How a dedicated virtual number can enhance SMS engagement

How do you stand out from the crowd? 

SMS is incredibly effective, so why do many business text messages still come across as impersonal, asynchronous (one-way) and transactional? While this may be ok for some brands, customers want more and brands and businesses are looking for new ways to stand out. 

There is one simple SMS service feature that could help streamline communications and simplify your customer journey for even greater customer engagement. 

Maybe it’s time for a dedicated virtual mobile number aka dedicated number.

Why should you use a dedicated virtual mobile number

Dedicated numbers are virtual mobile numbers that are solely for your business.  

This is ultimately very important when you want to drive brand recognition, trust and familiarity with recipients when you regularly use and send text broadcasts.  

For those starting out or currently using text messaging, you may notice that your communications can come from different numbers. For example, you may send out a marketing text to some customers, and reminder notifications to others. Both sends will appear from different numbers. 

RELATED: Learn the basics of SMS in just 30 minutes.

These random numbers are known as shared or numbers. Whether you sign up with MessageMedia or another SMS provider, your business will start out on a shared number aka. our rotary pool.  

MessageMedia owns these numbers and they are shared out between our customers free-of-charge. That’s why they continue to change or rotate for every communication you send. 

The rotary pool is perfectly fine for 2-factor-authentication (when a bank sends you a code to double check your login) or irregular sends but they’re not always a good fit.  

2FA graphic for dedicated numbers blog

One step above the rotary pool are alpha tag Sender IDs. These allow for customisable alphanumeric identifiers such as your brand name or abbreviated brand name, instead of a random number, appearing on your mobile phone.  

Take note, alpha tags are still restrictive when it comes to SMS messages. Communications come from the rotary pool of numbers. Recipients cannot save the sender to their phone and they do not allow for 2-way messaging i.e. you cannot receive SMS back. 

If you have a business that wants to engage customers on a deeper level, that’s where a dedicated number comes in. 

RELATED: Learn about Sender IDs, and how to choose the right one for you 

Types of AU dedicated virtual numbers

In Australia, we have AU long code (+10 digits) number at all times for purchase.

i4Tradies use a long code dedicated number for inbound texting and pictures

They are only SMS capable, however you can talk to us if you would prefer ones with call forwarding capabilities.

These dedicated numbers also allow for inbound communications, such as a customer texting a company for text support or sending in an image of a broken product that was delivered to them.

RELATED: Check out our case study with tradie management platform i4Tradies who use a dedicated number so that customers can send in images of issues around their house that need to be fixed.

How to get an Australian dedicated virtual number

It’s really easy!

Once you sign up for a free trial or any one of our three main plans, you can add it to your account via self-serve in our web portal.

If you are unable to do that or are having trouble, please contact our support team and they can give set you up with one or enable the self serve function if you prefer to do it yourself.

The many benefits of your own dedicated virtual SMS number

The true advantage of a dedicated number is that they run the gamut, so to speak, when it comes to feature-rich options for customer engagement. Let’s look at these in detail: 

Dedicated number graphic
  • Single identity: provides a single point of contact and consistent number for customers to text. All communications will also appear within the same text message chat or thread instead of from random numbers.  
  • User customisation: Allowing recipients, instead of the business, to customise the name of your brand when they save it to their phone.  
  • Custom keywords: Use keywords alongside your number to distinguish between specific campaigns, and track them with more granularity. 
  • Automation: Easily automate reminders, bookings, RSVPs, notices and other notifications all through the same number.  
  • SMS chat: Customers are able to send and receive (i.e. converse) with your business directly through 2-way messaging. Fantastic for customer support or queries.  
  • Customer journey: Don’t force customers to go elsewhere to speak to you or trigger an action. Simplify the journey by allowing them to amend an order, give you feedback or even buy a product – all within the text message itself! 

With all these features, it’s easy to see how dedicated numbers build a strong mobile identity. 

You may also enjoy having something that’s just yours too! 

Examples of businesses using dedicated numbers

Now that we’ve discussed how advantageous dedicated numbers can be, you’re probably still wondering when you should use them?  

Are they right for your business situation? 

Here are some examples of when dedicated numbers are particularly successful: 

  • Retailers looking to drive retention and loyalty while differentiating in their SMS marketing 
  • Service businesses who want to give customers the ability to do everything via text 
  • Maturing businesses who want to build a brand and boost customer acquisition  
  • Brands wanting to offer effortless and unobtrusive customer support through texting 
  • Business players who want to communicate with stakeholders proactively 

These are just some, not all situations that a business might find themselves benefiting from a dedicated number. Think of it like receiving messages in a single conversation like you do from a friend. 

Simply ask yourself, would deeper engagement help me achieve better outcomes when I send a message?  

 

Try a dedicated number today!

Sign up for a free trial and purchase one through our portal.

Plus get 25 free texts!

NOTE: You can purchase a dedicated number through our portal after signing up for a free trial OR you can contact us and we can do it for you. Up to you!

Final thoughts, further reading

A dedicated SMS number means one phone number and one interface for your brand to the world.  

If it’s right for you, your business can enjoy new economies of scale and an SMS presence as recognisable as a web domain. Get in touch with our support team now to get a dedicated number today. 

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