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6 Do’s and Don’ts of SMS Messaging

If you have a service business, SMS messaging is the way to go when you need to get important information to your clients or move prospects forward in the customer journey.

Up to 98% of text message recipients will open your message and read it when it arrives on their phone. But this method of communication is fraught with landmines that can get you into some trouble.

Make sure you understand these do’s and don’ts before you add this effective tool to your marketing toolbox.

1. Do Personalize Each Message

It can be a challenge to make your SMS messages feel personal due to the limited number of characters. But the following tips can help you do that:

  • Use the recipient’s first name, if possible.
  • Weave your signature tone of voice into the message using emojis.
  • Incorporate the adjectives that you find yourself saying regularly.

2. Do Use SMS When the Message Makes the Customer Experience Better

Before you send out a message, imagine the experience from the recipient’s perspective.

Will your message disrupt your client’s focus during a busy part of his workday? Or is it likely to serve as a helpful reminder that the webinar he’s been looking forward to is going to start in 10 minutes?

If you’re sending the message for your own sake, there’s a greater chance that it will be an annoyance.

But if you’re confirming a hair appointment or reminding your accounting client to have a document ready for a meeting, the recipient is going to be glad to have received the message.

3. Do Get Permission and Keep a Record of It

There are a few types of SMS messaging that your business may use.

You may have conversations via text, particularly if you have a small business and you tend to do more one-to-one client work. If your client texts you, then permission to engage in a back and forth conversation is implied.

However, informational or promotional messages have additional requirements.

If you are hosting a free workshop, you may decide to send out informational messages about that workshop. Rather than sending these messages to your entire list, allow individuals to choose to receive those specific messages when they reserve a spot in the workshop.

For example, when people enroll in our free workshop, Get More Clients Faster, they have an opportunity to join our secret text thread that includes free bonus content and helpful reminders.

But the only people who get access to this information are the ones who reserve a spot in the workshop:

Here’s another scenario – suppose you have a smoothie shop that offers a weekly special every Monday. It would be annoying to send promotional details to every person enrolled in your rewards program.

However, people who like to grab a smoothie for lunch would be happy to receive a Monday morning heads up to let them know what the special is.

If you are sending informational or promotional messages be sure to get specific permission, and make sure that you communicate a very clear and explicit way for them to change their mind and say, “I don’t want to get these messages anymore.”

It’s also a good idea to keep a record of that opt-in agreement for documentation purposes.

4. Don’t Blast the Same Message to Your Entire List

Here at The ASK Method, we’re big fans of segmenting your list. Putting customers and potential customers into the correct bucket allows you to communicate with them more effectively while forming stronger relationships.

This goes back to the basic principle of creating messages from the recipient’s perspective.

If you’ve just released an exciting new update that applies to the current cohort of people who are taking your online course, those course students are going to be excited to receive your message.

But this same message would be an unwelcome interruption for everyone else.

5. Don’t Violate Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) Rules

The rules that protect consumers from unsolicited messages are much more strict for SMS than they are for email.

And, for good reason – can you imagine if your text message inbox looked like your email inbox?

Every person who intends to use SMS messaging for their business should go review these rules for themselves. Violating these regulations can lead to fines.

The good news is that the concepts of requiring consent and making it easy to unsubscribe aren’t just compliance strategies, they’re also great for business.

6. Don’t Make it Difficult to Unsubscribe

You’re working hard to create the perfect message that will grow your business and close more sales. Here at the ASK Method, we completely understand.

In fact, one of the things we teach in our business coaching program is how to create irresistible offers. But the key to making that happen doesn’t include shouting your message to anyone who’ll listen.

The important thing is to know your audience, and know them well. Speak directly to them using words that really resonate with them.

It’s better to have a small but engaged audience of potential buyers than a large list of people who aren’t a good fit for your services.

Be sure to include an opt-out word with every informational or promotional message. And, if you are following the guidelines mentioned above, and recipients still choose to opt-out, that’s okay.

Start Using SMS to Grow Your Business

By implementing the do’s and avoiding the don’ts, you can leverage SMS messaging effectively to improve client communication and drive business growth.

Remember to personalize each message, use this powerful form of communication to improve the customer experience, and always get permission first.

Keep in mind that TCPA rules protect you and the consumer. Get familiar with those regulations.

Reaching the right customer with the right message is a cornerstone of business success. Get to know your customers and send them information that they’re happy to receive. It’s normal for a portion of this audience to opt-out from time to time.

As you put more and more of these strategies into place, you’ll build an audience of ideal customers that look forward to investing in your expertise.


Join us for an upcoming free training for coaches, consultants, and experts to learn How to Get More Clients Faster Using this Unique AI-Powered Client-Getting Strategy.

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