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Written by
Katy Ratican
1 Jun 2021
4 minutes
Using a business SMS service can save you time and money
A business SMS service can be the primary and most effective marketing tool for local retail businesses
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Are you a local, independent retail business looking for a better marketing platform? Something more effective than expensive billboards, complicated digital marketing tactics and needless newspaper ads? A business SMS service is the answer.

If you’re a salon, pet grooming centre, butcher, grocer, supermarket or restaurant, you know that your biggest asset is the relationship you’ve built with your customers. Your customers are people that you - and perhaps even your family - have probably known for years.

While big businesses can offer steep discounts and bundled offers, you can choose to invest in those priceless relationships instead.

A business SMS service is exactly what will help you reach those customers and engage with them more effectively. If you’re thinking that text message marketing is mostly about spam SMS, well: things have changed. As an independent retail business, here’s why a business SMS service should be on top of your marketing agenda.

How local retailers can use business SMS services

1. For announcements

Got a new dish that you want to announce to your patrons? Or a new weekend offer at your pet grooming centre? Instead of an ad or a billboard, you can use the cheapest of all options. The tried-and-trusted SMS.

Sure, you could also send an email or post it on your social media page. But there’s no guarantee that your customers will see it immediately. As a local retail business, you want immediate sales and revenues. An SMS gets the word out and brings in customers.

It may get tempting to use this tool often, so make sure that you don’t overdo it. An overdose of promotional SMS is one of the biggest mistakes a local business can make.

2. For appointments

Repeat purchases are what keep independent businesses running. Whether you manage a salon, auto repair centre, spa, or offer teeth whitening services, your success will primarily depend on the number of repeat customers. And how do you keep them coming back? Through appointment scheduling.

With texts, you can remind your customers that their next appointment is due. This will be helpful to a lot of people who may have forgotten it. Secondly, you can also remind people of their scheduled appointments a day in advance. This will ensure that they don’t forget, which would lead to empty slots.

Thirdly, you can club appointment reminders with value-added offers to your repeat customers. For example, you could ask them to forward your SMS to any of their close friends. You can also offer discounts based on the number of people they recommend your service to.

3. For feedback

Online reputation management is crucial for local businesses. At the crux of that is managing your online reviews which begins with requesting reviews. SMS is the ideal tool for sending those requests to your customers.

You could use a business SMS service to ask your customers for reviews after they’ve bought your product or service. These requests will usually include a link to where they should leave a review. So, all they have to do is click on it and rate your business.

4. For celebrating special occasions

A text is one of the most personal of all mediums. Not jpegs, not gifs, not animated videos. What moves us are words. Which makes SMS the most authentic way to wish your customers well on their birthdays, anniversaries or other special occasions.

Importantly: limit it to the well-wish only. Don’t add a promotional offer - make it as sincere as possible.

5. For thanking your customers

Not all business texts have to be about marketing or sales. Some can be just heartfelt notes of gratitude. You can send an SMS thanking your customers when they buy from you.

What’s even better? Thank them even when they’re not buying from you. Send a text to all your previous customers thanking them for their service. Tell them that every transaction, even if it was years ago, has helped you survive and beat the odds.

Imagine receiving that text of gratitude from a business you haven’t supported in a while. Would you be irritated or pleasantly surprised and touched by the sincerity of that statement?

In short

An SMS business service can deepen an independent retail business’s relationship with its customers and increase their lifetime value. It can do all that while saving you both time and money. It’s what every small and independent business needs to survive and grow.

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