Business Texting Etiquette: Dos and Don'ts of SMS Marketing
Updated: Feb 28
What’s life without fun? And what’s business without etiquette?
In the business world, etiquette is more than a handshake. It’s a code for the way things are done to earn respect, build relationships and do good business.
But what about texting in business? Do we follow etiquette there too? Do we get rid of the emojis in our conversations? Is there a rulebook?
Let’s not waste any more time and dive straight into the answers.
One last thing, though. Let me introduce myself. I am Akshat and I am a Senior Product Marketing Manager at Falkon Systems Inc. It always helps to know the name of the person writing, and that brings us to our texting etiquette #1.
01. Introduce Yourself
People get a lot of messages on daily basis. So, don’t make them guess who the text is from. Tell your customer up front what your business is and who you are. The first lines of your SMS should include your company name, with your name and position following.
The average American receives a lot of spammy texts in a day. Whether it’s your intention or not, if you don’t start by introducing yourself, your texts have a fat chance of making it into their reading lists. So be careful and give them a heads-up about who’s texting them! And leave your signature at the end instead of placing it in the middle of your message.
02. Don’t be shy. Personalize
The next part is an obvious yet crucial factor for good business. Personalization is not just about the “[First name], how are you doing today?” template. I mean, we can definitely do better than that. Express your messages in as much warmth as possible.
You can always be straightforward, but a greeting and a positive tone will have a credible impact on the person reading. If you know them personally, you can start with a line that touches upon something recent in their lives.
03. Be clear and concise
No one likes reading long texts. So, make sure your messages are clear and to the point. Avoid using textspeak, abbreviations, or acronyms that your customers may not understand.
04. Ask for consent
Only send texts to customers who have opted-in to receive them. Make sure you get their permission, or they reach out to you first before sending them any SMS messages.
Sending unsolicited texts, especially ones that are promotional in nature, can be considered spam. These messages can be annoying and intrusive and can even lead to legal action being taken against you if they continue after the recipient has asked you to stop.
One way to avoid being accused of spamming someone is to only send promotional texts to people who have specifically opted-in to receive them. This can be done by including a checkbox on your sign-up form that people can tick if they want to receive promotional messages, or by sending out a keyword-based text that people can reply to in order to opt in.
Another way to avoid being accused of spamming is to make sure that your messages are relevant and targeted. Sending out generic messages to everyone on your list is more likely to be considered spam than sending out messages that are specifically targeted at a particular segment of your audience.
Finally, you should always include an unsubscribe option in your text messages so that people can opt out of receiving them if they no longer want to. This will help to ensure that you are only sending messages to people who actually want to receive them and will avoid any potential spam complaints.
05. Choose the appropriate time and purpose
To make your messages effective, you have to get the tone and timing just right. But it’s also important to send messages for the right purpose.
SMS is not the best medium for sending important stuff, nor it is the venue to convey delicate, difficult, or confidential information. It is important that you do not communicate the same message by text, email, and phone. (Use other mediums for the important stuff.)
Avoid sending too many texts. Sending too many texts, especially promotional ones, can be annoying and may turn customers away. Try to limit texts to important updates or announcements.
You need to send text messages that can be received in real time so your customers will have time to act on it. This gets you higher response rates. Stay within business hours. Further, texting customers when they are sleeping or busy will annoy them, so do not do it.
A simple thumb rule would be asking yourself if you would call at the time you are sending the messages.
06. Be professional
Each time you send a text message, you need to make sure it is not too formal and not too casual. Only send messages that are relevant and useful to your customers. Avoid using textspeak, abbreviations, or acronyms that your customers may not understand.
Texting abbreviations and slang may be acceptable in personal messages, but they can give a business an unprofessional image. Use correct spelling and grammar in all business-related texts.
A good rule of thumb is to only type what you would be comfortable saying out loud.
07. Give clear CTA
Think of CTA, or call-to-action, as the objective of your text. What is the purpose of your SMS? Which action would you want them to take? Is it a follow-up and do you want them to get back to you? Mention precisely whether you want them to call, text or email.
Say what you mean and do what you say. This will help your messages serve the purpose and get better results. Always end the exchange with a clear departure, followed by a CTA. Make sure your CTAs are clear and instructions are easy to follow.
SMS marketing can be a great way to connect with your customers and promote your business. However, it's important to use it responsibly and follow the proper SMS etiquette. By following these tips, you can ensure that your SMS marketing campaigns are effective and professional.
We have a team of seasoned marketing professionals who are always available to assist you with your text messaging campaigns.