In the last 10 years, text messaging has changed the way we receive our news, connect with our colleagues, and stay in touch with the people we care about. In 2017, social media was officially overtaken as the most popular online pastime in the world. Almost every messaging channel opened its doors to companies, while companies incorporated modern messaging experiences into their own applications and websites. These make it easy for any company to send text messages to its target audience, be it to specific niches or mass messages for large-scale campaigns at specific times.
They can help you to deliver personalized text messages to the customer directly, offer new products or services, provide information, confirmation and even encourage the user to respond to a two way contact message. Text messaging is simply as critical as ever for 2019, as users are bombarded by a multitude of digital media. Businesses must utilize the simplicity and efficiency of text messaging to communicate, target niche audiences directly with their clients and to establish a positive relationship with their customers.
Text Messaging Usage and Demographics
Text is the smartphone’s single most common feature. The most popular way to communicate in 2018 was by text (35%) among 13 to 17 year olds in the United States, followed by in-person chatting (32%), social media (16%), and video chatting (10%). 59% of adults in the US state that they have taken cell phones and that they have been dreaming about transactions they plan to make or email while in the shop. With more people texting daily, companies leverage text messaging to engage with their customers, but many have not jumped into using text messaging.
61% of businesses still do not use text messaging despite the SMS boom. These are missed messages from potential customers for companies that are not texting-enabled. More than 50% of the customers attempted to answer via text to a missed call. Further, 75 percent of consumers are frustrated because of limitations with text tools like short code texting if they cannot reply to a corporate text message.
This is rapidly changing as companies are using text messaging increasingly as a tool for communication. Today, 39% of companies use certain types of text to communicate. Certain industries such as real estate (73%), agriculture / veterinary (65%) and entertainment / leisure (63%) are developing the use of SMS. 77% of customers will have a positive perception a company when they send text messages. Sending customer reminders via texts, reduced missed appointments by 26%. When products were shipped, up to 80 per cent of consumers preferred to follow orders via text.
Text messaging is the way to go for the future, and this is further enhanced by more upcoming developments in the text messaging landscape that will change the way customers interact with their favorite brands and companies.
The Upcoming Developments in Text Messaging
One Messaging Platform for All
Facebook plans to merge Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram’s backend will create an innovative ecosystem of almost four trillion users. How Facebook will reassure customers and regulators of privacy would rely upon progress as it becomes a first-time business networking network from a social media company. WhatsApp is popular now, but Instagram’s (unconfirmed) enterprise solution can take messaging to the next level of conversational business.
The Next Fight for Customers
Now that big players have opened their chat apps to enterprises, the next fight is over attracting customers. Google has the advantage of building on top of the best search engine and maps app in the world, the upcoming business messaging platform. The killer feature of Apple Business Chat is Chat Suggest, which encourages iPhone users to try and call businesses instead of communicating with them. Facebook is equipped with a very powerful advertising platform. Companies are finally prepared to communicate to customers. The time has come to send the message to customers.
Pay By Text
Payments in chat could be the key to unlocking talks on a scale in the west. Apple Business Chat has built-in Apple Pay. Facebook has several projects in work with WhatsApp Pay, Facebook Pay and Libra its controversial planned cryptocurrency. Kakao, LINE and Telegram have their own crypto coins in development. The ability to buy is a crucial part in the customer journey and will be much easier.
The Shift to RCS
The first step is to connect to the channels already used by customers and then use them as much as possible. Some of our favorite things are type indicators, read receipts, and quick answers. Nevertheless, too many businesses still simply use ‘texting.’ The long struggle to replace SMS (Short Message Service) with RCS (Rich Communication Services) as a new text message standard is part of a major shift towards interactive business messaging. Soon, in the conversation, everything will happen.
There has been too much chatter to replace chatbots with people when they’re useful. Chatbots have been widely popular among websites for ecommerce or for further assistance. The year 2019 saw the use of chatbots for everything from surgical care, sexual health awareness for teenagers, the war against hunger, migrants trying to settle down, and people with mental health issues. We will see more examples of customer conversations tripled by customers and then intelligently transferred to live agents. AI can change, but a human touch is still important in certain conditions. deploy bots around marketing, sales and support, and this is achieved in a distinctly humane manner.
Chat with Real Brands
While most of the headlines are about bright new business messaging platforms, conversational activities are also taking place within companies. Live chat is an important real-time channel that a growing number of banks, hotels and customer-centric brands developed through mobile applications and websites such as the Four Seasons Chat, based upon Sunshine Conversations. Check out more companies that allow users, if they choose, to transfer their communications from third-party applications to their secure channels.
Messaging is about the conversation, not the channel. Text messaging makes these conversations more accessible than before. When companies have access to the real words with data privacy and compliance in mind, they can use these customer insights to create better, more personalized experiences. “78% of businesses have a customer data platform or are developing it,” says Forbes. The dawn of the conversational data platform may be coming soon.
Marketers Know the Benefits
Messages are often seen as a support channel, but it is not important for consumers to know what department is behind the chats
Channels like Apple Business Chat, WhatsApp and RCS enable companies to build personalized business identities, allowing consumers to trust who they chat with online. This means the marketing and sales teams need to connect to each other and across the company, since they are the first points of contact on the customer journey. Indeed, marketers need to learn how to add messaging to the mix while respecting anti-spam guidelines and consumers’ wishes.
The Future of Conservation Commerce
The future of conversation commerce is not only about a 1:1 interaction, but also about engaging people. Grubhub, Uber, Airbnb, and Amazon serve as connectors in an ecosystem of the buyers, sellers, couriers, drivers and service providers. Brands need to learn how to enhance their positions of gatekeepers and community builders as platforms support multi-party conversations.
What Will Happen Next in Text Messaging and Marketing
These are the projections that will further shape the text messaging landscape.
- In 2023, there will be 3.5 trillion business text messages up from approximately 2.5 trillion in 2019.
- By 2021, Rich Communication Services (RCS), driven by increased adoption, will be worth $75 billion. RCS will integrate text messages with other chat apps to create an all-in-one channel that will deliver messaging to the chat group chat, video, read receipts and other features. (Clicking)
- Chatbots will use AI technologies such as machine learning and programming to talk effectively with customers via text, replying instantly, sending reminders and answering FAQs.
Text messaging is regarded by marketers as a digital marketing Twitter – an ironic analog tool in the digital age. In fact, the SMS attribute makes it a convenient marketing tool for sending or receiving messages because text messaging does not rely on the Internet.
Not all mobile phones are Internet-based smartphones. This means an underestimated and underused resource in SMS for advertisers is open for a huge untapped audience.
The use of SMS for business is, however, resurgent. To make your campaigns more efficient, you can include text messaging in your marketing mix. If the promotional and marketing messaging has not been used by you, now is the time to do so.
The good thing about SMS is that you need not use this as an individual marketing tool. For example, it can be used to support your email marketing tools. Sales or marketing automation software from other companies can also be combined with text messaging
The Conversation Goes On
Industry insiders are enthusiastic about text messaging and their potential to provide more personal, practical and consistent experience to their customers. Many are eager about the future of conversation has not come quickly enough. Now it’s up to companies to turn these ideas and possibilities into reality.