You’re missing out on a marketing channel with a 98 percent open rate and a quick response rate if you’re not using SMS messaging. Customers appreciate the convenience and are willing to get tailored and timely SMS from their bank or credit card company. There are, of course, some caveats to be aware of. Here are some suggestions.
Are you willing to wait 90 minutes for your customers to respond to a communication you’ve sent, or will 90 seconds suffice? That’s the difference between email and SMS text response times.
Then there’s the open rate: SMS texts have high open rates, ranging from 98 percent to 82 percent, according to Gartner. Email opens at a rate of roughly 20% on average.
If you send an email with a link to a survey to find out what a customer thinks about the virtual meeting they just had with a lending officer, it may sit in the customer’s inbox for days. Messages, on the other hand, elicit virtually immediate responses from almost everyone, increasing your chances of receiving the input you seek and reinforcing the overall experience.
Banks make a Huge Investment in Texting
Consumers responded to messaging for everything from COVID-19 notifications and curbside pickup to telemedicine appointment reminders during the epidemic, making it the new email. Six out of ten customers think COVID has caused them to spend more time texting, and 78 percent say checking, receiving, and answering text messages is the most common activity on their smartphones.
Until now, banks and credit unions have primarily employed text messages for notification purposes. Marketing is an uncharted area.
As part of their marketing strategy, Bank of America, uses this form of quick communication. David Tyrie, Head of Digital, told Insider Intelligence that BofA sends 600 million alerts and notifications to its clients each month, and that number is expected to expand tremendously.
“As a customer, you can count on Bank of America to deliver the information you want, when you want it, and in the manner you want.” In a word, Tyrie argues, “The future of banking is that the experience is incorporated into your daily life.”
The most common way to lose SMS access to a customer is to ping them too frequently on non-urgent matters. It’s a delicate balance.
Consistent messaging gets the best response from customers. It’s a good idea to space text messages out, producing a cadence that balances too much and too little.
Finding the proper rhythm, on the other hand, is difficult, which is one reason why messaging for marketing in financial services hasn’t taken off as it has in other industries like retail. Because banks and credit unions don’t run promotions or introduce new items every two weeks, finding the proper tempo is more difficult.
The majority of consumers will only respond to a customized SMS message. Consumers are beginning to expect their financial institutions to actually know and understand them, and messaging is no exception.
According to Goldman, texting feels more intimate. “Each brand you’ve ever interacted with sends you an email, but SMS messages feel more personal. When you receive an email from someone you don’t recognize, you delete it and go on. It feels more intrusive when you get a text from someone you don’t know,” he explains.
Because banks and credit unions already have a trusted relationship with their customers, they may take advantage of this natural intimacy. Deliver birthday greetings to clients and members, or utilize segmentation to send tailored messages to certain groups of customers.
Messaging should be a part of your overall marketing strategy.
Of course, text messaging is only one method of communicating with customers, but using it within an omnichannel marketing plan generates benefits. According to a poll conducted 35% of marketers believe that adding messaging to other marketing channels improves conversion rates.
Maintain Brand Consistency
We’re all used to messaging people we know using abbreviations, acronyms, emojis, and other “textese,” but just because messaging is informal doesn’t mean you should follow suit. While messaging a friend about going to the movies, LMK (let me know) is fine, but it’s not appropriate when interacting with a customer in a business setting.
The Bottom Line
It might be a good time to stop using text messaging for notifications and multi-factor authentication and start using it as a crucial component of your marketing and communication.
Download a free PDF guide for tips on how to use a messaging platform more effectively: (pdf file to attach for Babeltext’s guide to messaging)
Or, if you are ready to integrate and improve your messaging you can contact David Hayes at Babeltext for a 15-minute product demonstration.