Misc

Is SMS/Text a good Marketing Tool for MSP’s?

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For some MSP’s, marketing has been a struggle and source of discomfort. For those MSP’s, the thought of marketing has often found them seeking advice or hiring third party companies to facilitate their marketing efforts, while others just find themselves not marketing their services at all. Mobile and social marketing is changing this by providing easy and automated ways to market to customers; but are all of these new tools good for business?

SMS/Text marketing has become a popular way of communicating with customers. Retail stores and service-based companies often use scheduled text messages to offer discounts on products and services. For those that opt-in to these messages, the savings and discounts can outweigh the annoyance of personal interruption by their mobile device or ultimately by the company.

This is where a fine line is drawn between useful communication and junk messaging. As an MSP looking to this medium to provide useful communication to customers, you must ask if the provided communication will be appreciated or will be seen as an annoyance. This may be hard for IT companies to determine based on the types of messages that may be sent.

In a retail space it is easy; providing discounts and coupons provide a valuable tradeoff for consumers, these tradeoffs may not be quite as apparent for an MSP and an MSP may not get the same value rating for informational messaging. Some examples of ways I have seen MSP’s utilizing SMS/Text messages are:

Informative – MSP’s send messages regarding new products or services they are providing.

Trivia – Considered by some MSP’s as a fun communication, this might include technology questions, fun facts, etc.

Technology News – Top industry news stories, notifications of new viruses, and general tech interest is meant to keep customers up to date on what’s going on in tech.

Alerts – Alerts can notify customers of outages, issues that may affect their network, scheduled service calls, billing issues, or a host of other account related items.

I am opted-in to a number of MSP’s SMS/text marketing services and if I am being honest, I just don’t find it to be a worthwhile marketing effort. Some might think that this is because I am in the industry and non-techies would value the information more than I would. This might be true, but I often find the information provided to be more filler than anything.

You might chalk this up to the automated nature of this type of marketing. I can however see a true value in Alert-based messaging. If you are notifying your customer about issues, service downtime, or account related items, the value of the messages significantly increases in my book.

If you are an MSP considering SMS/Text message marketing, be sure to evaluate your content from a consumer value point of view and schedule only as often as you would expect to get a message from a company you do business with.

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