Tips & Tricks to Successful Business Messaging
We’re living in a mobile-first world. Be it interacting with one another, brands with their customers, or the world around us, mobile devices have become our go-to gadget, and texting our go-to communication medium.
Did you know:
82% of people keep notifications turned on for SMS messages
95% of texts are read within 3 minutes of being sent
The average response time for a text message is 60X faster than that of an email
Yet businesses still find it difficult to implement texting or as the lingo goes, SMS marketing into their operations.
It is simple and effective.
Business texting is effective
We’re here to guide you on how you can implement texting in your business and we will begin from the top. Here’s everything you might want to know about texting. If you think something is amiss, feel free to reach out to us.
What Is Sms?
Short Messaging System. SMS or text or text message, call it whatever you wish, SMS is a piece of electronic data with a size limit of 160 English characters. Made for language, you can include any character you find in a standard keyboard.
The first-ever SMS message “Merry Christmas” was sent over the Vodafone GSM network in the United Kingdom on 3 December 1992, from Neil Papworth of Sema Group using a personal computer to Richard Jarvis of Vodafone using an Orbitel 901 handset.
Why Is An Sms Of 160 Characters?
Friedhelm Hillebrand was concocting SMS, 160 characters are what he subjectively deemed to be the optimum combination. A data file small enough to send electronically, yet large enough to say what needed to be said. Also, we didn’t have today’s great internet speeds and data processing power.
Transactional & Promotional Sms
SMS are broadly divided into two types – Transactional & Promotional
Transactional SMS: Can only be used for sending notifications and alerts to your registered users at any time of the day and even on DND numbers. These messages are relevant to customers and are expected by them as they contain text which communicates details about a transaction, service, product, offer, which has been solicited by a user or customer.
Example of a Transactional SMS – “Your order no. 5789 is out for delivery. You will receive the order before 6 PM.”
Below are the transactional message type allowed by TRAI
Information about the account of its customer is sent to the customer by a financial institution.
Information given by Airlines or Indian Railways or its authorized agencies to its passengers regarding travel.
Information from a registered educational institution to its students or their parents or guardians.
Any message transmitted by or on the directions of the Central Government or State Government, TRAI, or any agency authorized by TRAI, or on the directions of bodies established under the Constitution.
Information sent by a registered company to its employees or agents or its customers about services or goods.
Information sent by e-commerce agencies in response to E commerce transactions made by their customers.
Promotional SMS: Generally used for sending any offers or promotions to new and existing customers. Messages are sent to non-DND numbers and opt-in numbers between 9 AM and 9 PM only. It contains text which communicates about products, services, offers.
Example of a Promotional SMS – “We are running a special offer today for our select customers with a special discount. Hurry up!”
Shortcode & Long Code
The regulations around short code SMS and long code SMS are similar, it’s the functionality and usage of it that differs. Which one suits your approach depends on what you’re trying to accomplish.
Shortcode SMS refers to a 5 or 6-digit number, like 555-55, which can be used for automated SMS campaigns, mass messaging, and verifications. Companies usually share a short code number for which they pay a monthly fee for using keywords.
So if you text ‘DEALS’ to 555-55, you’ll be entered into one list for campaigns, and another company could use the same number with a different keyword, like ‘DANCE’ to enter you into a different list for campaigns.
As shortcode is designed for mass alert, anywhere from 10-40+ messages can be sent out every second.
Long code or Virtual Number is a 10 digit mobile number to which your clients or members can send an SMS starting with a keyword. They are designed for conversations. Long code SMS numbers are individually owned or dedicated, so consumers and businesses can have conversations with each other as needed.
Long code messaging effectively functions the same way as people texting each other from their cell phones allowing one message to go out every few seconds.
Consent Is Necessary
Whatever you choose, to text you have to get consent from each person. Whenever you text multiple people, the recipients have to be told they can opt-out of future messages. You can send individual messages without an opt-out link, but any message involving a list must include the option to opt-out.
Consent can be of two types –
Expressed consent: Whenever you have a record of someone stating that you can send them texts. E.g. Text ‘DEALS’ to 555-55 to receive updates and special offers. When a person texts in ‘DEALS’ to 555-55, you now have expressed consent to text them.
Implied consent: If someone willingly gives you their contact you have implied consent to contact them.
Why Use Sms For Business?
People prefer texting over a phone call, email, instant messaging, and even face-to-face communication. This means consumers are actively choosing to text. But messaging is not limited to personal communication. Customers want to communicate with businesses using messaging as it is quick and easy to text back. Also, it’s reassuring to receive a notification via an SMS as phone calls take too long and emails go unread.
When it comes to communication convenience, there is usually nothing better than a mobile message. But most businesses continue to reach people over the phone and email when consumers want to communicate via text messages.