups elicit more of a response or lead to more sales? A delicious-looking photo of today’s brunch special may perform better than a daily PDF of your menu.

Make necessary adjustments so people in your audience are only receiving the messages that they’re most likely to respond to, whether that means they’re engaging with you or with your products.

It’s also good to test how many messages you can send before you see a drop off in replies and engagement. Maybe your audience likes receiving messages every week, or maybe that will annoy them. Test to find out.

Once you start messaging customers, be sure to monitor your messages constantly to respond to them quickly and provide excellent customer service.

If you don’t respond to people’s messages, you’re missing the whole point of mobile communication, and worse, damaging your business’ reputation.

Remember that there are business tools that can help you handle an influx of messages as your business — and the amount of customers you are messaging — grows.

You might also consider if answering messages should be a dedicated part of your job or one of your employee’s jobs, or if you should hire an employee whose entire job is running your mobile messaging.

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