Introducing two-way SMS to help you improve customer engagement

two-way-sms-business-messaging

Since its inception, Zoho Voice has been helping businesses manage calls with ease. We’re thrilled to announce that we have added one more communication channel so you can effectively engage with your prospects and customers.

Did you know that SMS messages have an open rate of more than 95% and a response rate of over 45%, compared to email’s corresponding figures of 20% and 5%? This finding is derived from multiple surveys. Clearly, SMS is a better way to engage with prospects and customers, and the messages won’t pile up in the user’s inbox like emails.

Zoho Voice provides voice and SMS services in the same window, and this can help your agents be more agile. For now, Zoho Voice supports only two-way conversational SMS messaging so you can have chat-like SMS conversations with your contacts, one at a time. We do not support bulk SMS yet, but we’ll keep you posted about this feature so you can run SMS campaigns too.

Excited to try our SMS service? Create your account and start SMS messaging.

How to send an SMS message with Zoho Voice

Sending an SMS message with Zoho Voice is as easy as it gets. Simply navigate to the SMS tab and click New SMS. Select the number from which you want to send the message and the number you want to contact. Then, enter the message and click Send. You will receive the reply in the same SMS chat tab.

Two-way SMS

To send and receive an SMS message using the same number each time, you’ll need to purchase a local number from the Numbers page and create a request to enable SMS functionality for it. Select the purchased number as the sender ID to send SMS messages using that number. Recipients can reply back to this number. While this feature is available only for local usage within the USA and Canada at this time, we plan to extend our two-way SMS services worldwide for all the tier-1 countries.

One-way SMS

Zoho Voice allows you to send one-way SMS messages to any country using these US and Canada local numbers. The recipients receive the SMS from a random short code or long code number, and it is automatically chosen based on the destination country. Please note that your recipients cannot reply back to this SMS.

You can also initiate an SMS conversation from the Contacts module by clicking the Send SMS button next to any phone number.

Character limit

The character limit for one SMS message is 160. If you need to send an SMS message with more than 160 characters, you need to send them separately. SMS rates are based on the number of parts you send.

SMS best practices

Introduce yourself

If you’re texting someone for the first time, add a brief note of what your business is all about so recipients have an idea of who they’re dealing with.

Get consent first

If you’re sending out marketing content, check that your recipients would like to receive such messages. Give them the option to opt out, and make sure you don’t send them marketing SMS messages if they choose to do so.

Time your texts right

Text your prospects or customers only during normal business hours. Keep their time zones in mind. This boosts your chance of getting a reply.

Keep it short

As the name suggests, Short Message Service (SMS) is suited for short messages. The character limit for a single SMS is 160. Even though you can send multiple parts of 160 characters, it is advisable to limit your texts to one part (i.e., 160 characters).

Reply quickly

When prospects or customers send you an SMS message, don’t keep them waiting for too long. Send replies immediately so you can keep the conversation smooth.

Be professional

Remember to use professional language. Avoid using casual acronyms, and don’t forget to double-check for any typos.

SMS feature availability and pricing

SMS messaging is supported in all our plans. However, you need to purchase a local number from the US or Canada, and then create a request to enable SMS service. SMS service can also be enabled for your existing US and Canada local numbers.

Enabling SMS service for US and Canada toll-free numbers and personal numbers is not guaranteed.

USA

Send: 0.009 credit/SMS* (inclusive of all extra carrier charges)

Receive: 0.007 credit/SMS*

Canada

Send: 0.015 credit/SMS* (inclusive of all extra carrier charges)

Receive: 0.007 credit/SMS*

Number rental

USA local number: one credit/month

Canada local number: one credit/month

Global one-way SMS

Send: 0.05 credit/SMS*

Receive: service not available

* Mentioned rates are for one part of SMS with 160 characters.

Note: one credit = one USD

Log in to your account now, and try sending SMS messages to your prospects and customers. Make yourself easily reachable and provide a pleasant customer experience.

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