Text Message Marketing is a strategy that most businesses use today. It involves the use of text messages or short messages (SMS) to reach out to customers. Promoting a product, running a marketing campaign, getting feedback from customers, and engaging with customers can all be done through SMS. The fact that messages are read by more than 97% of mobile users makes it a powerful strategy. All that is needed is a database of customers and leads (with their phone numbers), and software to manage the messaging.
Business Text messaging services have a better response rate than emails. Most email software sends promotional emails to the spam folder. People don’t appreciate telemarketing calls as they consider them intrusive. This is where text messaging is advantageous. It is non-intrusive, virtually guaranteed to be read, and has a higher response rate. This is the reason organizations from different sectors are now using SMS to reach out to customers. The insurance industry is also making use of this highly effective strategy to engage with leads and customers.
SMS and the insurance industry
The insurance industry needs to continuously engage with potential and present customers. Engagement with customers helps them to communicate information on insurance products. They can also interact with customers, provide them additional information, answer their queries, and even complete policy sales over the mobile phone using text messaging.
Some of the effective applications of SMS for the insurance industry are listed below.
1) SMS for marketing campaigns
Any organization needs marketing to bring in customers and earn revenue. An insurance company can reach out to potential customers through text marketing. A marketing campaign to promote an insurance product can be run by using group texting. Text messages with information on the insurance product can be sent to inquiries and customers. These messages can have basic information on the product. Additional information can be given in two ways:
a) Through the use of keywords: The message recipient can reply to the message with a keyword (eg:
MORE INFO) to get more information about the policy. An SMS Autoresponder can take care of providing this service. The moment a message from a customer is received with a keyword, additional details can be sent through SMS (more than one message, if needed).
b) Through a website link: A shortened link to the website can be inserted in the text message. This encourages potential customers to visit the website. The link can be tracked to find out data on how many people visited the website and how many bought an insurance product online. This will be helpful in evaluating the success of a marketing campaign.
2) Customer engagementAny service organization needs to continuously engage with customers. This includes providing information they need, answering their queries, providing updates, and other product-related activities. Whether it is before a sale happens or after, continuous engagement is the key to winning over a customer. Text messaging is one of the fastest and most effective ways to engage with customers. The benefit of text messaging is it can even be used to send images through MMS pictures. This will help in sharing details from the product brochure or screenshots from the website, where required.
Customer engagement can also include:
• Sending tips and advice related to insurance.
• Sending other general advice, for example, health advice to customers of health insurance and advice on maintaining cars to customers of automobile insurance.
• Collect information from customers to update in the database. Simple things like a change of address can be handled through SMS.
• Reminders can be sent on policy renewal, which is a major issue. Most customers forget to renew the policy, so a reminder service can be helpful.
• Information on claims and the claim status update can be sent through messages. This is one of the best ways to provide service to existing customers.
• Updates on new insurance products or additional features/top-ups can be sent through text messages.
3) Customer FeedbackFeedback from customers is very important. It helps an organization to understand how happy the customers are. It helps them to know their weak areas. It also acts as a credential or a recommendation from a customer that can be used for marketing. Feedback can be easily collected through messages. A question can be sent through an SMS and the customer can reply with a number indicating the rating. Alternately, a link to a web page can be sent to give detailed feedback online.
The use of interactive text messaging can thus help insurance companies and agents engage with customers. This helps them to provide information and carry out the marketing process through the mobile network. Insurance companies can market their products and acquire new customers in this highly effective way. More and more insurance companies are using text messaging, thanks to the multiple benefits it offers.