You’ve heard the typical reasons for using text messaging for your business: bulk messages to send promotions, automatic delivery updates, or happy birthday messages. All of those are great, but they’re mass messages. They don’t feature the one thing text messaging was made for—one-to-one communication. 

And there’s never been a more crucial time than now for one-to-one communication that doesn’t require you to be face-to-face with your customers.

Open rates for text messages are 98%. There’s a reason for that—we expect text messages to be personal. And so do your customers.

Here are 9 surprising ways you can use texting to keep money coming in, even if your customers aren’t:

1. GATHER FEEDBACK

If you’re asking for feedback in a bulk email or a bulk text, you’re not going to get responses in bulk. Your customers don’t want to offer feedback to you (valuable feedback) in a way that feels like it won’t be read or even used by a real person. 

Instead, offer messaging throughout your customers’ journey and make sure they’re communicating with an actual person. It gives you the power to ask for feedback and to actually RESPOND to that feedback in real time. Customers will be more likely to tell you what’s not going well, what’s working, and if anything needs to change, because they’ll be used to talking with you via text.

Read this example of a business offering real-time texting with a real person getting real feedback (and with that, the ability to fix it in real time). It’s simple but powerful: 

The technician said he’d be here at 2 but showed up late so I missed the appointment.
We’re so sorry about that. Thanks for your feedback; we’d love to refund your service fee today. 
Thank you!

2. CLOSE THE DEAL (AND COLLECT PAYMENT)

When a prospect finds you online via local search, there’s a 78% chance that their visit will result in an offline purchase—usually within hours. With texting as your communication tool, that close rate is even higher. You can follow up on questions, send direct links to products, and even send a payment option over text. Plus, 50% of US consumers complete a purchase after receiving a branded text. It’s the modern way to close the deal.

Here’s a real-life excerpt of a follow-up text offering product links, pricing information, and finally, a payment link—closing the deal—all through text:

Hi, this is _______. Can I help with any last minute gifts for the holiday? 
Maybe. Lol.
How about the matching necklace and earrings:
<<sample link>>
Best price? 
The earrings and necklace would be $2,550 out the door. 
How do I pay and how fast can u get them to me? 
I will send you the link to pay for them and I’ll overnight the package  for Friday delivery.
Great!
<<Payment link>>
 _____ paid $2,550

3. ASK FOR REVIEWS

With one-to-one communication, your ask for a review on your Google listing is a personal ask, not a bulk message ask. Nearly 88% of consumers read reviews to better understand if they want to work with them (or buy from them) and 72% of consumers say that they trust a local business more if there are positive reviews. 

Look at this real example of Exeter Insurance asking Jane for a review. The message is personal, it’s clear and direct, and it includes a direct link. It’s a personal ask that takes the hassle of finding the review link away from Jane, increasing her chances of actually completing the ask (just like 45% of consumers that complete the desired action in the text they receive).

Hi Jane! Thanks for choosing Exeter Insurance. 
Could you take 30 seconds and leave a review via the link below? 
Leave us a review! https://pdm.co/rvw/2356 
Absolutely!
Jane Farnsworth:
“Exeter was so easy to work with. I’d definitely recommend."

4. PITCH PERSONALIZED PRODUCT OFFERS

Texting your customers to pitch personalized product offers can look different for every business. But offering it as a personalized text message will do far more for your business than sending out a mass text that the new section of your website is live and they can go make a purchase now. 

Take this example below—a solar panel company is installing panels on Natalie’s roof. The workers there notice that some of her shingles are missing and, imagine this, they offer the service to help her with that. They send a text directly to Natalie, detail the problem, offer the service to fix it, and include an image for better clarity. The deal is closed within seconds because she was offered a personalized product offer:

Hey Natalie, we are working on your panels and noticed that there are some shingles that are missing. 
Would you like us to replace them? 
That would be great! Thanks for catching that.

5. SEND PERSONALIZED APPOINTMENT SETTING

For your personalized business, offer a personal approach to appointment setting. It’s as simple as it is over the phone, but it’s even more convenient for the customer. Especially since consumers spend nearly 4 hours a day on their mobile devices (more time than they consume TV). With texting as an option for appointment setting, you can offer multiple options and confirm the time slot in real time. No need to send an email in hopes of a confirmation or an automated text that bluntly asks for a YES or NO.

Here’s a great example of a personalized appointment setting text. It offers two time options and allows for immediate confirmation:

Do you have any openings tomorrow afternoon? I was hoping to get an appointment ASAP.
Yes we do! We have openings at 3:00 and 4:15. Do either of those work for you? 
Let’s do 3:00. 
Perfect, I’ve got you scheduled!

6. CONTINUE WEB CONVERSATIONS ON THE GO

Offering a web chat feature on your website is great, except when the prospect needs to step away from the computer. Offer a better way to communicate—start with a web chat conversation and transition to a mobile text conversation. It’s a great way to follow up with more details for prospects on the go. 

Read this example of a web chat easily transitioning to a text conversation: 

WEB CHAT:

I’m wondering about your pricing - how much is an 8” round cake? 
Hi, Sarah! Thanks for your question. I need to know what flavor you’re looking at for your cake.
Chocolate with raspberry filling. 

TEXT MESSAGE:

Hi, Sarah! I looked up the price for that cake and it’s $58 plus tax.
Perfect - I need it for the 7th. Can I place an order?

7. ASK FOR REFERRALS 

Just like asking for feedback or for reviews, asking for referrals should be done with one-to-one communication. It’s a great opportunity to thank your customer for their business, ask for a referral, and offer them something in return. Instead of detailing your program in an invoice or follow-up email (which only has an open rate of 20%), transition your ask to a text message. 

Read this example of a carpet company following up after a sale and inviting their customer to join their referral program: 

Hi, Abby! I enjoyed working with you and I’m so happy to hear the carpet looks beautiful! 
I wanted to let you know about our referral program.
I know you are saving up to carpet the rest of the basement!
Great! I’d love to hear about the program.
Awesome! 
For every client you refer that purchases at least one room of carpet,
we offer 5% off your next room purchase.
It’s a great way to save money on the next project at your house. 
Oh I definitely recommend you to everyone I know.
I’ll let them know they should use my name!

8. CONFIRM DELIVERY DATES AND TIMES

Your product delivery will be delivered by a real human, so let a real human interact via text. Use text messaging to give your customer a human view of when their item will be delivered. Yes, watching a bubble move across a screen in real time can be entertaining, but getting a text from the delivery driver (instead of an update from a computer) offers a personal touch that can set your business apart from the competition. 

Here’s a great example of a delivery driver texting the customer to let them know they’ll be 10 minutes late. It’s real, it’s human, it’s a conversation. 

Hey, I’m going to be 10 minutes late with your delivery today. 
Thank you for your patience! How was your experience with our delivery today?
It went well. Even though it was a little late, the text helped me plan so I didn’t really mind. 

9. OFFER PERSONALIZED PROMOTIONS

If you think there aren’t any other ways to add a personalized message to your buyer’s journey, think again. Offer personalized promotions that make sense to your customers. It’s a great way to earn repeat business. 

In this example, an oil change company uses text messaging to remind one of their customers that it’s time to come back for their routine oil change. Plus, they include a personalized promotion that relates to their need:

Hi, John, I noticed it’s time to get the oil changed in your Durango. 
We’re running a promotion right now that offers $15 off weekday appointments.
Would Monday work for you?
Ah, thanks! I always forget when it’s time for that and $15 off sounds awesome. Monday is great.
Awesome! I’ll put you down for the morning - see you between 9 and 10 am! 

MORE WAYS TO USE TEXTING FOR YOUR BUSINESS:

Send follow up instructions or information – offer links to your website with instructions that help with your customer’s new purchase

Deliver order confirmations – let them know you received their order and you’re prepping it now (and open up a line of communication in case anything needs to change)

Invite prospects and customers to events – send personalized invites with a higher chance of an RSVP

There are endless ways you can use texting in your business, but the key takeaway is this: customers want personalized communication and text messaging offers just that. Answer their questions, offer solutions to their problems, make it easy for them to buy and review and send feedback. You won’t be surprised by the results.