Businesses and sales teams keep adopting text messaging, more than ever before. Care to guess why?
Text messages actually get read, and at a much faster rate than if the same or similar message got sent via email.
Text messages show urgency, but they aren’t interruptive like phone calls.
Texts also feel personal, at least when written to have a conversation.
People prefer texting over other communication.
Text outreach is a whole new ballgame for many sellers though. Businesses and teams that use text messaging the right way — contacting people with permission — win deals. Those who reach out cold get told off and instantly blocked.
Instead of cold texting people, set yourself up for business text messaging success without angering your leads and customers.
What Counts as Cold Texting and When to Do It (Hint: Never)
Similar to cold calling or cold emailing, cold texting is when you text someone who isn’t expecting to receive a text from you. If you purchased a list, found a customer’s information online, or got someone’s phone number in a way they don’t know about, then you’ll be cold texting. Such practices are not only discouraged but also can lead to legal repercussions.
Avoid cold texting in basically every circumstance.
Specific laws and regulations exist to protect consumers from unsolicited phone communication. Originally created to protect from telemarketing phone calls, the TCPA includes text messaging.
When you want to send text messages to leads and customers, especially when using an automated tool to do it, you must get an opt-in from each person. (And you really do want to use an automated texting platform.) Failure to do so may get your messages marked as spam, result in fines from the carriers, and leave you open to lawsuits from the people you texted without permission.
But lawsuits and fines aside, people simply don’t want to receive unsolicited text messages. That alone should be reason enough not to text people without their permission. It feels invasive and impersonal — the opposite of what text messaging can be when done with permission.
Do Business Texting Right — Get Permission
That’s all pretty serious stuff. But it’s super easy to take advantage of text messaging in marketing and sales without upsetting your potential and current customers.
All you need is their permission.
Ask for their mobile number and permission to text them. Make it clear that texting isn’t just an option for communicating with you but your preference.
Mention text messaging everywhere and clearly explain how to opt in to communicating over text. Include your number in your email signature. Add a field to your lead forms to collect mobile numbers. Invite people to text you on your website and across your social media accounts.
On the phone with a prospect? Ask if you can text them later. When they agree, confirm in your first message once again that you have permission. That keeps you protected.
Gathering lead info on a landing page with some gated content? Include a mobile phone number field and opt-in language, just like you do for marketing/sales email and phone calls.
Sending a cold email or contacting an existing customer? Give them your number and ask for theirs. You can even manually send a single text introducing yourself and give them a way out, or in!
Follow Business Texting Etiquette for Sales
Once you start gathering numbers and getting permission, follow this etiquette to keep people engaged.
Keep Messages Simple
This is a text message, not an email. Write a novel and you can pretty much guarantee a swipe delete. Shorter texts show up in phone previews and get you more replies.
Watch Your Timing
Just like with a phone call, don’t reach out outside of business hours (unless you’ve been told otherwise). While texting isn’t as invasive as a phone call, people don’t want to be bothered during their time away from the office.
Read Your Own Messages
Put yourself in the recipient’s shoes and evaluate whether you would respond positively to the message. If not, edit the message until it elicits a more positive response from yourself. Ask yourself, “Would I respond to this”? If not, rewrite that message again and again. If your goal is to nurture a prospect, then the desired outcome of a text message should always be a response. Make those characters count!
Adopt Conversational Text Messaging at Your Company
Living and working through a pandemic has forced us all to adapt to many changes. The way we communicate is no exception.
Three years ago, texting prospects — and even customers! — may have been a huge no-no. But now? The businesses and sales teams that text and text right sing its praises. With text messaging you can…
Don’t get left behind. Learn the rules of business text messaging and start using it to your advantage.