How Businesses Can Tap Into Millennials’ Texting Habit

Young person in restaurant with with phone.

Millennials love texting, and that’s a fact. Millennials’ texting habit is so ingrained that nearly half of them text while walking in crowds and 70% sleep with their phones within reach.  

While these statistics make it clear that texting is a popular channel, businesses don’t seem to be catching on to the trend. In fact, even though 80% of millennials say they wish they could text brands’ 1-800 numbers instead of calling, less than half of global companies offer SMS as a communication channel.

Read on to discover the best tips for tapping into millennials’ favorite form of communication—and even using millennial text language yourself.

Millennials’ Texting Tip #1: Provide As Many Services Via Text As Possible

If you want millennials to establish a strong relationship with your business, ensure each aspect of it is text-enabled. Customer service, marketing, and sales initiatives should be communicated via text message.

Customer Service: Text customers order or appointment confirmations, delivery information, and feedback requests while allowing them to text in questions and requests. Ensure you are using a system that supports images, in case you need to send photos for clarification.

Sales: Respond quickly to millennials who initiate questions about your product, service or business. Catching them at important moments in the customer journey is key, so add texting information and widgets to prime locations, like shopping basket or checkout pages.   

Marketing: Send deals and coupons via text message—but sparingly. Receiving too many ads will make customers unsubscribe from your texting services.

By enabling millennials to use their favorite communication channel, you’re encouraging them to interact with and purchase items from your brand.

Millennials’ Texting Tip #2: Offer Various Messaging Channels

If you offer SMS services, you should also offer messaging services through millennials’ other favorite channels, like Facebook Messenger. According to a recent report, nearly half of millennials prefer to use messaging apps for customer service interactions.

While it may seem challenging to provide both texting and messaging services to consumers, some business-grade texting platforms empower customer service teams to receive messages through both text and messaging app integrations.

Millennials’ Texting Tip #3: Add Visual Elements To Your Messages

Millennial text language is very visual. In fact, 36% of millennials ages 18 to 34 who use “visual expressions” like emojis, GIFs, and stickers think those images better communicate their thoughts and feelings than words do.

To really connect with millennial consumers, add items like emojis and GIFs to your text conversations. However, insert these images selectively: older generations may not be used to seeing them.

If your company product or culture isn’t geared toward a younger crowd, you should at least instruct your customer-facing teams in the art of the emoji, so they understand what clients are saying if and when they use them.

 

via GIPHY

Millennials’ Texting Tip #4: Learn Millennial Lingo

If you’re a company geared toward a younger audience, you should, at the very least, train your customer service teams in common millennial text language, including millennial text acronyms. They should be able to translate and respond appropriately to certain common terms, though using slang themselves might not come off as entirely professional.

Terms that are commonly used and should be understood include:

  • LOL: acronym for “laugh out loud”
  • TBH: acronym for “to be honest”
  • TY: acronym for “thank you”
  • V: shorthand for “very”
  • Yaas: an enthusiastic “yes”
  • Yeet: an expression showing excitement or agreement
  • Hundo P: short for “one-hundred percent”
  • Dank: another word for “cool”
  • Bruh: another way to say “seriously?”

However, depending on how much of your audience base is comprised of millennials, it may make sense to have employees learn both a much larger list of terms and also the complex tone of millennial text language.

Millennials’ Texting Tip #5: Reply Instantly

Because they text so often and so quickly, millennials expect to receive fast responses.

A recent report found that 73.4% of millennials will walk away from a sale within 10 minutes if they don’t get the answer they need. Forty percent said they would walk away after five minutes.

If staffing your texting service 24/7 isn’t an option, don’t worry: an auto-reply will do. Setting up a keyword-based automatic reply for after-hours texters is a great way to let them know exactly when they’ll receive a response to their query.

Millennials’ Texting Tip #6: Provide Authentic Experiences

Millennials love authenticity. As Mahesh Chaddah, co-founder of Reservations.com notes in an Inc.com article: “Above all else, know your authentic voice and use it effectively to connect, not just market to them.”

There are a couple of ways you can convey authenticity through your texting service:

  1. Use the customer’s name a few times throughout your conversation.
  2. Add a signature so your recipient knows a human is texting him or her back.
  3. Avoid sending too many marketing items, like deals and coupons.

By keeping your texted communications authentic, your millennial customers will keep coming back for more.

Millennials’ Texting Tip #7: Appeal To Their Values

If you decide to deploy any kind of business SMS solution, try to make it appeal to their values. Millennials like businesses that are fair, provide transparency, and give back to the community. Center your texted campaigns around these ideas. For example, this simple text might have a big effect:

“Hey John! It’s Shoe Paradise. New deal for our text subscribers: for each pair of shoes you buy this week, we’ll donate $10 to a local charity.”

Small campaigns like this are most likely to win millennials over.

 

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