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6 keys of business texting etiquette

Written by Bianca Collings
Posted on October 16, 2018

The numbers are in and consumers everywhere are practically begging businesses to use text messaging as their preferred method of communication. In fact, nearly 78% of consumers would like to communicate with a business via text.

With more and more consumers using their mobile phones to engage with businesses, SMS is a smart way to communicate. However, it can also be a tool that can turn off your clients if you use it the wrong way.

Here are six tips to improve your business texting strategy.

Keep it personal

This is the age of personalization, when everything from Google Ads to Netflix knows what we like and tries to cater to us. If you want to see your conversation rates soar, keep it personal.

Personalizing a text message isn’t difficult. You have basic information about each customer stored within your CRM (Customer Relationship Management). With information like purchase details, zip code, last check-in date, or even a spouse’s or pet’s name, you are speaking to the individual and not the masses.

Those subtle personal touches make a huge difference. Sixty-six percent of consumers say they are likely to switch brands if they are treated like a number instead of an individual.

Respect people’s time

A full 77 percent of consumers keep notification settings on for messaging apps. That means that your text, no matter when you send it, is going to make some noise.

Nobody wants to be woken up by a text at 5 a.m. or have their evening at home interrupted. Be responsible and professional by respecting your contacts’ private time. Appropriate texting hours are during business hours (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to be safe).

In addition to respecting private time, communicate with your clients and potential customers when they are most responsive. Use a best practice guide for engagement by industry to learn when your audience is most likely to engage with a brand. While this study is based on social media, it gives a you a good idea of when your audience is most responsive.

If you are in tech marketing, your audience’s most receptive time may be Thursday at 11 a.m., whereas a retail client is more likely to read and respond to a message around Wednesday at 4 p.m.

An Apple smartwatch worn on a wrist.

Avoid spamming

Getting too many messages from a business can be annoying, especially if those messages are impersonal. Managing a personal conversation and limiting the frequency of messaging depends on the types of texts you’re going to send; however, the common recommendation is to send SMS messages no more than once a week.

Watch your words

While it’s important to get a customer’s attention with your messages, you don’t want to send sloppy, slangy, or inappropriate texts. Texts with a simple spelling mistake, slangy language, or anything inappropriate (like swear words or politically incorrect language) will be ignored or viewed as spam. Expect opt-outs and maybe even lost business.

Get permission

Proper digital etiquette dictates that you should only send text messages to someone who has given you permission to do so. It’s also imperative that you are compliant and adhering to local laws and CTIA recommendations, which protect consumers from unwanted solicitation.

To entice your users to receive text messages containing special offers, new product updates, or other valuable information, you can request they opt-in via an online form or ask them to text a particular keyword to a mobile number. After they use the keyword you can get their permission to receive future texts.

A streetlight is green.

Have a conversation and respond

Consumers want to have two-way conversations with business, so treat it like a conversation from the start.

“85% of people want to be able to not only receive a message from a business but also answer a message from a business.” — Agility

By sending a personalized text message, you’re making a connection with your customers and giving them the opportunity to respond. To keep them engaged, you may want to use an auto-responder to instantly and automatically send personalized, follow-up text messages.

Focus on crafting professional, personal messages to create connections and build relationships with your contacts and customers. Be patient and thoughtful in how you communicate and your business will continue to grow.