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Introducing Skipio’s Message Mentor: What should your first text to a contact include?

Whether you’re just adopting business texting as part of your communication plan or you want to start texting from a new number, your introduction to contacts is really important. The right message is the difference between being ignored or told to stop and engaging in a real conversation. So what should your first text to a contact include?

Well, with Skipio’s brand new Message Mentor, you’ll be coached to write great first text messages that get responses. And it happens in real time as you’re typing.

The Message Mentor helps you think carefully about the information you need to share and how to best share it! Depending on the reason for sending the first text, you need to consider whether to include each of these details.

Your first text should always include…

Your name

Always include your name in your first text to someone. Don’t assume people will know or remember who you are based on whatever context clues you include in a text.

For one, if you’ve never actually talked before, such as when someone submits a form and you’re contacting them for the first time, they won’t know who you are at all. You’re asking for confusion by not identifying yourself. Even if you’ve texted someone before but with a different number, you need them to know this is the new way to contact you!

After all, if you want to make a personal connection and have a real conversation with someone, they need to know your name just like you know theirs. The quicker you help someone associate a name (yours) with your business/services, the better off you’ll be.

What organization/business you’re from

Just including your name in a text isn’t enough. Always tell people what business you’re from. If you jump right into your pitch or start referencing a previous conversation that occurred in person, over texting with a different number, etc., you’re once again asking for confusion.

Putting your name and the company name at the beginning of the first text you send works best. For instance, something as simple as “Hi [First Name], this is [My First Name] from [Business Name]” is well worth the characters.

A specific question

How do you start any conversation? You ask questions! To increase your chance of getting a response from anyone, ask a question. And preferably ask one that requires more than a one-word response.

So what should you ask in a first text to a contact? That all depends on why you’re reaching out.

– If someone just filled out a form on your website, ask them about the products/services they’re interested in (making sure to base this off any other details they provided when submitting).

– If you met someone in person, say at a conference or other event, ask them about the rest of their experience there.

– If someone you talked to previously was interested in setting a meeting or appointment, ask them about their availability.

Even asking them to let you know if they successfully got your message can be a quick “in” to a conversation!

Your first text should sparingly include…

Exclamation points & all caps

Using too many exclamation points often makes messages look spammy. Writing a lot in all caps does the same. Using all caps can be too harsh in general for first text messages. We promise that you don’t need to rely on either to write a good message and get people to pay attention.

Salesy language

Carriers may flag messages that include sales language, so your first text to someone shouldn’t be a pitch. Words and phrases like these should be avoided, at least at first: buy now; promotion; free.

Once you get into a conversation and carrier filters see that people are responding to your messages, it’s less likely your messages will be blocked. The filtering is there to ensure people aren’t being spammed.

Web links

Again, try to use links only when you’re in an established conversation. While links are needed in some situations, carefully evaluate whether the first time you’re texting someone is one of them. Because even if a carrier doesn’t think your message is spam, sending a link at the wrong time might still make someone hesitant and not respond.

Message templates for you to customize

Ready to send some first texts? Here are 5 examples you can copy, paste, and adapt to your needs.

– Hi [First Name], this is [My First Name] from [Business Name]. Let’s get a meeting scheduled. What days this week work for you?

– Hi [First Name], it’s [My First Name] [My Last Name]. Just wanted to let you know that this is my new number just for [Business Name]. Text me back so I know you got this message.

– Hi there, [My First Name] [My Last Name] checking in. I’m so excited to let you know about this VIP texting line [First Name]. This is only for customers like you!

– Hi [First Name], I’m [My First Name] from [Business Name]. I’m reaching out about (topic). I’d love to help you learn more. Do you prefer text or phone calls?

– This is [My First Name] from [Business Name]. I saw that you filled out our form about (topic). Do you have any specific questions I can answer right now?

However, keep in mind that these are templates. You should always customize them to your customers’ needs and your situation.

Start writing better business texts

Some of these things may seem obvious to include in a first text, but when you’re busy talking to a lot of people or simply excited to talk to someone new, it can be easy to forget.

Fortunately, the Message Mentor reminds you of each point mentioned here when you send your very first text and every time you start a drip campaign. You’ll be well on your way to more enjoyable and productive conversations!

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This post was originally published April 9, 2019 and was most recently updated August 11, 2020. The update includes the introduction of the new feature the Message Mentor, message templates, additional insights in each section, and four completely new sections.