In this article, we explore the ins and outs of telemarketing to help you understand the basics, where it is most efficient and avoid the pitfalls using simple examples.
9 SMS Use Cases for B2B Sales
Picture yourself in a meeting with your team. You then receive two simultaneous notifications on your phone. A glance and you notice one is an email and the other is an SMS.
Quick question - what app will you open first?
You’d likely go with SMS.
Studies show that SMS has a 98% open rate compared to email at 21%. There’s no definite answer for this, but there’s something about an SMS text that instills a sense of urgency to read it once you get the notification. Additionally, SMS texts are concise and to the point, allowing for quick information consumption.
Luckily, this also works in a B2B environment. The only difference is that you’re not contacting another random consumer but managers, executives, and directors.
Therefore, you must restructure your messaging and tone to resonate with them. Plus, you don’t want to spam them with promotional messages that do more harm than good.
This guide will look at nine of the best SMS use cases in B2B businesses.
1. Time-sensitive offers and flashes sales promotions
For instance, if you’re an email marketing company targeting sales and marketing professionals, create an offer whereby you give them 50% off. But the catch is that they must register within a specified time frame.
It’s unlikely for such an offer to perform well with an email because of the low engagement rates. It can only work if you have a massive email list with a progressive strong marketing campaign.
Nevertheless, sending a promotional text message guarantees more opens and replies hence more customers.
2. Lead Generation
SMS marketing click-through rate stands at 19.3%. That’s almost five times when compared to email.
This means you can launch an SMS campaign in the shortest time and close leads quickly for time-sensitive offers.
But there are several caveats, though. One is that customers should opt in, indicating that customers agreed to receive your messages. You should also allow them to opt out whenever they want, as emails have unsubscribe buttons.
Make the opt-out simple to show that you respect your SMS subscribers' choice. Most brands use the word STOP as shown below.
Once those are set, start sending occasional messages with valuable content. Make the messages concise and add powerful CTAs. Use segmentation to create personalized SMS that meets everyone’s unique needs.
3. Content Sharing
“Content is king, and distribution is queen.”
— a common phrase in the content marketing world
As a marketer in B2B, content is the backbone of your marketing campaigns. But distribution seals the deal.
You can’t rely on one way of getting traffic. Try multiple options for attracting new audiences and leverage their engagement to market your product.
However, most marketers don’t consider SMS marketing a viable form of distributing content, yet it’s the most effective.
Your message should contain at most 160 characters. This is enough to tell your target audience what they need to know.
For example, you can text direct links to your latest Youtube video with a short, compelling description. Or you can keep your audience updated with new articles, case studies, reports, and e-books.
But ensure you have prioritized personalization. If your customer base has names, mention them on the subject. Here’s an example.
4. Omnichannel Marketing Campaign
You might have heard about “the rule of seven” in marketing.
It simply means that you need to contact a customer several times before they decide to purchase your product.
That’s the goal of an omnichannel marketing strategy. It refers to the practice of interacting with a customer through several channels - both direct and indirect.
For example, you might use your website, store, direct emails, and even text messages. The goal is to communicate with customers on multiple channels and help them purchase your product on their medium of choice.
When done well, multi-channel can create an endless flow of customers. However, in all the channels, SMS marketing has the highest engagement rate, supplementing channels with low engagement rates like email.
Implementing SMS in a multi-channel approach is far simpler to launch and won’t eat much of your marketing budget.
Plus, you don’t have to use every marketing channel across the board. You can opt for social media, cold calling, and SMS and still get incredible results.
For example, using the Myphoner SMS outreach tool allows you to combine it with email and VOIP for maximum results.
5. Appointment and reminders
B2B prospects have busy days making it harder to get their attention. It’s one of the reasons 60% of B2B marketers say it’s challenging to close deals.
You can try many strategies to increase your close rates. But a simple thing like sending a reminder for an appointment can go a long way.
Most B2B marketers fail to seal deals not because the prospect said no or because they don’t like the product. In some cases, it’s just that they don’t follow up or remind prospects through a reliable channel.
SMS marketing allows you to create automated reminders that can be a lifesaver. With minimal cost and time investment, you can send scheduled reminders that work on auto-pilot as you do other tasks.
For example, Airbnb has leveraged automated SMS reminders to speed up customer response times. It sends SMS reminders to hosts about potential renters interested in their properties.
The hosts get crucial information like the dates on which the renters plan to stay and their prices. Hosts can then text the renters to follow up, which increases conversion rates.
6. New Product/Feature Launch Communication
It’s common for B2B companies to come up with new products or product features that solve a need customers have raised.
You can use emails to share the news with your customers. However, you already know that emails don’t have high engagement rates. SMS is handy because your customers know what’s new now, not tomorrow or next week.
To make your product/feature launch more successful, create an offer for the first people who’ll test out your feature/product. For example, it can be 50% off on the first month or a commission for the customers to spread the word.
7. Two-way Messaging
Sometimes prospects just want to talk to a natural person in real-time. Most brands have left this task to the customer service department.
However, as a B2B marketer, you can leverage this opportunity to strengthen that personalized connection with prospects.
Customers want to know that real people are behind a company, not just bots. Using two-way messaging with prospects even allows you to explain a few stuff that isn’t clear in your marketing materials.
This level of personalization is an effective way to boost customers’ trust in your brand by creating a long-lasting memory of your experience.
8. Drip Marketing Campaigns
You don’t have to close hot leads the traditional way of getting involved in the process. Thanks to drip campaigns, you can automate the whole process.
You’ve likely used drip campaigns in email marketing. The approach is quite the same in SMS marketing. You’ll create a series of automated text messages sent to the prospects based on their actions.
For any of the actions, you choose the number of text messages they receive and the rate at which they are shipped.
And similar to email marketing, you can personalize the messages with their names and references to their actions.
Drip campaigns through SMS come in handy when you aim to nurture leads through relevant content so they can gain trust in your brand.
Plus, you can use them to welcome new subscribers in conjunction with email and lead them through the marketing funnel until they reach the conversion stage.
9. Customer Surveys
Your business success isn’t dependent on your product only. Customer satisfaction creates the other half.
Create a good customer experience to sustain customer loyalty for the longest time. And to do that, you must learn what your customer wants.
Customer surveys and feedback queries are an excellent way to get your customer's thoughts on your product and customer service. Luckily, most SMS marketing tools have inbuilt survey features that allow you to send mass SMS texts to customers with survey questions.
Once done successfully, you can use the feedback to fix weak points in customer service and even get new marketing strategies with the potential to boost ROI.
SMS marketing has a lot of potentials that most B2B marketers haven’t noticed.
The main reason they don’t try it out is that it’s slippery and might come out as spam if you don’t get it right.
To avoid that, make sure you’ve kept these SMS best practices in mind:
- Get permission from prospects
- Be brief and keep light
- Respond quickly
- Measure and monitor results to see what works and what doesn't
If you think that hiring a sales representative is as easy as cooking a batch of chocolate chip cookies, you are making a mistake that may be very costly. Learn why.