SMS for Business

young Black woman sitting on sofa checking an SMS message on her cell phone

SMS is the most used data service in the world. Around 4.2 billion people use mobile phones to text, and over 8 trillion text messages are sent annually. This makes it a great tool for companies to connect with their customers quickly and easily.

How effective is SMS? According to Semaphore, the open rate of SMS messages is 98% and the response rate is 45%. Compare that to the average email open rate for businesses of about 22%. And, since SMS messages are received and read almost instantly, they tend to have higher click-through and engagement rates than email communications.

Still, there are rules for customer interactions through SMS. Blasting out mass offers indiscriminately is ineffective and moves messaging into an “email spam” category. Instead, SMS communications should be highly targeted and informed by customer preferences, purchase history and other factors.

SMS Business Communications Best Practices

Text messaging looks casual, but it needs to be handled with the same thoughtfulness given to other customer communication. Here are some best practices:

  • First, provide value. Like any other communication, SMS needs to provide value to your customer and improve their relationship with your organization. Examples of these are messages like abandoned cart reminders, order statuses, special offers and appointment reminders.
  • Keep it short and relevant. Text messages shouldn’t be too long. Limit messaging to critical details and targeted offers or information.
  • Make it personal. Personalization is just as important for SMS as it is for any other type of communications. Each message and interaction should be personalized based on customer data to improve the customer experience.

Legal Considerations for SMS Business Communications

Electronic communications, including SMS, are regulated through federal and state laws. Some important legal considerations to bear in mind when communicating by SMS include:
  • First, provide value. Like any other communication, SMS needs to provide value to your customer and improve their relationship with your organization. Examples of these are messages like abandoned cart reminders, order statuses, special offers and appointment reminders.
  • Keep it short and relevant. Text messages shouldn’t be too long. Limit messaging to critical details and targeted offers or information.
  • Make it personal. Personalization is just as important for SMS as it is for any other type of communications. Each message and interaction should be personalized based on customer data to improve the customer experience.

If you’re concerned about compliance requiring you to send too much information in your text, you can provide links to important legal information like terms and conditions or privacy policy. If you use abbreviations, make sure they are clear and easily understood by the readers.

Get Started with SMS Communications

Adding SMS as a customer communication channel offers many unique benefits for organizations, but it can be challenging, especially when it comes to compliancy issues. As a hosted provider of customer communications technology, DataOceans understands the benefits of, and best practices for, deploying an SMS strategy. Our technology empowers business users to expand their communications offerings to include SMS while also ensuring compliance with federal and state regulations. Contact us today to learn more.