SMS Text Messaging from People Search

A person SMS text messaging from their phone.
Did you know that 98% of text messages get read by the recipient? It’s true. Also, 90% of American adults text. That makes sms text messaging a great way to contact the customers you find through a people search.

By contrast, fewer and fewer people answer a phone call from a number they don’t recognize. Spoofing, scams, and robo-calls have lowered the answer-rate on cold-calls. So as a business, it’s smart to add sms texting as a way to contact customers.

FCC Regulations

Commercial text messages are subject to compliance with CTIA rules and the TCPA. When sending text messages, you want to ensure that you consider text messaging-specific rules, written by the Cellular Telephone Industries Association (CTIA), and laws, written by the FCC. Review the law to be sure you maintain compliance. The applicable rules section in the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations is Restrictions on Unwanted Mobile Service Commercial Messages.

Bulk SMS Text Messaging

Because BellesLink includes a text messaging service, our customers often ask if they can bulk text to a list of customers they find through a people search. Texting a commercial message to anyone who has not given you express prior authorization is a violation of FCC rules. You cannot bulk text using BellesLink, though you can text people one-to-one, as you would from your own personal phone.

Tips for Text Messaging Customers

  • Set the caller ID on the phone number you use to texting from to your business name or your full name so customers know who you are.
  • Keep your message simple, friendly, and informational.
  • Don’t make sales offers, promote a product or service.
  • Include an opt-out. This is built-in to BellesLink.

Example Text Messages

BellesLink is an SMS message system limited to 160 characters. While that may seem too restrictive at first, the limited characters actually helps you keep the message simple and effective.

From a real estate investor:
Hi {First Name}, I’m Nate. I’m interested in buying the property on {Street Address}. Are you the right person? Reply STOP to opt-out.

From a recruiter:
Hi {First Name}, I’m Tim. Are you still looking for a job as a press operator? My recruiting firm has some openings. Reply STOP to opt-out.

From a billing department:
Hi {First Name}, this is Nancy from the billing office of {Business Name}. Please contact me about your account. Reply STOP to opt-out.

Using a Text Number in Your Marketing

Every BellesLink phone number can receive texts so they are great to include in your marketing and advertising. With a simple call to action such as “Call or Text Us at (970) 328-0400” you are using the power of your BellesLink number. Check our blog post about this topic »

Call tracking for marketing using local phone numbers in a virtual phone system.

Use Text Messaging to Start a Conversation

When businesses cold-call customers their goal is to engage the person in a conversation that leads to more business. Picture the best sales person you know, the one who can get anyone talking. Cold-texting a customer doesn’t work the same way.

Think of text messaging as a way to make an introduction, not a place to have a conversation. Use text to establish the customer’s interest then move to a phone call for the conversation.

Both a cold-call and a cold-text are an interruption to your customer, but the text is one they will more easily forgive.

How to Start with Cold-Texting

Often we have a list of customers we’re trying to reach. Some you may have called more than once with no luck. Add texting into your mix of customer contact tactics and see if some of the people you’re calling would just rather hear from you by text. Try the Call-Text-Call method.

Call-Text-Call

Because we want to have a conversation with our customers we will always make our first contact a call. We expect we’ll have to leave a message, but that’s ok. In a voicemail the customer can hear our voice and personality, and we can provide some information about us or our service in our message.

That same day we follow-up the voicemail with a text to the same customer and we reference the voicemail we left them. When the customer reads our text it either reinforces the voicemail or makes them curious enough to listen to it. Of course, some people will just ignore both and that’s ok, too.

My follow-up text might be something like this.
Hi {First Name}, it’s Jeff. I left you a voicemail about the property {Street Address}. Have time for a short phone call? Reply STOP to opt-out.

Finally, I’ll make one more attempt to contact the person by phone again and leave it at that. I typically will make all three attempts over 3 days so they recognize my name, if they’ve either listened to my first voicemail or read my text.

So, give text messaging a try. Just remember to be friendly, brief, and informational. Use it to introduce yourself and don’t try to have a customer conversation 160 characters at a time.

If you don’t already have a SMS text messaging service, checkout the BellesLink people search platform. Every account comes with its own phone number that’s ready for call and ready for texting.