As a small business owner, you have a lot of demands on your time. And while you love what you do, you may find that after assisting customers all day, interacting with vendors and suppliers and managing employees and their schedules, there isn’t much time left to do other things to grow your business. Perhaps you want to spend more time marketing your products or services, find better ways to manage your daily tasks, improve customer satisfaction or respond to incoming requests in less time so customers don’t give up, or worse, go to a competitor.
With a schedule like that, how do you ever get ahead? The last thing you want to do at the end of the day is reply to a mountain of emails or return phone calls when the other person probably won’t be available to talk when you are. But what choice do you have when they called you first? So, you return the call and leave a message and the merry-go-round of voicemails takes another spin around the playground. The good news is, you do have another option: business texting. But you may be wondering if it’s right for you.
Is texting the right call for your small business?
We’re pretty sure it is, but we invite you to see for yourself. Below are some functional ways small businesses can creatively leverage the power of texting to generate buzz and send more foot traffic through their front doors. And while there are universal uses for some texting features such as Scheduled Messages, Custom Signatures and Auto Reply texts that identify specific keywords customers use that trigger answers to questions such as your location and hours of operation, here are some additional ways text messaging can be used for sales and marketing to maintain top-of-mind awareness. These ideas can be applied across many different types of small businesses.
- Send group texts to announce new releases, best sellers and must-reads to generate interest and increase the number of shoppers during non-peak times
- Send promotional group texts for special offers, clearance sales, and “save the date” announcements for special in-store events to pique interest in your location
- Use your database of customer purchasing patterns to send texts announcing visits by authors, book signings and other noteworthy speaking engagements
- Send texts with a limited-time-offer code for special savings during slow periods
- Send group texts to fans of a specific genre or author to notify them when a new title arrives to create excitement and a sense of urgency due to limited supply
- Let parents know when the latest John Newbery Medal recipient book has arrived
- Send texts to ask customers to write reviews on Yelp and Google
- Send texts to staff members reminding them to set up specific table displays
- Send promotional group texts to announce seasonal treats and holiday items
- Let customers know when their “special order” bakery item is ready for pick-up
- Send a text with pictures of mouth-watering baked goods to whet your customers’ appetites and draw them to your front counter (caution: some may be drooling)
- Send a text to customers before their birthday inviting them to come in for a free cupcake on their special day (they’ll think of you the other 364 days, as well)
- Send a text asking customers to share what their favorite item is, bake the most popular one and text customers letting them know it’s for sale in your bakery
- Send an SOS text to your supplier stating that you need fifty more pounds of sugar by this Friday due to a new order that came in because of a text you recently sent
- Send a text coupon code for flash sales during slow times of the day to entice people to stop by for a guilty pleasure or to satisfy their sweet tooth
- Let your staff know you’re running a few minutes late and someone needs to take the muffins out of the oven!
- Text customers a few days before Valentine’s Day with a special offer on roses
- Send a text on February 15 letting customers know that a “Get out of the doghouse” bouquet is available for those who forgot about Valentine’s Day
- During prom season, let parents know that corsages and boutonnieres with a variety of ribbon colors that will match her dress are available at your shop
- Let customers know when their flower arrangement is ready for in-store pickup
- For deliveries, let customers know when their bouquet has been received at the desired location and include a picture of the bouquet in your text message
- For customers with payment information on file, let them know they can text in their order and the message they would like written on the accompanying card
- Send a text with a limited-time-offer code to boost sales during your slow season
- Send a photo of a one-of-a-kind bouquet and invite customers to text you back with the word “beautiful” for a chance to win it and surprise someone they love
- Send a text to your supplier asking if they have extra tulips available for a last-minute request from your most loyal customer
Use your existing landline phone number to send and receive texts
Imagine texting customers right from your computer with powerful, user-friendly software you and your team will love. Then imagine letting customers know they can text you using the same phone number they already use to call you. Zipwhip pioneered the technology that allows customers to text your business’ landline number, the one people probably already have saved in their smartphone’s contacts list. Simply add the words “Call or Text” next to that phone number on your marketing materials and discover how many customers are already eager to reach you by text. For more, find out why text messaging is a small business’ best kept secret.
Time is money, especially for businesses with smaller staffs. Texting allows you to assist more customers in less time. Not only does it increase customer engagement, two-way texting makes the message feel like a conversation rather than a less personal marketing message which is how emails can sometimes come across. Plus, fewer people are replying to emails these days because their inboxes are often inundated with spam.
Another way to increase customer engagement is by personalizing your text messages using Dynamic Fields that automatically insert names, dates or other details of your choosing into group texts so the recipient feels as if the text was sent only to him or her.
With text messaging, you’re always open for business — even when you’re closed
Let customers reach out to you day or night via text messaging. You answer when and where you want. If your storefront or office is closed, an Auto Reply text lets the sender know that you received the message and you’ll respond during regular business hours.
For small businesses, texting technology offers easy-to-use tools to simplify your daily tasks and streamline employee communication while adding to your bottom line. And it lets you communicate with customers in a way they prefer (hint, it’s texting). Texts also get opened faster. According to Zipwhip’s State of Texting report, 74% of people respond to a text message from a business within an hour compared to 41% for email.
Zipwhip makes customer communication easy. To learn more, download The Ultimate Guide to Texting Your Customers. This easy-to-read yet comprehensive e-book contains everything you’ll need to know about adopting texting as part of your overall business strategy. Join over 35,000 businesses of all sizes that use Zipwhip’s and turn your landline or toll-free number into a goldmine with business texting software.