SMS Small Business Support: Helping Aussies get back on track

This year has been a difficult year for most Australian small business owners and employees across the board. The road to recovery looks possible but tough. That’s why we want to help you with your plans to get back on track.

 

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30% off all MessageMedia plans till the end of the year.

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How texting has helped keep us connected and thriving

Throughout the pandemic, text messaging has proved able to keep us connected to loved ones across long, and short, socially distant spaces. 

As a messaging provider, we’ve seen an increase in use of mass texting like never before. Throughout the pandemic, bulk text has helped countless organisations manage their ever-changing communication responsibilities from: 

  • Emergency alerts to notify of precautions/ closures/outbreaks  
  • 2-way messaging for customer support and improved service
  • Business text reminders to help consumers understand changes 
  • Text notifications for contact tracing or contactless delivery 
  • SMS marketing to keep business afloat/customers engaged

The list goes on! And SMS services are helping companies to thrive.  

Physical retailers forced to pivot online are extending their ecommerce promotions using texting. Some of them are seeing an 8-10% uplift in immediate sales after a single broadcast. Online retailers, on the other hand, are seeing 120X ROI from adding text messaging to their automated workflows and are additionally recouping 50% of churning customers.  

Could text messaging help you get back on track?

 

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5 ways SMS can help you get back to business

Here’s five text templates (and use cases) to help get you back on track: 

1. Marketing

BEST FOR: Salons, beauty clinics, personal trainers, gyms, fitness studios, cafes, restaurants, pubs, physical and online retailers, and any and all small business owners.

One of the most common use cases for text messaging is mobile marketing. Not only are people attached to their phones more than ever; you’re battling for their attention in an cluttered  (subj- noisy) marketplace. Between the emails to app notifications we receive a day, marketers are constantly looking for a way to stand out and cut through. 

Or, you can find a ‘blue ocean strategy’ channel that’s effective, low-cost – and one that most of your competitors aren’t using (yet).  

Like text messaging! 

TEMPLATE: Hi [NAME], [Discount] off all [TYPE] stock until [DATE]. Get on it now: [URL] 

With text, you get: 

RELATED: Read our beginners guide to SMS marketing

Many of our business customers have used text messaging during COVID to stay in touch with consumers and update them on new offerings, movements and emergency changes. 

As we emerge out of the pandemic, with many businesses looking to return to pre-COVID normalcy, text-based marketing can easily help you re-establish your brand and set you up for long-term, continued success in a way other channels can’t. 

2. Managing and tracing access

BEST FOR: Salons, beauty clinics, personal trainers, gyms, fitness studios, cafes, restaurants, pubs, and any and all small business owners with a physical location or site OR require staff to be on premises.

For those businesses looking to re-open their physical venues and spaces, ensuring your business remains COVID safe is essential. 

A prominent issue already on the rise will be managing access to your site: counting visitors in and out, limiting access when maximum levels are met, recording visitor details and being able to broadcast emergency alerts to all those affected in case of an outbreak.

Most businesses will need to find ways  to managing their legal obligations to access. While new vendors for such purposes are emerging, the unfortunate drawback will be the additional cost and financing, which most affected businesses will not have. 

Text can make COVID access management simple.

TEMPLATE:
[1] As a [JOB TYPE] at [SITE], you are now required to text this number when entering or exiting a site. Please ensure you maintain social distance and adhere to COVID guidelines: [URL] Please confirm acceptance by replying YES.
[2] Thank you. Please remember to text each time you go IN or OUT of the site. Text “IN Building ABC” at entry and “OUT Building ABC” when exiting.
For ins. [3] Your entry is approved. Please stay safe while working on site and remember to text OUT when leaving.
For outs. [4] Thanks for helping us maintain the safety of all at Building ABC.

Text messaging could be your next best bet. 

Easy to set-up and economical in cost, you can configure a simple workflow that requires employees or visitors to check-in and check-out via a simple text keyword. Our reporting suite will automatically record all entries, making it easy for you to follow up or trace affected guests with number and time stamps already available. 

RELATED: Talk to one of our messaging experts now to find out how to get started with managing access via SMS or start a free trial

 

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3. Text reminders and confirmations

BEST FOR: Service-based businesses like salons, beauty clinics, personal trainers, gyms, fitness studios, cafes, restaurants, pubs. However, if you’re doing virtual services that require meetings, sales engagements or are using it for internal comms, they could be very useful too.

If you’re a service-based business, text-based reminders and confirmations could be particularly helpful as customers look to return to their regular routines. 

Are you a salon wanting to remind customers that bookings are now open again? 

TEMPLATE:
[1] Hi there [NAME], excited to announce that [COMPANY] is now open again for bookings. Get in quick: [URL] 
[2] Thanks [NAME]! You’re booked for [DATE] at [TIME]. To change your booking call: [PHONE NUMBER] Looking forward to seeing you. 

Or a restaurant wanting to confirm reservations for outside dining? 

TEMPLATE:
Promotional text [1] Outdoor dining is now available at [COMPANY]. Book now: [URL] Text STOP to opt-out. 
Booking confirmation [2]Thanks for your reservation. You are confirmed for [DATE] at [TIME]. 
Day before reminder [3] REMINDER: You have a table booked at [ORGANISATION] tomorrow at [TIME]. Please confirm you are still attending. Reply Y or N. Thanks 

This can all be done via text, and most likely integrated into your current POS or retail management applications and software. 

RELATED: Learn the 101 about text integrations, check out our integration marketplace or talk to one of our experts about whether you have an existing integration already. 

In addition, SMS reminders uplift communications where there might be constantly changing market conditions, such as a sudden closures, recurrent restrictions to takeaway and delivery or a maximum set of patrons. 

As we’ve seen from many countries across the globe recording second and third waves, having a bulk communication channel that can move flexibly and nimbly to your needs is a huge advantage over other businesses.

4. Customer communication

BEST FOR: EVERY small business from salons, beauty clinics, personal trainers, gyms, fitness studios, cafes, restaurants, pubs etc. If you have a customer, this will be useful!

Extend the effectiveness of your current communication plans as restrictions ease by introducing text messaging into the mix. 

As we’ve seen from our marketing communications breakdown, text provides a simple and direct way to talk to customers unlike other platforms. Not only are you assured customers will read your communications, they’ll also do so at break-neck speeds! 

We’ve discussed before about how customers have become more empathetic towards businesses should they make a mistake, or if there’s a delay in shipping. In fact, consumers have often taken up arms to support businesses as we’ve seen with the ‘Buy local’ movements. 

However, with the move back to business-as-usual, it’s likely consumers modern expectations will rise again.  

Customers expect immediate accessibility, minimal interruptions unless absolutely necessary, and for purchase pathways that allow them to go at their own pace. Think about on-demand content or live chat bots.  

Ensure you meet them half-way by engaging with them via two-way messaging or SMS chat. With 2-way text, you can: 

  • Provide on demand 1:1 technical support 
  • Automate common queries and answers 
  • Build fun or innovative text programs  
  • Prompt in-bound texts or schedule broadcast that allow replies 

RELATED: Learn about how 2-way SMS chat can help you develop better relationships more easily.

It’s easy to get your head around two-way messaging especially when it can help your sales agents engage with clients more personally and quickly, or ensure your customers are followed through on queries and issues. 

RELATED: Find out how this US telecommunications network used SMS chat to drop support queue time by 50%

5. Contact tracing & contactless offerings

BEST FOR: Stores with blended retail offerings and small businesses with physical spaces like salons, restaurants, cafes etc.

Finally, where access management was important, perhaps more significant will be our ability to meet legal obligations around contact tracing while still serving customers with contactless offerings. 

Already, so many businesses during COVID have pivoted to online, and contactless delivery options such as Click and Collect. It’s likely consumers will expect us to continue these for the indefinite future as we come out (and potentially in again) of restrictions.  

RELATED: Learn how to combine Click and Collect with text messaging for a truly powerful and convenient contactless pick-up experience. 

As well, emerging out of restrictions will mean physical site access will need to be recorded and maintained in case of an outbreak or further infection, as we discussed above in Access Management. 

Text can serve you well in both instances.

TEMPLATE:
[1] Hi [NAME], your order [ORDER NUMBER] from [COMPANY] will be ready today. Please schedule a time for pick-up: [URL] Text STOP to opt-out. 
[2] Thanks [NAME]! Your parcel will be ready for pick-up at [TIME] [DATE]. Please park park in one of the orange designated car spaces in our parking lot and text us when you’ve arrived 
[3] Thanks [NAME]. We’ll be with you momentarily. Please unlock your car and we’ll load your order into your boot for a full contactless pick-up. 

Where contactless offerings are concerned, use text to keep customers updated such as tracking maps, nearby delivery notifications and warehouse updates. You can even add in two-way messaging in case customers have any real-time concerns such as a failure to deliver or uncertainty about where to pick-up with C&C. 

TEMPLATE:
[1] Hi [NAME], thanks for your reservation for [TIME] on [DATE]. Text STOP to opt-out. 
[2] REMINDER: You have a booking at [RESTAURANT] tomorrow at [DATE]. Please confirm Y or N. Thanks. 
[3] In order to attend the book, please text in every guest’s first name plus their mobile nunber for contact tracing purposes. Refusal to do so will invalidate your booking. 
[4] Thank you, [NAME]. We look forward to seeing you tomorrow! 

With contact tracing, it can be deployed manually, or added into automated workflows you can build before people come to your venue.  

In the example above, customers are warned about contact tracing measures and are asked for personal details prior to showing up to the venue. This can be very beneficial especially where customers want to enjoy the experience in full without interruption.  

These are just a few ways text messaging can be used to help your business re-emerge after COVID. Did we miss some? Let us know. 

Our ‘Back on track’ text messaging offer

Throughout COVID, MessageMedia has continued to offer support to businesses of all kinds and all levels: 

As a business, we care because if our customers thrive, so do we.  

With easing restrictions and pre-COVID normality returning, we want to help businesses get the kickstart they need to help get them going again.  

You’ve seen above how cost-effective and powerful text messaging can be when applied as a communication measure to help you get back to business. 

That’s why we’re offering 30% off ALL plans for the rest of 2020. 

It’s an early Christmas present from us to get you back on track! We’ve dropped our prices to make it affordable for any small business looking to get back in the game. Is that you? 

 

Start getting back to business now.

Get 30% off ALL plans till the end of the year.

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Final thoughts, further reading

As 2020 closes out, top of mind for most business owners and leaders will be recovery and restoration. Help get your business there faster with the power of text messaging at your fingertips. 

Make sure to also check out: 

* Terms and Conditions: 

  • Available for Australian-based businesses, one use per business.
  • Offer available until 31st December 2020.
  • Usage is intended to be during the government enforced shutdown period for Australian businesses. We will allow usage for the next three months and reserve the right to review at any point.   
  • You can cancel at any time – there’s no lock-in contract. 
  • We reserve the right to change, cancel or modify this offer at any time. We will inform you before making any such change to ensure you don’t incur unexpected costs. 

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