Business Texting for Beginners

Steve Strauss, USA Today Small Business Columnist and Author

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Recent studies show that customers would prefer to text businesses rather than call them, if given the option. However, most businesses don’t text their customers. If you’re here, that means you’re looking to change that for your business, and you’re very wise to do so. Here’s what you need to know about texting with your customers.

What is Business Texting?

Business texting generally refers to the act of communicating with customers, leads, or other businesses via text message rather than contacting them through traditional channels like calling and email. However, the term has expanded in recent years to include messaging through popular apps and services like Instagram, Facebook, and Apple Business Chat as well. Business texting can be used for a variety of reasons:

  • Enhancing your existing customer support experience
  • Increasing engagement and marketing efforts
  • Scheduling and confirming customer appointments
  • Requesting, accepting, or delivering payments
  • Answering common questions

Since text messages boast a 98% open rate, they offer businesses a unique opportunity to engage their customers in a highly personal and effective way.

Why Business Texting?

Well, for starters, there are a few more jaw-dropping statistics related to business texting:

  • The average response rate for text messages is 45%—emails get a 6% response rate on average
  • Response rates for text messages are 295% higher than response rates from calls
  • 9 out of 10 consumers say they prefer to text with businesses
  • 63% of consumers would switch to an equivalent company that offers text messaging

Texting is also faster and easier than calling. And when we consider that people spend more time texting than they do on any other application on their phone, it becomes clear that a business texting strategy has the potential to transform your business, when implemented correctly.

How to Start Business Texting in 5 Steps

There are several easy ways to start texting for business purposes. However, implementing a business texting strategy requires some thought and planning. Here’s how to start business texting in 5 simple steps:

1. Identify your target audience: Determine who you want to communicate with via text. This varies depending on your business industry but common examples of target audiences include occupations like sales, real estate, and home improvement—along with your existing customers. This helps you tailor your business texting strategy, as well as the messages you’re planning to send, to the right audience.

2. Define your goals: Are you looking to communicate with customers more quickly? Are you trying to increase customer satisfaction by communicating with them in a way that’s more convenient? Do you simply want to spend less time on the phone? Whatever your goals are, outlining them in advance will help you identify your needs when it comes time to choose a business texting platform.

3. Select your business texting platform: Some business owners text customers from their personal phone line. But if you want to keep work separate from your personal life, it’s best to use a dedicated business number and platform. There’s a variety of apps and services to choose from, so you won’t have trouble finding a texting app for business interactions. You should look for services that work with your existing business tools and offer features to help you automate and improve customer communication.

Index was designed to do all of those things while empowering you with one-touch access to reusable texting templates for appointments, payments, reviews, and more. You can even send individual messages to lists of customers, giving you an easy way to increase your reach with minimal cost and effort.

4. Create your customer lists: Collect phone numbers from customers, prospects, and leads who have opted in to receive text messages from you. You can offer incentives and discounts to encourage sign-up. Then, utilize those customer lists to drive new business through marketing campaigns, sales, and business updates.

5. Write your messages: Keep your text messages clear and concise. Where possible, include the recipient’s name or other information to make your messages more personal. Always be sure to add your own name, along with the name of your company, so your customers know who they’re talking to. We’ve written a few small business texting templates to help you get started.

Texting Templates Make It Easy

Texting templates are pre-written text messages that can be copy/pasted and used as a starting point when sending business related text messages to customers. Since texting templates are often reusable with minor editing and personalization, they’re a huge time-saver for businesses of all sizes. Texting templates are especially helpful for:

  • Addressing customer service inquiries
  • Automating replies to missed calls
  • Sending appointment reminders
  • Scheduling meetings
  • Replying to FAQs

Conveniently, we’ve got a whole library of texting templates for you to choose from.

However you choose to start texting with your customers, you’ll surely find it to be an incredible new paradigm for the growth of your business. For even more tips on getting started with business texting, read our Top 3 Customer Re-Engagement Tips for Small Businesses.

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Steve Strauss

Steve Strauss is often called “the country’s leading small business expert.” A best-selling author and USA TODAY’s small business columnist, Steve is a thought leader, global speaker, spokesperson, content creator, and author of 18 books.

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