Katy ratican headshot b w april 2021
Written by
Katy Ratican
17 May 2021
4 minutes

Avoiding the common pitfalls of business texting

Small business owners can benefit from business texting. To get the best results, it's important to get the message right
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We have all received bad business text messages. The ones that make us wonder, “How can a company send something so bad?” Or, “Do they really think their customers are stupid?”

The answer is that it’s all too easy for businesses to under-service their texting campaigns. They need their communications to be quick and simple, so they put it on autopilot and review it once in a while. Unfortunately their brands end up suffering with each new message they send out.

Although sending a business text should be easy and speedy, the process of writing it should never be rushed. To strike the right tone, business text messages need a little TLC. For example, you most likely know the difference between a personal message and a business text, but are you confident when it comes to using the right etiquette for the latter?

Whether you manage a restaurant, medical service, salon or pet grooming service, it’s important to make sure that the texts you send work for your business. To help you with that, here are seven common mistakes companies make in their business texts.

7 business text mistakes to avoid

1. Repeatedly sending the same text

Alright, we get it, your restaurant has a special happy hour deal. But, you should avoid sending out similar messages again and again. Not only is it ineffective but it can also alienate your patrons.

This will affect your open rates (the number of times your text is opened). It will also show that you don’t have anything new to offer.

2. Long messages

You only have 160 characters in a message. Send anything longer and they might arrive as multiple texts. Remember, it’s SMS. By definition, it has to be short.

If you can’t convince your audience in a short message, making it longer won’t do the trick.

3. No clear CTA

Before sending out business texts, you should have clarity on the objective. Is it to raise awareness? Offer a discount code? Do you want them to click on a link?

The text should have a call to action that customers will be able to understand in seconds.

4. Using jargon

Every business has its phrases that people in the same industry would understand. But your customers are not from the industry. Just because they may frequent your business doesn’t mean they understand the abbreviations or jargon that you are used to.

So, keep your texts simple, and easy to comprehend. One good tip is to run your draft past a friend or family member before sending it to see if they can understand it.

5. Inconvenient timing

You can send the best campaign in the world — but if it wakes someone up, they won’t like it. To get the reaction you want, timing is everything. Stick to business hours and avoid sending communication late at night or early in the morning.

On that note, be selective about how often you text your customers. Depending on the nature of your business, this may be once a week or once a month.

6. Playing for the short-term

Don’t make it all about immediate results. Business text is an important tool to build a lasting and fruitful relationship. And like any relationship, it takes time.

Several businesses use SMS to announce sales and discounts, with no long-term strategy. Invest your time, effort and creativity in building this relationship, knowing that it can take time to get results.

7. Poorly crafted messages

Your message must be creative and engaging. Importantly, every business text you send should add value to your customer’s lives.

It can help to drill down into certain groups of customers and craft your text campaigns accordingly. For example, if a customer just visited you last week then they probably don’t need to receive your ‘don’t forget us, come and visit’ call out. Similarly, if someone hasn’t visited you in over a year then they might be confused if you reach out asking for a review.

In short

While messages are growing in popularity for their effectiveness, not all businesses are aware of the best practices regarding business texts. This may not be a disaster for large brands that can push out their message across multiple channels and campaigns.

But for a small business owner like you, it matters a lot. This could be your most frequent, and most useful, medium to reach out to existing and prospective customers. To get the results, it’s important to get the message right.

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