15 Innovative Ways to Use Mobile Messaging
Mobile messaging is no longer just for identity authentication and pizza delivery notifications.
Early adopter marketers are using a consumer’s mobile phone to engage in intelligent two-way communication. Higher conversion rates, brand loyalty, and lifelong customer relationships await those companies that keep up-to-date with technology.
The meteoric rise in the use of messaging applications by consumers acts as an enabler for a company to interact and talk naturally to their future, current and past customers. Best of all, at zero cost to the business or customer.
Mobile messaging can work alongside your email and social media campaigns to deliver messages that suit many scenarios.
Here are 15 to get you excited.
1. Use messaging applications as a ‘catch-all’ for inbound communication.
With over 2.1 billion people using messaging applications, your company can create a messaging application ‘answering machine’ to help support any questions (see an example here with my answer machine: The Dean Withey Bot).
Learn how to create a 'catch-all' autoresponder for Facebook Messenger.
2. Use mobile messaging to send offers to the customer.
Marks and Spencer use mobile marketing to promote its“Dine in for Two” offer. They soon worked out the best time to send the message is between 5 pm and 6 pm, right when people are leaving the office after a busy day.
3. Mobile messaging for customer feedback to create actionable data.
Most e-commerce platforms capture a customer’s telephone number upon purchase. After they have had time to use the product, rather than presenting a long survey form (who answers them anyway?), send a short mobile message with a built-in multiple choice answer.
4. While we’re on the subject of surveys, isolate your most valuable customers – the influencers.
Mobile messaging helps you find and segment your influencers. A simple net promoter score question with built-in 1-click response identifies that 20% who would recommend you to friends and family. With great power comes great responsibility…
Example of a net promoter score calculation. Source: netpromotersystem.com
5. Talk to customers when they want to talk.
Everyone has a preference for when they want to speak. I’m an early bird so like to get things done first thing; others may want to connect at 2 am. Just because your company is closed does not mean you have to miss a conversation and potential sale [Tweet this].
Intelligent use of autoresponders and keyword-activated campaigns means your customers are engaged while your company is asleep.
6. Integrate every marketing campaign with mobile messaging.
A mobile phone is designed for two-way communication, let your customers use it to talk back to you. The days of pushing out content and hoping someone connects is over. Put your messaging details on your DM content, billboard ads, display ads and add a form-to-mobile to your website. Encourage conversation with leads at all stages of the funnel, as you know, every communication strengthens the bond between the consumer and you.
7. Forget drip-email, start drip-mobile.
Consumers are ready to talk using their favourite messaging application, in fact, 63.9% of consumers we surveyed believe businesses should be available and contactable via messaging applications. Messaging applications can do rich media, arguably, better than email. So stop spending hours designing those beautiful emails (that only 20 odd percent of people even open) and start sending drip message campaigns straight to their mobile phone.
8. Use mobile messaging to tailor marcomms to an individual.
Once your mobile messaging campaign has auto-magically segmented your customers based on engagement, use the data to talk to people en-mass, but as an individual. Your messaging copy can be automatically tailored to treat everyone like they are your only customer. Boost sales, conversions and loyalty without lifting your way-too-busy finger.
9. Link straight from a mobile message to a digital asset.
Your customers want to talk to you using their messaging applications (see our survey for proof: The 2016 mobile messaging report). What a good idea it would be to let them get updates from your blog, company news or products they like directly in their messaging application. Include an image, even video, and audio, and a (trackable) link to read more, download or purchase from your website.
10. Use mobile messaging to deliver industry-leading customer support.
Your marcomms bagged you a customer, excellent. Now allow that customer to reach out to you for help through any channel they choose at a time theychoose. Imagine saying to a new customer:
“If you get stuck, just drop us a message on Facebook Messenger or any other app you like to use”.
Then imagine being able to help and talk to that customer in real time, if they wanted, they could even send a picture of their problem; you could even send one back with the solution.
11. Stock updates for a product.
A customer wants to purchase your amazing, but out-of-stock, product. Naturally, they are disappointed, but also delighted to request a message via their Facebook Messenger account to be alerted when it is back in stock. Is your company not doing this yet? Why not?
12. Individual (and free) appointment reminders.
The use of SMS to send appointment reminders is commonplace but prohibitively expensive for most (smaller) companies. Appointment reminders can be both improved on, and delivered for free, using messaging applications. Instead of asking for a patient’s telephone number, connect via their preferred messaging application. Think of the possibilities. Pre-appointment checklist, appointment reminders, follow-ups, remedial rehabilitation programs, satisfaction surveys and anything else you can imagine they would need. For free.
13. Internal communication for staff.
Mobile messaging is not exclusive to customers. As part of the HR onboarding process you probably collect a mobile telephone number, perhaps staff members would be willing to share their Whatsapp or WeChat account too?
How does weekly sales team success messages sound? Or perhaps delivering company training content via messaging application with links to online resources (and links to see who clicked them)? How about broadcasting critical company information to all staff, or segmented by job function or region?
For most companies, it would be too expensive to do via SMS, but using messaging applications it reduces the cost to zero.
14. Internal communication from employees.
While we are on the subject of employees, imagine if an employee can message to ask for the latest sick leave policy, or to check how much holiday they have. Perhaps you have a large amount of HR-related documentation like company policies, onboarding process or training course. An employee can send a message to request the link to any online asset or request the entire document via an attachment. Auto-magically.
15. Deliver a personality.
The previous fourteen inspirations are entirely possible right now at zero cost per message. But really, they all miss the point of mobile messaging.
Mobile messaging enables your company to be friendly and fun. Customers and employees expect you to be approachable and personable [Tweet this]. You can achieve this by using appropriate copy, emojis, pictures, gifs and other rich media in your mobile messaging.
Communicating via a mobile phone is a personal experience, a mobile marketer needs to think differently. This is not email or social media. Every interaction your company has through a mobile phone needs to be personalised. You are talking to them and no one else - think conversational marketing.
There we are, 15 ways your company can add mobile messaging to your repertoire today. There are few reasons why your company cannot start today.
Mobile messaging has arrived. Welcome to 2017.