How B2B Sales and Marketing Can Utilize SMS

Text message marketing is one of the most underutilized communications tools. Given 98% of text messages are read, and 90% within three minutes of receipt, you can be sure that your message won’t get lost in the noise of a busy inbox. SMS messages are often preferred by consumers as a discreet, quick way to receive succinct messages. Yet, in the B2B realm, text message marketing is often overlooked, erroneously perceived as a tool solely used in B2C.

Just like with B2C sales, text messaging can be an effective B2B marketing tactic to help push prospects further down the sales funnel. Read on for actionable tips on how to make text messaging work for your B2B business, with templates for you to incorporate into your SMS strategy.

How to Send B2B Marketing Text Messages

Sending text messages in bulk is really as simple as signing up to an SMS platform, uploading your contact list, crafting your message then clicking the send button. Here are some best practices to keep in mind when crafting your B2B SMS marketing strategy.

B2B vs B2C Messaging

Typically, when marketing to other businesses, there’s a greater focus on building a relationship. Business buyers tend to be less susceptible to impulse buying and emotion-driven purchase decisions. Thus, the tone of B2B SMS messages has to be different when compared to B2C.

Where many B2C marketing messages adopt an overly commercial tone, B2B messaging requires a personalized, conversational approach. Avoid sounding overly promotional and unnatural; before sending your message reread your text and think about if it’s similar to how you would send a message to a friend outside of work.

Planning and Contact Lists

Before sending a message, take a second to determine the purpose of your message and who you want to reach. Are you contacting fresh leads, stale leads, current active customers or customers on the brink of churning? Why are you contacting them? When you have a clear idea of your objective, build out segments and personalize your message. Read more about how to weave a story for B2B clients here.

When sending SMS messages, ensure that your contacts have expressly given you permission to contact them. Avoid buying contact lists. Not only is it a spammy way of doing business, but it’s also illegal in some countries. These customers are cold leads and if they report you to the FTC, your number could be blocked. Instead, take the time to build opt-in contact lists. You can build these lists through driving traffic to lead forms on your website, search engine advertising, social media advertising, and more.

Timing

Timing is everything. Interrupt your potential client’s sleep, meals or family time and you could easily see your lead slip away. Maintain a professional appearance and keep your messaging between business hours to avoid unnecessarily frustrating clients and leads. If you market your product or service in different time zones, segment your customer list by time zones and schedule your SMS messages accordingly.

B2B Text Message Marketing for Potential Leads

In order to get the most out of your SMS strategy, you must automate communication touchpoints and nurture leads throughout the sales funnel. Through tools, like Zapier, you can access hundreds of no-code integrations to make sales communications a breeze. Here are some examples of automated messages you can use in your strategy.

Trigger: Lead fills out a contact form on your website

Action: Send an automated message based on the nature of the form, especially outside of office hours.

Templates:

Sales enquiry

Hi [first name],

Thanks for your enquiry. I’ll give you a call first thing in the morning. Kind regards, [agent name].

Demo request

Hi [ first name ],

Thanks for your enquiry. I’d love to run you through a product demo, please check out my availability here [calendar link] or reply with a preferred time for me to call. Kind regards, [agent name].

Technical enquiry

Hi [ first name ],

Thanks for your enquiry. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible, in the meantime here are some frequently asked questions [link]. If this solves your question, please respond ‘yes’. Kind regards, [company].



Trigger: x* days have passed and lead has not signed up for your product nor your trial.

Action: Send a message offering a product demo, free trial or simply setup assistance.

*Tip: find out how long on average it takes for your clients to convert and use this to guide your timings.

Templates:

Example 1:

Hi [first name],

Thanks for your interest in [product name]. I notice you haven’t made use of our free trial, is there any way I can help? [Agent name].

Example 2:

Hey [first name],

We really think you’ll like [product name]. Let me know if you need help setting up or would like me to set up a demo for you. Cheers, [agent name].


Trigger: Potential buyer has signed up for a free trial, tested the product, but not paid for the full service and x amount of time has passed.

Action: Send a follow-up message with an offer or soliciting feedback.

Templates:

Example 1:

Hi [ first name ],

I was just wondering how it went with your trial of our [product]? Do you have a minute to chat? [Agent name].

Example 2:

Hi [ first name ]

I noticed that your trial period has ended. Sign up for our basic package and get a free upgrade to our pro plan. Give me a call if you’re interested. Cheers, [agent name]


Trigger: potential client tried out the free trial and several weeks have passed but they have not signed up for the full plan or service.

Action: Send a follow up with helpful information or seeking their feedback.

Templates:

Example 1:

Hi [ first name ],

We’ve launched some new [features/products] since you tried our product. Do you have time for a chat so I can show you? [Agent name].

Example 2:

Hi [ first name ],

I haven’t heard from you in some time and wondered how you fared with your trial. Were there any questions I could answer to get you started with [product]? Cheers, [agent name].

Example 3:

Hi [ first name ],

How did you like using [product]? I thought you might be interested in our webinar on how to grow your ROI using [product]. Sign up here: smsg.io/123567. Kind regards, [agent name].

Once your potential lead has signed up for a trial, demo or meeting you can send confirmations and reminders using text messages and, in doing so, reduce your number of cancellations. Integrate your scheduling tool such as Calendly or Google Calendar with your SMS platform to set and forget your text message appointment notifications.


Trigger: Client chooses a time in your calendar.

Action: Send a text message confirmation.

Template:

“Hi [ first name ],

Looking forward to our catch-up on Thursday. See you at 4pm. [Agent name].”


Trigger: Client chooses a time in your calendar and it’s 24 hours before the appointment.

Action: Reconfirm their appointment by text message.

Template:

“Hey [ first name ],

Just a reminder of our meeting tomorrow at 4pm. If you’re no longer able to attend, please choose another time or reply cancel to reschedule. Cheers, [Agent name].”

Use text messaging in every step to close the deal with your client and shave hours off your communications, allowing you to reach more leads quickly.

B2B SMS Marketing for Client Engagement

Similar to when you nurture a lead to make a sale, you can send text messages to keep your existing clients up to date and engaged, discouraging them from defecting to your competitors. Use SMS messaging to let your clients know about useful information, tips, tricks or upcoming events you plan to host.

Templates:

Example 1:

Hi [first name],

I’ll be in [client’s city] on [day] and hoped you might be open to a catch up so I can show you our cool new [product/feature]. [Agent name].

Example 2:

Hey [first name],

Just letting you know that we’ve added some new features. Let’s tee up a time to go over these as I think you’ll find them helpful. Cheers, [Agent name].

As part of your business content plan, you may have created whitepapers, industry reports or benchmarking, case studies, infographics, blog posts, playbooks or aggregated testimonials and reviews. They say content is king, but if you don’t promote your content, it won’t be effective. Show off your great content using the medium that will best reach your clients – text message. Or if you’re hosting a webinar, product demo or collaboration event, what better way to notify your clients than by sending an SMS?

Templates:

Example 1:

Hi [first name],

I thought you might be interested in our new playbook. It shows how to use [product] and cool tips and tricks I think you’ll find helpful. Check it out at smsg.io/123567 and let me know what you think! Cheers, [Agent name].

Example 2:

Hey [first name],

We’re offering an exclusive webinar on [topic] which you might be interested in. If you’d like to join please reply YES and I’ll add you to the guest list. Cheers, [Agent name].

Enhanced Business Productivity with SMS Messaging

Not only can text message automation be helpful in automating your B2B marketing, but they can also be helpful for all business tasks. With hundreds of integrations at your fingertips, there’s no limit to what you can do.

For example, you can:

  • Integrate your accounts software with SMS messaging or even an online letter print and post service to automate text messages with invoices, quotes or when a client’s accounts fall due.
  • Use text messaging to contact staff and contractors on the go, be it for scheduling, performance management or training.
  • Implement text message client support, allowing you to automate answers to frequently asked questions, leaving your support team free to answer more in-depth questions.

Try text messaging to contact your leads, clients and staff and watch sales and productivity increase.

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