Tactics to avoid sounding like a bot when sending marketing text messages

by | Feb 28, 2023

Texting like a bot is a frustrating experience for both the sender and the recipient. Senders don’t get replies and recipients don’t feel like there’s someone actually reading the messages so they don’t reply. 

It’s easier than you might think to fall into the trap of sounding robotic when sending business texts. When that happens, your prospects and customers are more likely to delete your messages or worse, block you.   

So how can you ensure that your marketing text messages sound like a person wrote them and not like a bot? Use these tactics to humanize your marketing text messages.

Use personalization beyond first names

One of the most effective ways to avoid texting like a bot is to use extensive personalization. You do want to address the recipient by name (because many people spot automated messages by the presence of generic keywords such as “dear customer”), but beyond that, you need to use words and phrases that are specific and relevant to the conversation you want to have.

For example, instead of sending a generic message that says, “Hello, how are you?” do something like “Hey [First Name], how’s it going?” and then jump right into what you need. This small change can make a big difference in how your message is perceived. But that’s really the bare minimum of personalization.

Use customer insights such as purchase history, feedback, demographics, known interests, etc., to show that you know what your customers actually want to receive messages about. Sending texts that reference this type of information guarantees that the messages are relevant. Relevant, personalized texts drive more conversions. 

Even simple personalized messages like the following can make a big difference in your reply rates:

  • Good morning [First Name], I hope your day is going well so far! Hoping we can talk again about (product/service). What day this week can we schedule a call?
  • Hey [First Name], just reminding you that we have a meeting scheduled for (time and date). Look forward to chatting with you soon!
  • Hi [First Name], since you recently purchased (last purchased item), we want your feedback. How was your experience with (customer service, online store, etc.)? 💬
  • Hey [First Name], a quick heads up that we introduced (product/service) that you might be interested in since you once told me that you dealt with (related problem). (product/service link)
  • Happy Birthday, [First Name]! To celebrate, take (discount amount) off your next purchase! Use code (discount code) at checkout to redeem your birthday discount.
  • Hey [First Name], thanks for being a frequent buyer of our (product/service). I’ve got a special discount for you as a loyal customer. Use code (discount code) next time you buy.

Personalizing messages does require effort, but in the long run, it’s well worth it. Sending personalized messages shows your customers that you care about providing help specific to their needs. You build stronger relationships between you and your customers when you take the time to make the messages you send relevant. 

Write casually but professionally

One of the most obvious ways to avoid sounding like a bot is to use proper grammar and punctuation. Think of spammy-looking robotic messages you’ve probably seen: Those bot messages tend to include weird mistakes in grammar and punctuation. 

Typos are normal. They happen to the best of us! But too many errors make your text messages seem impersonal, not to mention unprofessional. 

It’s also important to use proper capitalization and punctuation, as this can significantly affect how your message is perceived. Using a lot of ALL CAPS or excessive exclamation marks almost immediately makes your messages look like spam.

Additionally, bots often don’t use contractions, which can make text messages sound stiff and formal. Using contractions makes your text messages sound more natural and conversational, which means they’re more likely to get responses.

Always proofread your messages before scheduling or hitting send. Ask yourself: Is this something I’d want to respond to? This ensures that your messages are clear and easy to understand.

Avoid using abbreviations and text slang

Even though texting is an informal method of communication, be careful of how many abbreviations you use. The use of abbreviations and slang depends on what your business is and what image you want to convey for your brand. 

While using abbreviations, acronyms, and slang occasionally is fine, each can make your messages hard to understand and/or you come across as unprofessional. 

In particular, avoid using text slang such as plz for please, thx for thanks, btw for by the way, ur for your, etc., unless it absolutely suits your brand. Instead, use full words and phrases that match the tone of your brand.

Use emojis

Like your use of slang, your use of emojis in business texting depends on what you sell. In most businesses, you can professionally and clearly communicate while still using emojis in texts to customers.

The right emojis add a personal touch to your text messages because people can easily tell that a person added them. They also help convey emotions and tone that might be difficult to convey with words alone.

Don’t use emojis in every single text you send, but it doesn’t hurt to use them in your messages when relevant and appropriate. 

Show off your personality

Show your personality and use your own voice and style when writing texts. Write texts that only you would write! Show emotion, empathy, and personality.

For example, if you know you’re a naturally funny person, use humor in your messages. If you’re more serious, focus on being clear and concise. 

It might even be appropriate to send photos of yourself at times. If someone will be meeting with you in person, giving them a photo beforehand helps break the ice.

Showing your personality in these ways allows you to connect with the recipients on a deeper level and keeps you from coming across as robotic. Staying on brand doesn’t mean not being you.

Use a conversational tone

Messages written by bots often sound disjointed and impersonal, so make your text messages sound as if you’re talking to a friend. After all, texting is supposed to be a conversation. 

Conversational texting helps you sound authentic and like an actual person. Basically, just make sure your messages can start conversations and that you’re available to continue those conversations. 

Be you

It’s easy to fall into the trap of sounding like a bot when you’re trying to be professional. But when you use these tactics, you’re guaranteed to sound like a human, and your text messages will get higher engagement which means more sales.

To learn more about how you can add conversational, human-like text messaging to your marketing and sales processes, take a tour of Skipio.

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