Texting messaging can be a great way for businesses to take their internal communications strategy to the next level. But you have to make sure you know how to get the most out of this tool without overusing it. Read on to learn how!
How Businesses Can Use Text Messaging
There are many business uses for text messaging. While many companies may use texting for marketing and sales purposes, texting can also be used for employee communication.
Let’s review a few of the primary use cases of text messaging for businesses:
- Marketing. Aside from loyalty programs, companies might use text messaging to connect with prospective customers or use texting to get the word out about deals and limited time offers.
- Patient or customer communications. Many companies use texts to communicate with customers or patients. For instance, a healthcare company might text their long-term patients (e.g. cancer or dialysis patients) educational videos to help them on their journey or through their treatment. Or a company might text their loyalty members special deals or offers.
- Internal Communications. Texting can be a primary communication channel, or it can be a secondary channel to support and reinforce time-sensitive messages. A few types of communication you might use text messaging for include:
- Crisis Communication. In urgent situations you need to be able to connect with your teams quickly. Texts are a fast and effective way to share critical information with your teams when it matters most.
- Employee Onboarding. Onboarding is one of the most important times in an employee’s tenure with your business. In fact, 20% of turnover happens within a new hire’s first 45 days. Using texts to help employees know what’s expected of them before their first day, on their first day, and during their first few weeks can be critical to them feeling more informed and more connected to the company.
- Reminders for Operations and Compliance. When employees are out of compliance with important policies or required trainings, it poses legal risk for your business. Texts can help you remind employees of key dates, training sessions, and deadlines.
The Benefits of Text Messaging for Businesses
As you’ve seen, there are many different text messaging use cases for businesses. But what sets texting apart from other channels like email or apps? Here are a few of the top benefits:
- High open and read rates. 90% of texts get read in just three minutes and the average person reads every text message they receive on their phone, even ones from unrecognized senders. Using texting ensures that important messages and updates are more likely to be seen by employees and in a timely manner.
- Real-time updates. Text messaging provides instant communication, allowing businesses to quickly share time-sensitive information or urgent announcements. It enables immediate dissemination of critical updates, such as shift changes, emergency alerts, or safety notifications.
- Mobile access. With the prevalence of smartphones, text messaging offers a convenient and accessible communication channel. Employees can receive messages wherever they are, even without access to a computer or stable internet connection. This makes text messaging particularly valuable for deskless or frontline workers who don’t have regular access to other internal comms channels.
- Concise and direct messaging. The brevity of text messages forces businesses to communicate in a focused way. This encourages clarity and efficiency in conveying information, ensuring that key messages are easily understood by employees. But it also reduces the time it takes to craft each message, increasing your productivity.
The Downsides of Text Messaging for Businesses
Is this sounding too good to be true? Well, no communication tool is perfect. There are some limitations to text messaging for businesses.
- Message length limitations. Text messages have a maximum character count allowed per message. Go over? And your message will be sent as multiple texts. This becomes a challenge if your texting provider offers a limited amount of texts per month. This limitation can restrict the amount of information that can be shared in a single text. That means you may need to provide additional resources or follow-up communication channels to provide comprehensive details when necessary.
- Lack of formatting options. Text messages lack formatting options like font styles, colors, or multimedia elements. This may limit what you are able to send.. However, it’s worth noting that plain and simple messages can sometimes be more effective and less overwhelming for employees.
- Opt-in considerations. Businesses must obtain employees’ consent and ensure compliance with privacy regulations before sending them text messages. While this process isn’t complex, you have to be prepared that some employees won’t want to receive texts.
- Potential for interruption. While text messages provide instant communication, they can also be disruptive if employees receive messages during off-hours or personal time. Learn more of our dos and don’ts of texting employees off the clock to address this.
Pro Tips for Using Texting for Company Communications
If you’re ready to start putting text messages to work for your business, follow these five best practices.
- Obtain consent and respect boundaries. No channel is a magic bullet. Give employees the option to opt-in and respect those who don’t feel comfortable. Respect their privacy preferences and provide an easy opt-out mechanism if they decide to unsubscribe from text communications.
- Segment and target messages. Tailor your text messages to specific employee groups or departments to ensure your texts are relevant, increasing engagement and effectiveness. Avoid sending generic messages to all employees, as this may lead to information overload and lead to more unsubscribes.
- Be thoughtful with your messages. Due to character limitations, keep your text messages brief, concise, and focused on the key message. Make sure the information is clear and actionable. Avoid sending lengthy texts that may overwhelm employees or exceed character limits, which could lead to important details being cut off. Remember that not all channels are fit for all messages. This is why you need a diverse channel mix!
- Timing and frequency. Be mindful of the timing and frequency of your text messages. Avoid sending non-essential messages during off-hours or outside of employees’ working schedules, as it may intrude on their personal time. Consider the urgency and relevance of each message to determine the appropriate timing and frequency of your communications.
- Include clear calls-to-action. Clearly communicate the desired action or response you expect from employees in your text messages. We recommend only having one CTA per message, whether it’s completing a survey, responding to a request, or acknowledging receipt of information. This helps drive engagement and ensures that employees understand the purpose and expected outcomes of the communication.
How to Choose the Right Texting Solution
Ultimately, you have to find the right partner to see your texting solution grow. Here are three tips to help businesses select the right texting provider:
- Evaluate features and capabilities. Consider the features and capabilities offered by different texting providers. Figure out what it is you really need versus what features are “nice to have”. Things like unlimited texts and easy opt-in processes are good to look out for.
- Check compliance and security measures. Ensure that the texting provider adheres to industry standards and regulations for data privacy and security. Verify that they have robust security measures in place to protect sensitive employee information. Compliance with regulations like the Telephone Compliance Protection Act (TCPA) is crucial to maintain legal and ethical practices.
- Consider scalability and pricing. Evaluate the scalability of the texting solution and its pricing structure. Determine whether the provider can accommodate your company’s size and projected growth. But also consider how you want to scale your texting program. Does the provider offer enough texts per month to support your content strategy?
By considering these factors, businesses can make an informed decision when selecting a texting provider that best suits their needs, ensuring reliable and secure communication with employees.
Interested in learning more about our texting platform? We’d love to hear from you.
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