SMS is the newest frontier in digital marketing. While email, social media, and traditional marketing are all still viable ways to reach consumers, text marketing takes advantage of the meteoric popularity of mobile devices to reach consumers at any time of day. With great power, however, comes…well, you know the rest.

We all text these days, but just because you’re able to text your customers doesn’t mean you should talk like they’re your friends. Yes, we want our customers to feel like friends, but a friendly relationship with a business is about professionalism. Here are a few tips on how write text marketing messages that don’t drive away customers:

1.      Be brief – Text is already a brief way to convey info, but extreme brevity counts here. One sentence, tops, then a short link (like or tinyurl) to anything else you’d like to add. Short updates on shipping, deals, or purchase receipts is a great way to get the point and set yourself up for better marketing pitches down the road.

2.      Avoid the text talk – This one should be obvious, but unless you’re marketing to teen girls or you’re trying to be funny (and you should rarely, if ever, try to be funny), words like “lol,” crazy capitalizations, and substituting numbers for words just won’t fly. Remember – a bulk text is a lot like a bulk email. You have only one or two chances before customers throw you away and block you. Professionalism is therefore key.

3.      Avoid pitches too early – Once you’ve gotten permission to send bulk sms messages to your customers, you  may be tempted to start pestering them with ads. Bad idea. Text messaging is still considered a “private” communication channel that is primarily used with friends, so intruding on someone’s personal life with what looks like advertising will generally be discarded. Start with useful content – shipping updates, company announcements, billing updates – then progress to more sales-focused texts. Doing this too early will get you blocked.