Do you know our beloved “text message” turns 31 this December? From a simple message 30 years ago reading “Merry Christmas” to a highly targeted professional text message of the modern-day, things have evolved unimaginably ever since the inception of the text message.
Neil Papworth was the very first person to send the first text message on 3rd December 1992. It was typed on a computer and sent over the Vodafone network to Richard Jarvis, who also happened to be a director there.
(Here is A Brief History of SMS for you if you’re interested in learning more about the subject.)
Now, moving forward to the present day. According to the Statistic Brain, people send more than 560 billion text messages every month, averaging 18.7 billion texts daily. Remember, this doesn’t include the app to app messaging. Simply unbelievable, right?
While there are no limitations to how you communicate with your friends and family through text messaging, there are certain dos’ and don’ts of how to do so professionally. And, this guide is all about helping you with that. So, let’s begin with the basics:
- What is a Professional Text Message?
- When to Send a Professional Text Message?
- How to Write a Professional Text Message?
- Professional Text Message Templates
- Templates for Professional HR/Recruiting Texts
- Templates for Professional Marketing/Promotional Offers Texts
- Templates for Professional Banking/Finance Texts
- Templates for Professional Confirmation Texts
- Templates for Professional Sales Texts
- Templates for Professional Reminder Texts
- Templates for Professional Staff Communication Texts
- Templates for Professional Customer Services Texts
What is a Professional Text Message?
You can consider professional texts as a way of communication followed in the workplace with the intent of accomplishing a specific goal or task. The goals can vary, from increasing sales to disseminating a particular policy or launching a new product/project.
What Are Different Types of Professional Text Messages?
Though there are no hard and fast rules, professional texting can be segmented into three broader categories, mostly based on the professionals at the sending and receiving ends.
When the texting is between professionals belonging to the same field:
This involves communication taking place between professionals belonging to the same domain of work. For example, professors in the same/different school departments and doctors from different specialities practising in the same hospital. Under these circumstances, the relationship or communication occurs on a peer level, where no one enjoys a higher status than the other. This type of professional communication demands mutual respect and regard on both sides.
When the texting is between professionals belonging to different fields:
This represents when such communication takes place between professionals engaged in different lines of work. For example, a lawyer conveying a specific message to their client or a doctor communicating with their patient.
When the texting is between a senior and a junior professional belonging to the same field:
This type of communication needs special attention because the tone of the message can directly impact the underlying objective or goal. In such scenarios, a junior professional needs to be prompt and respectful in communicating with their seniors. On the other hand, a senior professional should be courteous yet assertive in their tone of the message to their junior.
When to Send a Professional Text Message?
Another important aspect of sending a professional SMS (Short Message Service – another popular name given to text messages) is to know the right time to make your move.
The most appropriate time to reach out to others via text messages is when:
- If you need to share time-sensitive information
- When you intend to update staff in a company about something
- You want to confirm appointments, need changes and reminders on them
- In case want to run questionnaires and surveys
- Or countless others, apparently!
And When Not to:
Yes, sometimes and instances are not very conducive to conveying a message via text. It’s better you handle them in person or resort to a phone call, to say the least. Some of them include:
- Updates about employment status, especially hiring or firing
- Sharing some critical piece of information such as results of a medical report
- Thank you, notes. Because a text message cuts the element of intimacy out significantly from such a situation
How to Write a Professional Text Message?
While you take care of other aspects of your professional life, writing and sending a professional text also deserves the same attention and caution. Why? Because it can hurt your business ambitions if done wrongly.
Professional Text Message Etiquette
That’s why we have come up with a list of professional text message etiquette to help you make the most of this medium.
Avoid Texting People Without Opt-In
You may have to face legal implications if you text someone who hasn’t opted in, possibly resulting in hefty fines. Mass texting people is considered illegal until people explicitly allow you to do so. That’s why you need to make sure you do not start texting people until you have their express written consent.
The Shorter, the Better
Brevity is the key here. The efficacy of text messages starts lessening if they are not brief. So, keep your professional texts confined to a sentence or two so that people can read them conveniently and avidly. Ensure your messages remain between 1 – 3 sentences, not exceeding the 160 characters per message limit.
Don’t Overlook Relationship Building
There is no harm in texting, but you can yield much better results if you focus on relationship-building first. And the best way to do so is to avoid sending unsolicited text messages to people.
According to the Statistic Brain, the last decade has seen a 7,700% growth in the total number of texts sent on a monthly basis.
Offer Next Level Services
You can never totally rule out the possibility of an automated email hitting the spam folder. Text messages provide a great alternative, indicating the provision of next-level services from you. More so if you are dealing in shipment and delivery of physical goods. A timely text message can keep people well informed about the delivery status of their merchandise.
Focus on Quality and Relevancy
There is no doubt about how connected people are to their mobiles, considering it a much more personal form of communication than emails. So, if you are not focusing on the quality and relevancy of your professional SMS, you’re hurting your interests more than nurturing them.
Less is More
Similarly, sending too many texts to someone can turn into an annoyance rather than developing an affiliation. So, you have to keep the frequency of your messages in check. Lesser is better under such circumstances.
Add Value to Your Texts
With power comes responsibility, and you don’t want to sound irresponsible to people who have trusted you by opting in for professional texting. That’s why it is so imperative to add value to your texts.
No Slang or Abbreviations
If you resort to “LOL” and “OMG” to keep the character count down in your messages, you’re actually missing the whole point. When texting someone professionally, you better stick to short, succinct and clear sentences to convey your message.
Prefer Short Answering Options
People prefer communication through SMS, but they certainly do not prefer getting engaged in long conversations. So, only expose people to questions that can be answered in 1 – 3 words. If you want detailed information, you can always text them to ask for a good time to call.
Reply Respectfully and Elegantly
If someone is engaging with you through texting, they need your utmost respect and attention. So, reply to them elegantly, typing complete, structured sentences rather than throwing back just a word or two on them.
Add Signature to Your Professional Texts
Your signature is your identity, and you don’t want to barge in on someone without even identifying yourself. But unlike email signatures, you don’t get the liberty to adjust your name, website and other contact info in a text message, as you have only 160 characters to play with. So, you need to be wise and precise in equipping every single of your professional text messages with a short signature representing your business name.
According to an infographic shared by B2C, people take 90 seconds in responding to a text message on average, while about 90 minutes responding to an email.
Professional Text Message Templates
There can be countless examples of professional text messages. That’s why we have compiled a thorough list that you can resort to when choosing the professional text message templates you want for a particular instance.
Templates for Professional HR/Recruiting Texts
- Recruitment Text: Hi Amanda, I have an entry-level position open for the kind of marketing role you might be interested in. Free to set up a call this week? – Roy
- Interview Reminder: You’re scheduled for an interview with Finance Pros on Monday, April 5 at 11 am. Ask for Derick on arrival. Please call this number in case of any questions.
Templates for Professional Marketing/Promotional Offers Texts
- Retail Offer: Happy Father’s Day! 30% off on all men’s leather accessories till the weekend. Shop from 9am-6pm or shop online at mydadisthebest.com. – Mathew
- Services Offer Truman Extermination: Enjoy 15% off on all kinds of extermination services. Offer valid till March. Text or call today to book an appointment.
- Spa Offer: Enjoy 20% off on your next total body massage for referring us to a friend. Offer valid for the whole month. Pleasurably serving you – Yours Spa.
- Medical Services Offer: Smile Hub: Want to have 2 teeth whitening sessions for the price of 1? Reply “Yes” to get an appointment call from us.
Templates for Professional Banking/Finance Texts
- Transaction Alert: You have made a payment of £10.29 to Sip It Café on 4/4/21. Your current account balance is £963.35.
- Balance Information Alert: ABC Bank: Your remaining account balance is £1213.35. For more information, log into: abcbank.com/accounts.
- Fraud Alert: We have observed some unusual activity on your account. Please call us back as soon as possible to secure your account.
Templates for Professional Confirmation Texts
- Order Confirmation: We thank you for purchasing from us. Payment for your order #335 has been received, thankfully. – XYZ Retail Shop
- Appointment Confirmation: Thank you for booking your appointment with us. Please arrive 15 mins early for documentation. Text or call us if you want to reschedule. – ABC Medics
- Changing Appointment/Reservation: We have rescheduled your appointment to Mon, June 8 at 12pm with Dr Doris. Feel free to call or text for any more queries. – ABC Medics
- Hotel Reservation: We thank you for booking a suite at XYZ Hotel for 4 nights, starting 3/28. Confirmation #332K28. Feel free to call for any further changes. – XYZ Hotel
Templates for Professional Sales Texts
- Provision of a Quote: Thank you for reaching out. Our average cleaning cost ranges between £300-500. For a detailed quote, please provide the sq feet of your home. – ABC Cleaners
- Apartment Lease Offer: Thanks for visiting the Trove apartment complex. We are pleased to offer you a one monthly rebate on rent if you sign now. – ABC Leasing
- Sales Follow-up: Hi Orton, are you still interested in visiting Hawaii? I can share more info with you on this when you’re ready. Let me know about it. Thanks.
- Auto-response Text: Thanks for reaching out to us. We’ll contact you ASAP. Go to thecalendar.com/book-appointment if you want to schedule a meeting.
Templates for Professional Reminder Texts
- Payment Reminder: Your health insurance payment is due on March 3. Please visit paymyinsurance.com/pay-now to make your payment. Thanks for your cooperation.
- Hair Salon Appointment Reminder: You have a haircut appointment book for 11:00am tomorrow with Mary. For rescheduling or any other queries, please call xxx-xx-xxx.
Templates for Professional Staff Communication Texts
- Shift Adjustment Requests: Hi Josh, are you available for an extra shift over the weekend? If yes, please contact Griffith (HR) at xxx-xx-xxx.
- Conference/Event Notification: Tickets for the Annual Conference are available now. Please ensure your availability. For further details, visit thecompany.com/conf.
- Meeting Changes: Hi Swift – The sales department’s weekly meeting venue has been changed. Please contact Mark on xxx-xx-xxx for further details.
- Annual Dinner: Hi Everyone – We have booked a slot with ABC Hotel for our annual dinner on 4/11. Please ensure your availability.
Templates for Professional Customer Services Texts
- General Business: Thanks for sharing your concerns. We will run an internal audit to identify whose mistake resulted in this and get back to you ASAP. – General Business
- Cleaning Service: Hi Sheryl, I’m sorry our staff missed you out. We can get someone to your home anytime tomorrow. What time suits you best? – Cleaning Service
We hope you see people responding to you better when you text them the next time. All you have to do is adhere to the guidelines shared with you and pick the professional text message template that best suits your specific needs.