3 Ways Your Team Can Use SMS to Close More Sales

The art of closing requires that people trust you. The way to build that trust is not by amassing followers on social media, but by listening to your audience, understanding their challenges, and helping them overcome them.

SMS gives you a powerful channel to build trust. It opens a direct 1:1 communication line with your customers, making campaigns at the conversion stage of the customer lifecycle — like re-engagement and sales abandonment — all the more effective.

Text messaging can also be used to supplement “high-touch” communication and make it scalable. In industries that involve a high level of commitment from the customer — like real estate or retail — it is customary for businesses to spend a lot of time engaged in sales calls, support chats, and meetings. More and more companies in these sectors use SMS and messaging to scale how they connect to people and to improve the rate at which they turn their audience into customers.

Let’s look at some examples of how companies convert customers using SMS & Facebook Messenger.

1. Remove the Last Barrier to Conversion with Assistance Messages

SMS is a perfect way to provide support to customers in high-touch industries where people usually want to speak to a human before committing to a purchase. Spending a large amount of money — for example on a house — makes most people hesitate at that final moment. Talking to a real person is one way to make sure all details are correct before making a decision to go ahead.

Having a relationship with your customers gives you the authority to tell them how they can overcome their challenges by using your product. Building that relationship over SMS requires that you can make yourself approachable and take the time to explain and answer questions exhaustively.

Boon + Gable

Boon + Gable lets you book a personal stylist who will go shopping for you to bring clothing and accessories to your home. The company uses SMS to connect with their customers and explain how the service works. When a customer texts Boon + Gable:

  1. A representative writes back, using a series of quick responses to answer frequently asked questions
  2. Throughout the conversation, the representative is also looking for opportunities to answer other questions not covered by the FAQ
  3. Once the customer reaches the point of asking more specific questions about the service, the representative sends a link to Boon + Gable’s mobile app for downloading

What works:

  • A customer curious about Boon + Gable can ask about the service without having to download a separate mobile app, or flip through an FAQ section on their company website. They can engage with the company directly before committing to handing over their email or creating an account.
  • Using a chatbot allows Boon + Gable to essentially move their FAQ section to a text messaging conversation, while the inclusion of a customer rep provides additional value.Through this combination, Boon + Gable can provide assistance with issues not covered by the FAQ and nurture potential customers.

2. Turn Followers into Customers with Closing Messages

The ultimate goal of your SMS campaign is to generate sales for your business. To achieve this goal, you have to go through at least some level of closing.

The key to closing over text message is identifying the right moment to ask the customer to take her wallet out. With all the effort you’ve invested in developing a conversation, you want this part of the exchange to feel just as natural and predictable as everything that preceded it.

Hipmunk

Hipmunk does a great job of simplifying a job that is otherwise tedious and boring — searching for flights.

What works:

  • Instead of making customers go through the usual filters found on travel sites and apps — destination, dates, departure and arrival times—Hipmunk allows their customers to use natural language to input information.
  • Using this method, price-conscious customers can ask for the “best time to fly to,” while business travelers may request specific dates or even a description like “departing early morning.” This lowers the friction for users and makes converting easier.
  • After choosing a flight, Hipmunk takes you to a deep link where all details about the flight are already filled in, so you can complete your purchase immediately without having to go through the whole process of selection.
 

1-800-Flowers

1-800-Flowers is a flower and gift retailer that prides itself on being one of the first companies in the world to use the internet for direct sales to customers. As the web technology progresses, the company continues to adapt the way it communicates with customers.

What works:

  • Their messenger bot allows you to go through the full process of ordering — inputing an address for the recipient, choosing the product you want to order, and even adding your credit card info to complete the payment — without ever leaving the chat window. This is a powerful technique that eliminates all distractions that could potentially hold the customer from buying.

3. Re-Engage Your Audience with Sales Abandonment Messages

Pings, calls, notifications and a whole array of other distractions can easily distract a client from the buying process. But that doesn’t mean you should miss the opportunity of converting those who are a natural fit for your product. Re-engaging dormant customers with sales abandonment campaigns is a great way to bring them back to your brand.

Text messaging works great for these campaigns, because people perceive text messages a more personal mode of communication and are much more likely to open an SMS they receive rather than an email.

Warby Parker

Warby Parker‘s “Try at home” program lets customers order eyeglasses online and then try them at home to make sure they’re a good fit. The team follows up with this message when a customer doesn’t make an order after returning the glasses they tried at home.

What works:

  • The great thing about this example is that the company really lowers the bar for their clients by allowing them to complete a purchase with a single message. The sales team already has most of the information they need to close the deal — customer name, address, and preferred product. By leveraging this in an SMS conversation, they remove all obstacles and make it easy for the customer to say “Yes.”
warbyparker-conversion
Following up with prospect (1/1)

Mayvenn

Mayvenn cuts out the middleman in the market for hair extensions and targets hair stylists directly, allowing them to supplement their income with considerable commissions. The company credits its success to the establishment of a community and says that SMS has played a central role in that.

With a community of over 30,000 hair stylists, Mayvenn has certain proof that their business model is working and helping their audience.

What works:

  • Because of that large community the company is very bullish with their re-engagement campaign. The value proposition comes across loud and clear.
Re-engagement messages (1/1)

Converting is All About Being Helpful to Your Clients

SMS allows you to hold real conversations with your customers, and while that’s good for engagement, it also means you have to be extra careful with how you weave in the ‘closing’ to make sure it feels natural.

Your ambition in this stage of the funnel should be to provide as much help as possible to your customers. This will help you build trust with them and bring them just a step closer to becoming customers.

Once customers learn to trust you, they will reward your efforts by coming back to you next time they need your product or services because they know you’re going to talk to them like a human being.

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