Text messaging is one of the most valuable tools you can use to nurture leads. When used right, you instantly get into a conversation and give leads a direct point of contact. It makes follow-up a cinch for you (as long as you automate it) and people are more likely to engage.

Stay connected with your prospects and encourage those conversations using these tips to you optimize your lead nurturing.

Nurture leads with text messaging

  • Get permission to text people
  • Automate your follow-up
  • Introduce yourself
  • Keep things short
  • Ask questions and start discovery
  • Follow up multiple times
  • Don’t overload follow-up sequences

Get permission to text your leads

Do not text people you do not have permission to text! Few things sour a relationship faster than unsolicited sales text messages.

When using form fills and gathering contact info like mobile numbers, make it clear that by submitting the form people are consenting to receive text messages from you. Your team should already be collecting opt ins even if you’re calling or emailing, so this shouldn’t be a surprise. (This language shouldn’t be written in tiny, tiny type or hidden somewhere on the page either.)

If you aren’t aware of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, usually referred to as TCPA, do your research! TCPA compliance is integral to any business text messaging strategy, and it’s up to you to stay compliant.

Automate your follow-up

Manual text message outreach is never sustainable. You wouldn’t manually email every single new lead as they came in. That would be a ridiculous use of time.

Automating outreach is the only way to scale.

For your follow-up with leads, focus first on making contact as fast as possible. Texting makes sure they see that outreach almost immediately.

Then set up drip messaging for sending reminders and staying in contact before and after appointments.

Always introduce yourself

Introducing yourself is good practice no matter who you’re texting, lead or not. Always tell them who you are and what business you’re from. Remember, leads don’t have the domain from your email address to have an idea of who you are. And people don’t like random numbers texting them.

As needed, tell leads how you got their info. That’s going to make your conversation a lot easier. Hopefully you’re texting them right after you met them or they filled out a form, so they should remember your company. But don’t assume they will.

Write short, focused messages

People read texts quickly and you don’t have that many characters. Share simple tasks or instructions and don’t ask too much of people. A text message thread isn’t the place to give people a long list of resources or a detailed overview of services. It shouldn’t require a string of messages to get your point across.

Texts are a great way to ask people to watch a video, read a short post, or follow a link to schedule an appointment. Your first messages should never include a pitch — it’s not exactly nurturing someone when you only invite them to buy.

Make it clear immediately why you’re texting and always focus your messages on their needs.

Ask questions and start your discovery

The most logical way to keep a conversation going is to ask people questions! People read texts and respond within minutes, so make it easy to respond. Your first message in particular should always include a question.

You wouldn’t be texting people if you didn’t want to build an actual relationship with them. Your questions and follow-up should be based around your desire and eagerness to help people.

That’s what discover is all about — learning about others so you can best solve their problems. Asking discovery-style questions in text messages can be a convenient way to get certain topics out the way so you can really focus on solutions when you do get on a video call or meet in person.

With your questions, make sure you always keep a prospect’s current needs at the top of your priorities.

For example, text messaging is great for nurturing relationships with leads who went cold or ghosted. Depending on when you got that lead, you should directly ask them if they still have a need for your products/services. Leads from just a month ago will now have different priorities.

Follow up multiple times

Lead nurturing always requires multiple touch points, no matter how you want to communicate. This is why you set up automations with your texting. Just like sending a single email or making a single call rarely results in building a relationship, neither does sending a single text message.

Texting is perfect for sending quick reminders and doing the follow-up that keeps you top of mind.

So, after you’ve invited a lead to watch a video, check in a couple days after to see if they watched it.

When you ask someone a question and they reply, continue the conversation.

If someone follows a link in a text and schedules an appointment with you, send them a confirmation and subsequent reminders. After the appointment gets done, send them a follow-up text.

Use text messaging in a systematic way to keep moving prospects through the deal cycle.

Don’t overload your follow-up sequences

Automated follow-up is great as long as you don’t let people confuse your messages for spam. Multiple scheduled texts a day are out of the question in many cases. And multiple texts a week could be too much depending on what you’re trying to get people to do.

Reach out as fast as possible, especially if someone comes to you with a specific question. But after that, don’t keep following up every single day. Space out your messages over the course of weeks — and maybe even months depending on their level of interest and how they came to you. By scheduling messages in this way, you’re always prepared for if people don’t respond.

Properly nurturing leads takes consistent effort, but adjust your text message follow-up sequences so that effort isn’t off-putting.

Cut out your busywork

Outreach and follow-up with leads can easily feel like busywork. That’s because a lot of it is.

Spend more of your time on revenue-generating tasks, not just sending reminders, by using Skipio to engage your leads and prospects faster and more personally.

This post was originally published March 31, 2020. Updates include the addition of new tips (automate your follow-up, start your discovery, don’t overload follow-up sequences) while also focusing the other sections with shorter, clearer examples.