Referral Marketing Through SMS Messaging
What is one almost guaranteed way of getting new customers? Ask for them. Really. Studies show that 83% of satisfied customers are willing to recommend a company, product or service to their family and friends. In reality though, only about 29% of those customers actually do.
How can you improve the chances of that other 54% actually sharing how much they love your company? Start using referral marketing. Whether you have just a few customers or a thousand, a quick, easy, and reliable way to reach out and ask is with SMS messaging.
Here’s how the process would work:
- A customer makes a purchase or uses your service.
- You follow up with them to see how they are getting on.
- After the follow up send them a text message with a coupon code, link, or special offer for them and a friend (or many). Let them know they can forward the text message directly to a friend to make it as easy as possible to share.
Surveys have shown 92% of people trust recommendations from people they know. A satisfied customer is the best marketing you can have, if you can get them to share their opinion.
You may be wondering why you should use SMS messaging to ask for referrals. Why not email, or social media? Well, you can do that too and probably should. But given the generally poor email open rates and high SMS read rates, it’s much more likely your customer will see the offer (and request) in an SMS message than in an email. The same is true for social media. You can tweet or post a referral offer, but what is the likelihood your customer will see it given how much we are all inundated with social media updates?
Another advantage SMS messaging has it that it can be immediate and automatic, but also personal. Sending a text message to a particular customer in response to an action they took (a purchase, customer service call, survey completed, etc.) will make them feel appreciated and probably even more enamoured with your company. A general blast across social media or email won’t have that same impact. Yes, email can be personalised too, but they aren’t perceived by people as personal messages as much as a text message is.
And if you’re still thinking this sounds like too much work, maybe an example can help.
Have you ever heard of Etsy? It’s a company offering a virtual marketplace online for artisans of all sorts from every corner of the globe to sell their wares. They have 40 million members, 1 million “shops”, artists in over 200 countries, and a total sales volume of $1.35 billion in 2013 (£615).
Ninety percent of their business comes from referrals.
Want to know how to put that kind of power into your marketing? Contact us today to see how we can help you integrate SMS messaging into your business.
Part 1 of a 2 part article comparing Virtual Mobile Numbers (VMNs) and SMS Shortcodes as means of receiving inbound SMS messages. The first part focuses on how VMNs work, what they are typically used for and what they cost. Part 2 follows with details of SMS Shortcodes.
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