Instant Messaging: another channel of communication
Undoubtedly fast, efficient and productive communication is of great importance with both internal and external customers. Yet many companies continue to fall short in this area. While the reasons could vary, it may simply be that they’re not using the right tools.
By creating an environment that is collaborative and administrative for all "stakeholders", Instant Messaging is another channel of communication with customers complementary to social media campaigns (facebook, twitter, Instagram, etc.)
According to most advertisers and marketing experts, social media should be combined and supported by Instant Messaging campaigns (such as SMS and /or Viber) as to have optimal results.
Option 1: SMS campaigns
By using SMS campaigns, you are pretty sure that your message will be delivered to all the receipients, as almost everyone has a mobile phone while not all have social media (especially elder people).
Additionaly, you can also be sure that your message will be read almost immediately as statistics say that SMS reading rate is between 97% - 98% and users read SMSs carefully due to its simple format and small size (usually within the next 5 minutes!).
The limitations are mainly 2: the size of the message can not exceed 612 characters (*capital letters, EN or GR) and you are restricted from using images or videos in an SMS.
You may easily overcome these 2 limitations by adding links in your text body as to lead users to your website or social media page and expand your message or even include images and fotos.
Option 2: Viber messaging campaigns
The Viber instant messaging service, allows you to send Viber messages to those of your clients that have and use Viber instead of sending the conventional SMS.
Viber is ideal for communicating quickly with large number of clients on monthly basis as it has the advantages of being less expensive compared to SMS, you can have a text as long as 1.000 characters and you can include videos and images.
Additionally, you can have a "call-to-action" button as to measure reactions of the users.
Issues you need to consider prior to using Viber messaging service, are the fact that not everyone has or actively using Viber services and that the receipient may block you from receiving your Viber messages. In this case, our platform recognizes the lack of active Viber user and follows up with an SMS. Last thing to consider is that Viber requires a minimum volume of 12.500 messages per month, making it unsuitable for small number of clients...
What should I have in mind when making an IM campaign?
It is highly recommended to include your company's name as "the Sender" - avoid using a numeric sender instead of text for cost-saving reasons. It seems less or not at all professional and receipients may hesitate to open a message send by a numeric sender.
It is also recommended to prefer sending personalized messages (i.e. Dear Professor "XYZ") and can be signed by the name of the Sales Rep that is responsible for the specific customer (i.e. Sincerely "John Smith").
We also recommend to include a "Call-to-action" option: You can send any link from your website or your social media page and be read by its users with internet access.
Other Issues to Consider and FAQ
What if someone replies to the IM or calls the number as to report an Advert Event?
- The "Reply" option is inactivated, thus restricting a user from replying or calling back.
Should we include disclaimers or "yellow card"
- Depending on local regulation, in general avoid using a brand name in your messages
I have consent for sending emails, can I send IM?
- No, you need to have a consent specifically for this type of communication.
What is the "Opt-out" functionality?
- Always give your receipients the right to chose not to receive IMs from you in the future.
What if the message is delivered in unappropriate time? HCPs have their mobiles active 24/7...
- Avoid using platforms that for cost-saving reasons use mobile network operators from all over the globe, thus making it impossible to know when a message will be delivered (you can not also describe it as "Instant"...)
We schedule the exact time that the messages will be sent. Delivery depends on the local Network operator – usually within 1-2 min after we "press the button".
Best time / day to send messages?
- Depending on the recipient’s habits. We need to explore the daily customer journey.