Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing SMS: How to Make It Better
If you’ve landed on this article, chances are, you’re already using Microsoft Dynamics 365. This powerful suite promises to “build a hyperconnected business that’s ready for what’s next.” While that’s a pretty big claim, there is a lot of possibility lurking within the platform.
In the following article, we’ll explore the Marketing component and, more specifically, Dynamics 365 Marketing SMS. It’s rapidly becoming the corporate world’s worst kept secret that SMS is the tool for marketing in 2022 and beyond. Businesses across every industry are incorporating text messaging into their marketing strategies, and customers respond with high engagement rates.
So, what more can we tell you? There’s plenty to say about SMS marketing. For now, let’s look at how you can make a feature-rich, comprehensive, almost overwhelmingly robust platform like Dynamics 365 even better.
Dynamics 365 Marketing SMS
When a company like Microsoft sets out to do something, they go all-in. That’s the approach they’ve taken with Dynamics 365, adding components built for the primary departments throughout your organization: Sales, Service, Finance, Operations, Commerce, HR, and yes, Marketing.
Every facet of Dynamics 365 has been designed with your business operations and customer satisfaction in mind. When it comes to Marketing, Microsoft has sought to create a platform that helps you meet customer demand, increase engagement, elevate customer experiences, and engage with customers in real-time.
That’s a lot of your Marketing team’s moving parts that Microsoft hopes to elevate by being a supportive friend rather than an irksome foe. They’ve built a unified platform to help you engage your customers through various channels, keep their data safe, and personalize the experience.
With Dynamics 365 SMS, you can create and deliver text messages as a part of marketing campaigns or customer communication. The platform allows you to send transactional and promotional messages with ease, sending outbound messages to your subscribers. Microsoft does a great job of creating an entry-level platform for introducing SMS. It’s not a complete solution, but it’s a start.
Related: How to Use SMS for Business Communication
Uses for SMS Marketing
There are a variety of ways you can leverage SMS marketing to reach your audience. Connecting with your audience via text helps to build brand credibility and increases customer loyalty.
Of course, business text messages have to be more than a simple “what’s up?” now and again.
The average open rate for text messages is a staggering 98%, and Americans check their phones as much as 160 times each and every day. If you’re going to text message current or prospective customers, you’d better bring value.
Since Dynamics 365 Marketing SMS suits only outbound messages, that’s an excellent place to get started. There are a number of ways you can send outbound SMS to bring value to prospective and current customers. And with third-party integrations, you have a complete business SMS solution.
Promotions and Contests
SMS is an excellent avenue for sending short-and-sweet messages to get subscribers involved in promotions and contests. Capture their attention in a short bit of text and encourage participation to win.
Dynamics 365 Marketing SMS is a perfect way to craft and deliver these outgoing messages, and you can include a link to direct your recipient to participate. You will be able to track the campaign’s efficacy through signups or submissions.
Announcements and Invitations
Another great option for one-directional messages is announcements and invitations. A punchy message can build suspense in the lead-up if you have upcoming product launches. Include a link for recipients to sign up and be among the first to hear when the product is available.
You can also create a message in your Dynamics 365 Marketing SMS dashboard to invite your subscribers to events – either in-person or online. Whether it’s a store opening, a sale, a workshop, a forum, or some other event, SMS is a great way to get the word out.
You’ll need to include an RSVP link, as Dynamics 365 doesn’t support incoming messages.
The promise of exclusivity can be enough of a nudge for some to get them to subscribe. After all, you can’t send business SMS to people who haven’t opted-in to receive your messages. For many, the allure of offers only for the select few can move them onto your list.
Exclusive offers for subscribers only can come in the form of links to QR codes or barcodes for in-store purchases. They can also be online promo codes for use at checkout. Try sending exclusive offers to those who have purchased to encourage another sale or promote add-ons.
The best way to serve your customers well is to understand their experience better. Not all consumers will go out of their way to leave a review, leaving businesses in the dark about how they’re faring in their customers’ minds.
An SMS can help fill these gaps. Send a polite nudge after a purchase with a little thank you and a “how did we do?” Encourage your customers to provide feedback or fill quick surveys. You can choose to keep responses anonymous or dangle the “enter to win” carrot by offering a contest entry for a completed feedback form.
Related: How Text Messaging Improves the Customer Service Experience
Send Reminders and Alerts
There are often many moments when would-be customers are lost throughout the sales cycle. Sometimes, keeping a customer is as simple as sending valuable reminders and alerts.
If you have a business that schedules meetings or appointments, Dynamics 365 Marketing SMS is a valuable tool for eliminating no-shows. Sending a brief SMS reminder of an appointment will help ensure meetings are kept and time isn’t wasted due to forgetfulness or double booking. Ensure you include an option to click a link to reschedule or cancel. Making it easy to change or cancel appointments will free up your employee to do other things.
You can also send alerts to track the status of a shipment. A short SMS to confirm orders can be followed up with messages at crucial stages of the fulfillment process: order received, order shipped, tracking information, and order delivery confirmation are great uses of this approach.
If you want to take reminders and alerts to the next level, integrate a third-party SMS platform with your Dynamics 365 environment for the ability to receive and track responses without toggling away.
Modern Marketing Approach
A modern marketing strategy is not complete without text messaging. Text messages have an open rate of 98%, compared to only 20% for email marketing. Of course, that does mean the pressure is on to not only send messages but to send good messages to your customers. No, not simply good news. Good, useful, valuable messages that keep your customers engaged.
While Dynamics 365 Marketing SMS allows you to send one-way messages, the next step is to send two-way communications. A reported 75% of consumers aged 44 and under like to contact businesses via text. It’s true; we’re in the era of phone shyness at best and phone rage (when it comes to automated systems and endless wait times on customer service numbers) at worst.
Two-way texts can be automated with responses triggered by keywords to navigate. They can also be ongoing communications with sales or customer service departments to answer questions or resolve issues.
If you see the value for your business to send two-way texts, but you’re using Dynamics 365 Marketing SMS, you’re in luck. You won’t need to scrap the whole system or toggle between screens to manage your two-way communications. You can integrate an enterprise-grade text messaging platform to round out your marketing strategy.
Related: How Microsoft Dynamics SMS Texting Integration Works
Take Dynamics 365 to the Next Level
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing SMS will get you started out of the box. It has the native capability to send messages to your subscribers with ease. That’s where the offering begins and ends, however.
When you’re ready to embrace all that business SMS has in store for you, it’s time to leverage integration capabilities to fill in the gaps. By choosing an enterprise-grade SMS platform, you’ll be able to send, receive, track, and report on your business texting efforts with ease.
Two-way engagement is invaluable in some instances and can increase customer loyalty. The ability to track engagement across departments means resolutions take less time and are less prone to human error when transferring between team members. Comprehensive reporting helps you continue to fine-tune your strategy to ensure efficacy and ROI.
The Embrace of Two-Way Business Texting
There’s clear value in SMS marketing and reaching out to customers. In one report, 75% of customers said they’d like to receive offers from businesses via SMS. It’s reported that nearly half of consumers prefer to get brand updates via text – more than any other channel. And that’s just generally speaking.
In this era, we’re living among the Millennial generation who has grown up with adults holding cellphones. Mobile phone activity has been an integral part of their understanding of the world. They’ll never know the feeling of plunking quarters into a payphone, running home to check their answering machine, or needing to – gasp – go to a business during opening hours to get questions answered.
Now take that and exaggerate it and you have a picture of Gen Z. Whereas Millennials are digital natives to varying degrees, Gen Z was brought up with iPads, smartphones, and computers. Gen Z is twice as likely to shop an online-only store than any of its predecessors. Your tech-resistant market is shrinking, and it’s important to stay current with communication tactics.
With 60% of Millennials saying they prefer two-way engagement for its convenience, rapidity, and ease of use, you will get the most out of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing SMS by aligning with an SMS platform that will support bi-directional texting.
Choose a Partner Who Has it All
TrueDialog is an enterprise-class text messaging platform with all of the above – and more. Our feature-rich dashboard is robust enough for global organizations and approachable enough for small businesses.
If you’re using Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing SMS, we’ll easily join you there. With native integration, TrueDialog can take your experience and marketing strategy to the next level. If you haven’t yet started sending business SMS, we can help you with the steps to getting your dedicated shortcode or 10DLC number. Give us a call, and let TrueDialog join your marketing team.
Disclaimer: Please note that this advice is for informational purposes only and is neither intended as nor should be substituted for consultation with appropriate legal counsel and/or your organization’s regulatory compliance team.