Have you ever noticed that you may email a friend and not get a reply, but if you SMS them you get a response within a matter of minutes? Nowadays people always carry their phones with them and they are more likely to check an SMS message quicker than their email box. While smartphones improve the ease of being able to easily check email, few people have audible notifications for every email that arrives, but they still have alerts for SMS.
Maybe you are a Yoga instructor and need to let your students know a class is cancelled? Maybe you need to SMS clients to let them know you have your big 50% special on? Or maybe you want to SMS clients when their invoices are overdue? From a business perspective its very handy to be able to bulk SMS your clients when there is an important announcement, update, or special, and it is actually easier to set up and automate bulk SMS than you think.
If you have a e-newsletter mailing list through systems like Mailchimp there are easy ways to integrate bulk SMS with Mailchimp with services like Nexmo so you can send messages to your clients on the same list with minimal effort. The beauty of this solution is your signup form on your website can gather their phone number at the same time they sign up and the details are maintained in the same list as your e-newsletter.
The issue with this type of service is that there is no “opt-out” functionality so people can remove themselves automatically. However people will generally SMS reply to you and it is easy enough to manually remove them from the list. For a startup business this is a great way to access this functionality with very low setup costs. If you want a fully featured SMS broadcast system that includes opt out functionality you can use services like SMS Broadcast.
If you want to get really fancy you can also add some of the new SMS functionality through services like Twilio. Here you can do things like sending SMS to clients for invoice renewals or anything else you may imagine.
The trick however is to use bulk SMS sparingly otherwise you risk annoying your clients. Be sure to save it for the really important announcements that occur maybe only once a month or every few months to get the most benefit from it. Over-using bulk SMS services will quickly put you in the mental “SPAM” folder of your clients and they’ll begin ignoring all your SMS, thereby rendering the benefits useless.
GongOnline are your local small business web design specialists, and they can advise you on the best ways to streamline your online communications. Contact GongOnline on 800 33 441 to discuss your online marketing and communication needs.
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