For businesses like insurance companies, healthcare cooperatives, financial institutions and staffing agencies, getting documents into the hands of customers is an important part of their day-to-day operations. Communicating with those customers quickly and easily is another.
One way to bring these two things together is with business texting. Our 2020 State of Texting report found that 77% of consumers use texting more than other messaging tools, making it a high-priority medium. Sharing information with consumers via PDFs is a common practice. But what should a business do if they can’t text a PDF to their customers?
Workarounds for sharing a PDF using business texting software
Today, many businesses want to text their customers PDFs, but SMS technology doesn’t allow it. However, we’ve identified three workarounds below for sharing PDFs that businesses can use right now. But there is good news on the horizon; in the future, new RCS texting technology will allow PDFs and larger files to be sent directly by text.
#1 Include a hyperlink to a secure file-sharing website to share a PDF
Within your text message, include a hyperlink to a secure file-sharing website where the PDF is stored. Using a secure server ensures that both the sender and recipient are protected, which is especially important if it’s a sensitive document. Several companies offer file-sharing services, but some of the more popular choices are Google Drive, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive and Amazon Drive.
#2 Use link conversion software to turn a PDF into a URL
There are third-party software tools that allow you to turn a PDF into a URL and include that hyperlink in your SMS text message. Many of these are free and provide a secure way to share documents. However, some may have restrictions that limit how long a link is accessible, so keep that in mind.
When including a link in a text message, it’s best to first establish a dialog with the customer so it’s not flagged as spam. A couple of back-and-forth messages without links should suffice. The same holds true when sending a text with a link to a large group of people at one time. While texts may not get flagged every time, it’s a good practice when using any mass texting feature.
#3 Make your document an image file (for one-page docs) and attach it
If the document being shared is one page, it can be turned into an image file and attached to a text using MMS. If the document is located on your computer, a snipping tool can be used to quickly create a screenshot of it. Below are instructions for capturing screenshots for both PC and Mac users.
How to create an image from a PDF using a Windows PC:
1. Select the Start button and type “snipping tool” in the search box on the taskbar.
2. Select “Snipping Tool” from the list of results.
3. Select “Mode” to choose the shape of the snip (rectangle, square, etc.).
4. Click and drag the mouse to capture the image you want; then release the mouse button.
5. Select the “Save Snip” button.
How to create an image from a PDF using a Mac:
1. Press and hold these three keys together: Shift, Command and 5.
2. Click the “Options” button and choose where to have the screenshot saved.
3. Click the “Capture” button.
How to share a PDF with customers using Zipwhip business texting software
1. Log in to your Zipwhip account.
2. Create a new message and choose the recipient from your Contacts.
3. In the text field, type your message and include a hyperlink to the location of the PDF you have stored on a file-sharing website. Or, you can attach a JPG or PNG image file of a one-page document using the “images” icon located below the text field.
4. Click the “Send” button.
Some common use cases for businesses sharing PDFs and MMS images
To give you some examples of the types of documents businesses send to their customers, three industries have been highlighted below. While insurance, financial services and staffing & recruiting companies are major market sectors, any type of business can benefit from using SMS and MMS to share PDFs and exchange documents.
Texting can be used across the entire enterprise, from claims to distribution, billing to recruiting and customer support to internal notifications. Below are just a few examples of the types of documents that can be shared by text.
- Policy quotes
- Workers’ compensation forms
- ID cards
Visit our Texting for Insurance page for more details.
Banks and credit unions use text messages to accelerate the lending process, shorten the sales cycle, reduce charge-offs and increase satisfaction by texting from their existing business line. Many documents can easily be shared using SMS and MMS, as the examples below point out.
- Home loan applications to be filled out prior to an in-person meeting
- Account statements
- Financial forms
For more, check out our Texting for Financial Services page.
Staffing & recruiting
Texting can increase candidate engagement, drive operational efficiencies and enable employees to text from their business landline numbers rather than personal cell phones. The following documents can be shared by PDF to speed up the hiring and placement process.
- Targeted job descriptions to interested prospects and candidates for consideration
- Employment contracts to new hires so they can quickly complete them at home
To learn more, head over to our section on Texting for Staffing & Recruiting.
Keep your customers close at hand with a smart texting strategy
In addition to sharing PDFs and other documents quickly, business texting software includes a host of effective and affordable productivity tools that companies can use to streamline their customer communications. See how Zipwhip works.
To learn more about the benefits of SMS and MMS texting, download our free e-book: The Ultimate Guide to Texting Your Customers. It contains everything companies need to know to develop their own successful business texting strategy.