Text messages are one of the most intimate ways to connect with customers. Think about it: a quick buzz and your message lands directly in their hands alongside messages from friends and family.
Research shows that, on average, texts are opened within three minutes of them arriving. They are a surefire way to reach your customers quickly and effectively. And, in fact, customers prefer to communicate with businesses by text message.
There’s an art to getting it right, though. Squeezing in alongside daily messages from your customers’ nearest and dearest is a tall order to follow. Get it wrong, and you’ll annoy your customers. But get it right, and you’ll build deeper connections with your buyers, increase customer engagement, and provide your customers with an enjoyable experience.
Here’s how to get it right.
1. Get Customer Permission
There’s nothing worse than getting an unwanted text message from a sender you don’t know who seems to be offering some kind of scammy deal. This is why it’s so important to gain customer consent before you start lighting up their mobiles.
To do this, add a checkbox when a customer signs up that lets them agree or not agree to receive texts from you.
2. Segment Customers
Texts are highly personal forms of communication, which means you should gear them to each individual customer rather than send out mass messages. Segment your list of SMS subscribers based on their interests and past behavior so you can send them relevant offers and messages.
You can take it one step further and personalize texts with the recipient’s first name so they feel like you’re speaking directly to them.
Ask customers for some key information about their wants and needs when they sign up to receive texts from you, or you can start to segment them based on the links they click in your messages and the actions they take over time.
3. Keep It Short and Sweet
No one has time to read an SMS that runs on for pages and pages. Texts were made to be short and sweet, so don’t buck the trend on this one. Give your recipients the information they need as quickly as possible. Texts aren’t like emails where you have lines and lines to convince, persuade, and educate. Instead, you want to limit your texts to just a few lines.
4. Make it Easy for Customers to Take Action
While your text messages don’t always have to encourage customers to take action – they can simply act as a reminder for an event or to update recipient’s on an upcoming launch – it’s a good idea to know what you want customers to do when they receive your SMS.
If you do want them to take action, like click a link or visit your Instagram page, make it easy for them to do so. Don’t just provide them with a link and hope for the best, though. Tell them what to do after they’ve tapped the URL so they don’t end up on a webpage with no idea why they’re there.
5. Think About the Best Times to Send
It’s highly unlikely that a customer is going to be thrilled at receiving an SMS from you late at night or early in the morning. Instead, stick to sending messages during business hours to avoid annoying your customers.
As well as deciding on appropriate times during the day to send your messages, think about how often you want to speak to your customers via text too.
If it’s too much, they might become blind to your offers and get frustrated with their phone constantly buzzing with messages from you. If it’s not often enough, they might forget who you are and why they signed up to receive texts from you in the first place.
6. Give Customers the Option to Opt Out
As well as requiring customers to opt in to receive text messages, give them the opportunity to opt out as well if it’s not what they expected. This shows you respect your customers’ needs and time and ensures they won’t get annoyed by receiving messages from a brand they don’t want to hear from anymore.
7. Let Customers Know Who’s Texting and Why
Your text messages need to be short and sweet, but they should also offer information about your brand and why you’re texting. This means you can set expectations from the start.
If a customer receives a text from an unknown number with no identifying features, there’s a very high chance they’re going to think it’s spam and delete it from their inbox.
To avoid this, highlight who you are and why customers are receiving messages from you at the start of your texting relationship. You can also lay out what kind of texts they can expect to receive from you too, like discounts, special offers, and exclusive information about new products and services.
Text Your Customers the Right Way
Texts are a great way to forge connections with your customers and ensure they get the special treatment they deserve. But getting it right is so important, otherwise you’ll end up turning off potential buyers and ruining your reputation. So, make sure you put these best practices into place to get the most success.
Start by getting customers’ permission, then make sure your messages are relevant, to the point, and clear.
Vice President of Strategy and Marketing Services
From legacy Fortune 100 institutions to inventive start-ups, Ryan brings extensive experience with a wide range of B2B clients. He skillfully architects and manages the delivery of integrated marketing programs, and believes strongly in strategy, not just tactics, that effectively aligns sales and marketing teams within organizations