Using text messaging as a sales tool means you reach people how they want to be reached: by text. You also happen to connect in the most personal way possible as phone calls continue to lose popularity.
The consistent, personalized outreach you can do with business texting is beneficial to all companies, but it especially benefits smaller sales teams. When done in the right away, you get so many opportunities to have human interactions with potential and current customers without totally overwhelming yourself.
To help you take on texting in your sales process, here are 10 tips from Skipio’s own sales team — a team that’s helped hundreds of customers write thousands of messages that get more responses and lead to action.
1. Use text-in keywords to generate interest and leads
Let your texting platform work for you. Create and advertise keywords you want people to text in to receive more information about certain products or services. That way they only receive texts related to what they’re most interested in and you have a better chance of closing a sale.
By using this type of automated feature, you can reach out immediately and schedule other messages to go out at specific times. You save lots of time by scheduling messages in advance, and you’ll always know the last time you texted someone.
2. Send targeted messages only
Blast texting generic messages to large groups of leads just makes more work for yourself and eats up a lot of your day. Though you might think it’s going to take you more time to send such specific messages to individuals and groups, that’s only kind of true.
It will take more time and work up front to prepare and tailor your messages… But you’re setting yourself up for better interactions, more sales, and repeat customers!
General, blanket-statement promotional messages don’t get nearly as many responses or actions. Instead, you’re stuck reaching out again and again. Ultimately, you spend all your time, money, and effort talking to and trying to get the wrong customers to buy.
And it makes sense, right? Prospects care about different things than current customers. And others groups of current customers will respond better to different offers, content, and even language. How you text each group of people should reflect those needs.
3. Do regular cold lead outreach
Make it a part of your sales routine to reach out to people who never became customers. That includes leads who never even heard from you in the first place or who were in conversations but no-showed, ghosted, or otherwise fell away.
In a recent webinar hosted by Skipio and The Sales Evangelist, we talked about how many calls it takes to get a buyer to engage. It’s 18. But overall, 44 percent of sales reps don’t even follow up after the first time. No wonder cold leads fill databases!
As you prioritize starting conversations again — and using texting to do it — you might be surprised at the uptick in engagement and sales. Even just a little extra effort put into contacting your cold leads could make a huge difference for your team.
Sharing content isn’t just for email and you shouldn’t just hope that people will happen upon your company’s posts, videos, or images elsewhere online. Most people watch videos on their phones these days anyway, so it makes sense that you text content to them directly.
As long as your company’s blog is optimized well for mobile, which it definitely should be, texting out links to the latest news, updates, or tips is a breeze.
This doesn’t mean you text everyone every time your marketing team publishes a new post or make a new video (remember the importance of targeted messages), but when you’ve got a great piece of content, send it to the audience of contacts you made it for. Make sure they see it and ask them to take some sort of action because of it.
5. Carefully time when you send text messages
The cadence of nurturing leads through text is not the same cadence you use with email nurturing. Sending multiple emails in a week, or even multiple in a day, isn’t unusual or unheard of. Some companies even have a lot of success doing this.
But text is not email.
You need to strategically figure out the number of texts you can send to a single person in a week or you’ll be getting so many “STOP” requests your head will spin.
There’s of course no magic number of how many texts you send throughout the month. However, many sales reps see solid success when they start out by sending a couple texts message each week to different segments of contacts.
Remember also that the literal time of day affects how well your texts will be received. You can get away with sending emails at odd hours, but people aren’t likely to turn off their text notifications or ignore new messages. So unless you run a unique business where people want to be texted outside of business hours, don’t go wild with your scheduling.
6. Take advantage of holidays
Your holiday outreach doesn’t stop when it comes to text messaging. The speed at which you can send out a deal or offer and get responses is unmatched with text. We’ve seen Skipio users generate thousands and thousands of dollars in a day or two by planning holiday text messaging campaigns.
So look at upcoming holidays, pick one that suits your company and customers, and create an offer they won’t want to miss. Just keep in mind that nothing can replace consistent follow-up and ongoing conversations for converting customers. A sweet deal might tip someone’s decision in your favor, but don’t rely on special offers exclusively to close sales. A holiday offer delivered by text message represents one small part of your overall lead nurturing strategy.
7. Create urgency
Special offers and limited-time deals matter. And with how quickly people can respond to texts, it really makes a lot of sense to use time-sensitive language when talking with leads and customers.
This goes right along with your holiday promotions. Give people time parameters for responding or limit offers to a certain number of people.
Not every text you send should force people into a time crunch, of course. They’ll quickly get tired of that and see right through what you’re trying to do. But an occasional limited-time offer texted to your prospects or customers is sometimes just what they need to make a purchase.
8. Turn it into 2-way communication
Really good lead nurturing encourages conversations. And as an individual sales rep, you’re in the unique position of really showing people who’s on the other end. Always ask questions and find out what your customers want to see and what would be most valuable to them.
At some point you will undoubtedly have a message that you want to send to a large group of leads and customers at one time. But don’t do it! Because if you’ve written a really great message, sending it to everyone at once means you’ll be overwhelmed with responses. You won’t be able to respond quickly or give people the proper attention. That will create a memorable customer experience but not for the right reasons.
Split up the list of contacts you want to message and send your text over the course of a few days. That way there’s the best chance for real back-and-forth interactions to happen.
9. Worry more about your response times than having the “perfect” offer
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to create offers your customers and potential customers can’t refuse. But your execution of that offer within your lead nurturing strategy matters more than the offer itself. Because if you’re not ready to answer questions and reply to texts, what does that say to a prospective or current customer?
In addition, you might not be able to have as competitive of offers as larger businesses. So beat them out by offering a superior customer experience instead. Show the people you’re messaging that it’s not a bot on the other end but a real human person who wants to help and create a buying experience they can’t help but talk about.
10. Schedule outreach at specific intervals to save time
Your lead nurturing messages should not just be written and sent when you’re thinking about it in the moment. That’s going to drain your time and resources really fast. And you’re going to forget to do it. It’s just inevitable.
When you use Skipio, for instance, that helps you schedule messages to send at specific points in time that you choose. Again, this will be more time that you have to spend up front planning out messages. But the time you save in the long run is far greater.
By automating these messages, you don’t have to remember to follow up or send a reminder because Skipio does it for you. The mental effort alone that you save by scheduling messages in advance frees you up to handle so many other important parts of your sales day.
Start texting your leads
For just $19, you can start implementing a sales texting strategy with Skipio. With this basic plan, you’ve got everything you need to do every single thing mentioned in this post.
From keyword campaigns to scheduled messages that drip out over time, Skipio makes sure that you never forget to follow up.
Plus, get even more help using Skipio in your sales when you sign up and get access to the Resource Center. This database includes pre-written messaging templates, how-to articles and guides, and anything else you’d want to know about texting your leads and customers.
This post was originally published on October 6, 2020 and was most recently updated on June 15, 2021. Updates include sharing more recent communication statistics, focusing the information to apply specifically to sales teams, and providing more detailed explanations of how to implement different business texting strategies into a sales process.