Never waste a first impression: What should your first text to a contact include?
Oh the stress and thrill of making a first impression. But here’s the thing: There’s more than one first impression.
You of course get the traditional first impression when you initially meet someone in person. But you get to make another first impression when you text them for the first time.
So to make the best first impression, think carefully about the information you need to convey. Depending on the reason for sending the first text, you may need to include one, two, or all of these things.
Don’t assume people will remember who you are based on whatever context clues you include in a text. Even if you talked to someone in person when they gave you their number, don’t text them without including your name.
For one, maybe they network a lot. And if you met them at a conference or other large event, they probably gave their information to any number of people. (If you did meet at an event of some kind, it could also be good to mention where you met right after you include your name.)
Second, and perhaps more importantly, if you want to make a personal connection and have a real conversation with someone, they need to know your name just like you know theirs.
The quicker you help someone associate a name (yours) with your business/services, the better off you’ll be.
What organization/business you’re from
Now, even when you include your name in a text, that doesn’t mean someone will remember what business you’re from. If you jump right into your pitch or start referencing a previous conversation, that may only lead to confusion.
Including your name and business at the beginning of the first text you send works best. Something as simple as “Hi [First Name], this is [My First Name] from [Business Name]” is well worth the characters.
Texting helps you stay available all hours of the day. How wonderful! Well, it is… until it’s not. As important as your business and customers are, so are your boundaries. Make it clear when you’ll be available to answer texts and then stick to it.
If you have a physical location, you could use this as an opportunity to tell people about your business hours as well.
If your first text to someone confirms an in-person meeting, appointment, consultation, etc., include your address and any special instructions to get things off on the right foot.
Think about how stressful it can be going to a new place for the first time. If you can make that experience a little easier, they’ll certainly appreciate it.
It also helps ensure people know exactly what to do. For example, if people can only park in a specific area around your business, make sure they know that!
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act protects consumers from unwanted communication via phone call or text.
If you intend to send someone marketing messages, ensure they have already consented to receive that type of communication. This is known as the opt-in process. In some cases you may want to include “opt-in language” in your initial text.
Some people also often includes opt-out instructions in the first marketing text they send to someone. Clear opt-out instructions lead to happier customers and keep you clear of TCPA violations, which can cost you significantly if a non-consenting recipient of your messages decides to take legal action.
**Note: The above information is not meant to be legal advice. If you need further assistance on the issue of TCPA compliance, contact a legal professional in your area.**
Some of these things may seem obvious to include in a first text, but you’d be surprised what people forget. Don’t hurt your chances of converting a lead or keeping a customer because of a simple lack of forethought and personalization.