There’s a lot of interest around texting for business, especially 2-way texting and SMS text campaigns. And for a good reason, in recent surveys, people tend to react much more quickly to text messages than emails. 98% of people open text messages before the end of the day, and only 4% have unopened text messages. With 92% of Americans able to receive text messages, and 91% report always having their smartphone nearby, it’s time to fit texting into your customer communications strategy.
The Broadcast capability of our Managed CPaaS, the Compass Automation Platform, is a powerful tool for SMS text campaigns. But as they say, “with great power comes great responsibility,” you need to be mindful of several factors. No matter what tool you’re using for 2-way texting and outbound campaigns, there are some simple rules of etiquette you should follow as best practices. Here are our rules:
We get asked if emojis are appropriate within text messages from businesses. The short answer is, it depends. No one wants to see an emoji in a text notification that a payment is due or from a financial institution. Think of the context and limit the number of emojis you use. Consider them as accents to convey emotion (they’re called “EMOjis” for a reason) and highlight special offers or fun event announcements. Use common sense; no one wants their recipients to be confused by too much flair.
While emojis might be perfectly acceptable, FWIW, you should ease up common texting acronyms (see what we did there). These acronyms came about at a time when text messages originated through feature phone numeric keypads. While today’s texters still use the acronyms quite frequently, businesses should be clear and concise. You should also need to be mindful of your audience. If they’re not using text acronyms, they’re not going to want to see them in your messages.
Time of Day
With many people working from home on flexible schedules, the nine-to-five day is upended. But that doesn’t mean your text messaging, and campaigns should follow suit. A text message tends to provoke a different, higher priority than email or even voice mail. Make sure you send your messages within the classic nine-to-five window of your recipient’s time zone.
Text messages are an ideal channel for building personal connections with your customers. If you’re using an SMS campaign tool, make sure your templates include the recipient’s name and any other relevant personal information that applies to the topic of your message. This strategy will show your customers that you make the extra effort to know them and turn them into a loyal promoter.
Concise is Nice
Short, to the point messages are best with text messaging. No one likes a long scrolling wall of a text message. Succinct messages that quickly get to the point are what we all appreciate. You’ll save your recipient’s time and show them you care about their time.
While texting is generally a casual channel for people, it’s not for you. Your short personalized messages still need to be grammatically correct, with no misspellings. Make sure you proofread every message and template.
The average person responds to text messages within 90 seconds. Don’t disappoint! It’s up to you to keep the momentum of quick responses going with your own rapid response. If you’re using a campaign platform, you should have auto-reply templates with conditional rules that significantly reduce your response time.
Tell Them Who You Are
Finally, and most importantly, make sure your recipients know who is texting them. Introduce yourself, and make sure your templates have a consistent signature at the end of the messages.
It’s Worth The Effort
Every bit of research we’ve seen from the likes of DMG Consulting, CustomerThink, Aite Group and more others show that engaging through text builds lasting customer loyalty. It’s the preferred channel for most people. If you’d like to learn how we can help you introduce text messaging into your communications strategy, contact us, and we’ll be happy to help.