Text messaging is a growing marketing strategy for small businesses that want an effective way to get in front of their customers. It’s the path of least resistance, as nearly everyone has a smartphone on them all the time.

In fact, recent reports show that smartphone users:

  • Open 99% of all texts they receive
  • Read 90% of those texts within the first 3 minutes of receiving them
  • Commit to the requested action nearly half of the time

That’s a pretty good guarantee that your message will be seen and read, especially considering that email open rates hover around 18%. Plus, Pew Research says 97% of people are texting at least once a day.

So how can you be sure that when you text, you’re not being a pest? Let’s breakdown some sure-fire tactics.

Get the Green Light

If you’re working in the Thryv platform, it’s easy to get your customers to opt-in for texting. When setting up your first campaign, you’ll select a unique keyword that you can use to ask your customers to text to you. You can ask them via emails, social media or your website (see sample). Once they do that, they’re in!

Using a platform like Thryv that contains opted-in customers, as well as streamlined texting and email capabilities, will save you major amounts of time while making it easy to send relevant text messages.

Keep it Short

Texting is known in technical circles as short-message service, or SMS. Focus on “short.” Your business message should take no longer than 5 seconds for your customer to read.

Get exciting news or offers out quickly, give them a call to action (schedule your appointment, follow us on social, etc.) and hit send.

Be Personal, But Don’t Get Creepy

Great texting capabilities will allow you to add your clients’ first names and tailor the message to them. For instance, label your clients according to the services they’ve received, and text them about services you want them to try.

You can also have a little fun, show your personality, maybe use an emoji or two or even add a photo. Whatever fits your style and what your customers would expect from you. They’ll be even more likely to engage.

However, set their expectations by telling them how often you’ll text right when they sign up. Once a week, occasionally, daily — whatever it is, let them know. No one likes that guy who texts incessantly and then harasses you until you respond. Don’t be that creeper.

What Should You Text?

Now that you’re set up and have some parameters to work within, what should you say in your text? The only limit is your imagination. Try these:

  • Welcome them as a new customer
  • Alert them to new services or hours of availability
  • Announce a new staff member
  • Offer a promotion that’s exclusive to customers who text with you
  • Thank them for their business
  • Ask for a review
  • Wish them a happy birthday
  • Give them pertinent updates

You can also automate responses ahead of time so they’ll send at the right time. Want to see how easy Thryv makes texting? Get a demo.

Choose a Call to Action, But Don’t Be Picky

Have a goal in mind before you even type your text message. Do you want them to follow you on your Facebook page, set up an online appointment, write a review for you? You can ask any of those things in your text message (we suggest just one), but consider it a win if they simply text you back. That’s the all-elusive engagement we’re all looking for!

Respond quickly and solve problems directly, and you’ve got a texting buddy for life!

For some quick texting etiquette tips, check out this video with Bryant: