When you’re new to texting for business, it’s understandable to feel a little hesitant before sending your first text to a customer. What should you say? Should you be formal? Are emojis allowed? Texting is just a tad different when it’s not with family and friends, so we’ve put together a quick guide to get you started. Once you have the customer’s permission to text them, follow these best practices to send a solid text message introduction.
Be clear about why you’re texting
The great thing about texting is that your recipient doesn’t have to guess who the text is from or what it’s about – it’s all right on their screen. When sending the initial text, state who you are and a call to action. Do you need them to call you? Do you need a document from them? Remember that you only have 600 characters per message, so make it brief. Don’t overthink it; something like the following is perfect:
Hey John. It’s Carlene from Zipwhip Insurance. Thanks for stopping by yesterday. It was nice meeting you! Would you be available for a brief call later this week to talk more about coverage options?
Double check your tone
The last thing you want to do with an initial text (or any text) is confuse your recipient with your tone, that is, the attitude you’re projecting in your message. You’ve been there before with friends or family – you read a text one way but the sender meant it in a completely different way. Don’t let that happen with your customers.
Language is everything when creating tone, so a good rule of thumb is to keep it friendly. Just make sure you’re not overly casual – keep emojis relevant and to a minimum. And the same goes for abbreviations. Avoid capitalizing all letters (people perceive that as yelling) and don’t be curt.
For example, texting “That’s not what I’m talking about” may be seen as rude when you could instead say something like, “Sorry for the confusion. I’m talking about…”
Give them an option to opt out
Even though your customer gave you permission to text them, they should always have the option to opt out of receiving texts, no matter the reason. This can be done by adding something like, “Text STOP to stop receiving texts” at the end of your first message.
If your customer does reply STOP, then you should immediately stop texting them and take them off all future text communications. The best way to implement a STOP command is with a secure texting platform at the network level so that every consumer request is processed automatically. With Zipwhip, if a customer texts STOP, the message portion conversation window will be grayed out so that the Zipwhip user cannot text that customer until they opt in in again.
Download our TCPA Compliance e-book for more information about best practices for two-way texting.
Add a signature
Signatures are an awesome feature of business-texting software because they add a final touch of personalization to the end of your text message. Text signatures should be short and simple. Something like “John Smith, Zipwhip Insurance” is great, but you could even save yourself time by including an opt out option in your signature, like this: “Carlene Reyes – Zipwhip – Text STOP to opt out of messages.”
Here’s how to include and remove a signature with your messages using Zipwhip.
Sample texts to send after the initial message
Wasn’t that easy? After you’ve sent the first few texts to your customer, bookmark these pages to reference for future conversations.
Text templates for appointment reminders and conversations. Includes tips for creating appointment-related text messages.
Seven Text Message Templates for Insurance Professionals. Featuring seven examples for insurance cases.
Six Ways Veterinary Offices Can Use Texting to Communicate with Pet Owners. Build strong relationships and foster trust with these texting ideas.
Dynamic Field Examples. Customizing your group texts with dynamic fields makes your communication feel more human. Here’s how to do it.
Want to learn more about business texting with Zipwhip? Check out how our messaging platform uses your existing landline, VoIP, or toll-free phone number to help you connect with customers better than with email and phone calls alone.