Smartphone technology has vastly matured since the launch of the original iPhone. Stronger computing power and improved networking speeds have enabled providers to roll out a slew of next-generation communication capabilities, from Apple’s FaceTime to Google’s built-in virtual assistant (part of its all-new, highly anticipated Pixel phone).
Despite this, research shows that smartphone owners still primarily use their devices for communication basics, particularly texting. A 2015 study conducted by Pew Research, for instance, found texting to be the most widely-used smartphone feature among device owners of all ages—more than Internet usage, voice calls, video or music.
This widespread use of text means many things for savvy business owners: improved brand awareness, unique customer engagement opportunities and, when properly leveraged, retention and long-term spending. Here are a few unique ways businesses can use short message service (SMS) and multimedia message service (MMS) to capitalize on the advantages of text:
Companies like Google, for instance, offer a two-step verification process in which users are sent a text message containing a four-digit code. This helps prevent unauthorized users from signing into accounts.
- Product purchasing
With research showing that two-thirds of customers now use their smartphones to make purchases, it’d be wise to consider SMS for spending. Consider Magic, a service that delivers any request via text message. Users simply text their needs (i.e. the cheapest flight out of Boston, the best coffee shop in downtown San Diego) to ‘83489’ and will receive real-time professional help. Depending on the purchase, users can even get their order within an hour.
- Product demos
If a customer has just invested in a new product or service, businesses can send a short video via MMS that showcases how it can be effectively used. They can even throw in a few pro tips for good measure!
The use cases for SMS and MMS are seemingly endless. There’s interactive marketing, appointment scheduling/reminders/cancellations, and even using SMS to poll customers to collect pertinent data. However you choose to get on board with SMS and/or MMS is up to you, just be sure you don’t miss the boat.
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