As a business owner, you have countless ways to communicate with clients and prospects.
Everyone has a particular preference for how they want to communicate!
Some prefer to speak on the telephone. Others like to read an email. And many now prefer texting.
Texting may be new, but it’s rapidly becoming the communication method of choice. But, like all modes of communication, there’s an etiquette to follow.
If you want to keep your texting game strong… keep reading to learn proper business texting etiquette.
NEVER Text Without Permission
One basic rule to business texting etiquette requires you get permission before texting someone.
Always ask people to sign up for your texting list… and make sure you get their permission to text them!
The best way is to set up a keyword in the system… and have your prospects and customers text you the keyword to sign up.
Make sure they know what they’re signing up for! The last thing you want is angry customers!
Once you start texting, the next texting etiquette tip is…
Keep Your Texts Short
Let me make this simple, business texts should always be kept short.
Just because you CAN send longer text messages doesn’t mean you SHOULD!
The tip here is to use texting to convey short, quick messages.
If you have a longer message to convey, either turn it into a blog post or video and text out a link… or if it’s a one to one communication, send the highlights and follow up with an email or phone call.
Simple enough right! However, there’s two sides to every coin.
Don’t Make Your Texts Too Short
I know we said to keep texts short… but do not simply answer customers with a one-word response.
Remember, this is a business setting. You can be informal, but not too informal.
So, what else should you include in your texts?
Always Use a Greeting
When texting for business, always use a greeting.
Even something simple like, “Hi,” or Hello, is better than just getting right into the message.
This is always critical if it’s been a few days since you last sent a communication. Everyone has a short memory, so use a greeting, and their name if you can! It’s a good way to show you have communicated in the past.
And that brings us to our next texting etiquette tip…
Just because you’ve been texting back and forth with your customers does NOT mean they will remember you 2 days or 2 weeks from now.
So, good texting etiquette says you should always identify yourself.
Either start your message off by identifying yourself… or sign off using your name so everyone knows who you are.
Please, don’t ever assume someone is familiar with your number when texting… I can’t remember my Mom’s number… let alone a business who is trying to communicate with me!
So, once you start texting people on a regular basis you’ll want to keep a few things in mind.
Don’t Text Certain Conversations
As a good rule, texting is not the place to have a long discussion.
Business texting is more about passing along quick bits of information, and sharing details.
If you need to have an important or lengthy discussion with a customer or prospect, call them up or send them an email.
And please—don’t pass along personal bad news via text. For example, you should never use texting to fire people from their job.
Here’s another business texting etiquette tip…
Pay Attention to Timing
When texting for business, it’s tempting to text someone 24/7/365…
But that’s a problem. Remember Texting for business is a lot different from texting in your personal life.
Before you send that text, make sure it’s going out at the right time. Many people sleep with their cell phones near their bed. No one wants to be jolted awake by a text from a business!
You won’t have many subscribers after a while!
Be respectful of the time and date you send your business texts.
Here’s another great texting etiquette tip…
Always Reply Promptly
One of the great things about texting is the rapid nature of communication.
Someone usually sends a text because it’s a quick way to send information and you know the recipient gets it almost immediately.
If a client sends you a text, always reply promptly. It doesn’t mean you need to frantically be looking at your texting software every minute of every day… but you do need to respond in a timely manner.
Another important Etiquette tip is…
Always Remain Professional in Texts
Texting for business should always remain professional. Even if the other person is a good friend or long time customer.
Always remember that you’re running a business.
Don’t get emotional in your communications (especially if you’re dealing with a problem client).
Do not use profane language and always check your spelling.
You want everything you do or say to reflect your brand. Remember, if someone takes a screenshot of your text, your poor choice of words can live on in infamy.
Don’t let that happen and always re-check what you’ve written before you hit the “send” button.
Start Texting for Your Business
Now that you know the key business texting etiquette rules, it’s time for you to start using texting as a marketing tool.
Texting can help connect with prospects and customers… and grow your business.
If you want to learn more about texting for your business… you should download our free book about text marketing for small business…
The Ultimate Guide to Text Message Marketing.
We cover everything you need to know, soup to nuts!