You know it’s important to personalize emails -- the same goes for texting. You want to speak directly to your connections, while keeping it brief and on-point.
Here are some tips on personalizing business texts.
Use first names.
This is an easy one, which makes it an easy one to forget. Using people’s names lets them know a message is just for them. Plus, folks respond strongly to their names -- it’s an automatic way to get a someone’s attention.
Be sure to double check a name before popping it into a text -- you don’t want to drive leads away with an unfortunate misspelling or alienate customers with the wrong name.
Have a conversation.
Traditional marketing communications are one-way streets. People know when you are talking at them instead of to them. Text messaging isn’t traditional.
Don’t use a text message just to talk about yourself and your product. You don’t always need to have an agenda or be focused exclusively on closing a deal. The heart of personalization is two-way communication -- the ability to have a back and forth, just as you would with a friend or colleague.
Half (at least!) of a two-way conversation is listening. It’s not just good for building a connection. If you listen, people will tell you precisely what they need. This can speed your sales process, give you insight into your customer base, and make you better at your job.
- The unique challenges that bring someone to your door. This gives you opportunity to connect and engage as you continue your conversations. Plus, paying attention can give you insight into your customer base, clients, or colleagues. This is good for communication and good for business.
- How they heard about you. This can give you a sense of where a contact is situated in your larger network (if they are friends with an existing customer, for example, or if they are a former colleague of the head of your IT department). In future conversations, mention the connections you share to bolster trust and boost rapport.
- Personal details, such as:
- Relationship status
- Number of kids
You’ll begin to get a complete picture of who someone is, which will help you make future communications even more personally relevant to them.
Text messaging is a friendly form of communication. People spend tons of time texting with their friends and family. Rather than trying too hard to be formal or all-business, go with the friendly feel of texting.
- Ask your contacts how they are doing, and pay attention what they tell you.
- Develop a rapport that goes beyond business. If they seem open to it, chat a little about light, easy topics, like weather, sports, or travel.
- Use these chats to show someone that you’re listening and that you care. How’s the weather in your neck of the woods this time of year? I imagine El Paso is pretty hot!
- Once you’ve gotten comfortable with light chatting, you can share a little something about your day. It’s raining here in Seattle -- but that’s nothing new!
- Close your texts with a pleasantry. For example, you might say: Nice to chat with you! Hope you and your son have fun at the game. Go Cowboys!
Seize the opportunity to provide value.
You have a unique opportunity with a text message. Texts are read and responded to more than other modes of contact.
You may be used to communicating into the void -- putting a lot of work into emails that just get crickets in response. Shift your expectations when you’re texting. Your leads, customers, clients, and colleagues are going to read your texts. You have a great chance to engage with them. Don’t waste it!
Be clear about what you have to offer.
Craft each text around what you can offer. Think of each text message as a personalized call-to-action.
You want your contacts to perform a particular action:
- Read an article that speaks to their particular challenge
- Download a case study that will give them the data they’ve been looking for
- Text you back with the best appointment time
- Check out a blog post on why you top your competitor
- Take a look at a new product update that precisely provides for their needs
No matter what the action is, be sure that your text succinctly highlights what you’re offering and how it benefits the person you’re connecting with.
Don’t repeat yourself
While it can be useful to offer certain valuable information multiple times, be careful not to overdo it. And don’t just regurgitate what’s already on your website. People don’t want you to copy and paste an advertisement into a text to them. They want to feel like you are speaking directly to them.
You’ve got this! You communicate all the time -- in text with friends, in email, on Slack, on the phone -- don’t let the business context choke you up. As a customer service rep, you are successful because you are a good communicator. Tap into your natural ability to connect and engage to show your connections that you care.
Looking for more texting tips? Check out our blog on business text messaging etiquette.