Getting more traffic to your eCommerce site should be a priority. But gaining expertise in search engine optimization (SEO) social advertising and content marketing may be too big of an endeavor.
Before delving into these techniques, ask yourself: How often are you considering text messaging apps as part of your outreach?
Text messaging is a popular pastime. As of July 2020, 2 billion users are communicating through the world’s most popular messaging app – WhatsApp. With 90 percent of all text messages being read and opened within five seconds, discounting the enormous gains you can make from such a responsive channel could be a lost opportunity.
In this article, we’ll cover 7 ways you can use text messaging apps to increase visits to your website.
Start With Understanding Who Your Prospects Are
When you’re creating a marketing strategy, do you let data be your co-designer?
Analytics software helps you to recognize patterns in the behavior of your site visitors. By making full use of this data, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of what your visitors want, and knowing what they want will help you to meet their needs.
User behavior analytics (UBA) is a method that accounts for every action taken on your site. By tracking a variety of behaviors, UBA allows you to take a deep dive into what visitors are up to – good and bad. Adding a powerful layer of sophistication to your analysis should also result in a better method of understanding the “why.” Why did I see an uplift this week? Why didn’t they complete the sale? Why don’t my CTAs work?
Once you’ve identified the core behaviors of your customers, you need to create buyer personas. Personas are character profiles that use the average habits of users to your site. These personas allow you to highlight the process your customers or visitors go through before they convert to a sale.
On average, three percent of visitors will end up converting. It takes hard work to keep them engaged for very long, but engagement should start with a great understanding of your visitor’s needs, wants and desires.
With such high global usage of text messaging apps, make it a priority to include them in your customer engagement strategy.
Here Are 7 Techniques You Can Deploy Through Messaging Apps to Increase Site Traffic
1. Personalize the Experience
Using someone’s name is the strongest way to get their attention. Our names have a deep connection to our identities and help us to feel valued.
Including the power of personalization in your messaging means stronger engagement – especially when 54 percent of consumers say they’d be more likely to buy products from companies that send personalized texts.
Personalized outreach and engagement will also drive referrals to your site. Those who feel valued and respected as individuals are more inclined to pass on their great experience to friends and family. In fact, 70 percent of consumers said they’d be likely to refer a company after receiving personalized messages.
2. Increase Engagement
Using texts to drive attention to your site is a method that works. This can take the form of in-app messages – including your web-based app and any chat prompts on your site – or via SMS to your subscriber base. Because of its unbeatable open rate of 98 percent, SMS is often better at cutting out the noise than other channels.
As the second-most-popular messaging app, Facebook Messenger is also a great channel to support your outreach. Messenger bots can offer open rates of 88 percent and have click-through rates (CTRs) of more than 50 percent.
One of the best ways to get traffic moving to your site is to offer discounts and promotions via text. For eCommerce, this could be sending a shortcode discount, a link to an offer or a time-limited promotion. For other sites, encourage more visits by alerting customers to any new content you’re putting up, or by running competitions.
3. Target Your Advertising
WhatsApp has a “no marketing” ethos, which means running advertising through the platform isn’t possible. But, if you’re a small business, you can make sales through the WhatsApp Business app. And, if you’re a larger company, you’re permitted to offer conversational commerce through the WhatsApp Business API.
Facebook Messenger has an audience of over 1 billion users and already owns WhatsApp, so setting your advertising sights there makes more sense. The platform offers an active user base, plus a set of ready-to-use features you can get going with.
Facebook Messenger Ads are a good way to engage your audiences, and there are plenty of options, including destination ads, sponsored messages and home section ads. All of these encourage users to start a conversation with you. For re-engaging any lapsed website visitors, Facebook Messenger is a great technique.
4. Promote Sharing
Driving more traffic to your website means making things easy for people. These days, our attention spans are virtually non-existent. By adding messaging apps to your social media sharing buttons, you can boost engagement right away. You already have share buttons for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, right? Add share buttons for WhatsApp and Messenger too.
If you’re running a WordPress site, there are a few plugins to help.
The second thing you should focus on is encouraging user-generated content (UGC). With 83 percent of consumers saying they’re more likely to trust their peers than a brand, this can be more powerful. So, if you’ve worked up a customer persona, consider what type of user-focused activities might be cool to try to engage your customers. Be creative. And whatever your incentive, make sure it’s perfect for sharing through messaging apps.
5. Deploy Real-Time Customer Service
The number of companies investing in omnichannel experiences in 2020 has grown from 20 percent to 80 percent. This is because firms are recognizing the value of meeting consumers where they spend most of their time.
By integrating Facebook Messenger with your conversational commerce platforms, you can enhance customer service levels across new channels. When integrated with your chatbot, Facebook Messenger can elevate customer services with automation. Uber achieved this through a taxi bot, using notifications to keep customers updated on the status of their rides.
With customer satisfaction levels at 73 percent – higher than email and phone – live chat is something you have to consider. Offering an easy and effective way to provide real-time communication to site visitors, this is where your agents can directly answer queries in a chat function. Bear in mind that you’ll need to be driving traffic via a desktop to reap the benefits of this method.
6. Run Drip Campaigns
While email marketing used to be king when it came to engagement, open and read rates for SMS are 5X better. Drip campaigns via SMS are effective to onboard new customers or visitors. Think about it: When you’re starting out in a relationship, you want to spend a lot of time with that person – not too much time so you put them off, but enough to stay intrigued. This is the same principle when onboarding visitors.
With CTRs standing at 3X higher and SMSes taking 90 seconds to reply to, well-scheduled drip campaigns by text will get results. Start with a welcome text using SMS and conduct a survey on their customer experience. Then, depending on your persona character traits, consider mixing this up with WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger to see where you can pick up the most engagement.
7. Gain Feedback
Continuous improvement should be a focal point of your customer engagement strategy. The data you collect can enhance your data analysis and refine your customer personas. Because 85 percent of small- to mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) say online customer feedback had benefitted their business, using messaging apps to reach your consumers is a wise move.
On Facebook Messenger, chatbots will conduct surveys for you. Consider deploying this as part of your drip campaign, after visitors come to your site to register, download content or make a purchase.
Alternatively, a series of short text messages via SMS is an excellent way to gain fast responses. Make your CTA clear, consider adding incentives and make sure you send them out at the right time.
Texting is the number-one communication channel for under-50s in the U.S. To keep the new generations engaged, make sure to get feedback via text messaging apps.
It’s easy to overlook the power of text messaging apps when you’re trying to find ways to increase traffic to your site. But, when customers want you to make them feel valued and to understand what they’re looking for, it’s best to respond to their needs in the right way. Visitors will become loyal to your brand, and to your site, once you’ve put the work in to earn their trust.
Today, more than 2 billion people are using messaging apps to communicate with each other. This makes text messaging apps the best way to reach your visitors and customers.
Using messaging apps to deploy SMS automation and chatbots will also increase customer service levels and make visitors want to return to you. The same can be said for creating omnichannel experiences, so use these to make it as easy as possible for first-timers to visit your site and stay loyal to your brand.