What is Text Messaging?
Text messaging, known as texting, is the act of writing and sending electronic or online text messaging, typically consisting of alphabetic and numeric characters, between two or more users of mobile devices, desktop/laptop computers, or any form of compatible computer.
The Popularity of Text Message
Customers like to communicate via text message. It’s simple, quick, and convenient; nevertheless, in our personal lives, texting frequently leads to a phone conversation since we can’t express that last-minute detail through text. As a result, we take up the phone and dial. Texting provides the same cross-channel context for both customers and enterprises.
- Eighty-one percent of Americans text regularly.
- Text messaging is the most dominant form of communication among US teens.
- Americans text twice as much as they call, on average.
With so many texts being sent, it’s even more interesting to know that they have a 98 percent open rate. Not only that, 90 percent of texts are read within three minutes of being received. Forty-five percent of texts receive a response, and the average response time for a text is around 90 seconds. But aren’t most of the people sending texts from a younger generation? While the majority of texters are under 30, that doesn’t mean older age groups aren’t texting or using smartphones. Studies show that 70 percent of adults 50-plus own a smartphone Among those aged 50-69, text messaging has overtaken email as the communication tool most used to stay connected.
Benefits of Texting
Texting is a fast and simple way to connect and solve a problem since agents can often respond to customer texts faster than they can to live calls. Text messages have the highest opening rate of any medium of communication. As a result, text messaging can make it easier to reach out to customers. Provided below are the benefits of texting:
- Instant and Fast Delivery: Messages are delivered quickly to contacts 100 percent of the time.
- Reduced Competition: There is less competition because the average consumer has over 500 unread emails.
- Higher Open Rates: Texting has an open rate of up to 98 percent compared to 20 percent for email.
- Better Engagement: Texts have a 45 percent response rate compared to 6 percent for email.
- More Personal: Texting allows you to create personalized messages.
- Automated Messaging: Automation functions are available in business text messaging platforms.
- Scheduled Messages: You can plan and schedule ahead of time when you want to send texts.
- Texting can get you paid: Texting can help you get paid: text-to-pay allows you to collect payments by text message and send payment reminders to reduce accounts receivable.
- Scalability: With business text messaging services, you can centralize your marketing, sales, customer care, and payment collection.
- Cost-effective: Text messaging services are one of the least expensive types of automated and scalable commercial communication.
Types of Communication Channels
While extremely useful and cost-effective, SMS text messaging and live chat messaging aren’t the only types of communication channels that a business has in its back pocket. There are several others that your team should be using to grow internal productivity and improve outward-facing customer touchpoints. Here are some other types of communication channels at your disposal, to use at your discretion depending on the circumstances and results you desire.
- Face-to-Face: This is the richest communication channel because it allows for body language and facial expressions to be seen clearly in real-time.
- Video Conferencing: The next best thing to face-to-face, this effective form of communication allows you to interact with someone no matter where they’re located.
- Phone Calls: A less formal way to speak to someone, as talking on the phone can be done on a whim to get things done swiftly.
- Email: This can be either a formal or informal way to communicate and allows for flexibility on the part of both the sender and responder. It’s also a good way to have a more private conversation and document interaction.
- Online Message Platforms: These are used to lend a more professional tone to your informal communication. It’s secure, allows for more complexity, and can be used to share documents, pictures, and videos.
- Social Media: Communicating via social media gives businesses new opportunities for interacting with current and potential customers.
Business Text Messages vs Other Communication Channels
SMS marketing is a simple approach for any company to interact with its customers. You may quickly communicate with your target audience by sending out offers and chances. Even if businesses see the value of an SMS program, many are unsure what to do with it once it is launched.
SMS vs. Phone and Email
- Customer support calls can cost upwards of $12 per conversation. Texts cost pennies per conversation.
- SMS open rates are nearly four times that of email.
- The response rate of SMS text message marketing is 45 percent vs. email response rates at six percent.
- On average, it takes 90 seconds for someone to respond to a text and 90 minutes to respond to an email.
SMS open rates are nearly four times that of email.
Business texting stats by use case
While support is one of the more common departments businesses are starting to implement text messaging, it’s also significantly transforming how other departments work. Some other business texting use cases include sales, marketing, and operations.
Support texting stats
One of the most common use cases for business texting is for customer support teams. Because texting is quick, personable, and widely used, it makes for a convenient channel for customers to contact support teams.
- More than half of consumers prefer contacting customer support through text.
- Sixty percent of customers want to text businesses actively back about customer support issues.
- Texting is the highest-rated contact method for customer satisfaction than all other communication channels, including social media.
Sales texting stats
Business texting for sales has proven useful for increasing response rates and, most importantly, closing more deals. Take a look at how business texting helps sales teams perform their roles better.
- Ninety percent of leads prefer to be texted, compared to called.
- Sales prospects who are sent text messages convert 40 percent higher than those who aren’t sent text messages.
- Texting in the sales process with a qualified lead can increase conversions by over 100 percent.
- Ninety percent of leads prefer to be texted, compared to called.
Marketing texting stats
One of the main struggles for marketing is qualifying better leads and re-engaging old customers. Business texting makes qualifying leads easier, and its individualized nature makes it easier to reconnect with customers who have opted-in for SMS.
- SMS marketing campaigns perform seven times better than email marketing campaigns.
- Consumers redeem SMS-delivered coupons ten times more than other types of coupons.
- From 2015 to 2017 alone, SMS marketing grew 197 percent as a strategy in B2B efforts.
- CTR for links in text messages is much higher (9.18 percent) compared to other marketing channels such as Google Adwords (1.91 percent) and Facebook (0.90 percent).
- SMS marketing campaigns perform seven times better than email marketing campaigns.
Operations texting stats
No-shows are a massive pain for operations. According to research, appointment no-shows can cost small businesses over 21 percent of potential revenue that could have easily been retained with an appointment reminder via text.
- People prefer to text most for scheduling or changing appointments and making or confirming reservations.
- Fifty-five percent of the respondents to a Twilio survey said they would like to reply to reminder alerts to confirm, ask for details, reschedule, or cancel an appointment.
- Sending business appointment reminders to customers through SMS reduced missed appointments by 26 percent.
Texting stats based on industry
This section will break down the statistics of texting in some business verticals that have been early adopters to SMS-based communication. These companies are well-positioned to use business texting because they’re in contact with many potential customers, colleagues, or partners.
Healthcare industry texting stats
Health care providers and industries, ranging from hospitals to pharmacies to medical staffing agencies are among the top business texting users. One of their most common use cases is reducing the number of no-shows with text confirmations and reminders. No-shows cost the healthcare industry more than $150 billion per year.
- Forty-three percent of customers surveyed said they are more likely to opt into texts for healthcare industries.
- A survey found that 85 percent of hospitals and 83 percent of physician practices use secure texting between care teams, patients, and families.
- Ninety-six percent of hospitals are budgeting or are investing in comprehensive clinical texting platforms
Retail and e-commerce texting stats
Nowadays, most people are shopping on their cell phones, as 58 percent of Shopify orders come from mobile alone. That’s likely why e-commerce is one of the largest business texting industries. Forty-seven percent of marketers believe the industry uses SMS most effectively to handle customer support, abandoned carts, order confirmation, logistics, or decision-making in the sales process.
- Forty-six percent of customers surveyed said they are more likely to opt into texts for e-comm or retail businesses.
- Up to 80 percent of consumers preferred to track their orders via text when products were shipped.
Professional services texting stats
Professional services — like real estate, legal, or finance — need to respond to leads and need a tool to manage their influx of messages. And consumers are already accustomed to handling personal business matters from their phones. For example, adults 50-59 are also more likely to do banking activities on their phones, making texting an ideal place for professional services to stay in contact with their customers.
- Sixty-seven percent of smartphone users in the US like to receive service-based messages from their banks.
- Forty-one percent of customers surveyed say they are more likely to opt into texts for banking or financial services.
- Ninety-three percent of the National Association of Realtors members prefer to communicate with their clients through real estate text messages or telephone.
Managing Customer Interactions
With all the channels you and your customers can communicate through, juggling them all can be chaotic and costly. Fortunately, there’s an easy fix that makes every question, comment, or complaint easy and timely to address. All it takes is a technology that streamlines every interaction in one place. Managing customer interactions this way will ease your workload and give your customers the response time they deserve. Here’s what else you can do:
- Pull messages and interactions from multiple channels into one place.
- Give permissions for people to access conversations.
- Provide quick customer service even when out of the office or while on the go.
- Curate personalized recommendations.
- Provide reminders and tips.
- Send and receive documents and forms.
- Automate review invites and feedback requests.
- Auto responds when you can’t respond in person.
The Future of Business Texting
Now that we have a better understanding of how business texting currently operates, it’s time to look ahead. Here is what the data shows us about the future of texting. Hint: it’s only getting bigger from here.
- Twenty percent of marketing leaders plan on using SMS in their marketing strategies in the next 12 months.
- An estimated 3.5 trillion SMS business messages will be sent in 2023.
What Is Live Chat Software?
Live chat software converts click into consumers by conversing with them through a webchat window on a company’s website. This communication channel works extremely well because, once you have a captive audience on your website, all you have to do is engage, inform, and advise them, which frequently wins them over. Real-time communication is simple, effective, and preferable over delayed or interrupted talks. All you need is a personalized widget that conveys the appropriate message to your customers, that you’re here to help. The truth is that most customers prefer live chat to a phone call when they need assistance, and many already expect your website to provide that service–but do you?
What Is Conversational Commerce?
Conversational commerce is the use of digital communication between a business and its clients to drive sales. Such communication happens via text messaging, social media, and personal assistant devices (Amazon Echo, Apple HomePod, Google Home). It allows your customers to hand over the “research” phase of shopping to the experts. It also makes the checkout process much quicker and simpler. Because of these benefits, customer conversions and satisfaction ratings climb higher than ever. There are several ways conversational commerce can help drive sales, such as by:
- Offering recommendations to help customers make a decision.
- Simplifying the check-out process with an SMS payment solution.
- Allowing for personalized appointment bookings and reminders.
- Sending notices of limited-time promotions or targeted deals.
- Providing updates on product availability and shipment details.
What Are SMS Payments?
SMS payments (Short Message Service payments) allow customers to pay for something through a simple text, rather than by logging in and entering personal information and credit card/banking information every time they want to purchase something or pay a bill. SMS payments work by simply sending customers a short text with a link to a secure payment processing platform. The customer clicks on the link, views their invoice, and makes a payment. This streamlined process allows your business to do these seven things:
- Make the check-out process extremely fast and easy for customers (sometimes even with only one click) so you don’t lose them before they complete the process.
- Get paid for your products or services.
- Simplify recurring payments (subscription services, phone bills, etc.).
- Answer questions or address concerns regarding invoice issues.
- Collect past-due bills.
- Extend your SMS marketing services (last-minute deals, etc.).
- Thank your patrons for their business and payment.
The Bottom Line
There’s no denying it — business texting is a must-have for most industries if they want to succeed in their overall company goals. Whether they use it for customer support or to communicate logistics internally, texting can ease multiple pain points for businesses and ultimately make them more productive and profitable in the long run. Business text messaging (also known as SMS texting) allows a business to send and receive text messages from a business phone number to current and prospective customers.
This has become a popular option of communication for business owners, but why? It’s because business texting allows you to quickly correspond with customers, including by sending promotional deals and giving updates on orders and services. We’ll get into a lot more detail about business text messaging, covering information on these related topics:
- The many benefits of messaging via text for business.
- Some important facts about consumers and text messaging.
- The ease and convenience of live chat software (webchat).
- What conversational commerce is and how it can help drive sales.
- How SMS payments work and why they drive sales.
- Different types of communication channels.
- How to effectively manage customer interactions.
- Case studies of how text messaging works for real businesses.
- Where to get more information about business text messaging services.
Unfortunately, SMS texting has only been implemented by a small percentage of businesses across the country, due in part to the fact that many business owners simply aren’t aware of the option or its benefits. Some of the many benefits of text messaging are that:
- Your message gets read.
- Customers engage more.
- It improves customer service.
- Brand loyalty goes up.
- It improves confidence in your brand.
- It’s convenient for both staff and customers.
- Instances of appointment no-shows decrease.
- In-store visits soar.
- Sales rise.
- There’s an increase in successful payments.
Think about it. Fifty-four percent of consumers want to receive marketing text messages from businesses. It’s time for you to step up and give your customers what they want so that, in turn, they can help your business grow and thrive. The fact is, most people would much rather communicate via text message than on the phone or over email. For one, it’s a lot less intrusive. And two, it’s a much more effective way to engage. When it comes to consumers and text messaging:
- 75% find it helpful to receive appointment reminders via text.
- 72% are more likely to make a purchase when texting with a real employee.
- 69% would prefer for an unfamiliar company to contact them over text messaging, rather than over the phone.
- 63% would switch companies if they offered text messaging.
- 63% will also recommend their friends make the switch.
The problem is, only 39% of businesses message with customers. This isn’t because it’s difficult to set up SMS messaging, but because many business owners simply don’t think they have the bandwidth to manage a new communication channel, or that only millennial customers want to text. The truth is that it’s much easier than you think, and regardless of age, many of your customers would love to engage with your business via text. Most customers (including those over age 60) check a new message within five minutes of receiving one (at a nearly 100% read rate). Perhaps even more important is that 54% of all age groups are frustrated when they’re unable to use text to connect with a business.