Why Business Owners Should Covet Texts

Texting has largely replaced email. 10 million people in Canada have a smart phone. A recent study shows that that number is steadily growing, and will soon pass %50 of all Canadians. The allure of texting is the ease. It’s preferable to type out quick messages instead of having long conversations. It works with people you know and love. It works even better with people you don’t know or love. It isn’t very fun calling someone you aren’t acquainted with. That’s why cold-calling is so loathed. It’s why we email questions to businesses to ask them about their products. There’s a comfortable disconnect. You don’t need to make a personal commitment, and you can “take or leave” information more easily. So, as email slowly dies, is your business taking advantage of texting? Here’s an interesting video from last year.

Stats from the video

  • 4.1 Billion mobile phones worldwide
  • 86% of Americans own a mobile phone
  • 68.7 million are frequent texters
  • 97% of text messages are opened
  • 83% of text messages are opened within one hour
  • 1.56 million text messages were sent in the USA in 2010
  • 52083 text are sent each second
  • 90% of marketing emails are not read

In the end, I don’t quite agree with the purpose of the video. I don’t think you should be using text to solicit potential customers. That’s a good way to become a nuisance. People don’t want to be contacted by businesses randomly via text. But, I do think there is a big opportunity for smart businesses to converse with future clients by text. This is where a good radio campaign comes in.

Don’t contact them. Make them contact you!

This means you need to become the expert. Use your radio campaign to illustrate your value. If you’re a mechanic, become the expert mechanic. If you’re a plumber, become the best plumber. You do this by answering questions for free.

I think there is huge value for this in any service industry. Everyone runs into car problems, or home maintenance issues. Most people will try to find a friend for free advice when things break. When my furnace stopped working last year, I called my Dad to ask if he knew what was up. When he didn’t know, I hit the internet. After that, I polled my friends on Facebook. I wanted to make sure I didn’t call an HVAC guy for something I could fix myself. Millions of other people behave exactly like me. That’s why we need free experts.

There’s a huge void for advice. Here are the main reasons people don’t call.

  • Time and hassle - People don’t want to look up a place to call, find the number, call them, and sit on hold. They’re busy. It’s a huge pain to take that kind of time out of the day.
  • Fear – People don’t want to get ripped off. If I call a place, they might swindle me into an appointment that will cost a fortune.
  • Trust – People want to speak to an expert. Usually, when you call a service-oriented business, you speak with a receptionist that books an expensive meeting. People would rather know what they’re getting into before they book an appointment.

There are two main targets for us to focus on. Let’s make things easier for potential clients. And let’s make the process more time efficient. Finally, let’s give them this without asking for a commitment.

So where does texting come in?

Texting is the way we make it all work. In your radio advertising; you need to brand yourselves as experts. Ask people to text you questions for free advice. Then, send your professional advice back. This is how you build trust in an industry that requires it.

For example, if a furnace company branded themselves this way with a memorable texting number, I probably would have sent them a text like this...

                Hey Guys, I woke up this morning to a cold house. When I turn my thermostat up, it doesn’t respond. When I yank it back and forth, my furnace kicks in, but blows cold air. Any ideas what’s up?

The furnace experts would text back with...

Hey Adam, thanks for the text. It sounds like your flame sensor may need cleaning. It’s a simple procedure and will cost $99. It may also be a faulty thermo-coupler. That would be more expensive. We can send someone to check it out in the next 5 hours if you’re interested?

By running a radio campaign branding yourselves as the “experts” and supplying an easy form of contact, you’ve just made a very good personal impression. You are far more likely to close on this business.

I think this is a fantastic way to get your business to the top of your target client’s mental list. That’s the best thing you can do with your radio advertising. In short, become the expert, and make it easy for people to contact you. Using text is a great way to start. Nobody is doing it. The opportunity is sitting in front of you. You just need to grab it. I can help too. Send me an email at adam@airsupport.ca. Or, if you’re really liking this idea, send me a text to 780-983-5338. I’d love to give you more expert advice on your radio advertising. I’d love to chat with you.

Extra point of note: You won’t be receiving these texts on your phone. They will be guided through an online program. You’ll answer everything from your computer just like an email service.