You’ve heard of toll-free calling, but what about toll-free text messaging? Text messaging is a key part of how we communicate both in the U.S. and globally. According to Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project taken across 21 countries, a median of 75% of cell phone owners say they text. Yet, Free to End User (FTEU) text messaging is one of the least utilized technologies among businesses today.
As consumer behavior moves toward mobile, SMS messaging will continue to be the baseline for on-the-go communications. Yet, when consumers use SMS messaging they may incur a cost. Businesses can alleviate this consumer pain and communicate through this preferred channel by utilizing FTEU text messaging. Just like businesses alleviated the cost of a voice call through 800 numbers, they can do the same in text by using FTEU SMS messaging.
At the end of the day, it’s consumers – and not businesses – who are incurring the extra fees from business-based (B2C) text communications. Driving down data and text charges are key components that consumers consider today. By default, consumers are less likely to provide their mobile numbers for SMS message notifications, updates and reminders from their providers of choice. The consumer must have a compelling reason to provide it for business based communications. Businesses may not realize there’s a solution. FTEU text messaging is a technology that allows consumers to receive and send text messages – except it’s the business that picks up the tab and customers don’t pay a penny. FTEU text messaging has been around for more than a decade, but it is grossly underutilized in the B2C community.
There are a number of benefits businesses will enjoy by implementing an FTEU plan, including:
1. Consumers will be more amenable to opt in an FTEU program because there is no cost associated with it; whether they receive texts or reply to them.
2. The use of the word FREE is compelling to a consumer. With FTEU text messaging, you can say the messaging is FREE without having to include an additional pricing disclosure.
3. Differentiate yourself from your competitors by bringing a new solution to your consumers that is a FREE service.
4. Use FTEU text messaging for many types of customer communications such as: marketing, account information, FAQs, delivery of promotions and coupons, appointment reminders, and rewards/loyalty information.
5. Your opt-in numbers will grow, widening your marketing base.
6. Customers will love your brand more. After all, you are saving them money.
7. There are no more hidden fees, meaning you won’t have those potentially damaging (and embarrassing) consumer complaints.
Customers may be interested in your product or service, but will be more interested in engaging in a conversation if the communication is free. As the structure surrounding data costs shifts, FTEU makes more and more sense for businesses.