Before You Send: 10 Rules for SMS Etiquette

Before You Send: 10 Rules for SMS Etiquette

Do you want to interact with your customers more effectively? SMS text messages are a quick and uncomplicated way to send small bits of information to a wide range of customers.

However, it is essential to keep in mind SMS etiquette before hitting send, as personal and business messages are quite different. Below are ten easy-to-follow rules of thumb to help grow your audience base for any business.

Rule 1: Always ask for permission

When sending an SMS text message to someone, an important rule is to always ask for permission. It is polite, but in Australia, it is also the law. Asking permission through direct consent or permissions from a previous relationship through implicit consent is also fine. It is important to look into the permissions laws in each location you plan to send messages. You should always provide an effortless way for the receiver to request that you stop texting them to maintain SMS etiquette.

Rule 2: Introduce yourself first

When sending an SMS text message from a business, it is important to introduce yourself at the beginning of the text conversation. This way, potential or current customers can decide whether they want to open the message because they are familiar with the sender. There are a few ways to introduce yourself in a standard SMS message. You can simply write your business name at the beginning of the message or use additional methods such as alpha tags or dedicated numbers. Alpha tags make it easy for customers to identify who sent them a text message. This is important for businesses that want to maintain good customer relations. 

Rule 3: Short and sweet

With only 160 characters available for you to communicate your message, your SMS message must be concise, easily digestible, and to the point. If you have difficulty limiting your message to 160 characters, SMS text messaging might not be the best avenue.

Rule 4: Be straightforward

Since you only have 160 characters to craft your message, the content must be clear and factual. According to communications theorist Dr Nick Morgan, we only correctly interpret 50% of what a text message communicates. Therefore, now is not the time for marketing gimmicks, suggestive language, puns, or slang. It would be best if you were direct, so customers know everything they need to know about the deal before going to your website or store.

Rule 5: Keep it limited

While it is crucial to continuously send out marketing messages to your customers to maintain interest, customers are much more likely to hit the unsubscribe button if you send out too many messages within a short period. While no written rule dictates how many times to message a customer within a month, you can learn from every SMS campaign to understand the preferences of your customer base.

Rule 6: Be responsive

If you give an option in your SMS message for your customer to reach out, make sure you respond quickly. When a customer reaches out to a business, they are looking to receive an answer to their inquiry sooner rather than later. Your response time could be the difference in gaining or losing a customer, as other companies may respond first to a similar question. You can easily address this concern by setting up automated replies to specific responses that tell the customer your company has read their concern and will respond as quickly as possible.

Rule 7: Choose your topic wisely

Some messages are easily digestible in 160 characters, and some are not. For example, SMS messaging is excellent for letting customers know of an upcoming promotion or that their item has shipped but may not be so great for responding to a specific question they had regarding an order. Sometimes it is better to address a message through email or even a phone call, so it is vital to consider the topic of your message before choosing to send out a personal or automated SMS text message.

Rule 8: Watch your grammar

If you are texting a friend, it is okay to have a few typos here and there, but if you are trying to send an SMS text message from a business, the notification must look and sound as professional as possible. If the message has typos or errant grammar, punctuation, or phrasing, it leaves a bad taste in the customer’s mouth, and they most likely will not respond positively.

Rule 9: Saying Hello

Adding a simple greeting to an SMS text message will make the reader much more engaged in the conversation, especially if the message is customised to include the reader’s name.

Having that slight personal touch will go a long way with any customer, and sending personalised SMS messages is relatively easy, so why not try it out?

Rule 10: Choosing the right moment

With 24 hours in the day, how do you choose when to send an SMS message? It is important to note that regular business hours would be from 9-5. Therefore, you may want to send your SMS message right before or after that time. Despite only needing about 90 seconds to read and respond to a message, customers will not respond if they are in a work meeting or finishing up a project. To determine the best time for your customers, use data from previous campaigns, such as open and response rates, at various times throughout the day.

Let’s Review

To send the best SMS text message possible, it’s important to always ask for permission after introducing yourself and saying hello. You should also send the message at an appropriate time, avoid sending it multiple times, and don’t forget be responsive. Make sure the messages are short, sweet, and straightforward with an easy topic. Writing a message well with good grammar, punctuation, and syntax is also essential.

Where Can I Get SMS Messaging for My Business?

touchSMS is an online SMS platform that lets users connect with customers. Creating campaigns for a large customer pool is quick and easy through our online platform. These campaigns are 100% customisable, offering keyword inclusions and automated response options to simplify communication between you and your customers.

We also offer virtual numbers so that your customers can easily recognise your business when receiving messages. You can also integrate these numbers and messages into your client managing system, such as CRM, to easily manage and capture customer interactions.

With easy setup and no hidden fees or locked-in contracts, touchSMS is perfect for your SMS needs. If you are interested in learning more about us, get in touch with us today!