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Best Practices for Texting Customers

Photo close up of a person sitting at a wooden table using a mobile phone. Heavy overlay of colorful light blooms and spots.
Category - Business, General
by Lisa Eifert on December 1st, 2016

A study from Portio Research Limited recently declared SMS to be “the language of six billion people.” Specifically, data from the independent research company indicates that 6.1 billion people out of a total human population of 7.3 billion use SMS-capable mobile phones. The conclusion? Text message can be used to reach a staggering 84 percent of the entire living human race, and this percentage is only expected to climb in the years ahead.

Text messaging is even more pervasive in the U.S. In fact, Pew Research Center has deemed SMS to be the “most widely-used smartphone feature,” with a full 97 percent of smartphone owners—up from 80 percent in 2013—using text messaging. Not only that, but they use it frequently.

According to a report from Informate Mobile Intelligence, Americans spend approximately 26 minutes texting a day. The takeaway? Not only do people love texting, but they strongly prefer it to using the telephone.

While the turn toward texting is remarkable, it’s far more than an interesting phenomenon for today’s forward-thinking enterprises. It’s an opportunity, and a big one. In short, there’s no more personal, timely, and responsive way to communicate with your customers.

But while reaching more customers with text messaging is simple in concept, the execution is not. In order to truly harness the power of SMS to its full potential, you need the right strategies in place.

The Problem

A surprising lot can go wrong when it comes to sending text messages. Few business owners can forget the story of popular pizza chain Papa John’s, which was slapped with a $250 million dollar class action lawsuit for illegally blasting customers with multiple deal orders throughout the day and night—as many as 16 texts in a row, in some cases.

However, there is a right and a wrong way to handle text messages, especially when it comes to client communications.