The Plumber’s Guide to SMS Text Marketing

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If you’re tired of sending quote emails, playing phone tag, sending follow-up emails and leaving voicemails to connect with customers, or maybe even giving up on customer contact altogether, here’s the good news. There’s a better way – and it’s going to change the game for your plumbing company service.

As a trade professional, you need to manage time efficiently – not just during a shift, but throughout the entire day, every day.

We know, we know—home services businesses aren’t usually known for being tech-savvy. But in today’s competitive environment—you simply can’t afford to ignore the latest digital technologies. Your audience demands convenient, seamless experiences from all of your business relationships. They want convenient, seamless access to your services. SMS marketing works in tandem with your website, eCommerce platform, phone services, and apps to help you build your online community, market to your audience, generate leads,

Get ready to say goodbye to the days of lost appointments, so-so returns on promotions, and phone tag because today we’re learning how to communicate over mobile communication networks (SMS).

But Why Do Plumbers Need SMS Marketing?

When communicating with customers it’s important to be where they are, instead of trying to contact them through conventional business and media ways. There are more mobile devices being used for customer service than ever before—smartphones, laptops, tablets, and even watches—giving customer service reps direct access to customers at all times.

In a national survey on consumer preferences, 55 percent of respondents said that they prefer SMS for appointment reminders. What’s more, the survey found that the availability of SMS communication—or the lack thereof—influenced brand loyalty. While 47 percent of consumers stated that they would react negatively if they did not offer SMS communication, 58 percent indicated that they would view a business more positively if they offered SMS.

If that’s not convincing enough, consider this: SMS open rates are as high as 98 percent compared to just 20 percent for emails. And, on average, it takes 90 seconds for someone to respond to a text compared to 90 minutes for an email.

With an effective text campaign, you can start sending out appointment reminders, promotions, follow-up surveys, and more. SMS gives you a new level of control over your marketing, so you can get the most bang for your buck out of every campaign.

Using SMS Marketing to Boost Your Revenue

The benefits of SMS marketing for plumbing businesses are endless. You can expedite communications with customers, reach leads before the competition, and diagnose problems before you even see them in person. Even if you’ve spent years playing phone tag and responding to emails, texting can help you ignite your business growth.

With the right text messaging campaign, you can boost your sales, increase your revenue, and maximize your ROI. Here’s how.

1. Be There When Your Customers Need You

From water shut-off valve failures to burst pipes, plumbing companies often deal with emergencies, where fast communication is critical. SMS marketing makes it easy for you to communicate with your customers immediately.

With a shared inbox, you and your operations team can quickly coordinate the service. One of your field technicians can pick up the chat as they’re preparing to take on the job.

2. Generate Online Reviews

We’ve heard it time and time again: Online reviews are social proof. They build credibility, position your plumbing business as an industry leader, and draw more leads to your website. And what better way to generate online reviews than follow-up texts?

After you service a customer, you can send them a quick, friendly text asking for a review or testimonial. All you need to do is ask them for their feedback and include a link to your Yelp or Google page.

This works because 98 percent of texts are read, and texts have a higher clickthrough rate compared to emails, social media, and search advertising. When you consider that 93 percent of customers read online reviews before buying a product, you really can’t go wrong with follow-up texts.

3. Book More Appointments

Your lead generation strategy is doing great, so you have countless new leads reaching out to you for appointment requests. But between emailing and phone tag, you’re losing out on business before you even schedule an appointment.

When it comes to emergency requests, a quick response time makes all the difference. Meanwhile, for nonessential repairs, 50 percent of sales go to the first business to respond. If your prospects are shopping around for quotes or seeing who can get there fastest, you need to be the first one to follow up.

Calls and emails aren’t the best way to book appointments fast, especially if you’re not sitting in the office all day. Texting is. When a new request comes in—from any channel—you can quickly follow up with a text. This way, you can step out in front of the competition with unbeatable response times and start booking more appointments.

4. Avoid Cancellations

Every plumber has sent a technician out to service a property—only to find out that the customer isn’t home. You’re wasting time, money, and resources when that technician could be serving other customers. To make it worse, the customer you’re supposed to be servicing still needs their problem fixed.

So, how can you prevent cancellations and missed appointments? It’s simple: Just send an appointment reminder 24 to 48 hours before the scheduled appointment. That’ll remind your customer about their appointment, so they can make sure someone is home to let you in.

If you end up getting locked out, you can also use text messaging to send your customer a quick message. Either way, you’ll keep more appointments while minimizing your cancellations and no-shows.

5. Diagnose Problems Faster

How many times have you gotten a phone call where a customer tries to tell you their sink is clogged? Then, you go out to fix that problem, but it turns out the problem is actually something much more complicated and time-consuming.

It takes your field technicians longer to diagnose and fix these problems. On top of that, they’ll probably have to leave and come back with another tool. Not only are you wasting time in the field, but you’re also making the experience more inconvenient for your customer.

That’s bad for everyone. But with text messaging, you can avoid these problems and make everyone happier. Just ask customers to send you a picture of the problem.

Sure, pictures aren’t going to be helpful 100 percent of the time, but they can give you a better idea of what you’re getting into. This way, you can send more accurate estimates before sending a technician over. Plus, you can fix the problem faster and provide a better customer experience.

How to Create an Effective Text Messaging Campaign For Your Plumbing Company

Right off the bat, offering SMS communications is going to boost your customer satisfaction rates. It’s convenient for your customers because they use it every day. Plus, they can quickly reach out to your business with any questions or concerns along the way.

From appointment reminders to plumbing promotions, text messaging is going to make life easier for you and your customers. Ready to jumpstart your text messaging campaign?

1. Ask For Permission

Text messaging can be an effective way to connect with existing customers and new leads, but only if you do it right. First, make sure you ask permission to send your customers text messages to avoid violating the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation or US Federal Communications Commission Regulations. When you’re asking permission to communicate via text, you should let your customers know what you’ll be sending them, such as promotions, appointment reminders, or follow-up surveys.

In other words, you should only use text messaging as a marketing channel if that customer has agreed to receive texts. If you contact customers via text without their permission, you risk losing your credibility.

To encourage customers to sign up for text communications, use a keyword campaign to grow your SMS marketing list. With a keyword campaign, your customers can text a specific word to your number and opt-in for deals, appointment reminders, and more. For example, you might ask customers to “text START to 855-875-7474 for a promotion.” You can add this to your website’s contact page, social media posts, and emails—anywhere your existing customers and prospects might see it is fair game.

Once customers opt-in to your text messaging campaign, you’ll want to send on-brand, valuable messages. If you’re too annoying or intrusive, your customers are just going to opt-out, rendering your campaign ineffective.

2. Keep It Short

SMS messages are great for capturing your customers’ attention because they’re short and sweet. With a 160-character limit, you’ll need to be strategic in your approach. This means you can’t fill your messages with any fluff, chitchat, or pointless information.

When writing your SMS copy, short, precise messages are a must. In addition, you’ll want to shorten any links to surveys, attachments, or scheduling calendars.

For the best results, aim to grab their attention, communicate your marketing message, and close with a compelling call to action—all in 160 characters or less. For example, if you’re informing customers about a promotion on dishwasher installation, entice them with an exciting opener, quickly explain the promotion, and then tell customers how to access that promotion.

3. Add Value

It doesn’t matter what kind of marketing messages you’re sending—your biggest priority is to ensure that your message is relevant. Your messages need to add value to the customer’s experience while staying on-brand. So, what does that mean for your text messaging campaign?

Before reaching out to your list, take some time to think about the messages that will please your contacts. Everyone loves a good coupon or promotion. You want customers to feel excited when they notice a notification from your business.

Above all else, you should provide useful information, along with promotional offers, to create a level of anticipation and excitement. Start looking at SMS marketing in the same way you view social media marketing. Ask yourself how to add value to your customers’ lives without being intrusive or annoying. Your text messages need to cut through the noise, get noticed, and make a positive impression.

4. Choose the Right Timing 

Your customers are busy, and you don’t want them to feel like they’re flooded with messages. Instead, you should choose appropriate times to send your text messages. If you’re already running an SMS campaign, take a look at when you’re scheduling your messages (e.g., in the afternoon vs. late night). Some customers might think you’re being intrusive—and even unprofessional—if you’re sending texts at random hours.

To choose the right timing, try sending your texts during typical business hours. It doesn’t hurt to tell customers what to expect from your SMS campaign, either. This way, nobody will feel like your messages are intrusive, and fewer people will feel the need to unsubscribe.

5. Offer an Unsubscribe Option

The last thing you want to consider is your customers opting out of your texting campaign, but it’s inevitable. Even if you’re sending compelling, captivating SMS messages, some people are going to unsubscribe—and that’s completely normal.

Even though it might seem contradictory, you want to make it easy for those customers to unsubscribe. Offer a convenient option by adding an unsubscribe link for them to click, or replying to your message with “STOP.” By making it easy for your customers to opt-out, you’ll earn their trust—and you might convince them to re-subscribe in the future.

Fuel Your Business Growth With Strategic SMS Marketing

If you’re not already using SMS marketing to grow your business, what’s stopping you?

Whether you’ve spent years growing your business using traditional marketing methods or optimizing your digital marketing strategy, the right SMS strategy can be a game-changer for your business.

When you start using the channels that your customers prefer, they’ll thank you for it. When you’re ready to upgrade your marketing communication capabilities, we’re here to help you craft a strategic SMS marketing campaign for your plumbing business.

Just click the text chat button in the corner to get started!

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