Text Messaging for Sales: How to Text Leads and Grow in 2024 [with Examples]
January 12, 2024 | Convoso
Are you using text messages for sales and lead gen? If not, you’re missing out on an incredible tool for boosting your bottom line.
Long neglected by businesses, and even since thought of primarily as a channel for customer service, text messaging can supercharge your sales cycle. Whether you’re trying to qualify leads, nurture relationships, or set more in-person appointments, there’s a text messaging template that can help achieve your goals.
Use this guide to text messaging for sales in 2024 to learn more about both why and how to text your customers and prospects. And get several simple sales text templates that you can put to use right away.
Why Should You Use Text Messaging for Sales?
Over the course of recent years, mobile technology has rapidly transformed the way people communicate, shop, find information, and do business. Along the way, customers in both B2C and B2B settings have drastically different communications and contact preferences than they did just a handful of years ago.
However, when it comes to offering the multi-channel experience that consumers expect, a surprising number of businesses still fail to deliver. People expect immediate answers and responses to their inquiries. And they expect those communications to unfold in the channels that they prefer most. For many consumers—including those from younger generations that make up more and more of the market—that means text messaging.
9 out of 10 consumers want businesses to communicate with them via text message. And 63% say they’d switch to another business that offers them texting as an option.
So, why use text messaging for sales? For starters, it’s becoming an increasingly existential risk to not use them. 9 out of 10 consumers want businesses to communicate with them via text message. And 63% say they’d switch to another business that offers them texting as an option.
Texting gives customers a flexible mode of communicating—communicating authentically—on their terms. Consumers can return to conversations at their convenience. However, using SMS in sales isn’t just about pleasing consumers—it has numerous benefits for businesses, including:
- High open rates: Text message open rates are as high as 98%.
- Rapid responses: 60% of consumers say they read a text within 5 minutes of receiving it.
- High engagement rates: Estimates of SMS clickthrough rates range widely—from in the single digits to as high as 46%. But no matter who you ask, marketers agree they drive much higher engagement than email and other channels.
How to Text Customers: Sales Texting Best Practices
With eye-catching stats like those above backing the use of texting for business, you might think that just about any old approach to sales texting would be effective. But the best practices below can help you build an SMS sales practice that actually delivers the experiences your customers expect—and the performance that you’re after.
Rely on Automation—and Two-Way Texting
When many sales leaders think of adding texting to their capabilities, they may think they’re adding a time-consuming burden. Fortunately, with the help of automation and AI-powered text messaging, this doesn’t need to be the case.
Texting customers isn’t only an activity that sales agents can execute in between phone conversations; it’s also one that can be completed in large part by automation technologies. With the right omnichannel dialing and sales platform, you’ll have plenty of options to supplement your outbound calling campaigns, email outreach, and other sales tactics.
Using intelligent virtual agent software, you can count on the power of conversational AI technology to handle two-way text-based conversations and prequalify leads, set appointments, and more.
Leaning on pre-planned SMS drip campaigns, your sales team can automatically deliver texts according to a strategic cadence designed to nurture lead relationships.
And using intelligent virtual agent (IVA) software, you can count on the power of conversational AI technology to handle two-way text-based conversations to prequalify leads, set appointments, and more—without necessarily demanding more of your agents. An IVA like Voso.ai can effectively serve as an always-on answering service, appointment-setter, and sales assistant. Let AI fluently, fluidly navigate text-based conversations 24/7 to expand the capacity of your team, increase customer engagement, and have productive (not to mention profitable) conversations at scale.
Support Compliance with Proper Opt-In and Opt-Out Options
As you fine-tune a sales texting strategy, it’s essential to keep compliance best practices in mind. In addition to the TCPA compliance your call center or sales team supports, be sure to implement these SMS-specific approaches to help protect your business:
- Obtain express written consent: To add customers or leads to a list and send them texts, call centers must receive explicit written consent. It’s also critical that this consent is documented and saved using a solution like ActiveProspect’s TrustedForm.
- Provide proper disclosure and an opt-in message: After receiving permission to text a customer, follow up with a comprehensive disclosure message. This should include information like your business name, the purpose of your text messaging, an estimation of message frequency, access to terms and conditions, as well as instructions for help requests and opting out.
- Always include clear opt-out instructions: The TCPA requires that businesses provide a clear method for businesses to opt out of receiving messages. Include easy-to-follow instructions (e.g., “Text the word ‘STOP’ to stop receiving messages”) in your outbound texts.
- Scrub against the national Do Not Call (DNC) Registry and respect all opt-outs: As with outbound dialing, texting any number included on the National DNC list is illegal. Maintain an internal do-not-call list, too, and frequently scrub all data against these lists. Contact Center Compliance also recommends minimizing compliance risk by scrubbing for litigators.
Register Your Campaigns
The Campaign Registry for texts is an authoritative database created to manage the compliance of business text messaging. It’s an essential tool designed to protect consumers from spam and unwanted texts, ensuring that businesses adhere to texting best practices. This registry also allows your business to register its campaigns, legitimizing your communications and helping to build a trustworthy relationship with your customers. Meanwhile, the registry ensures that registered campaigns follow strict rules and regulations that prohibit spamming and encourage respect for the privacy of individuals.
If a business wishes to register their campaigns, it must first identify a Campaign Service Provider (CSP) that’s approved by the registry. The CSP will guide the business through the registration process, which involves providing detailed information about the proposed campaign, including its content, purpose, target audience, and sender ID.
Once registered, it’s crucial to maintain campaign compliance. Periodically review campaign statuses and update information as necessary. Failure to do so could result in penalties and the potential removal of campaign privileges.
What Makes a Good Text? How to Write Effective Sales Text Messages
When you have the right tools to send texts efficiently and have followed the right processes to do so compliantly, it’s time to get down to business—the business of writing effective sales text messages. Keep these tips in mind to craft text messages that sell:
- Make it personal: Use the recipient’s name and personalize the content as much as possible to make the message feel more tailored to them. If you don’t have a wealth of information about your lead ahead of time, use any data like expressed interests, demographics, or past purchases to ensure your message is as relevant to their needs as possible.
- Keep it short: Text messages should be short and to the point. People typically don’t want to read long messages on their phones, especially from businesses.
- Offer value: Highlight the value or benefit the recipient will get from taking the desired action. This could be a discount, early access to a new product, or useful information.
- Offer convenience: Include a clear call-to-action in your text, and make it as easy as possible for recipients to follow through—whether it’s visiting a website (insert a link with a clear destination), taking advantage of a special offer (include an offer code), or setting an appointment (offering clear options to respond).
When Should You Send Sales Texts? Integrating SMS Into Your Sales Process
Even if you have the right message nailed down, timing can be everything when it comes to text messaging. Sending messages too early or too late in the day can reduce their effectiveness. Additionally, be aware of holidays and weekends when people may be unavailable or less likely to respond. Schedule your messages for times when your audience is most likely to be engaged and responsive. (And as ever, be sure to comply with all applicable regulations and state calling restrictions.)
But timing a sales text right isn’t just about the time of day. You also need to time your texts according to the sales cycle. As an incredibly versatile sales tool, there are very few incorrect situations for using texts—but these options for integrating texts can get you started, and help you find quick success.
Using text messaging for lead generation
Generating leads is the lifeblood of any business. Text messaging can be a great way to generate leads. Use targeted messages to direct high-intent prospects to a landing page or encourage them to sign up for a demo or trial. With the right message, you can pique their interest and get them to take action.
Timing these messages is key, as they can play a crucial role in support of your outbound dialing cadences. Try sending outbound lead generation texts either before your intended call timing or after a call attempt. This way, your texts can either alert a prospect to expect a call or give them another option to respond after an attempt.
Nurturing leads through text message follow-ups
Once you have generated leads, it is important to nurture those leads and move them further down the sales funnel. This is where text messaging can be particularly useful. Send educational content, product updates, or special offers to keep them engaged and interested in your offering.
Closing deals with timely and persuasive texts
You can, of course, use sales text messaging to actually make sales. To close deals, send timely and persuasive messages to high-intent leads that encourage them to make a purchase or set an in-person sales appointment. By keeping things personal and engaging, you can increase the likelihood that they will take the desired action.
6 Sales Text Message Examples to Use in 2024
By this point, you’re surely wondering what exactly a sales text should look like. Or perhaps you skipped straight to the good stuff. Either way, you can use these templates for sales text messages to step up your outbound sales process with well-timed (and well-written) texts to your prospects and customers.
1. First Contact
Sales SMS offers a unique flexibility: customers can open and read a message, then respond at their leisure, whenever it’s convenient for them. This makes texting a great option for making first contact with a customer who has just opted in and expressed interest. You might initiate your relationship and softly encourage further action with a text like this:
Hey, [Customer Name]! It’s [Agent Name] from [Company Name]. Thanks for sharing your information with us. Based on the information you provided, I thought the resources in our ebook might help you find the right solution for your needs. Don’t hesitate to text me with any questions you might have, though! [Include Link to Resource]
2. Qualifying a Lead
For lead generators, you can often cut right to the chase with a pointed question about a prospect’s interest in your product or services:
Hi, [Customer Name]. Thanks for your interest in [Company Name]. Are you looking for a solution for business or personal use?
3. Texting a Warm Lead
Warmer, higher-intent leads require a slightly harder sell to capitalize on their interest and maximize value—but a text message can still be the perfect tool. Try something like this:
Hi, [Customer Name]. I just saw your request for more information about [Relevant Product or Company Name] come through. You can sign up for a free demo (no credit card required) and see how our tool can save you time and money here: [Link to Demo Sign-Up]
4. Setting an Appointment
For businesses in industries like solar sales or home services where the in-person appointment is so crucial to a final sale, text messages can help facilitate convenient scheduling. Use outbound texts in tandem with scheduling software to make it as easy as possible for leads to find a time that works for them:
Hi [Customer Name]. This is [Name] from [Company Name]. Our technicians will be in your area this Thursday. I’d love to connect you with them to get a better idea of your project needs and show you what an installation would look like. Sound good? You can schedule a time at your convenience here: [Link to Scheduling URL]
5. Following Up to Close a Qualified Lead
Achieving speed to lead is essential for teams looking to improve contact and conversion rates. Depending upon the vertical you’re operating in, a follow-up text might be all you need to actually close a sale after you’ve qualified a lead.
Hi [Customer Name]. This is [Name] from [Company Name]. Thanks so much for taking the time to tell us more about what you’re looking for in a technology partner. Sign up today, and you can save 20% on our normal price. Just enter the offer code THANKYOU20 during checkout. Let me know if I can answer other questions for you! Sign up and save here: [Landing Page Link]
6. Re-engaging with Aged Leads
Text messaging—especially when handled by an automated virtual agent—can be a high-value, low-effort way to revive aged leads. All it takes is the right message to get them back on board:
Hey [Customer Name]! Last time you talked with [Business Name], you were on the hunt for a [Product/Service] that could [Deliver/Offer an Important Benefit or Feature, e.g., “automate your contract management”]. We’re offering a special discount for new subscribers, now through the end of the month. Check it out here: [Link to Sign Up/Purchase URL]
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