What can businesses and organizations learn from sweetheart texts in 2020?
Quite a lot, actually. Consumer and client relationships with brands have become more like deep friendships. In fact, it’s not uncommon to hear people talk about “breaking up” with a brand they’ve loved for years. We’ve anthropomorphized businesses.
The norms of social SMS & WhatsApp communication in 2020 are also best practices for organizations hoping to gain loyal and delighted customers, students/alumni, or clients. In actuality, businesses, nonprofits, and schools are, in some, way, replicating stages of romantic relationships by finding possible matches, courting, gauging interest, making it official, and working to make the love last forever.
The following SMS & WhatsApp texting tips work with your Salesforce leads, opportunities, and contacts, no matter which industry you’re in.
First, let’s cover what NOT to do…
1. Don’t send your SMS or WhatsApp at 2 AM. That sends the wrong message.
If you’re an individual, I need not say more. If you’re a business, it’s spammy. Ill-timed texts send the “I’m not organized enough to schedule messages at the time-zone appropriate hours” message. Integrate some logic into your SMS and WhatsApp campaigns that account for when people want to hear from you.
2. It’s embarrassing to send an enthusiastic, sweet text to someone, only to receive back, “Um, who’s this? Don’t be “the rando.”
Maybe it’s been too long since you last contacted the recipient, and, now, they don’t remember you. Maybe you got the number from a friend (bought a list) and they never actually gave you their number at all! Either is not great.
If your organization sends any kind of SMS campaign, make sure you get proper opt-in and make sure to automate the re-opt-in process whenever the opt-in expires. From there, stay in regular communication with relevant material.
3. Don’t play it too cool, and don’t wait too long to text…
This one is a twofer.
As mentioned above, the “Um, who’s this?” text is always awkward. For both people. Don’t drop the ball by trying not to appear over-eager–you WANT those clients! Don’t play coy. Usually, enthusiasm is endearing and will help you stand out from the crowd. Don’t let the fire die because you don’t want to put yourself on the line.
4. Don’t text into a black hole.
There are some situations in which a little reminder is helpful to get a lead over the line or get someone to someone to commit.
People check their phones tens of times per day, but people will even get annoyed if their close friend is blowing up their phone. Say what you need to say and let it be. If they’re interested, you’ll hear back. Maybe a gentle nudge would help, but don’t be pushy. Continuing to badger is, again, spammy.
Just like when you’ve been “ghosted,” save your energy (and pride) by letting leads and contacts go after a re-engagement campaign. If they want to connect with you in the future, they know where to find you. You’re SMS and WhatsApp marketing (and other) campaigns will give you better feedback about your KPIs if you keep your lists clean.
What to Do Instead
5. Be creative and as friendly as a friend!
If you can be as adorable as this whale and achieve a banter-like conversation with your constituents with a response like, “Dolphinately,” you know you’ve done a fantastic job of finding your brand voice and attracting the right people.
Organizations can’t open a text-based conversation with a double text, so you’ll have to develop this kind of rapport over time. With WhatsApp, you can only send templates to open a conversation, after which, the recipient will have 24hours to text you back in order for you to be able to continue your conversation, survey, form, or chat. If you don’t hear back, you can resend a template to try again, but see Tip 4.
However, you can still make your clients and customers smile with an insider-nickname (do they frequent a certain product line of yours? Do you have a pet name for your entire client clan?), emojis, puns, repurposed epic movie quotations, or lingo that makes them feel like they’re a part of a club designed especially for them.
6. Make them feel appreciated.
“To the world, you are one person, but to one person, you are the world.”
How does your organization show its appreciation in a way that your competitors don’t? Do your clients, customers, students, volunteers, and staff feel like they’re one of many or one in a million?
Sometimes it’s okay to lay the gratitude on thick, especially when you can back that appreciation up with something tangible like a gift or, better yet, actions. If your customer success or support team uses your SMS and WhatsApp messaging on Salesforce, they can shine.
7. Grow the relationship.
“This day may come once in a year, but my feelings will become stronger than ever.”
Closing and maintaining customers isn’t a one-and-done deal. The relationship should get better with time. Rather than neglecting customers until the moment they are ready to bail, regularly sprinkle then with pleasant surprises like loyalty incentives. Like a fine wine, a relationship with a brand should get better with time.
8. Send an off-beat compliment.
“I like how weird you are.”...Or classic, or organized or anything you can think of that reflects the client or customer’s choices with your brand.
Make your customers feel seen, understood, and appreciated exactly as they are. Do they choose the wildest clothes on your online storefront? Do they pay their bills ahead of time? Are they always volunteering for R&D and providing great feedback? Give a genuine compliment in a playful delivery.
9. Create FOMO.
Make them imagine living their best life with you (your brand or organization) in it!
Let them know about the cool events you have coming up, and if they miss it, let them know that you wished they were there because “look at all the fun that was had or the good that was accomplished” (insert a branded link to content recap). See if they sign up STAT for your next big thing.
10. “It’s not me, it’s you…it’s all about you.”
Bear with me: You’re at a party. You meet two people. One person is the most interesting person on the planet and you’re mesmerized by their tall tales, lofty accomplishments and Bear Grylls status sense of adventure. The other person asks you all about you with keen interest. Which person do you want to sit next to at the next dinner party? The second person: the one who all about YOU!
Find out what your target clients and customers like and what they want with urvey functionality on either SMS or WhatsApp, then pull the resources together to deliver it to them!
Regardless of if you’re new to leveraging SMS and WhatsApp campaigns on Salesforce, or you’re an old pro, I hope these tips for engagement and communication put a Valentine’s smile on your face, and helped you understand how to make your brand communications human through text.
Happy Valentine’s Day!