Did you know that text messages have a 98% open rate? That means you can pretty much guarantee almost every single text message you send will be read. It will no doubt grab the attention of your customer, but realize the time they spend with your text is extremely valuable. Send a couple un-useful texts or fail to write a professional text message and you could lose that customer forever.

Sending professional texts may seem daunting, but whether you’re using your texts as marketing message, for customer service, or to create more meaningful relationships with your customers, following some basic tips can assure that your business texts will be professional and well received.

Over 2.27 trillion messages are sent annually in the United States.

Believe it or not, there really is an art to crafting a useful text to obtain a desired marketing result. SMS marketing can be extremely helpful for building customer loyalty through personal interactions when the writing is right.

Here is a five-item checklist to increase those chances of getting exactly what you want out of business texting. Answer these questions to write a professional text message that’s still personal.

1. Is Your Content Customized?

Want to see your conversation rates soar? Personalize the content of your text with information you already know about your customer or from information about the customer stored within your CRM (Customer Relationship Management). With information like purchase details, zip code, last check-in date, or even a spouse or pet’s name, you are speaking to the individual and not the masses. Those subtle personal touches make a huge difference, especially when it comes to text message marketing.

Sixty-six percent of consumers say they are likely to switch brands if they are treated like a number instead of an individual. 

You can manually personalize each text, or you can automate it with a tool like Custom Fields when using Skipio. Custom Fields will take information stored within your Contact’s Form and put it into your messages when they are being sent in bulk. Custom fields allow for better efficiency when sending similar messages to similar groups of customers.

Here is an example of how one gym owner used Custom Fields with a member:

“Hey [First Name] glad to see that you came to workout on [Last Visit]! How did your workout go? Keep it up! You’re well on your way to losing that [Goal]! *flex emoji*”

Just a little bit of personalization goes a long way. Sixty-six percent more of the way!

2. Is it Short and Sweet?

Texting holds a sacred place in our lives — we know that when we hear that ping, we can immediately read that message in one glance. Immediately is the key word here. The brief nature of text messaging is exactly why this medium has a 98% open rate. If you message doesn’t explain your purpose or lead your customer to their next stop quickly, they likely won’t come back to try and understand your message.

Skipio has a 320-character limit, and while that may seem like a lot, people are asking us for more! The reality is that once our industry starts expanding that limit, texting will lose its biggest value – that 98% open rate. Make sure that your message focuses on clarity. Abbreviations can be used to keep messages short, but only if it makes sense and keeps the tone appropriate. If you want your text read, keep it short and sweet.

3. Did You Ask a Question?

In a recent Skipio study, we sent one text every day, for 30 days, in which we asked clients to respond with a simple word. The texts that contained a personalized question received 25% more responses than those with just a statement. According to Neuroscience Marketing, “Questions in tweets can get more than double the amount of clicks and will boost your persuasiveness.” Questions make your message feel like a conversation, inviting them to engage in a natural way. Questions also make your readers think – they process your words more intensely and become invested in the message.

For example:

  • Statement text: I hope you got your exercise in last week. It doesn’t matter if it was one hour or six, let’s make this week even better! Today’s workout time is 20 minutes. Make sure to text me when you are done!
  • Question text: How many days did you exercise last week? I would love an update and then let’s make a goal to increase your workout time this week! The plan for today is 20 minutes. Make sure to let me know when you are done.

Do you want to see that 45% response rate increase to 70%? Ask a question!

Questions in tweets can get more than double the amount of clicks and will boost your persuasiveness.

4. Did You Start With “I”?

Loews Hotels chairman and CEO Jonathan Tisch advises to not start sentences with the word “I.” Make the text about the customer, not you. Don’t send the message that you are more important than the person you are communicating with. Focus on the needs of the person and the relevancy of your product or request. With the limited time that you’ll have their attention, it’s important to show that you care about them as an individual. Show them that you are thinking about them and it will make that recipient more inclined to listen.

When it comes to a professional text, focusing on the customer makes them feel heard and valued, building their brand loyalty,

5. How Is Your Tone?

Just because you write your text a certain way doesn’t mean it will be interpreted in the same way. We’ll call it a casualty of the texting game. Without the benefit of facial expressions or vocal inflections, emoticons and exclamation points can only do so much! To avoid a communication disaster, read, reread, and then read the text out loud to analyze your tone. If possible, re-read the text at a later time to make sure the tone still feels appropriate. Then, imagine the person on the other end of the text and how they may receive it.

For example:

  • What was written: That’s not what we agreed to when we spoke.
  • Tone interpretation: I know you weren’t really listening and you’re trying change the agreement, so let me set you straight.
  • What could have been written:  In taking a look at my notes, I may have misunderstood. Do you have a few minutes to talk on the phone today? Thanks!

To  write a professional text message, minimize the possibility of your words being taken the wrong way. That means being very aware of your tone while texting. It’s a good practice to have someone else proofread your text message to see if the language or tone could be interpreted in a negative way. If you take the time to think about how your texts may come off, your recipients will be much more open to what you have to say.

Final Business Texting Tips

Writing a professional text that is perfect for each of your customers will take some practice. Business texting is a newer form of customer communication that many businesses are still adapting to. The most important thing to consider is asking yourself, “How would I feel if I received this message?” If it feels like text messaging your buddies from high school, you may need to restructure in a more professional context. On the other hand, if your business text feels more like an email you’d send to your boss, then you should probably pull back on the formality.

As your team adjusts to sending professional texts that are still personal, evaluate what types of messages generate the best responses from customers and save those in your message library. Over time, your texts with clients will become more personalized and more effective as you apply these strategies in your business communication strategy.

Start Your Texting Journey

Shifting business communication to texting can make a big difference when used in the right way. Texts are meant to be personal and are a reflection of you and your company. Every single text sent is an opportunity for that customer to decide if you are worth their time. Never take those high open and response rates for granted. Keep it personal, and if you remember that every text you send will actually be seen by an individual, you will see your conversion rates soar.

Start with Skipio now to bring this personal touch to your professional spaces.