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How To Master Texting for Business

These tips will keep your professional SMS communications on point.

Know When to Text:
Texting can be an excellent communication vehicle when you need to convey a straightforward message on time-sensitive matters. Relatedly, it can be used for letting a client, colleague or vendor know that you have a pressing need to speak with them – or that you need them to expediently review an email you’ve sent them with important information. If the matter isn’t urgent, however, email is often the better route.

Keep Abbreviations to a Minimum:
Text abbreviations are their own written language. But in business texts, overusing them can confuse some recipients and make you seem unprofessional. While the occasional “LOL” or “NP” is fine with clients and colleagues you know well, it’s often best to type out the words.

Be Brief:
Texting is a quick-hit format. If you need to communicate a longer, multi-layered message, then use email or make a phone call.

Forget Emojis Exist:
Sure, they’re fun in personal communications, but they can seem puerile in business texting. Plus, different mobile devices may display the same emoji specification in different ways. This can lead to confusion. You might be an Apple user trying to text a certain emoji to an Android user client who receives an emoji that expresses sentiments unrelated to what you meant. Talk about awkward.

Punctuate Properly & Avoid Slang: Yes, texting is a comparatively informal communication medium. Even so, sticking to accepted spellings and grammar is smart. Put yourself in clients’ shoes for a moment. Would you feel more assured doing business with the salesperson who texts “Lemme know if u got the sample I sent over ok thanks alot dude” or the professional who writes “Please confirm that you received the sample I sent over. Thank you.”…? More often than not, sales pro two will be preferred.

Avoid All Caps: Capital letters imply you are yelling. They can make your message sound angry or, at the very least, overly forceful, which leaves you looking pushy and obnoxious.

Watch Out for Autocorrect:
The spelling suggestion/correction feature can be a boon, but it can also insert words you have no intention of sending, rendering your message nonsensical or worse. Take a second to ensure the words in your text are what you intend to send.

Include Your Name:
Signing your initial text in a discussion chain may seem overly formal. But unless you know for certain that the recipient has you saved as a contact, it’s wise to put your name to the message so that they know precisely who is contacting them.

Don’t Break Bad News Via Text:
An order isn’t going to deliver on time. An imprint is incorrect. A product you pitched that the buyer wants is now out of stock. Relating such news to clients through text can make you seem callous, so call or meet them in person. If you can’t reach them through those channels, send a professionally worded email that relates the negative development and proposes potential solutions. In the email, let them know you would be happy to discuss matters in more depth.