Business Writing: 10 Etiquette Tips for Business Text Messages

Whether you already have a customer outreach strategy in place or are looking for new ways to connect with your B2C and B2B audiences, business texts can help you bridge the gap between your brand and its followers. According to Small Biz Trends, 39% of businesses actively use text messaging to communicate with their leads, while 74% of customers stated that they prefer communicating with real people rather than chatbots. 

Even though social media platforms and instant messaging apps have become a market mainstay, people still actively rely on text messages and SMS on a daily basis. However, nailing the right approach and etiquette in your business text messages isn’t as simple as it seems at first glance. Let’s take a look at some of the most useful business writing tips which can help elevate your text messaging game to the next level in regards to customer engagement and subsequent conversions.

  • Avoid Cold Texting

Depending on the industry you operate in, cold texting might not be a great first step in your engagement efforts. It’s often best to only contact individuals whose numbers or social media handles you received first-hand, whether through email subscription, website submission or other means. 

Contacting individuals who are already familiar with your brand and expect you to reach out to them will increase the likelihood of their conversion as your future customers. Likewise, their word of mouth will be positive as a result, while cold texting might lead to adverse effects for your brand’s customer outreach reputation.

  • Sign Every Message

If you’re reaching out to potential customers through SMS and traditional text messages, it’s proper etiquette to sign your messages properly. You can either introduce yourself in the opening line or leave the technicalities for the closing segment of your text depending on your preference. 

Most importantly however is that you should be transparent about who you are, who you represent and what number you are reaching out from. This is done to avoid suspicion of fraudulent behavior and to allow potential customers to reach out to you should they decide to do so on the spot.

  • A Casual Tone of Voice

Being skilled in business etiquette and using text messages effectively is a game of balance. Text messages are not typically associated with long-form content or detailed sales pitches which are commonly found in email or printed marketing media. As such, you should use your business text messages according to their platform and adopt a casual yet respectful tone of voice with your customers. 

Neightan White, Writer and Blogger at Is Accurate spoke on the matter of business writing recently: “Business writing, while targeted at sales and marketing, is still meant for real-world humans to read, comprehend and act on. If your texts come off as robotic and distant, people will rarely follow up on your business offer even if they were previously familiar with your brand. Make your offer appealing and respectful to the end-user and your business writing will bear fruit as a result.”

  • Timing is Essential

The timing of your messages will play a pivotal role in their perception and the overall etiquette your brand radiates. For example, if your target audience consists of teens and students, you might want to reach out to them in the afternoon or evening hours due to daily obligations. 

Similarly, elderly customers or stay-at-home parents might prefer the noon hours instead. Time your messages carefully so that you are perceived as professional and to maximize your texts’ performance when it comes to generating engagement and conversions.

  • Keep it Short and Informative

Text messaging is commonly associated with short-form content with very clear information present within. This applies for business text messages just as it does for personal messaging, so make sure to aim for a healthy middle ground. Limit your texts to 3-4 sentences at the most in order to elicit a positive response from your customers. 

Long messages will rarely get you the response you want and will most likely never be read in their entirety. Deliver your information in a succinct and informative manner in order to appear respectful of your customers’ time and attention and their response will most likely be the one you hoped for.

  • Eliminate Spelling and Grammar Errors

The fact that text messages are short and take very little time to read is both a good and a bad thing for you as their writer. Even a small slip in terms of formatting or proofreading can cost you a good chunk of your customer base who might perceive the text as spam or untrustworthy. 

In order to avoid this, you should employ writing platforms to double-check your text messages before they are sent out to customers. Platforms such as Evernote (a cloud-based text editing platform), Studicus (writing and outsourcing platform), Grammarly (a tool dedicated to spell-checking), WoWGrade (a professional editing platform) and Hemingway (a tool designed with legibility in mind) can all be of great help in this regard.

  • Don’t Rely on Multimedia

Unlike traditional digital marketing found on the web, text messages don’t allow for much when it comes to multimedia content integration. In order to maximize your messages’ appeal and present your brand in a professional manner, it’s best to rely solely on textual content in your messaging efforts. 

This will ensure that every customer receives the same message without any compatibility or bandwidth issues which might prevent them from seeing your sales pitch. Likewise, text-based content will also take less time to develop and cost less to deliver (if you are using SMS delivery), making it a win-win in case of business messaging etiquette.

  • Provide a Call to Action

The sole purpose of reaching out to existing and future customers is to invite them into some form of activity towards your brand. Whether it’s to invite them to a social event, to an upcoming sale or to offer them an exclusive deal, you should always include a call to action in your text message. 

Simple calls to action such as “Visit us on our website today” or “Come to our store tomorrow” work wonders for text messages. Calls to action are a tried-and-tested marketing strategy which will ensure that your contacts react to the business text message in some capacity – make sure to utilize them in the context of your available products and services.

  • Announce Your Calls Diligently

Even though we are discussing business text message etiquette, there is no rule against picking up the phone and calling your customers for a one-to-one discussion. However, this type of outreach should be announced beforehand in a timely and professional manner for several reasons. 

Your customers might be at work or be otherwise unavailable for a conversation, leaving them to wonder about the unknown number that just tried to reach out to them. What you can do instead is to reach out via a personalized text message and ask about your customer’s free time in this or that interval. 

Their response should give you a clear indication of whether or not they want to communicate with you personally or only via text messages. You will effectively avoid an unpleasant situation for both parties while also maintaining your brand’s professional etiquette in taking this route with your outreach.

  • Be Available for Replies

Lastly, text “messaging” carries with it the assumption that both sides will interact with one another. As such, it’s important for you to be available for any potential follow-ups, concerns, questions, and feedback once the business text messages are sent. 

Don’t bring your brand into a situation where “radio silence” is associated with your business representatives and take a proactive approach in the matter. Make sure to respond to any replies you receive after your text messages are sent out to existing and future customers to maintain the image of professional etiquette and build your brand reputation as a result.

In Conclusion

Even though text messaging may seem outdated or archaic to some eyes, most people will still look at an SMS fondly if it comes from a brand they are familiar with. It’s all about finding creative yet professional ways to communicate your brand’s service portfolio to potential customers in order to seal the proverbial deal. 

While there will always be people who simply ignore your messages, the ones that respond will make your newly-defined marketing strategy worthwhile in the long run. Let us know about your experiences with business text messaging and whether or not you are in favor of its use as a customer outreach platform in the comments below!

Bio: Diana Adjadj aims to nourish, spark and empower the magic of words throughout her writing career. She is a frequent contributor and blogger at Grab My Essay where she aims to elevate her writing skillset to become the best essay writer in her field. In her spare time, Kristin enjoys reading books from various genres on her balcony.

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