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10 Step Guide | Text Message Etiquette for Business

May 3, 2020
Group Texting

The 10 Step Guide to Text Message Etiquette and Emojis for Business

More and more businesses and organizations are texting their contacts and customers. This change in communications is because consumers love to text - they always check their phones! If you look at the numbers, 67% of customers would rather text with businesses than talk or email.

Without question, text messaging works for business purposes. It’s efficient and simple, making it a great way to communicate. Plus, text messaging scales. This makes it great for reaching a big audience fast.

However, there are some texting rules and best practices you’ll want to be aware of as a business or organization. “LOL”, “OMG” and emojis are fun and easy, but they may not leave your customers laughing out loud.

We’re talking about good text messaging etiquette here. Check out these 10 text message etiquette tips you’ll want to follow before hitting send.

10 Steps to Professional Text Message Etiquette

1. Don’t send confidential information

Sending and receiving confidential information can open you up to liability. It’s smarter not to send confidential or personal information through text. 

If you need to get or confirm confidential information, consider encryption. Direct your customers to a secure messaging platform like Signal.

2. Move complex conversations to a different communications platform

It’s sometimes more beneficial to move conversations away from text. This is especially true if a customer sends a message that requires a complex answer or lots of explaining.

A face to face Zoom meeting, phone call, or email chain may be a better solution for handling complex issues. 

3. Personalize messages and be courteous

You don’t want contacts and customers guess who’s texting them. The first thing you want to include in a text is your name or business or organization. This is a best practice unless it’s otherwise obvious as part of the conversation.

Letting a customer know who you are is the first step in being courteous. However, you’ll also want to greet contacts and customers in a personalized and positive way. 

Text message personalization tags make this easy because each customer can feel like you’re talking directly to them.

Some text messaging platforms (like SnapDesk) actually give you the ability to insert customer information like {{ FirstName }} automatically into a message.

4. Write clear calls to action (CTAs) 

Whether you send appointment reminders, notifications, updates, payment reminders or even promo reminders, your message needs to be clear. Always convey the action you want your customers to take with a CTA.

CTAs are always very simple and direct and they typically start with a verb. Effective CTAs look like this: “Start 14-Day Free Trial”, “Schedule Appointment”, “Learn More”, Connect with Us” or “Pay Bill Now”.

5. Respond quickly

When contacts and customers expect an immediate response when they text your business. Good text messaging platforms keep you prepared and will help you increase your response time from any device. Just be sure to double-check any spelling or grammar mistakes before you hit send on a rapid reply!

SnapDesk features like recurring scheduled messages and message templates save time and keep your messaging momentum going.

6. Keep messages short, simple and to the point

Text messages for notifications, updates, and promo offers work best when kept short and to the point. Text messaging isn’t a platform for lengthy messages. This is partly because there’s a 160 character limit.

Many text messaging apps allow you to send more than 160 characters. They do this by sending multiple numbered text messages in a string.

7. Send text during business hours

Sending texts at the right time makes text messaging incredibly effective. However, early morning, late night, or weekend may annoy your customers and cause them to opt-out. 

This all depends on your organization or the type of business you conduct. Bottom line: you want to know your customers and understand their messaging preferences.

Keep in mind that you can also use various text messaging apps to schedule your messages. This can make your texts more timely and increase your open and engagement rates.

8. Limit message frequency

Don’t spam your customers with non-relevant mass text blasts. Only send communications when its important and relevant to your business and your customers. Let communications happen in customer time. 

Give customers more power to choose when they want to interact with your business or organization.

9. Sign off properly

Don’t leave your customers feeling unsatisfied with the conversation. You don’t want them waiting for a further response. Make sure to clearly end the conversation.

This lets customers know this is the end of your communication. Customer service representatives will also know that they’re not leaving any important questions unanswered. 

10. Get the right kind of permission, and stop when asked

This is an essential aspect of text message etiquette. Depending on the type of messages you’re sending out, you need consent first. This is all part of TCPA guidelines and best practices.

For marketing and promotional messages, you need express written consent. This is the highest level of consent in the messaging world. Many text messaging apps help you manage this. Not having the right kind of consent for the right message, can cause legal problems.

Also, be sure to respect your customer’s communication efforts and stop texting when asked. Most all text messaging platforms offer STOP to opt-out of messages. Just be sure to always have this option available to all contacts and customers.

Group Text Message Etiquette

Think twice about your group texting etiquette before pressing send. Does your business text messaging platform enable group messages without reply-all? If you can’t disable “reply all” in a group text, then every contact in the group will see every message.

Everyone hates being stuck in a group chat and getting constant notifications, especially when you can’t mute the conversation. A group messaging app without reply all lets you create groups, apply text message templates, and send messages to individual contacts.

When a contact or customer receives a text and responds, that message should be private and separate from all other contacts. This is an essential part of keeping your clients satisfied and happy with their service while communicating at scale.

Emoji Etiquette: When (and Why) It’s Okay To Use Emojis in Your Business Texts

Smiley faces and big red hearts feel natural on social media and when texting friends and relatives. However, when it comes to business emoji etiquette, there’s a time and place for it.

Signing off your messages with strange emojis can cause confusion. If not used properly, they may even offend your customers. This is because it can be hard to read context with emojis. 

In most cases, businesses should avoid casual emoji use. However, emojis can increase open and engagement rates. This really applies to certain businesses and organizations and some types of messages though. 

When used correctly, emojis can help your business text messaging by:

  • Boosting the personal and positive aspects of a message

  • Softening the tone of a message

  • Humanizing your brand

  • Encouraging engagement

  • Creating humor and brevity

As best practices, only use relevant emojis. Don’t overdo it. Pay attention, “read the room ”and understand the context before you send a message. 

If your customer responds with a conversation tone then emojis may work. But if they’re approaching your conversation more seriously, you may want to rethink your emoji strategy. 

Personalize Your Communication with Business Text Messaging

SnapDesk helps businesses send and personalize 1-on-1 and group text messages. Wherever your customers are, wherever you are, SnapDesk helps everyone keep connected with personalized business text messaging.

Ready to get started with smart text messaging tools? Start your free trial! SnapDesk’s business text messaging tools make it easy to connect with contacts and customers.