Texting is one of the most valuable tools available for nurturing leads. When used correctly, both sender and recipient enjoy instant, personal conversations. And now more than ever businesses need to remember that their prospects and customers are just normal people trying to get by. (Plus, texting is how people want to be contacted.)
However, nurturing leads through texting is a little different than texting a current customer and it’s important to understand the differences.
If you want to use texting to stay connected with your prospects, here are some tips to keep in mind so that you can optimize your lead nurturing.
6 tips for successful lead nurturing outreach
- Get permission to text people
- Introduce yourself
- Keep things short
- Ask questions and follow up
- Time your messages
- Try Skipio
Get permission to text people
Just like you can’t email people you don’t have permission to email, do not text people you do not have permission to text!
When you’re using form fills and gathering contact information from potential customers, make sure it’s clear that by submitting the form they’ll be consenting to receiving messages from you. This information can’t be written in tiny, tiny type at the bottom of the page, and people need to do something like manually check a box to agree. This is known as the opt in process.
If you aren’t aware of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, known more casually as TCPA, do your research! TCPA compliance is integral to any lead nurturing strategy that’s going to include texting. (Really it’s integral to any business texting strategy.) And it’s up to you to stay compliant.
Always introduce yourself
Texting is a personal method of outreach and requires the use of first names: the recipients and yours. Remember, leads don’t have the domain from your email address to have an idea of who you are. And people don’t like random numbers texting them.
Introducing yourself is good practice no matter who you’re texting, lead or not. Always tell them who you are and what business you’re from. As needed, tell them how you got their info. That’s going to make your conversation a lot easier. Hopefully you’re texting them really soon after you got their contact info, so they should remember what your business is. But don’t assume they will.
And keep in mind that there’s not much point to nurturing leads through long code texting unless you’re willing to be a real person, give your name, and build a relationship with the people you’re texting. Otherwise you might as well just use short code for marketing purposes and leave it at that.
Keep things short and to the point
People read texts quickly and you don’t have that many characters. Share simple tasks or instructions and don’t ask too much of people. A text message thread is not the place to give people a long list of resources or a detailed overview of all your services. It shouldn’t require a string of messages to get your point across.
For example, texts are a great way to ask people to watch a video, read a short post, or follow a link to schedule an appointment. Your first messages should (almost) never be an actual pitch – it’s not exactly nurturing someone when you only invite them to make a purchasing decision.
Make it clear upfront why you’re texting and always focus your messages on their needs. Needs that, right now, might be a little different than normal. Adapt your messages to reflect those changes in customer mindset. In short, think about how your business can fulfill customer needs for remote work and life.
Ask questions and follow up multiple times
Lead nurturing always requires multiple touch points. It’s not enough to send a single text and then move on. Texting certainly doesn’t have to be the only tool you use to connect with leads, but you’re not exactly creating strong connections if you only reach out via text one time.
And the most logical way to keep a conversation going is to ask people questions! People read texts and respond within minutes, so make it easy to respond. Your first message in particular should always include a question.
For example, depending on when these leads showed interest in your business and gave you their information, it could be beneficial to directly ask them if they still have a need for your products/services. Leads from even a few weeks ago now have different priorities.
Texting is also the perfect way to send quick reminders and follow up. After you’ve invited them to watch a video, check in a couple days after to see if they watched it. When you ask someone a question and they reply, continue the conversation. If someone follows a link in a text and schedules an appointment with you, send them a confirmation and subsequent reminders. After the appointment gets done, send them a follow-up text.
As you ask questions and follow up on messages, be sensitive to many people’s current physical or emotional circumstances. You wouldn’t be texting people if you didn’t want to build an actual relationship with them. Your questions and follow-up should be based around your desire and eagerness to help people. Make sure you’re always keeping their current needs at the top of your priorities.
And always show gratitude. For instance, someone taking the time to get on a video chat could be a real sacrifice of their time, so make sure you thank them for choosing to spend time with you. You’ll never regret expressing appreciation to prospects.
Carefully time your messages
Don’t let people confuse your messages for spam. Multiple scheduled texts a day are out of the question in many cases. And multiple texts a week could be too much depending on what you’re trying to get people to do.
Reach out as fast as possible, especially if someone comes to you with a specific question. But after that, don’t keep following up every single day. Space out your messages over the course of weeks – and maybe even months. By scheduling messages in this way, you’ll have follow-up prepared if they don’t respond to your first few messages.
Properly nurturing leads takes time, and depending on how much money someone will ultimately spend to become a customer, it could take a while. Right now many people may be apprehensive to make a commitment to your products or services. And that’s okay! Be extra careful with how often you’re reaching out and be extra careful with the language you use.
Lead nurturing is one of our specialties here at Skipio, so our platform is built with specific features to help your team nurture leads efficiently and personally. You’ll always be able to send the right messages at the right times to connect.