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How to Use Text Messaging in Each Stage of a Sales Funnel

You've heard of a marketing funnel, now it's time to introduce its counterpart, the text funnel.

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A text funnel is a strategy used by marketers to guide a customer, step by step, towards a desired outcome.

It’s called a text funnel because the medium (text messaging) is the defining element across each step. Marketing funnels can also be named after their desired outcome (i.e sales funnels, conversion funnel, etc.)

The funnel is made up of three sections beginning with the broadest tactics and progressively narrowing down.

We’ll explain the logic behind the steps shortly. But first, let’s cover the basic anatomy of a text funnel.

Text Messaging Strategies For Each Stage of the Sales Funnel 

A text funnel opens up with the broadest ways to reach your audience and gradually narrows into more personalized, directed messages. This visually symbolizes how effective text message marketing can be once you’ve captured the attention of your target audience.

To do this, you have to begin with some of the basics.

Graphic that explains the top, middle, and bottom stages of a typical sales funnel.

Top Of The Funnel

The first step of any text message funnel is to gather contacts. You can do this a number of ways.

  • Keywords: An SMS keyword is a word or phrase that your customers can text to a 10-digit number or designated text short code. When they do, they’re signing up for future SMS marketing campaigns.
  • Web Form: Using our web sign-up forms, you can let website visitors subscribe to your text marketing campaigns by entering their information and clicking ‘subscribe now’.
  • Mobile Sign-Up Widgets: Customize an embeddable sign-up widget for your site that, when clicked, will populate a text message with your keyword pre-filled. Just press send to subscribe!

Middle Of The Funnel

The middle of the funnel is all about introducing your contacts to your brand, products, and services. This is done mainly through SMS and MMS messages. These messages can be delivered in a variety of ways. 

  • Campaigns: Campaigns are also commonly referred to as mass texts. A successful SMS campaign drives action, engagement, and sales. SMS campaigns can notify contacts of upcoming promotions, product launches, events, and time-sensitive flash sales.
  • Segmenting: Segments make it easy to group contacts based on common traits. From there you can send out highly targeted text message campaigns. All you have to do is select the lists you want to segment, and add the criteria you want to use to group contacts. For example, group contacts by zip codes to send them offers specific to their area!
  • Drip Campaigns: Unlike a normal campaign that you have to manually schedule each time you want to send, a drip campaign sends automatically. They’re perfect for welcoming new contacts, educating customers, or nurturing leads. Once you create a drip campaign, it’ll run in the background and work even when you’re not.

Once you’ve begun to gather contacts it serves you both to learn a little more about why they’re here. The more you know about your contacts, the more targeted and specific your messages can get. Even the inclusion of someone’s name within a text can go on to impact click-through rates!

Bottom Of The Funnel

Once you’ve reached the bottom of a text message funnel you’re at your closest with contacts. This space is where you’ll see mostly business texting use cases.

The middle of the funnel gave you a platform to communicate with large groups at once. The bottom of the funnel however is where the relationship is established enough for a direct dialogue between customers and you.

Here are some ways a business might utilize its space at the bottom of the funnel.

  • Customer Service/Support: One-on-one customer support via SMS is one of the fastest, most efficient, and most preferred ways to troubleshoot with customers. You can also access advanced business texting features like the ability to leave private notes on conversations, snooze them for later, or schedule out replies!
  • Ratings/Review Requests: Customer reviews can make or break a business. The better your personal relationship with customers, the more likely it is you’ll receive a positive review. Texting provides an intimate yet non-invasive space to ask for feedback.
  • Upselling: Another space you don’t want to enter without the foundation of a relationship is the world of upselling. Successful sales teams should know how to provide more value to their current customers and turn this added value into new revenue. Text messages are less likely to be ignored than emails, making them an attention-grabbing avenue for upselling.

Tips to Successfully Use Text Messaging in Your Sales Funnel 

As masters of the funnel, it’s time to shift our focus onto how to make your good text marketing strategy into a great one.

Here are two of our most important tips for your text funnel.

Build a Wide Text Funnel

A successful top-of-funnel tactic is to ensure you spread information about your keywords, forms, and buttons far and wide. Your website, social media, and in-store spaces should have multiple mentions of your number and keyword.

When you advertise your number, be sure to share the value of signing up to join your list. In other words, tell people what they’ll get. This will help reduce the number of people who unsubscribe because their expectations aren’t met.

In addition to the places mentioned above, here are some other ideas of where you can share your keyword and text-enabled phone number:

  • Advertisements (radio, newspaper, billboards, and more)
  • On-site signage
  • Product labels or inserts
  • Email signatures
  • On uniforms or t-shirts
  • At the end of slide decks
  • Within blogs or featured articles
  • On business cards
  • Printed on receipts
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Keep The Texts In Your Funnel Conversational

The best advice we could give anyone new to SMS marketing is to write the kind of texts you would want to read. Text messages are casual in nature. You want to match that tone in a way that suits your brand. Authenticity always reigns, but be sure to remember what translates best via SMS—concise, clean, simple messaging.

[Read: How To Write Texts Subscribers Actually Want To Read]

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If you’re looking for some more ways to learn about text funnels in action we encourage you to scroll through some of our success stories. If you’re more hands-on, consider signing up for a free 14-day trial. With the funnel as your guide, you’ll notice pretty quickly how it connects you with your audience!

Meghan Tocci
Meghan Tocci

Meghan Tocci is a content strategist at SimpleTexting. When she’s not writing about SaaS, she’s trying to teach her puppy Lou how to code. So far, not so good.

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