SMS payments – the ability to pay for goods and services via text message – isn’t really anything new. The technology has existed for a little while and many businesses have used it with success.
However, as is the case with Facebook Messenger Bots, using SMS communication is your business to accept payments will depend on the business owner. Some business owners (like myself) like to use SMS exclusively for marketing, while others have no problem taking it a step further and using SMS payments.
How you decide to use SMS is your choice. Here are a few of the ways you can use SMS in your business to increase leads, send out marketing and even accept payments.
Use SMS payments in the literal sense.
The most obvious way to use SMS payments in your business is in the literal sense. There are several platforms out there that allow you to do this – including PayPal and Stripe – and it’s simply a matter of letting your customers know its available.
The major pros are that it’s easy and convenient for all parties involved. This is also a good option if your customers don’t have credit cards or live in other countries with less financial infrastructure.
The downside may be that, depending on your clientele, people may not be comfortable using SMS payments to pay for your goods and services. However, for those that are, it may be a good idea to have it available as an option.
For business owners who are not comfortable using SMS payments, there are other ways to use text message marketing to make more money.
Use SMS to increase email list subscribers.
If you hang around Instagram or Facebook at all, you may have seen the occasional post that says “Text [WORD] to [NUMBER] to receive [FREEBIE].”
As someone who recently started experimenting with this in her own business, it is very effective. The reason is simple. If someone is scrolling through their Instagram feed on their mobile device and sees an image that says they’ll get a freebie, it’s much easier for them to send a text message than it is to click on the profile, click on the link in the bio and then input their name and email on a landing page.
The same is true of speaking events and engagements. This is a method I’m starting to use at speaking events to increase my leads. I simply say “Get X when you send [WORD] to [NUMBER]” and everyone whips out their phones and signs up.
So how does this lead to more money? It’s not direct SMS payments, but it is list building. And as we all know by now, the money is in the list.
Use SMS to nurture leads and turn them into paying customers.
Just like you can use SMS to increase your leads, you can also use it to nurture leads via text marketing.
Again, this is all about ease. While email marketing is fantastic, not everyone is checking their email at all times. However, they always have their phone about three feet away from them at any given time. This makes SMS an effective tool for nurturing leads.
I actually have a colleague who has an entire sequence set up where he sends an opt-in, invites people to a webinar and books consults using SMS automation. By the time people get on the phone with him, they are ready to pay,
Again, this isn’t a direct form of SMS payments, but it is an effective strategy for scaling and increasing business revenue using text messaging.
Whether you decide to use SMS payments directly or simply use SMS as a means of marketing is up to you. Either strategy can lead to more money for your business, so choose the one that works best for your market.