Inbound enquiries offer great opportunities for businesses to acquire new customers for relatively low costs. These often come from high-intent customers, and there’s no reason to worry about intrusiveness. After all, they’ve contacted you.
But despite their benefits, inbound enquiries do not make for guaranteed sales unless you convert them, and that’s not always an easy process.
Remember, if a prospect is reaching out to you, they are probably doing the same with your competitors, so you have to do something to make sure your potential customer keeps their eyes on you, which includes ensuring you have every channel covered.
Determine whether your conversion strategy includes SMS, as using it correctly makes for a powerful tool for converting inbound inquiries.
What Are Inbound Enquiries?
Inbound enquiries are requests made to you by current or prospective customers that directly ask for information regarding your brand or products. Each of these represents the chance to qualify for a lead.
If you employ SMS as one of your company’s marketing channels, chances are you will begin receiving an abundance of inbound enquiries as a result, given the medium’s convenience and instantaneous nature. Your response to these will determine whether you earn conversions or not.
Since so many people prefer to interact with businesses via their mobile devices these days, particularly through text messaging, your ability to earn SMS conversions is imperative, as these can greatly impact your bottom line.
How Do You Turn SMS Enquiries into Conversions?
The best way to convert inbound enquiries is to be immediately responsive in providing the information your potential client needs. If you do that much, you will see your inbound conversions increase.
The Problem with Slow Lead Response and Conversion Rates
One of the key reasons businesses engage in SMS marketing is to take advantage of such a rapid means of engaging with customers and moving them through the sales funnel. If you’ve created an SMS campaign but find that both it and your business are struggling to make conversions, that’s undoubtedly a problem.
If your lead response time is slow, here are some things your customers might be taking away from that:
- You aren’t interested in their questions and feedback
- You have too much business to care about theirs
- Your organization is disorganized
- Your poor communication before the sale means it will remain insufficient after the sale
Of course, that isn’t the impression you want to leave, but unfortunately, that’s exactly how a lack of SMS responses will be received. To make things worse, it’s nearly impossible to re-engage with these lost opportunities. What were once high-intent customers will quickly move on to a business that responds to them in a shorter timeframe.
How to Turn SMS into a Conversion Powerhouse
When used correctly and effectively, SMS can become a powerful tool for converting inbound enquiries. If you have access to the following mediums, your SMS marketing campaigns can result in amazing outcomes for your business.
Conversational Text Messaging
SMS is such a powerful conversion tool because it allows you to hold one-on-one conversations with your prospects, which you can use to answer questions, recommend products, or simply learn more about your clients.
Though broadcast messages are a traditionally outbound technique, they’re still helpful regarding inbound enquiries and conversions.
For example, if you’re receiving incoming text messages from multiple users with the same question or concern about a product or service, you can make use of broadcast messaging to set the record straight in a wide-reaching manner.
Broadcast messaging is also an inexpensive means of casting a wide net. Even if you don’t receive tons of enquiries asking for more details, you can still earn a pretty good return on your investment.
SMS Auto Responses
Speed matters, so even if you plan on investing in just a handful of solutions to truly accelerate your SMS marketing conversions, those should be peer-to-peer communication and automated responses. There is no better way to ensure a fast response time than to implement an auto-responder.
Consider the customer’s perspective: They are highly motivated to purchase with a specific interest in a brand or its products, so they reach out to you to enquire about the following:
- A detailed question about a product
- A quote request
- Express interest in a special offer
- Setting an appointment
Then, 24 hours pass, maybe longer, and they hear nothing. Of course, they aren’t going to wait. Even if they understand that a business may be busy, consumers still expect the basic courtesy of a prompt response. If they never receive one, they’ll simply find a competitor who better prioritizes their business.
An auto-response feature takes care of this for you, and your sales team will also benefit. With auto-response, sales team members can spend more time prioritizing leads, determining which ones are best qualified, and engaging those clients further, ultimately preventing your best leads from vaporizing before your team is able to reach them.
Without auto-response capabilities, your sales staff is left to respond to these leads manually, as quickly as they humanly can. Meanwhile, the prospects who don’t receive a timely response drop out of the funnel — and just imagine what would happen to your conversion rates if you were able to increase your lead retention by just 10%.
Your text marketing campaigns can also make use of MMS technologies to connect to your audiences with enhanced messages. Send videos, GIFs, images, and audio files that can be viewed from within the conversation without the need to open a browser or download external software.
Lead Nurturing and SMS
With the right SMS platform and accessories, you can nurture the leads from your SMS campaigns even further.
Enhance Auto Responses
Don’t limit your SMS responses to a generic, “Thanks for your interest. We’ll get back to you soon!” Send something more engaging. For example, include a link to a lead capture form or appointment calendar or link to a thought leadership article or demo that relates to your current campaign.
In addition to speeding up the sales process, you can also use links and attachments to provide customer service or route the inbound enquiry to the appropriate department. Auto-responders can also be used to answer frequently asked questions.
SMS Drip Campaigns
The use of an email drip campaign alongside SMS prospects is another excellent approach. It will keep new leads engaged with updates, reminders, announcements, and engaging content, and your SMS platform will allow you to personalize these with subscriber information. Here’s an example: “Hi Dave, thanks for your interest in our boat winterization special. You can click this link to schedule an appointment for your pontoon boat.”
Use Short Codes to Improve Lead Tracking
Use short codes liberally to give customers a chance to show interest in specific campaigns, products, or special offers and ensure your team doesn’t spend work hours sorting leads and sending them to the right teams.
Instead, you will all know the customer’s specific interest based on the shortcode they used. From there, you and your team can respond quickly and meaningfully.
Of course, you can also key specific auto-responses for different shortcodes, and responses can also be sent regarding specific keywords that are related to an offer, service, or product.
When customers set up appointments for demos or to receive services, they want to be reassured that you will be ready for them. Use SMS to confirm these appointments and to help ensure that they intend to follow through.
Follow-ups are a great tool for keeping customers engaged and building conversations throughout the sales cycle. For example, you can schedule a follow-up text to go out a few days after customers download a free trial to gauge their opinion on the software. Send a follow-up after providing a quote, and that might motivate the customer to act just a bit faster, too.
Once a lead converts, you can continue making use of SMS to provide a great customer experience from start to finish. After your customers make a purchase, you can send a confirmation and then send further messages when their product is en route.
Customer Success Messages
As you use SMS messaging to convert leads into sales, your next step should be to convert those sales into loyal, repeat buyers. Create a customer success program that makes use of SMS messages to ensure that your customers get the best use out of your products and services.
Send customer success messages to give helpful tips, share troubleshooting guides, and provide other exclusive content just for your most dedicated customers.
Improve Conversions Retention and Future Campaigns
If you adopt an SMS platform with features such as broadcast messaging, peer-to-peer texts, auto-responses, and multimedia messaging, you can keep customers engaged and moving through the funnel long after they send their initial SMS enquiry. Eventually, you’ll see your conversion rates improve as a result of your increased responsiveness.
Additionally, by creating SMS campaigns that are dynamic and conversational, you turn your messaging efforts into a data collection and customer insight tool. Customer enquiries, form responses, and other information can be used to develop future campaigns, improve customer support, and better understand your audience.
The Power of Inbound SMS Enquiries
You’re already at an advantage if you’ve chosen to pursue SMS technologies for your campaigns. Text messages have a higher open and response rate than emails and are also better received, given that they only engage prospects who have agreed to be contacted.
With inbound enquiries, your job becomes even easier. You won’t be engaging in cold outreach and, instead, simply responding to engaged customers with high purchase intent. In other words, you’re setting yourself up for success.
All you need now is a powerful SMS platform to ensure you can respond quickly and effectively to each inbound message. Contact Consumers is that platform.
Contact Consumers offers a robust SMS and email platform that contains every tool you need for a successful marketing campaign. We also offer campaign management services and other support. Contact us to learn more or request a quote.