The top Admissions teams swear by the magic of SMS marketing.
But leads are harder and harder to get on the phone …is it still as effective for students? And what’s your texting strategy?
In this LeadSquared webinar, Jenn Lyles & Sarah Holmes – your favorite enrollment consultants will:
- Show you the how the best teams are using SMS texting.
- Discuss things your Admission reps should never say in an SMS.
- And teach your teams how to create a super successful texting strategy.
If you need the presentation used in this webinar, please click here.
The takeaways from the SMS marketing webinar
Of course, cross-channel communication provides users with a seamless experience. But it also keeps customers coming back for more. Businesses offering cross-channel communication have seen higher customer retention over the years. However, it has been both a blessing and a burden for some companies.
Today, businesses have more ways to interact with their customers. However, channels like SMS marketing or texting require companies to monitor, respond and engage consistently with their customers. If not done efficiently, it can impact the business image.
Let us discuss the dos and don’ts of texting. But before, let us briefly understand the goal of business texting.
The Goal Is Tours and Enrollments, Not a Phone Call
First and foremost, it is crucial to understand that the goal of texting is tours and enrollments. Not a phone call. 84% of the consumers will not answer a phone call from an unknown number. Even though they just left their phone number on your website requesting information, consumers will not answer a phone call from an unknown number.
It is the most common mistake that sales and support representatives make. And when the consumer does not answer the call, they make another mistake. They leave them a text message saying, “When do you have time to jump on the phone”?
Again, the goal is not to get the lead on the phone. It is to enroll the students in your school and college. It means that if they want to enroll, let them enroll. If they ignore your phone calls and answer the text, do not ask them to get on a phone call. Instead, interact with them through texting and get them to enroll.
Facts about Texting (SMS Marketing)
1. 85% of consumers want to send and receive a text from businesses
More than 85% of the consumers want to send and receive a text from businesses. It is a fact. However, it is also a fact that sales reps feel more comfortable on the phone. It is how they are trained. They know how to talk and build rapport with the customers. They feel like they have better control over the phone. Therefore, rather than communicating through text, they are pushing consumers to get on the phone.
However, it is crucial to understand that you can also build rapport through texting. By asking the right questions, sales reps can convert leads into potential customers. Moreover, texting is ingrained in our daily life. We text our family, friends, and business colleagues daily. Thus, making texting a better choice than phone conversations.
Of course, call your leads. But if they do not receive the call, do not force them to get on the phone call through texting. Instead, use messaging to build a rapport with consumers.
2. 76% of consumers receive texts from a business
76% of consumers receive texts from companies. However, only 39% of businesses are actively texting their consumers. That is a relatively small number knowing that 90% of the text messages are read within three minutes. When it comes to the education industry, the number increases to 46%, most of which is for appointment confirmation.
That is why businesses can use more text messages to confirm appointments with their consumers. Thus, allowing sales reps to build a better rapport with their consumers and leads.
SMS Marketing: The Dos and Don’ts of Texting
1. Ask open-ended questions
To keep consumers talking, ask them open-ended questions. This is something great about text messages. You are always in control of the conversation as it allows you to manage the conversation.
But ensure that you do not ask yes and no questions. It will not keep the consumers talking about their preferences and buying behavior. Moreover, never ask them if they are still interested in your school or college. In general, it is the worst text message that any sales rep can send to their existing and potential customers. It is because if the customer’s reply is no – that is it. You have to take them off your calling list; No more email, no more texting. The potential customer is lost forever.
2. Avoid passive-aggressive text
As a sales rep, it is crucial to avoid passive-aggressive texting while communicating with potential consumers. There could come an instance when the consumer has scheduled a phone call but did not answer. In such situations, do not call them out or blame them for not answering the call.
Instead, send them a text asking what would be a good time to reschedule the call. Ask the customer to give a preferable time. This way, you still have a chance to close out the potential lead.
3. Answer everything
Another crucial factor to consider while texting your customers is to ensure you answer every question. There is nothing off-limits. Any question that a customer might have, you must answer it to the best of your knowledge.
Doing so will help the business and sales rep to build a rapport with the customer. Moreover, you will also get to know more about their customers. Thus, creating a better chance of turning a potential lead into an actual customer.
4. Be careful with automated chats
It is a fact that 74% of the consumers prefer to chat with a real person. Of course, handling large volumes of texting is not always possible for businesses. Therefore, more often than not, companies make use of chatbots.
While there is nothing wrong with using chatbots, it is crucial to ensure that companies use them correctly. Chat bots contain pre-loaded answers to consumer questions. Therefore, it is imperative to ensure that these chatbots answer questions in the most precise manner. Otherwise, it can do more harm than good. You can also risk losing trust if the chatbot provides them with the wrong information. Therefore, ensure that you configure chatbots accurately to answer questions with correct information.
5. Use same phone number for texting and calling
Sales reps often call potential customers and lead to get them to buy the product or service. However, more often than not, customers do not answer the call from an unknown number.
Having said that, 58% of the customers try to text back a missed call. Therefore, if your calling and texting numbers are not the same, you will never get to know their text message. Thus, have the same calling and texting number to know that the customer is still interested in your product or service.
6. Save text conversations in the CRM
Save your last conversation with the customer in the CRM.
It is because when a new sales rep has to talk to a customer, they must know the previous interaction with the customer.
Saving conversations in the CRM also provides references for following up with the leads. Moreover, managers can also use saved conversations to evaluate the performance of sales reps.
7. Offer two appointment options
Another important thing to do while texting your customer is to offer them two appointment options. This way, you will have a better chance of booking an appointment with your potential leads. If you give a single option, you might not get the appointment. Thus, leading to a loss of a future customer.
8. Build rapport over text
Of course, when conversing with customers on call, you get a better chance at matching their enthusiasm. Thus, allowing you to build a rapport with them.
However, you can do the same thing over text as well. For instance, when conversing with customers through texting, you can use emojis to show your enthusiasm in helping them with their queries. This way, you have a better chance to build rapport over text.
9. Do not multi-message text back to back
Do not multi-message text back to back to your leads.
E.g., sending your name in the first message and then sending another text message with other information is not the right way.
Any information that you want to send to your customers – send it entirely in one text message. And then wait for them to reply. Even if you have to ask them specific questions, ask them in one single message. Sending multi-messages can irritate the customer and might even turn them off.
Texting is a powerful tool for converting potential leads into actual customers. However, several things can go wrong with SMS marketing. Therefore, keep these dos and don’ts in mind to achieve the best possible result for your business.
And yes, do not forget to check out LeadSquared CRM that integrates with all your communication channels, tracks interactions, and makes the enrollment process easy!