With so much of life operating out of our phones these days, it’s a surprise that some marketing practices still rely on old methods.
Sure, email marketing has its uses, but when it comes to generating reviews, SMSes are a natural fit.
Think about it – how much of the day does the average person spend on their phone? According to my screentime report (thanks, Apple) I’m sitting at an average of about four hours. And even when I’m not physically on my phone, it’s never further than an arm’s reach away.
Given how embedded phones are into our everyday lives, it only makes sense that they’d begin to encroach into the world of marketing, and local SEO, too.
One of the most important aspects of local SEO is generating online reviews and, as we’ve established previously, the best way to grow your reviews is to ask.
In this article, I’m going to explain just why SMSes are the perfect fit for generating online reviews and performing review outreach.
Read on to find out why you should add SMS Mode to your marketing toolbelt, and how you can make SMSes work for your business.
Email is tried and true, but have its benefits plateaued?
Data source: Gartner
Email marketing is praised for a reason — it’s a tried and true method of engaging with your customers and keeping them informed. But have your email efforts begun to plateau? If open rates are no longer on the rise, and you’re running out of email inspiration, it may be time to switch to SMS.
While we’re not recommending that you give up on email entirely, incorporating the use of SMS into your marketing communications can boost response rates.
When it comes to engagement, the figures speak for themselves… While open rates for emails average at just 20%, SMSes enjoy a 98% open rate.
It makes sense when you realize that the average office worker receives a whopping 121 emails per day, compared to just a handful of SMSes.
So, if you’re looking for a way to re-engage customers, SMSes provide the perfect fit.
Receiving an SMS feels personal
By now we’re all used to our email inboxes being filled up with company spiel, discount codes, and brands looking to get your buy-in. SMS inboxes, on the other hand, are generally reserved for friends and family.
As such, sending review outreach through SMS gives your business that personal touch — especially for those who communicate via SMS to begin with.
Service-area businesses, such as locksmiths, plumbers, and window cleaners, and any business that communicates with its customers over the phone, will hugely benefit from this more personal approach.
After all, if you’re only ever communicating with a customer via SMS, why would you then take to email to ask for a review?
Most SMS outreach tools allow you to personalize your message, too, so you can ensure the tone suits yours.
SMSes reach more people
As I mentioned earlier, whether you like it or not, we’re now a world filled with people who rely on their phones to get through the day-to-day of life. And, as a result of that, almost everyone has one.
In the USA, 96% of the population has a cell phone — 80% of which have smartphones. And guess what? All you need is a good old-fashioned cellular device to receive an SMS. No fancy apps required!
Meanwhile, just 76% of US citizens have an email account – and, as we established earlier, that’s no guarantee that they’ll be responsive to the emails they receive.
As a result, using SMS for review requests means you’re going to reach even more people, and so the chances of customers leaving a review are even higher.
Notifications are your friend
While some people do have email notifications enabled on their phone, they’re in the minority of users. Meanwhile, almost everyone has notifications for SMSes enabled.
That means that as soon as you’ve sent an SMS review request to your customer, they’ll be notified about it – meaning they can act quickly and while your great services are still clear in their mind.
In fact, it’s likely that you’ll have these notifications to thank for those sky-high 98% open rates.
Customers want you to text them
One of the most important things to bear in mind when considering new marketing communications is whether or not your customers will want to be contacted in this way.
In an age of annoying pop-ups, notification requests, and false browser alerts, you don’t want to cause more annoyance to your customers than they’re already enduring.
But, fear not, according to a whole host of studies, customers actually want brands to text them. In a recent survey by Yotpo, 51% of respondents said they wanted to have a text relationship with their favorite brands.
So, if you were holding out, anxious that SMSing might be more of an annoyance than a convenience, this is the sign not to.
Sending review requests via SMS not only solidifies your relationship with the customer, but it also makes their life a lot easier by streamlining the review-leaving process.
You’re going to get more reviews
The bottom line is, using SMSes to ask for customer feedback is going to result in your business getting more reviews — especially if you develop a sophisticated strategy and combine email and SMS marketing together.
Performing review outreach via SMS is:
- More successful than email
- More personal
- More accessible
- More immediate
- AND it’s wanted by the customer
All of these reasons I’ve outlined here today just go to show – SMSes are a perfect fit for review generation. And if you’re not utilizing this 21st-century method, you could be missing out on boosting your online reviews, as well as your local search ranking.
See for yourself — take Reputation Manager’s SMS Mode for a spin today and see how it transforms your online review presence.
Ready to dive into SMS marketing? Don’t forget to read up on the guidelines for getting consent and sending SMSes across the UK, US, Canada, and Australia.