Texting plays a big role in the marketing and sales processes for most businesses these days. However, most marketers and sales people aren’t sure how to use this relatively new technology correctly. Businesses are still writing the rules for texting.

Here are our top 20 best practices for optimizing your use of texting for marketing your business, booking appointments, answering questions and closing deals.

  1. If someone texts you, respond as soon as possible. It demonstrates professionalism and respect. If you don’t, it communicates that you really don’t care.
  2. If something is too complicated to text, make a call. It’s easy for complex things to get miscommunicated in a text. Don’t take chances of an unintentional error.
  3. Check your messages before you send them. Spelling and grammar errors are unprofessional. Never give anyone a poor opinion of you or your business.
  4. If a message could be used against you, don’t put it in writing. Never take chances. Imagine anything you text being used against you in a court of law.
  5. Keep messages brief. If you can’t, make a call instead. No one reads long text messages.
  6. Always check that you’re texting the right recipient. It’s easy for a finger to slip and to send the wrong message to the wrong client. This could be viewed by a client or customer as a breach of privacy.
  7. Always introduce yourself and what you do in your initial text to someone, even if they reach out to you first. People get a lot of texts and identifying yourself will make it more likely they’ll engage with you. Never assume people know who you are by your phone number.
  8. Always respond to a text with a text or phone call. If you need to email someone, alert them that you are sending them an email via text. This is especially true if it’s an email that can’t be missed.
  9. Never text anything confidential, private or potentially embarrassing. Enough said.
  10. Don’t communicate irritation because you haven’t gotten an immediate response. People are busy. Give them time to get back to you.
  11. Avoid abbreviations in business texts. A TNX or K could be viewed as a lack of care or interest by a potential customer or client. An IKYN may simply not be understood.
  12. Never text while on a call or doing something else. It makes it more likely you’ll make an error, communicate something unintentional or message the wrong person. Little errors can kill deals.
  13. Be respectful when you use texting for marketing purposes. Texting is a very personal medium and blatant marketing messages can feel like a major violation of trust. Smartphones feel more human to people than other devices.
  14. If someone texts you to cancel an appointment, even at the last minute, don’t text back anger or disappointment. You want to keep the door open to future opportunities to work with them. If they repeatedly cancel appointments, ask them to pay in advance or refuse future appointment requests and explain why.
  15. Be careful in your use of emojis. Many people still don’t understand them or view them in the same way. Even something as simple as a smiley face could be misconstrued, especially if someone doesn’t know you well.
  16. Avoid humor in texts. It’s easy for jokes to offend. A misunderstood joke is a sure way to kill a deal.
  17. If you can’t meet a request made in a text, don’t just say “no”. Also explain why. It keeps the door open to further discussion.
  18. Only text when your brain is clear and fully functioning. Never text a client or customer when under the influence, sleepy or in any way mentally or physically compromised. Just remember the last time you had one too many and you’ll understand why.
  19. If in doubt, have someone else read a text before sending.
  20. NEVER text and drive.