If you’ve ever Googled how to get better reply rates, you’ve probably read a lot of contradictory advice:
“Include the company name in the subject line.”
“Make your subject line vague and mysterious.”
“Focus on the benefits.”
“Forget the benefits, it’s all about pain points.”
We don’t mean to be flippant. A strong cold emailing sequence can absolutely bring a ton of people into your sales pipeline.
However, if you’re like most salespeople, you don’t have a lot of time to test different ideas. You need sure-fire methods to increase your reply rate. That’s why prospecting with text messages is a good bet.
The average open rate for emails is 26% according to Hubspot—and that’s on the high end. The low end is 19%. On the other hand, 90% of texts are read within three minutes.
A study of 3.5 million lead records found that prospects who are sent text messages convert at a rate 40% higher than those who are not sent any text messages.
So, in short, texting your sales prospects works. But you have to be tactful about it. Email and SMS are two very different channels. What works for one doesn’t always fly for the other. Here are the top seven do’s and don’ts.
We advise our clients never to buy a list of phone numbers. It’s both ineffective and unnecessary. There are easier ways to collect numbers from prospective clients.
For example, you could add a click-to-text button to your website.
This is just one of many methods. You could also consider adding a web form to your site. Ask people to leave their phone number to receive a quote, case study, e-book, course catalog, or some other valuable content.
If you already use a landing page or form builder like Unbounce, integrate it directly with SimpleTexting.Another popular method is to use Facebook Lead Ads to collect phone numbers and automatically follow up via text.
Always introduce yourself in your first message. At a minimum, include your first name, last name, and what company you’re with.
Take a look at this example:
In addition to introducing herself, Lily also tactfully answered a very important question before it came up: how did you get my number?
By saying “I saw you downloaded our course catalog” she explains how she got her hands on the lead’s number.
If it’s the first time you’re establishing contact, it’s crucial you do this too.
You can say this in several ways:
Don’t assume your lead will save your name or never delete your text—some people Marie Kondo their inboxes every day.
Even after your introductory messages, it’s best practice to include a text message signature.
This doesn’t have to be fancy. Just add “- first name from company name” at the end of your message. (e.g. – Alfredo from SimpleTexting)
There is a time and place for text messages. You don’t want to text someone out of the blue. A text that says “hey, just checking in” can turn a cold lead even colder.
Find an appropriate reason to send a text. For example, you can reach out by text to:
In order to write a good sales text, it’s useful to see what a bad sales text looks like. In this tip, we’ll cover two examples.
Sometimes we’ll hear from sales reps who tell us people don’t reply to their texts. Then we’ll ask them to share what they’ve been sending and we’ll see something along the lines of:
Remember, you’re not texting a prospect. You’re texting a person.
Some best practices include:
Here’s another example that’s not quite as bad, but still misses the mark:
In this case, Sean was too stiff. It sounds like an automated message. Keep it professional, but don’t go overboard and sound uncomfortably formal either.
The sweet spot is somewhere in the middle. Your tone should be friendly, helpful, and genuine.
Time zones matter less when it comes to email. People generally don’t have notifications turned on for emails.
If you accidentally email a prospect at 6 am their time because you’re in EST and they’re in CST, it’s no big deal.
With text messages, this can be really disruptive. Most phones will ding or vibrate when a text comes in.
A study conducted by the University of Michigan and Microsoft found that 77% of people leave their notifications on at night.
That’s why it’s crucial that you make a note of your prospect’s time zone within your SMS inbox.
A common misconception is that texts can only be 160 characters. Actually, with MMS you can send up to 1,600 characters.
Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
Keep things short and sweet. Be sure to include a direct call to action.
If you need to include lots of details, consider attaching a PDF. It will show up as a link:
Many small business owners will use their personal phone to start texting leads. This is okay to start, but you’ll quickly find it’s inconvenient.
Don’t believe us? Take a look at this case study from Shower Door Experts,
Instead, use a business texting service. You can choose a new local number or even text-enable your current office line. Yes, even if it’s a landline.
This will give you peace of mind because you’ll never have to worry about accidentally sending a personal text to a prospect. Plus, you’ll gain the ability to:
Here’s a quick look at how it works:
SMS is a secret weapon that more SDRs should take advantage of.
When done right, it’s not spammy at all.
Instead, it’s a convenient way for your leads to ask questions and get quick replies. In other words, it’s more personal and direct.
If you’re ready to fill your pipeline with the power of text messages, sign up for a 14-day free trial of SimpleTexting. Every account comes with a complimentary, text-enable number. You can even choose one with your area code!
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