How to Use Text Messaging as a Business Tool

December 18, 2013

How to Use Text Messaging as a Business Tool

Text messaging has some competition!  There is skype, Twitter DMs, Facebook messaging, Google Voice to name but a few but text offers something these other tools do not…everyone has a mobile number, not everyone is on Skype or Facebook!

Any idea when the first text was sent?  On December 3rd, 1992, Canadian test engineer Neil Papworth sent a text from one of Vodafone’s massive computers to Richard Jarvis, a Vodafone director.

Used wisely, texting your clients or prospects can be your most effective form of communication.  Everyone reads their text messages, often within minutes of your sending them out and if you follow these simple guidelines your etiquette will ensure that like any other method of communication you use, your texts represent your brand with a positive message.

6 Simple Rules of Text Etiquette

  • Don’t use caps … this represents shouting and we don’t shout at our clients!
  • I recommend you don’t abbreviate words.  There’s no need to shorten your message into a language many of your recipients won’t understand.
  • Auto correct is not your friend.  Check your texts before you send them out, then check again … we’ve all seen what happens when auto correct goes bad.
  • Keep your texts factual.  Emotions are hard to convey via texts and easily misinterpreted.
  • Never send bad news by text.  This is too casual a platform to deliver bad news by and in texting, you lose control over how your news is received.
  • Like auto correct, if you use voice to text on your smart phone … check before sending.
  • Keep your signature professional.  Because texting can be impersonal it’s nice to include your name.  Example: Justine at Your Virtual Assistant.  Use this signature on your professional texts.

5 Ways to Use Text as a Business Tool

  • Credit control – use templates to follow up on overdues.  I’ve had good results using text for credit control. Example: John your account has an outstanding balance of $1,000,000.  We would appreciate your payment. (signature)
  • Confirmation of appointments – many businesses use cloud based apps now for confirmations, but a text can be a cheaper option and easily moved into reminders or calendars.  Example: Thanks for your phone call/email/booking John.  Your next appointment is confirmed for Monday 5th July. (signature)
  • Reminders – a reminder of an appointment, billing anniversary, meeting or task is a service you can provide to make it easier for your client.  Not to mention, easier for yourself with less missed appointments or frantic phone calls prior to a meeting. Example: Hi John, a quick reminder that we have a meeting scheduled tomorrow via skype  at 8.00am NZT to discuss your strategy.  (signature)
  • Promotions – texts are a great way to let your database know of an upcoming promotion or special.  The beauty of smart phones is that you can now include links in your text message to easily direct your database to a landing page.  Example: With Christmas around the corner John we’d like to offer you an exclusive discount of 40% of our billy widget.  The offer expires at midnight tonight so pop over to our website today if you want to take advantage of the discount.
  • As an introduction – it’s a little more work to find a prospects mobile number, but not impossible.  An example of how to use text messaging to introduce yourself is: Example: Hi John, hope you don’t mind me texting.  I saw your article on wild pigs and would like to give you a call to discuss your business further.  Would you have 5 spare minutes later today?  (signature).

These are just a few ways text messaging can improve your communication with clients…and we all know communication is key!  How do you use mobile texting in your business (and what advice would you give to others looking at how to use text better)?

Kiwis, here’s some interesting stats on how New Zealander’s are embracing their mobiles …New Zealand Mobile Statistics 2013

 

 

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