While text message marketing might not be the obvious choice for home services contractors, it can be a highly effective part of your marketing strategy.
Far from being intrusive, many customers are keen to opt-in to text messages from companies they buy from. They enjoy receiving news of special offers, free gifts, and loyalty points in particular.
And the benefits of text message marketing for home services contractors can be substantial.
If you’re wondering whether anyone will even open your messages, here are just some 2022 statistics from 99Firms.
- “89% of phone users would read a message within the 30 minutes they receive it, with 10% under 30 seconds, 26% within one minute, and 34% within five minutes.
- “Compared to email’s 17.92% open rate, text messages are 134% more likely to be read.”
That’s not to say we think you should abandon email marketing, which is still a very effective way to market your business. But it really could be worth it to try text message marketing, too.
What is text message marketing?
Text message marketing, or SMS marketing, is just what it sounds like. You send out texts promoting your business to customers who have signed up.
You can’t just send messages to anyone’s mobile phone. You have to ask people to subscribe to your list and you have to have written consent from each subscriber before you can send them any text promotions. You can do this by setting up an opt-in form or by sending an opt-in text. You must also provide a way to unsubscribe from your list.
With the right software, it’s also possible to automate your text marketing and get insights into how your campaigns are working.
Why should you use text message marketing?
Take a look below at the benefits of text message marketing for home services contractors, and we think you’ll agree that the question should be ‘why wouldn’t you use it?’
1) Easy to use
It takes very little time to write a text and send it to your subscribers. With automation, you can easily set up a text messaging campaign that runs itself.
2) High customer engagement
According to Startup Bonsai, “SMS marketing has a better open rate, click-through rate, and conversion rate than email marketing.”
Email open rates are between 11%-15%, while text message open rates are 95%-99%. With email, you’ll get a click-through rate of around 1-3%, but with text messaging, it’s 30%-40%. Conversion rates are better, too, with email reaching between .09% – 1.5% and text message marketing coming in at 20%-30%.
3) Higher return on investment (ROI)
It only costs between 1 and 5 cents to send a text and you can pay far more than that with paid ads while perhaps not even getting the same conversion rate.
In addition, if people have already opted-in to your texts, they are genuinely interested in hearing from you and far more likely to buy. You’re texting warm leads with text message marketing.
With a simple to use platform, such as Surefire Local’s marketing software, you can quickly automate your text campaigns and spend time on other things.
4) Higher customer satisfaction
Texting feels much more personal and is likely to encourage your potential customers to engage with you. You can build a good relationship with your subscribers with just short, simple texts. And people on your list will feel in the know about your latest offers and deals. Customers love to feel special and a part of something.
Is text message marketing right for your business?
Before you add text message marketing to your marketing plan, it’s worth looking at whether it’s a good fit for you.
Is your audience generally younger or older? Younger generations tend to want to conduct business by text, so a younger audience is usually a good fit for SMS marketing.
If you have a mixed audience of both older and younger people, then why not give SMS marketing a try? With such great benefits to businesses and customers alike, you may get great results. And the cost is so low that you won’t waste a lot of your budget if it doesn’t suit your audience.
As always with marketing, do your research first and test everything!
How to use text message marketing for home services contractors
You’ve got yourself a list of subscribers and you’re ready to go, but what do you say and how can you promote your business?
Try out these ideas, and don’t be afraid to experiment:
1. Welcome messages
The most obvious message to send to new subscribers is a welcome message. Keep it short and use it to show them what they can expect from you. Let them see your personality in the texts and don’t be afraid of a little humor, if you know it works for your audience.
2. Sales promotions
Another obvious use for text messaging is giving out discount codes and promoting special offers and sales. We’ve seen above that people tend to read their texts within half an hour of receiving them, if not sooner. Depending on what your services are, you could perhaps offer two rooms for the price of one on carpet cleaning, or book your front and back garden maintenance together this week for half price on the smaller garden. The only limit is your imagination.
3. Event invites
If you’re running an in-person event or a virtual one, text messages are great for inviting customers to join in and for sending reminders on the day of the event.
4. Brand building
Use your texts to build your brand and show off your business’s personality. Don’t be stiff and formal in your text messages, instead try to engage your followers and make them smile.
Think about what you could send to your audience that they would appreciate.
5. Company updates
If you have news, such as covering a new area, providing a new service, or offering later appointments, then that’s a great subject for text messaging.
Add a landing page so people can book right from your text, and you could make sales there and then.
6. Customer support
Use your text messaging to give your customers another option if they need help. It’s convenient to be able to send a quick text rather than hanging on the phone or writing out an email. The more options customers have to get questions answered and get quick fixes to their problems, the higher your customer satisfaction.
7. Reminders and confirmations
If you’re visiting customers at home to provide a service, sending them a text to say you’re on your way, or that you’ll be there today between 2 pm and 5 pm is extremely helpful for your customers. They know exactly what is happening and when.
You could also send a link to an FAQ so they can find out more information, ask for a review as soon as you’ve finished providing your service, and anything else you can think of.
Sending reminders is also a great way for you to reduce missed appointments.
8. Re-engage past customers
You can segment your list and only send to customers who haven’t bought from you for a while. You can let them know about new services since they last visited your site, and remind them of the good experience they had last time.
If your customers can buy online, you could also send out a text if they abandon their cart, which can increase sales.
Top tips for text message marketing success
Text messaging is simple, but there are some keys to success. Follow the advice below and your home services contracting business should do well with SMS marketing:
1) Choose the right text message marketing service
Choose a service such as Surefire Local’s all-in-one marketing platform. As well as automating your text messaging, you can keep track of all your marketing in one place.
2) Build your list
Advertise your text subscription and the benefits to your customers. Let them know they can sign up on your website. Tell them about it on social media, and tell your email list.
You could also give people a special offer for signing up.
3) Keep it short
Don’t try to write pages on your text messages. Keep them short and simple, to around 160 characters. Your texts are more likely to be read if they’re quick and easy.
4) Segment your list
If you know you have customers that only ever buy one service, then you can focus your texts to them on that subject only for the most part. It doesn’t mean that you can’t occasionally mention your other services, but your texts will be more relevant and useful to them if they’re about what they want.
You can also segment your list for new customers only, long-time customers, by area, and more.
5) Don’t forget your CTA
Every text you send should have a clear purpose and an engaging call to action. Don’t forget to include a link to your promotion so they can click through and book.
6) Don’t overdo it
Just because someone signs up for your texts doesn’t mean they want one every single day. Don’t be that business that drives them mad with too many texts.
7) Timing is everything
Study your statistics and find out when customers are more likely to open your messages, then keep sending around that time. Start off by texting around midday, as it’s a good time for most people to check their phones.
Want to add a whole range of marketing options to your arsenal? Check out Surefire Local’s all-in-one marketing software and see how you can manage text messaging, website chat, email marketing, and more, all from one centralized inbox.
With just one login, you can manage all of your marketing from one place and get a clear picture of how every aspect of your marketing is working.
Why not book a demo with our team today?