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Introducing the Business Texting Framework

Posted by Andrew Kimmell on Dec 22, 2017 8:35:48 AM
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A New Communication Strategy for the Mobile World

In the past decade, we’ve entered a new frontier: the mobile world. People are on-the-go, constantly connected, and expect services on-demand.

But, many companies are operating as though it's still 2007, and the old-school way we’ve been trained to communicate for business is broken. Phone calls are ignored and emails go unanswered. So, why are you still relying on phone calls and emails alone to drive your business communication?

Texting is the missing communication tool you need to bring your business fully into the mobile world. 

And we're not talking about the old-school short-code mass text messaging of 2007. This is a new approach to business texting, focused on creating quality relationships, starting meaningful conversations, and organically promoting customer engagement.

The Business Texting Framework boosts your inbound and outbound conversion rates by using conversational text messages at strategic points throughout your contacts’ journey. This framework helps you elevate your use of text messaging to engage, qualify, connect, and nurture customers.

Here’s how.

Your customer’s journey 🚗

Before digging into how texting can fix what's broken about your communication strategy, it's important to take a look at how your customers interact with your business. No matter your company's size, industry, or target audience, your customer will have a journey with you that follows this path: Engage > Qualify > Connect > Nurture

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  1. You engage with your contact for the first time.
  2. You qualify the contact and determine if there is a good fit.
  3. You connect and close the deal.
  4. You continue to nurture the relationship after your contact has become a customer.

At each stage of this journey, your contacts need something different from communication with you. Take these main factors into consideration when planning outreach throughout the journey:

  • Type of information
  • Tone of communication
  • Channel of communication
  • Frequency of contact
  • The dangers of spamming
  • The importance of timing

Type of information 📚

The content of your messages is going to vary depending on where your contacts are in their journey.

For example, someone in the Engage stage will be drawn to information that provides value to help them overcome a challenge they are facing. A customer you recently closed will be more attracted to news about feature updates or a recent discount offer.

Tone of communication 🔔

The way you convey your information will also change throughout a prospect’s journey. As you learn more about your contacts’ personalities and preferences, you will likely grow more personal and specific in your messages.

Channel of communication 📺

Most likely, you wouldn’t send an email to accept a big job offer, and you wouldn’t call to respond to a simple yes-no question sent over text.

Each channel of communication may be used throughout a prospect’s life cycle, but the way you use phone, email, text, and social -- and the way they work together to improve how effective you are -- changes throughout each stage, too.

Frequency of contact 👋

While you’re establishing a relationship with a prospect, you want to contact them often enough to keep your service top of mind without being a nuisance or hurting trust. Later, you’ll have less business need to reach out, but it’s good to nurture your established customers so they don’t feel forgotten.

The dangers of spamming 🚫

With the power and speed of mobile communication comes some responsibility. No one likes to receive a spam phone call or email -- and the same is true with text. When you’re sending a message right to someone’s pocket, a misstep could damage your personal or brand reputation at any point throughout the customer's journey.

The Business Texting Code of Conduct:

  • Don’t be a spammer
  • Avoid repeated high-volume messages
  • Stay aware of your contacts’ needs
  • Use personalization tools
  • Avoid long messages
  • Encourage a response
  • Be human

The importance of sending the right message at the right time 📲

By sending the right text at the right time, your communication becomes relevant, not interruptive. The key to getting a response is combining a timely text message, with a modern multi-channel communication approach throughout the customer's journey. Because text has such high open and response rates, it can boost engagement, increase the power of other channels of communication, and help you close deals faster.

Introducing Our Business Texting Framework

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Keep reading for a breakdown of each stage or dig in deeper to the framework with the slideshare below.

Here are actionable tips to implement this framework at each stage of your customer’s journey.

 

Engage 🤝

Think of all that leads up to asking for a first date. You try to get someone’s attention, understand how they like to communication, and what interests them. The Engage stage is similar. In this stage, you have three primary goals:

  1. Establish trust -- the foundation for building the relationship
  2. Provide high-value touches that don’t require a lot from your contacts.
  3. Impress -- you want them to like you!

To establish trust, make the information you provide convenient, easy-to-access, and straightforward. The easier you make initial conversations and the fewer barriers you place between your prospect and the info they need, the more they’ll associate you with ease, simplicity, and convenience.

The value you provide at this stage in the game should educate contacts, pique their interest, and speak to their challenges. Much of this will come in the form of blog posts, white papers, eBooks, and other content.

But, you can also create value simply by being available, friendly, and communicative. Here are some texting techniques that help.

Here’s how to apply texting in the Engage stage:

  • Texting outreach replaces cold calls and emails.
  • Personalized Group Broadcast Campaigns increase outreach with a 98% message read rate and a 40% response rate.
  • Promote that your business number is text-enabled. 

Outreach with Texting

Texting can be another form of initial outreach to kick relationships off.

Outreach Tips

  • Start up a conversation on text. A quick, easy back and forth can be great for establishing trust.
  • Use Group Broadcasts to send personalized messages to up to 100 new contacts.
  • Let your contacts know that they can reach you by phone or text at your business number. For example, you can update all your contact information to say, Call or text us at: XXX-XXX-XXXX.
  • Send links to mobile-friendly resources and content.

Inbound Texting Calls to Action

A texting call to action is an invitation to text you. It establishes texting as an open channel of communication from the get-go. Because text is convenient, simple, and low-commitment, this is a quick way to open communication and establish trust at the same time.

Inbound Texting Calls To Action Tips

  • Promote that your business numbers are text-enabled on your website’s contact page, in your email outreach, and in your team’s email signatures.
  • Create CTAs that invite contacts to text in questions, comments and feedback.

Text Mobile Newsletters

While you can’t send a complex newsletter over text, you can do something else that’s pretty valuable for your customers. You can keep them up-to-date on your company, service features, and industry news in the most unobtrusive way possible: quick text messages.

Mobile Newsletter Tips

  • Send regular, bite-sized updates whenever you have a new team member join, win an exciting award, or are running a great promotion.
  • Include featured customers, case stories, or client interviews in your text newsletters.
  • Text a link to your email newsletter to give your customers more ways to interact.

 

Qualify ✅

Think of this second stage as the first date. Your prospect is trying you on for size to see if this connection has the possibility of going anywhere. At this stage, your goals are:TheBusinessTextingFramework-04.png

  1. Gather more information.
  2. Find out if the prospect is a good fit for your product or service.

You know that not everyone who comes through your door is going to be a good fit. So, getting more details, such as demographics, interests, needs, and position, can help you and your team save time and hone your future outreach. Here’s how texting can help.

Here’s how to apply texting in the Qualify stage:

  • Send Group Broadcast Campaigns to start 1-to-1 conversations.
  • Text to replace slow email and phone follow-up.
  • Create text templates of qualifying questions save time and effort.

Integrate Text with Your CRM or ATS

By integrating your texting platform with your CRM or ATS, you can easily identify what information you need to gather on a particular contact, how effective past communication has been, and more.

CRM or ATS Integration Tips

  • Text to confirm specific pieces of information in your CRM or ATS.
  • Text to gather any info that’s missing in your CRM or ATS.
  • Text a link to a piece of content that’s gated by a form. The info they enter onto this landing page can help you determine if they’re sales qualified.

 

Connect ⚡

This is it. You know they’re interested, you know they are qualified. It’s time to show them what you’re really made of. In the Connect stage, your goals are:

  1. Build the foundation of lasting rapport.
  2. Give contacts the info, tools, and trust they need to close the deal.

The texting tools for this stage focus on using the power of multi-channel communication and data analytics to build a strong, positive impression of your organization for your contacts.

Here’s how to apply texting in the Connect stage:

  • Add texting into your phone, email, and social communication.
  • Use Multi-User numbers so team members can collaboratively manage conversations.
  • Text links to mobile-friendly web pages and content.

Texting Communication Sequences

Texting can be added to your communication sequences to boost your chances of getting a response. The texts in sequences are best when they connect to other forms of outreach -- phone, email, and social -- to create a cohesive message and engaging customer experience.

Texting Communication Sequence Tips

  • Send texts in sequences to schedule quick phone appointments, in-person meetings, or demos.
  • Don’t be afraid to send multiple texts that check in or follow up on previous messages. A simple, “Just wanted to check in and bubble up our conversation to the top of your inbox” can be the key to getting a response.
  • Pepper your sequences with yes/no questions to bolster engagement.
  • Need more tips for including messages that get responses? Refer to How to Optimize Business Texting Response Rates.

Texting Analytics

You don’t want to fly blind when you are sending text sequences. Use texting analytics and your CRM or ATS integration to find out what messages are working.

Texting Analytics Tips

  • Pay attention to the day of the week and the time of day when analyzing what messages.
  • Create templates from the text messages that consistently help to close contacts.
  • Tap your most successful team members for insight into what text messages are landing deals.

 

Nurture 🌱

Once you’re in a relationship, you don’t ignore your partner. Business is no different. You’ve put a lot of time, thought, and effort into creating happy customers -- and you want to keep them that way. Your goals at this stage in your customer journey are: TheBusinessTextingFramework-06.png

  1. Delight your existing customers.
  2. Encourage them to become your best referrals.

The text tools you need for this stage help you grow happy customers into your brand advocates. They keep your customer base in-the-know and show them that they’re top of mind for you and your team.

Here’s how to apply texting in the Nurture stage:

  • Build deeper more personal relationships with texting.
  • Schedule texts for important reminders and dates.
  • Ask for referrals via texting your top promoters.  

Relationship-Building Texts

Nothing says you care more than a text that doesn’t ask for anything but a smile.

Relationship-Building Text Tips

  • Wish your customers happy birthday and happy holidays.
  • Say hello, send a joke, or just share a funny link you think they might enjoy.
  • Don’t forget the emojis! 😊👍

So, there you have it -- The Business Texting Framework. What do you think? Shoot us a text at 303-442-3223 and let us know! 😉

Looking for more on text messaging best practices to share with your team? Check out our business texting playbooks and our Definitive Guide to Business Texting.

 

Start texting!

Topics: Business Texting, Staffing and Recruiting, Customer Service, Text Messaging, Sales Acceleration