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Texting 101

VoIP texting: What it is and how it can improve business communication

Alia Paavola
5
minute read
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People often associate Voice over Internet Protocol with voice calls. However, you can also use VoIP numbers to text your customers, employees, or leads. 

More businesses are turning to VoIP solutions for their customer communication needs. That’s because VoIP has several advantages, including that it is scalable, completely portable, and allows you to make calls or send texts from anywhere. 

In this article, we describe what VoIP texting is and how it works. We also share its benefits, use cases, and more.

What is VoIP?

Voice over Internet Protocol is a type of phone system that enables you to make voice calls using an internet connection. You don’t need to rely on traditional landlines, telephone providers, or phone towers to connect with contacts. Instead, you just need a solid internet connection, either from a direct line or Wi-Fi. 

VoIP enables business phone systems to do all the same tasks as a hardwired phone. This includes conference calls, international calls, internal meetings, customer calls, and more.

But with a VoIP number, also called a virtual number, you don’t need a physical phone. You can make calls from any device with an internet connection including computers, tablets, and smartphones. Some common examples of VoIP numbers are Google Voice, Aircall, Microsoft Teams, and Skype. 

What is a VoIP texting?

VoIP texting is defined as the use of a VoIP phone number to send and receive Short Message Service messages. You don’t need a traditional phone plan or cellphone plan to start texting using the VoIP service. Instead, you would simply text-enable the number or select a VoIP platform that already has texting as a capability.

You can text-enable your VoIP number with Textline. From there, you’ll be able to send and receive text messages or multimedia messages via the internet. You can message from an internet browser on a computer or tablet. Or download our mobile app to message from a smartphone.

VoIP texting makes it easy to stay connected with employees, customers, or leads. Especially because you already use this VoIP number to conduct business. That way, when a customer receives a text from it, they will know it is you.

How does VoIP texting work?

VoIP SMS works by text-enabling your VoIP phone number. Once you text-enable your VoIP  number, you can text from a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet connected to the internet. Many businesses use an SMS platform to text-enable their number. While others have a VoIP phone service provider that offers SMS as a communication channel.

To go into more granular detail, SMS platforms use SMS gateways to deliver text messages to customer cell phones. SMS gateways act like language translators between different devices. For example, they translate a text sent from a computer into something a mobile phone can understand and display. 

This pathway would be how a VoIP text is sent to your contacts. However, it is important to note that customers won’t notice the difference between a text you send via a VoIP number and a text received from a friend.

If you’re looking to text-enable your VoIP number, here’s the process:

  1. Research and find a text messaging service. (Textline is a great option 😉)
  2. Work with the SMS platform to text-enable your existing phone number.
  3. Contact your current VoIP service provider to request them to relinquish control of the SMS functionality by removing the Service Profile Identifier from your existing number. 
  4. Start texting your customers.

How can businesses use VoIP texts?

More brands are using their VoIP phone numbers for business text messaging. That’s because it allows them to reach customers in their preferred communication channel.  Below we break down several ways businesses can use VoIP texting.

1. Customer support and customer service

Use a multi-channel approach for your customer support. By text-enabling your VoIP number, you’ll have the option to text or call customers to resolve issues or answer customer questions This approach allows customers to reach your business in their preferred channel. Plus, it helps your team be more productive as you can both talk on the phone and text with customers from the same number at the same time.

2. Sales follow-ups

Use VoIP texting to follow up with your sales leads quickly. Texting is one of the fastest ways to connect with a lead as the average text is read within three minutes.

Send your potential customers a text message right after they fill out a contact form, or use it to schedule a demo. In fact, research shows that 90 percent of business leads would rather get a text than a phone call. And, sales team members on average saw a 100 percent increase in conversions when they added texting into the mix with qualified leads. 

3. Recruiting

Use your VoIP line to text candidates. You can share news about new job openings, schedule interviews, send confirmation texts, or follow up with referrals.

There are many benefits to adding text as a communication tool for recruiting. In fact, candidates who received texts from recruiters rated their experience 50 percent higher than those who didn’t receive texts. And, SMS open rates are 98 percent, which is four times higher than email. 

Plus, recruiters can keep their personal numbers private when using a VoIP texting service. This ensures that their personal and business texts are separate.

4. Bulk SMS campaigns

Use your text-enabled number to send bulk messages to multiple people at once. This allows you to share important information with contacts at scale. You could send emergency alerts, internal memos, send payment reminders, and more. Bulk SMS, also called mass texting, is highly effective because the average text message is read within three minutes and it reaches customers in their preferred medium.

5. Appointment reminders

Reduce your no-show rate and stop playing phone tag with text appointment reminders. Send your patients or customers a text reminding them about an upcoming appointment or service. For best results, send personalized messages that include your customer’s name. 

6. SMS marketing

Send SMS marketing messages from your VoIP number. You can send abandoned cart reminders, personalized discounts, or promote an event. Many businesses have turned to mobile marketing in recent years. Plus, 96 percent of marketers said SMS marketing campaigns helped them drive more revenue. 

7. Internal communication

Use your VoIP number to communicate with your employees. Use texting to send employees important memos, alert them to scheduling changes, or send reminders. SMS comes in handy for businesses that have team members who don’t sit behind a computer to check email. 

What are some benefits of VoIP texting?

1. Handle more conversations at once

By text-enabling your VoIP phone number with Textline, you can handle multiple customer text conversations simultaneously from a single inbox. 

2. Reach more customers

With VoIP texting, you can send text blasts to your customers or employees. This means you can send a single message to many contacts at the same time. This eliminates the need to manually type the same message over and over. 

3. Respond quickly to close more deals and improve customer experience

Texting is built for rapid back-and-forth communication. This means you can solve customer issues or answer customer queries quickly to keep them happy. Or you can be the first salesperson to reach out to a lead. Buyers often choose the vendor that responds first, so ensure it is you with texting.

4. Save money

While the cost per interaction for phone calls varies by business, it typically costs about $6 to $12. On the other hand, the cost per interaction for texting is around $1 to $5. Plus, for texts that are automated, costs are even lower.

This means you could save some money by adding texting as a communication channel. 

5. Save time with automation

Using an SMS platform to text-enable your VoIP number allows you to automate parts of your workflow. Save time by using scheduled messages, message templates, or triggering auto-replies. On Textline, you can also use Routes to automatically assign incoming texts to the right employee or use our Application Programming Interface, API, for even greater automation possibilities. 

6. Boost customer engagement

Texting can ensure your message is seen and increase the likelihood of a response. In fact, texts boast a 98 percent open rate and a 45 percent response rate. This is higher than the open and response rate of email.

7. Build stronger customer relationships

Two-way conversations via text help brands and customers connect at convenient times. Plus, it is more private than a phone call. For example, it is often easier to reply to a text during the workday than have a phone call. And it can help keep some conversations more private. One good example is for recruiting. A candidate may be more likely to respond to a text than take a phone call about a new job during the workday. In short, texting allows you to connect with your customers in a convenient way.

8. Send multimedia messages

Texting from a VoIP number with Textline supports MMS messaging. This allows customers to send attachments like photos, videos, emojis, or a website link via text.

For example, your support team could ask a customer to send a photo of a damaged item, or your sales team could request a video of a plumbing issue to provide a quote. Sending these video or picture messages can save your team a ton of time and back-and-forth.

The bottom line

Whether you are a call center or ecommerce store, adding texting capabilities to your VoIP number gives your business a competitive advantage. You can respond quicker, handle more conversations, and converse with customers on the medium they prefer. See how VoIP texts can meet your business needs and goals today.

To speak with a representative about adding texting capabilities to your existing business number, landline number, toll-free number, or VoIP number, fill out this contact form or text us at (415)-849-4349. You could also get a new number just for texting. 

Start your free trial or schedule a free consultation with Textline today. No credit card is required.

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