4 Best Practices for Texting Customers
May 2, 2019
As we discussed in a previous post, text messaging is an exceptional way to communicate with customers. Because texts have such powerful advantages, all businesses regardless of size should look into leveraging SMS marketing to stay in touch with customers.
Every tool, however, must be used in the right way to be useful. SMS has its own best practices businesses must abide by. Here are 4 best practices that can help you get the most out of your texts.
Address Customers in the Singular
When your customers gave you their cellphone numbers, they probably didn’t sign up for a “text newsletter.” In fact, they probably expect any text message they receive from you to be a personal message, not a broadcast to hundreds of people at once.
This personal touch is one thing that sets SMS apart from email. When a company sends an email to a customer, customers instinctively know that email message was probably broadcast out to a large list of email addresses.
Texts are more personal and direct, but you have to avoid language that implies a mass message. In order to preserve the power of SMS, always address your customers in the singular. For example, don’t start a message with “you guys;” start with the singular “you.” The message will feel more personal and you’ll save precious characters for the meat of your message.
Keep it Short and Simple
Another big difference between text and email is length. Emails need to have some length or they feel curt and rude. Text messages, on the other hand, are expected to be short and sweet.
So, it’s best to cut right to the chase when sending customers a text message. This also is important because there may be character limits to messages. On top of that, a shorter message will give a sense of urgency to your message, which really helps when your texting about a sale or limited-time offer.
Text messages can be used to build a good relationship of trust with your customers. If you send long, complicated messages, you can undermine that advantage.
Always Bring Value
You might get a short message from your best friend that simply says, “Hello.” You probably think that’s sweet. They’re thinking about you, after all. Even if you think it’s annoying, you probably won’t break off all contact with that friend as a result.
With companies, however, things are a bit different. Customers who receive messages that bring them no value may quickly regret giving out their number in the first place.
To avoid that from happening, always try to bring value with each message you send. This doesn’t mean every message has to be about a sale. A “thinking of you” message can work well if it is crafted right.
Every marketing and communication channel has its own culture associated with it. What is appropriate to say in a post on Facebook and what you can get away with in LinkedIn are very different, for example, because each social network has its own standards and culture.
SMS has its own culture and standards, as well. Playing within those lines will help you to maximize the positive effect texting can have on your customers.
And that includes using emojis! Emojis, if you don’t know what they are, are little pictures you can embed into your messages and there are thousands of them.
If you’re not versed in the world of emojis, why not make it a goal to use one emoji with each message, learning as you go. An important warning here, though: make sure you research each emoji before using it. Some have been associated with specific meanings over time, and you don’t want to send the wrong message!
As you can see, you can use SMS in a way that will help you build a better relationship with your customers. You can also use texts in a negative way if you send the wrong message. Following these 4 best practices can keep your business on the right side of that line, using SMS to build trust and solidify a strong customer-business relationship.