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Making sales is the lifeblood of any business, and one of the simplest yet most effective ways to increase sales is with text messaging. How?

Here are five ways to increase sales with text messaging, why they work, and a how to use them quickly.

1. Generate more leads and interest.

If you get more leads, you’ll get more sales. So how does text messaging help your business turn more viewers into leads?

Texting is the most used feature on any cell phone, and the most used form of communication in the world. In short, people would rather text you than call, email, fill out a form, or go through one of your social media channels.

Adwords now allows message extensions on their ads. Google now has a messaging feature for business listings. With a small piece of code, you can add this same feature anywhere on your website. Viewers in any of these places can click a button that starts a text to your business.

The feature is called Click-to-Text, and I’ve seen it consistently increase leads for businesses.

Click-to-Text helps you turn more of these people into leads, because it’s often easier for them to text you than anything else. For details on how to get started, view this guide: What is Click-to-Text and How Can My Business Use It?

click to text

2. Follow up with leads faster than competitors.

Between 35%-50% of sales go to the business who follows up first. Unfortunately, many people refuse to answer calls, emails have low open rates, and voicemail might never be heard.

How does texting compare?

99% of texts are opened (in 5 seconds on average). Studies also show that texts lead to over 200% more responses and almost 300% higher “yes” responses than phone calls. Texts can also increase verification rates (for purchases and new users) as much as 95%, compared to emails.

It’s easier and faster to connect with your potential customers via text than other forms of communication. Nine times out of ten, prospects will share their cell phone numbers instead of a business or home number, anyway.When a new lead comes in, immediately follow up with a text.

The message could follow up on their request, suggest a time to talk on the phone, or even say, “Hey, I got your note. Give me a few minutes to pull that info for you. Thanks! - [Jim @ Dunder Mifflin]”

When people are comparing options, texting gets your foot in the door ahead of competitors.

3. Nurture customers through conversations.

Automation can be helpful, but it’s not great at building relationships. This affects your bottom line, as nurtured customers - those you’ve built relationships with - make nearly 50% larger purchases than those you haven’t built relationships with. They’re also more likely to make repeat purchases.

Relationships lead to higher sales, but what builds relationships? Conversations.

More often than not, text messaging is how friends choose to communicate with each other, and you can use this same concept to successfully build a relationship between you, your brand, and your customer.

There are plenty of text conversation starters to choose from, but a few good options are:

  • Hey [Friend], saw you wanted more info on [X]. Do you have a few minutes this afternoon to talk about it?
  • I just saw this [article on XYZ] and thought you’d appreciate it. :)
  • Hey [Friend], you’ve worked with us some. What do you think we could do better?

Messages like these are easy to slip into your sales and customer success funnels to spark conversations. Over time, these conversations will build strong relationships and increase sales.

4. Build subscriber lists and send promotions.

Past customers who’ve had a good experience with you are more likely to purchase again than fresh leads. Partly for this reason, even a 5% increase in customer retention can improve your bottom line by as much as 95%.

For this to work, you have to re-engage past customers, which you can do easily by messaging about new promotions, products, features and opportunities. You can also use keywords to build lists of subscribers.

With keywords, customers would be able to, for example, text SMALLBUSINESS to (423) 555-1900 for more information about starting a small business. You could automatically send a response to everyone who texts in your keyword, and you could manually send updates to those subscribers as needed.

With the right system, you can use multiple keywords on the same phone number (and even use your current business number) to increase sales through multiple topics. It’s similar in practice to email marketing campaigns.

5. Get more 5-star online reviews.

Brands with 10+ online reviews get 50% more conversions than brands with no reviews. Customers also read an average of seven reviews before trusting a business, and 22% of customers decide not to buy after reading one bad review.

Good reviews also help your business be found online.

Great online reviews are crucial to getting new customers and increasing sales. So how does text messaging help?

Links in text messages get about a 36% click through rate. Since virtually every text you send will be read (almost instantly), sending texts for reviews can go a long way in your favor.

After you’ve worked with someone and have given them a great experience, text them asking for a review, and include your review link in the message. As one digital marketing agency owner said:

We have had a lot of success sending texts to customers who do not respond to or open a couple of emails. After two emails are never opened, we send a text asking for an online review. [Source]