One of the many benefits of technology for businesses is the ability to easily communicate with customers in a multitude of ways.
For example, SMS marketing or text marketing is a tried and true method of connecting with customers.
It’s fast, convenient, and efficient for both the business and the customer.
However, texting your customers is significantly different than texting your family or friends; it requires a certain etiquette to ensure a favorable impression, a level of professionalism, and desirable results.
In this article, we will provide a brief text marketing etiquette guide to explore the right way to word messages, and also explore what not to say in your SMS marketing campaigns. Follow along with this guide, or watch this brief video so you can ensure that you always say the right thing and at the right time.
What Professional Text Message Etiquette Looks Like for Businesses
As mentioned above, texting is easy to do. It’s like second nature for most of us.
However, it’s also easy to send the wrong message, even unintentionally. The challenge with texting is there is no tone. So it can be easy for your message to get lost in translation, misinterpreted, or annoy your customers.
Therefore, before developing an SMS marketing campaign, here are some text message etiquette tips you should know:
1. Know the SMS Message Laws.
There are strict legal requirements you should be aware of before you begin texting customers. Customers must opt-in to receive text messages from your company. This means that they need to give you consent to text them.
Avoid purchasing lists with contact names and numbers from third-party providers as you could be charged exorbitant fees and fines if your business violates these laws.
Unless a customer or contact specifically agrees to or accepts an invitation to receive texts from your business, they are off-limits.
2. To Use or Not to Use Emojis?
This is a common question… Should you or should you not use emojis in your text messages to customers? This really comes down to your brand. If your brand is fun, casual, or markets to younger audiences, then it’s likely safe to use emojis in your messaging.
On the other hand, if you market to customers who are older, professional, or formal, then using emojis in your text messages might come across as frivolous or inappropriate, and a professional text message is better suited
For example, using an emoji in a message to confirm a customer’s medical or legal appointment isn’t a good idea.
Above all, be consistent with your brand’s messaging and consider your target audience.
3. Be Human.
If you are sending SMS messages to a customer list, then you are likely using automation to do so. However, just because you might be using robots to send text messages, doesn’t mean you have to sound like one…
Another common mistake is overusing emojis and exclamation points in an effort to sound excited or grateful. Here’s an example:
“Thanks so much for visiting our office today! 😃 We LOVED meeting with you! We’re here if you have any questions!!! 😃”
Yes, the message is friendly, but the overuse of emojis and exclamation points put it a little over the edge.
Here’s how to rework the same message above to make it more appropriate:
“Thank you for meeting with us today—we enjoyed your visit. We’re here if you have any questions. 😊”
4. Always Use Proper Spelling and Grammar.
One huge caveat to texting is that it can be prone to errors. With features such as emoji keyboards, autocorrect, and acronyms or shorthand speech, your text messages can come across as messy or unprofessional, if you aren’t careful.
Autocorrect in particular is very easy to miss, so be sure to proofread every message before sending.
Furthermore, avoid using abbreviations or shorthand speech, such as “LOL”, “TTYL”, or “BRB”, or “u” instead of “you” or “2” instead of “to” or “too”.
Again, using abbreviations or shorthand speech—or overusing them—can send the completely wrong message or give the impression that your brand is unprofessional.
5. Pay Attention to the Time.
When messaging large customer lists, it’s safe to assume that some of them might be located in different time zones. This is VERY important to keep in mind when selecting the right time to message your customer list.
Do you enjoy receiving a text late at night while you are trying to wind down or spend time with your family?
Neither do your customers.
Stick to sending messages during business hours only out of courtesy of your audience.
6. Don’t Skip the Follow Through.
If a customer replies to one of your text messages, respond promptly (ideally within 24 hours). Furthermore, if you tell your customer you will do something – do it. Follow-through is crucial for earning and maintaining the trust of your customers. If you tell them you will look into something or have an answer for them soon, stick to it. No one likes to feel like they were forgotten about. Treat your customers the same way.
7. End the Message on a Good Note.
How you end the conversation with a customer is just as important as how you start it.
Be sure to always end the conversation with a “thank you”, “have a great day”, or “I will get back in touch soon”.
Not only does this confirm that you received their message or last request, but it’s also just good manners.
Follow This Professional Text Marketing Etiquette with VoxDirect
To sum up, there is a right and wrong way to text your customers.
By reading through and referring to this brief professional text marketing etiquette guide, you are setting yourself and your business up for success and ensuring a professional and impactful text marketing campaign and a delightful communication channel with your customers.
If you are considering getting started with a text marketing campaign, VoxDirect can help. Here is some more information on some SMS best practices and professional text marketing etiquette examples.
With SMS technology improving every day, business text messaging is here to stay. Ready to get your business number and start offering text support to your customers? Connect with VoxDirect today.
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