An enterprise business text messaging platform is a software application, accessible via a computer or laptop through a downloadable app or browser, that allows a business to send SMS and MMS text messages at scale. The target of these messages could include customers, prospects, employees and/or partners.
What is SMS (Short Message Service)?
SMS (Short Message Service), commonly known as text messaging, is a service for sending short messages of up to 160 characters to mobile devices, typically cellular phones and smartphones.
What is MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service)?
MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service), is a service that uses the same technology as SMS to allow SMS users to send multimedia content in the form of pictures, audio files, video files and phone contacts through cellular phones and smartphones.
Why is Text Messaging Important for Enterprises?
What’s one of first things you did this morning? Odds are you checked your phone. You’re not alone, 71 percent of Americans say they check their phones within the first 10 minutes of waking up. On average, Americans check their phones 344 times per day and 70 percent of Americans check their phones within five minutes of receiving a notification, according to a survey from Reviews.org.
That means that if your current customers and your prospective customers use a cellphone, they’re going to see their texts. Well, what if you were the one texting them? Any message you’re aiming to communicate, whether it’s a discount promo, new service announcement or alert in the event of an emergency is nearly guaranteed to be received.
Benefits of SMS Solutions for Enterprises:
Marketing performance, customer experience (CX) and employee experience (EX) increase dramatically when companies deploy an SMS and MMS text messaging solution for their main business phone number or toll-free number. The solution is ideal for these use cases:
- Sales & Marketing Promotions
- Live Interactions
- Appointment Reminders
- Delivery Scheduling & Tracking
- Customer Surveys
- Customer Support & Trouble Tickets
Marketing with Enterprise SMS
Most marketers are accustomed to engaging in campaigns using email marketing through an email or marketing automation platform like MailChimp, Constant Contact, Marketo and HubSpot to name a few, as that’s been the most direct way to reach your target customer to deliver promos, surveys and important notifications – provided you had your customer’s or prospect’s email address.
While email open rates vary between industries, the average marketer is happy with anywhere from a 15 percent to 25 percent open rate (with the flat average across all industries being 17 percent) according to SuperOffice. An email campaign sent that’s considered a “success” in marketing would be a 15 percent open rate with a 2.5 percent click-through rate. Plus, the average user receives 121 emails per day, according to CampaignMonitor, leaving a marketing promo or customer survey lost in a sea of emails. Additionally, the average person has two email accounts (one for work and one for personal), so getting a recipient’s undivided attention isn’t very high.
Conversely, each text message sent has a 99% read rate is normally read within three minutes of receipt. Each person typically also has only one active mobile number, so you’re guaranteed to get their full attention when you send a text (versus having multiple email accounts). Plus, the average response rate on an SMS campaign is 45%.
All in, there’s an 84% difference in open rate and a 42.5% increase in engagement rate when comparing SMS text marketing to email marketing.
Now, these figures don’t mean your company is wasting time and should stop email marketing as every marketing channel has its place. This does mean however that if your marketing department isn’t regularly sending SMS text messages to your customers, you’re missing out on revenue opportunities – especially when upselling to existing customers who’ve already bought into your services.
Customer Service with Enterprise SMS
A business texting platform isn’t just useful for your marketing team, it can help you run your customer service and operations departments as well. According to Learning Hub, more than 50 percent of clients want to reach customer support via SMS and 83 percent of consumers want to receive booking appointments via text.
Anecdotally, the most common use case everyone knows for SMS is booking, confirming and rescheduling appointments for dentists, veterinarians, doctor practices and picking up subscriptions. In recent years, the popularity of no-contact delivery has risen due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with SMS being used to confirm shipping of packages and delivery receipt.
If you have a large contact center or process a high-number of customer support phone calls, a business texting platform with live routing, like the Flex Text Business Text Messaging Platform, can enable customers to interact with agents real-time to address requests faster and without requiring a customer to sit on hold.
But what if you’re not a large contact center, appointment-based business, don’t make shipments to customers and don’t process high-volumes of phone calls? A texting platform can still help you with business continuity in the event of an emergency.
For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, a large retail supermarket chain notified their customers of a COVID exposure in their staff via SMS, and instead of closing down, devised a system for customers to pick up their retail purchases outside the curb of the storefront without needing to enter the business location.
Internal Communications with Enterprise SMS
Business texting platforms aren’t only useful for interacting with customers and prospects, they’re ideal for communicating internally with your employees. Key examples include:
- Communicating business closures, especially in the event of an unexpected severe weather incident or problem with your place of work, such as a gas leak.
- Sending reminder notifications such as HR requests like policy changes or benefits filing deadlines.
- Onsite notifications, especially for companies hosting event programming, such as shift staffing changes and event schedule reminders.
Enterprise Text Messaging Services and Features
Business text messaging platforms enable enterprises and SMBs with a complete suite of SMS and MMS texting features for messaging, marketing, sales, service delivery and customer support, including:
- Textcast: Broadcast text messages in bulk to targeted lists.
- Tags in lists: Use tags to segment contact lists by geography or demography.
- Timetext: Schedule texts for automated reminders and follow-ups.
- Surveys: Poll customers via text for feedback and data collection.
- Pathways: Route inbound texts to automated answers or actions.
- Groups: Create groups for inbound and outbound messaging.
- Series: Schedule text messages at pre-defined intervals.
- Keywords: Trigger instant response to texts based on keywords.
- Live Routing: Let customers text chat in real-time with your agents.
- Push Notifications: Get notified of new chats and queue messages through emails or texts.
- Reporting: Receive usage, delivery, response and opt-out reporting.
- Integration: Connecting existing applications to streamline workflows and text-enable existing technology with custom integrations.
Frequently Asked Questions About Enterprise SMS
The experts at FlexIP Solutions have been solving business communications challenges for decades. In that time, we’ve run across several frequently asked questions (FAQs) about enterprise SMS, MMS and texting solutions that can help businesses decide whether to make the investment in a texting platform.
What is an enterprise messaging gateway (EMG)?
An enterprise messaging gateway (EMG) is a configurable SMS gateway, message router and protocol converter. The EMG provides connection and integration between applications, SMSCs and other messaging-enable technologies. An EMG makes it possible to send a message to multiple recipients at once either by SMS, email and/or push notifications.
Is the Flext Text Business Texting Platform an enterprise messaging gateway?
Yes, the Flex Text Business Texting Platform is technically an EMG, with an open API giving customers the ability to text-enable existing tech with custom integrations.
Does the Flex Text Business Texting Platform offer a free trial?
Yes, the Flex Text Business Texting Platform offers a 14-day free trial with no credit card required to use the platform. Contact us here to take advantage of your free trial.
How much does the Flex Text Business Texting Platform cost?
The Flex Text Business Texting Platform offers several pricing plans based on the volume of SMS and MMS texts sent and number of users accessing the platform each month. The plans start as low as $45 per month. You can view the plans in our pricing table here.
Ready to enable your business with texting? Let’s talk. Call or text FlexIP Solutions at 833.779.7700.