At a glance:

  • Why text your customers?
  • How to text your customers
  • When to use SMS messaging

 

Why would I text my customers?

The great thing about mobile phones is… well, they’re mobile. People are never more five inches away from their smart phones and they’re checking them more than ever. A well-timed SMS text message can alert potential customers to your services just when they might need them. That means more business for you!
It’s not just about drumming up new business either. SMS marketing is a great way to keep in touch with existing customers. Whether you’re offering exclusive services or time-sensitive offers, it’s bound to get attention. At the very least, it will keep you on their minds.

WARNING! If you’re going to collect customer phone numbers for SMS purposes, you need to get permission. No one likes an unsolicited call or text and it’s nothing but bad news for you too. It’s the same for us: we can’t just contact anyone about Public Liability Insurance. If you’ve done good work for someone and you explain why you’d like their number, they’ll most likely say yes. It’s then just a case of keeping a note of their name, mobile number, what you did for them and when. Try putting all this info into a spreadsheet so it’s easy to schedule your texts.

 

How would I text my customers?

Unless you’ve got heaps of customers, all you really need to get started is a list of your customers’ details and your own mobile phone. Write your message (we’ve got some examples below), add in their details and hit ‘send’. Voila!

There are some more advanced text messaging services available for your business. These would be suitable if you have large lists of customers or need automated responses for example. We won’t go into these right now, but we’ll cover them in our next SMS article. For now, let’s keep it simple.

 

When would I text my customers?

To answer this you just need to anticipate when you think customers are most likely to need your services:

Annual: Examples of key times to text customers obviously depend on your trade. If you’re a plumber you can get in touch when their annual boiler service is due. If you’re an electrician, how about reminding a customer via SMS about their yearly electrical safety inspection? Not all trades will have services that are annual, so decide if annual messages are right for your business.

Seasons/ Weather: Another tactic is to consider the weather. If you’re a builder and you hear there’s going to be a month’s worth of rain in a weekend, you might send a message advertising your pipe-unblocking or gutter-cleaning services. Heating engineers could use cold weather as an opportunity for a service reminder e.g. ‘Don’t let your boiler let you down this winter, call Simon for 25% off a full boiler service’

Second trade: If you’re a kitchen fitter but you also work as a painter and decorator, your customers may not know this. Send texts to let them know your full range of services and, more importantly, that you’re available.

Quotes: Unless you’re established with a customer, when you submit a quote you’re likely to be up against one or two other tradespeople. Sending a text a few days after your quote shows you’re interested, and you know your potential customer will have your number right to hand. This is a good tactic for quotes but not as practical for invoices, so when it comes to the bill a phone call could well be best.

 

Top Tips

• Make sure you have permission from your customers to send them SMS messges.
• Remind existing customers of your services or give them exclusive offers.
• Keep annual/seasonal events in mind to contact customers at just the right moment.
• Follow up quotes with an SMS message to show your interest and add a personal touch!

 

Don’t forget to check out our previous Digital Marketing article about using Facebook to promote your business.

Tags: business, digital marketing, sms,