Business Texting for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: A Complete Guide

Texting is a powerful tool that small and medium-sized businesses can use to communicate efficiently with their customers, clients, partners, and employees. Its direct and immediate nature sets it apart from other communication channels.

According to one report, text messages have an open and click-through rate of between 21% and 35%, depending on the company. That’s 10 times higher than the CTR of emails, which hovers around 2.6%.

Texting for marketing, internal communication, support, or client engagement can drive business success. In this article, we explore everything you need to know about business texting and how to use it in full compliance with international standards. Let’s dive in. 

What is business texting?

Business texting is the practice of using text messages between a business and its customers, clients, partners, or employees. It’s a direct and efficient way to convey messages like promotions, updates, reminders, alerts, and more.

The main appeal of business texting is that recipients typically read messages within minutes. In fact, 30% of consumers check their text notifications in the first 60 seconds of receipt, while a whopping 80% do it in just under five minutes. 

This happens because many consumers find texting more convenient than phone calls or emails. Texting allows for quick, on-the-go communication, and it can be personalized based on customer data, which in turn increases engagement and satisfaction.

Business text messaging use cases

Marketing campaigns widely use text messaging. However, marketing is not the only (or even primary) use case for text messaging in business. 

Below are five remarkable use cases for short message service (SMS) in business communication. 

1. Providing customer service through SMS

Businesses and organizations that use texting for customer support can easily offer customers real-time assistance, handle urgent queries, and provide necessary updates 24/7. These benefits enhance customer satisfaction and improve operational efficiency. 

Many companies also automate routine communications such as appointment reminders and order confirmations to reduce no-shows and prevent employees from wasting time on logistics.  

A dental clinic using SMS to manage appointment scheduling and reminders could send the following confirmation message template to patients who schedule an appointment with one of the doctors:

“Your appointment is scheduled for [Date] at [Time]. Please reply ‘CONFIRM’ to confirm or call us at [Phone Number] if you need to reschedule.”

2. Utilizing texting for internal communication

Texting as a channel for internal communication offers a quick and reliable way to disseminate urgent updates. Companies can use group messaging to send important notifications to all employees simultaneously, which enhances team coordination and scheduling. 

Business texting solutions can also be integrated with scheduling systems to send reminders about shifts, meetings, or deadlines, reducing the risk of miscommunication.

A company using SMS to manage staff schedules and notify staff of last-minute changes or important updates could send the following message to one of its employees:

“Your shift on [Date] [Time] has been changed to [Time]. Please confirm by replying ‘YES’ or contact your manager if you have any issues. Thank you!”

3. Leveraging SMS in the financial sector

Business texting has many uses in finance. In banking, SMS is used for transaction alerts and balance updates. It’s also a common channel for two-factor authentication (2FA), which enhances the privacy and security of financial data. 

You can also use texting to remind clients about outstanding invoices, complete with necessary payment details and due dates. 

For example, an accounting firm can use SMS to remind its clients about outstanding invoices using the following message template:

“Reminder: Invoice [Number] for [Amount] is due on [Date]. Please pay at your earliest convenience. Thank you!” 

4. Having two-way conversations with customers

Texting’s conversational nature allows businesses to engage clients and partners in real-time, fostering personalized interactions. It enables handling multiple conversations simultaneously through business texting apps to organize and streamline responses. 

Inserting templates with custom fields in your SMS strategy is a tried-and-true way to:

  • Expedite communication
  • Free up resources
  • Maintain a personalized touch
  • Maximize response rates

A real estate agency using texts for two-way client conversations to facilitate property inquiries and appointment scheduling could use the following SMS template:

“Hi [Client Name], it’s [Agent Name] from [Agency]. How can I assist you with your property search today?”

5. Solving recruitment & HR queries via text

Texting provides a discreet way for HR professionals to request sensitive information, like references or availability, without the formality of phone calls. This allows applicants to interact with job opportunities without their current employer listening in. 

Furthermore, SMS allows recruiters to quickly send reminders about interview schedules, location details, or document submissions, reducing no-shows and keeping candidates informed. 

For example, a company using business texting to send interview reminders or request candidate confirmations in the recruitment process might send a text like the following:

“Reminder: your interview with [Company] is on [Date] at [Time]. Reply ‘YES’ to confirm, or contact us to reschedule. Thank you!”

Best practices for SMS in business

Several key regulatory frameworks govern business texting worldwide, such as the TCPA in the US. The laws outlined in these frameworks dictate how you can approach your SMS campaigns.

Here are some best practices, such as observing the relevant laws and regulations, verifying phone numbers, and growing compliant subscriber lists. 

SMS compliance and consent

Complying with local and international SMS regulations is crucial for businesses to avoid legal repercussions and build trust with customers and partners. 

Here is an overview of the main regulations to keep in mind:

  • CAN-SPAM Act: Requires clear sender identification and an opt-out mechanism.
  • TCPA: Mandates prior express written consent for marketing messages.
  • GDPR: Requires explicit opt-in consent and transparent data handling.

Effective SMS compliance means implementing robust opt-in and opt-out mechanisms that empower consumers to stop receiving messages from you at any time. Businesses also have an implicit obligation to safeguard customer data by adhering to privacy and security standards to protect personal information.

All digital systems containing customer data must be adequately secured using comprehensive cybersecurity tools, including access controls, password protections, and anti-malware solutions. Physical security measures—like locks and cameras—must also be in place to prevent intruders from accessing server rooms, computers, or smart devices containing customer information. 

Additionally, avoiding spam words (e.g. free, win) and the excessive use of capital letters and symbols can help prevent messages from being flagged by carriers. Adhering to these regulations and best practices not only ensures legal compliance, but also enhances the overall effectiveness of SMS marketing campaigns.

Brand and campaign verification

All text message campaigns in North America must now be sent from verified numbers. Toll-free and 10DLC numbers are the most common choices for business texting nowadays, both offering high throughput and near 100% deliverability. However, to ensure that all your texts are delivered and in compliance with industry regulations, you must verify your numbers regardless of which option you choose.

The process involves providing detailed business information and intended use cases to carriers or verification services. The process is a bit tedious, but must only be done once and ensures your SMS campaigns are legitimate and comply with relevant regulations. By vetting your brand and campaign in this way, you will maximize the success of your business texting strategy in full legality. 

It’s also important to keep in mind that both 10DLC and toll-free numbers have some limitations for mass texting. 10DLC is subject to carrier scrutiny and potential throttling, while toll-free numbers may face higher costs and potential filtering.

Growing your SMS subscribers list

Growing your SMS list in a successful and compliant manner requires that you think both strategically and ethically. 

Here are some things to keep in mind:  

  • Ensure explicit consent by using clear opt-in and opt-out mechanisms. Carriers will also request this information during the TFN and 10DLC registration process.
  • Promote your SMS list across various channels like social media and email.
  • Send messages during business hours, typically between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.
  • Use concise and direct language to address and engage your audience.
  • Incorporate multimedia messaging service (MMS) or attachments like PDFs to enhance communication.

Business text messaging costs

Sending an SMS through a business texting solution like Textmagic or SimpleTexting typically costs $0.02 to $0.10 per message, while MMS costs range from $0.30 to $0.60 each. CPaaS providers offer more competitive rates but require developer help to be deployed and a higher commitment (e.g., high sending volumes, multiple channels integrated).

Renting a dedicated number toll-free or 10DLC number for texting averages $10 per month in North America, or more for other locations. Once again, these costs are lower through CPaaS providers, with the same limitations being applied. It is worth noting that 10DLC numbers will incur additional verification and vetting feeds. 

Leasing shortcodes is more expensive, costing between $500 and $1,000 per month, with setup fees generally starting at $500. Additional features, such as voice call forwarding, will cost $0.01 to $0.03 per minute, with monthly fees starting at around $5. 

Considering these costs, texting is still a channel that offers one of the highest ROI in the industry. It often outperforms both email marketing and phone calls due to its high engagement, which you can easily measure through metrics such as delivery, open, and click-through rates, as well as response times.

How to get started with business texting for your business

Considering associated costs and comparing them to your budget is the first step in choosing the right business texting solutions provider for your company. 

Here are some other key factors you should look at before making a selection:

  • Scalability: Ensure that the business texting app you choose can handle your company’s current messaging volumes and future growth. 
  • Integrations:  Look for the ability to integrate with existing tools like CRMs and scheduling tools.
  • Feature set: Assess the solutions provider’s features, looking for relevant capabilities such as templates, list building, personalization, analytics, and automation. 
  • User interface: Using a tool with a user-friendly interface minimizes your staff’s learning curve and can maximize productivity. 
  • Customer support: Look for responsive customer support and account management, as these have the potential to impact your operational continuity. 
  • Security: Ensure the provider offers robust security measures to protect sensitive data for you and third parties.
  • Compliance: Ensure the provider adheres to relevant texting laws and regulations in your country and any other regions you may work with. 

Wrapping up

Integrating SMS into your business workflows offers numerous benefits, including high engagement rates, cost-effectiveness, and improved communication efficiency—provided you have the right strategy and keep compliance top of mind. 

When approached in the right way, business texting enhances customer support, streamlines internal communication, and automates routine tasks like appointment reminders and payment notices so that you and your team can focus your resources where they matter most. This will ultimately drive your company’s success.

This is not intended as legal advice; for more information, please click here.

These views are made solely by the author.

Ioana Sima

Ioana is a Product Marketing Manager with over 5 years of experience. She currently works at Textmagic, a business text messaging service to help solve marketing and communication needs. Connect with Ioana on LinkedIn.

Get the latest small business news delivered straight to your inbox!

Most popular blog categories