TechBytes with James Lapic, Chief Technology Officer at Zipwhip

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TechBytes with James Lapic, Chief Technology Officer at Zipwhip

How do you think email marketing teams should start embracing cold emails and phone call trends in B2B industry?

In 2021, I think you should say, ”Goodbye Email and Phone Calls, Hello Business Texting.”

The pandemic has forced us into a mobile and contactless world requiring businesses to digitally transform overnight. We’ve found that 56% of people are saying they now use their mobile devices more than before COVID and 38% of people are getting more news and alerts via text. Texting has given people an important channel to stay connected since 96% of consumers find phone calls to be disruptive and 39% of consumers have over 100 unread emails in their inbox. We’ve seen businesses quickly adapt during this pandemic to consumers’ preference of texting, and this will only continue into the new year, making texting the number one form of communication in 2021.

In fact, Zipwhip has seen record-breaking growth on its texting network since COVID began, as brands realized the importance of texting during the pandemic.

How do you see Conversational Marketing strategies playing their part in driving sales and revenue?

Marketers / SMBs will shift their strategies to embrace conversational text message marketing.

As we emerge into this new digital world, consumers still expect personalization and a human touch. In fact, they demand it. Through conversational, two-way texting (as opposed to programmatic, one-way texting), marketers and SMBs can more effectively encourage shoppers to buy additional products or switch brands. Personalized text messaging will be a priority in winning consumers to increase revenue for SMBs. We’ll see businesses prioritize texting platforms that allow for personalization and conversational messaging, while maintaining the ease and efficiency that enables them to send texts at scale to large groups of customers.

What are your predictions about the growing popularity of contactless payments for conversation over SMS?

Businesses will shift to contactless payments over SMS. 

As we start to figure out what the new normal looks like post pandemic, with in-person purchases are no longer an option in a contactless world, businesses will turn to texting in 2021 as a main way of accepting payments. This easy to use and seamless mobile payment option allows customers to send a payment by simply texting the last four digits of their phone number. Businesses even get the added bonus of using that same texting channel to communicate with customers about promotions or special offers.

How to create a safe communication channel in 2021?

Spam and fraud protection will be vital to save the most trusted communication channel. Over half of consumers say they trust texts more than phone calls and emails for important messages. But with a massive growth in business texting, we’ll see bad actors continue to try exploiting the medium via both spam and fraud. In 2021, mobile carriers will face regulatory pressures as well as increasing consumer expectations to properly manage and monitor their texting ecosystem to prevent spam and fraudulent messages from reaching users.

A key trend in Marketing you are keenly awaiting –

RCS will become SMS 2.0. The continued expansion of SMS, including into the business world of landline, toll-free and VoIP numbers has accelerated the industry to innovate and become future-forward. RCS (Rich Communications Services) will be the new messaging standard and will replace SMS in 2021. We’re at the point where consumers don’t just demand businesses to provide text but provide richer experiences. RCS will enable users with features like read receipts, location sharing, decision chips and even payments.

Thank you for answering all our questions!

James Lapic is Chief Technology Officer and co-founder at Zipwhip where he oversees the company’s industry innovation, global connectivity and overall messaging operations. Lapic played a critical role in unlocking the technology capabilities to text-enable landlines and toll-free numbers, a major catalyst for the company’s pivot to business text messaging.

James Lapic is a self-taught IT and telecom professional that has strategically grown his career and teams for nearly 20 years. His deep background in messaging started long before Zipwhip, including authoring industry guidelines on business messaging, building messaging platforms for Nextel and pioneering interactive viewer-engagement campaigns for television programs such as American Idol.  Lapic is regarded as a true innovator and thought leader throughout the messaging ecosystem.

Zipwhip was the first company to enable texting on existing business phone numbers, and today is the world’s leading business-texting software and API provider. More than 35,000 companies use Zipwhip to increase customer engagement and drive growth through texting on their existing landline, VoIP or toll-free phone number.

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