A beginner’s guide to business SMS


Your business relies on effective communication. From attracting new customers to coordinating staff schedules to completing order deliveries, fast, accessible, and reliable communication is essential to your business’s success.

Today’s customers expect instant communication with your business. The days of being put on hold or waiting in a queue to get customer service are gone, so your business needs to be able to keep up. People also spend more time on their phones than ever, making it crucial that you’re able to meet customers where they are.

Digital communication channels like SMS and social media messaging offer the accessibility and speed required to operate effectively in a digital market. They’re the go-to channels for both marketing and customer service because they’re fast and most people have access to them.

Business texting also helps you build better relationships and engage with customers more effectively, which is helpful for any business type or size. But what is business text messaging, and how do you start texting customers?

This beginner business SMS guide will show you what texting can do for your business, how to use it to improve communication, and what you need from your business texting platform for the best results.

New to business texting? Check our business text glossary to familiarize yourself with key industry terms before getting started.

What is business messaging?

Business text messaging, or business SMS, refers to sending texts to leads, customers, or even other team members from or relating to your business. Business texting includes sending SMS and MMS directly to recipients’ cell phones. However, business texting isn’t only SMS and MMS: Conversations through social media apps like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp and live chats are also considered business messaging.

Business texts can include:

  • Marketing copy like promotions and sales
  • Business updates like changes in hours of operation
  • Operational texts to schedule staff or arrange deliveries
  • Notifications about upcoming deliveries or invoice due dates
  • Two-way customer service conversations

Any text-based communication your business uses to conduct business internally and externally is business texting.

The benefits of sending business texts

Sending business texts lets you connect with customers on their preferred channel. It’s an accessible, convenient, and personal communication channel that helps build better relationships.

Accessibility and convenience of business texting

97% of Americans have a cell phone, and 90% of people read texts within three minutes, so it’s the perfect way to reach more people consistently. Plus, texting doesn’t require any additional apps. Contacts can reply directly to your text to have two-way conversations in real-time, shortening resolution times without the time investment required by a phone call.

Personalization of business SMS

Texting has the benefit of being a more intimate and personal form of communication than email without being intrusive, like a call. SMS has a response rate of 45% compared to email’s 6% and calling’s up to 15% response rates. With the right business texting solution, texting even makes it easy to engage contacts by using custom fields and merge tokens to insert personal information.

Return value on SMS marketing

Business texting isn’t just for customer service; SMS marketing also boasts a significant return on your investment. Consumers who get marketing texts are 40% more likely to convert than those who don’t and have a higher customer lifetime value because of the ongoing relationship you build through text campaigns. Text-based customer service also increases customer satisfaction by 29% and costs 75% less than calling.

Who should use SMS business solutions?

SMS business solutions can help any business, regardless of size or industry, improve customer service, reach more leads, and offer a better user experience.

Small business SMS

Text messaging for a small business helps your team do more with your existing resources. You can create and send marketing texts that personally engage each lead using custom fields without the time investment it would take to send each personalized message manually. Your business texting platform may also include a unified inbox that routes all incoming messages to a single location so a smaller customer service team can manage multiple communication channels at once. Automation helps improve your customer service quality by lowering response times and allowing your team to scale support more effectively with fewer agents.

Mid-market SMS

Mid-market SMS solutions help you scale your customer service and marketing efforts by improving your team’s efficiency. Automations like auto-replies give agents more free time to answer complex requests instead of FAQs, and drip campaigns help you nurture new leads or reengage cold leads to keep your sales pipeline full. You can also create workflows that save time by automating important texts like introductions, appointment reminders, or feedback requests.

Enterprise SMS

Enterprise SMS enables secure, timely communication with staff, leads, and customers through unified communication channels, time-saving automations, and high-level security practices. Your business texting solution can secure data by ensuring only authorized users have access to sensitive information. CRM integrations enable real-time data synchronization that you can use in workflows to send a text when something changes in Salesforce. You’ll also have access to customer information that you can use to personalize texts, including names, appointment information, balances due, and other key data.

What can you use business texts for?

Texting is a versatile form of communication that can apply to most divisions in companies of all kinds. If it requires prompt, accessible, and engaging conversations, business texting can help.


Effective SMS marketing is targeted, personalized, and engaging. 71% of consumers expect personalization when communicating with businesses, so if you’re sending generic marketing copy, you’re not going to see the optimal results.

Emails are easily ignored, and cold-calling leads is a surefire way to lose them forever. However, texting has the right balance of accessibility and convenience, which makes it perfect for marketing.

Business SMS enables one-to-many texting that you can use to send messages to your audience at scale. Custom fields make it easy to personalize texts without a significant time investment. You can also segment your texting list based on where they are in the sales process, if they signed up for a certain offer, or even their location, which lets you craft messages that target those contacts specifically. Your business texting platform should also have automated texting features that enable drip campaigns to nurture leads and scheduled texts that let you send texts at the right time.

Customer Service

Customer service is the backbone of successful businesses. A great customer experience leads to more returning customers and referrals that help increase your customer lifetime values (CLVs) to make you more profitable. However, phone support is time- and resource-intensive, and emails don’t offer real-time communication like texting.

Business texting has the ability to shorten response times, allow your team to scale your customer service, and improve customer satisfaction. Automations can answer FAQs and collect important information before customers talk to someone to save agents time. Customers also don’t have to sit refreshing their email or on hold while they wait for an agent to get back to them. Instead, you can have real-time conversations through a web chat or SMS app that solves problems quickly with a personal touch.


The sales process relies heavily on building relationships and consistent communications. You need to coordinate with prospective customers to answer any questions that may be preventing a successful sale, which can include scheduling meetings. You’ll also need to be convincing if you want to complete the sale.

Texting for sales is a personal, fast, and accessible form of communication that makes coordination easier. Your sales reps can field more questions from prospects via text than calls and can answer more quickly than email to prevent the sales process from stalling. They can also send meeting reminders to avoid no-shows and schedule follow-up texts to make themselves available to answer questions afterward. Reps can lean on automations to immediately acknowledge prospects’ questions when they can’t respond in real-time.


Many businesses have logistical systems in place that are essential for daily operations. You may need to coordinate with other team members, staff, delivery drivers, or suppliers to make sure your business runs smoothly.

Emails are easy to miss, and not everyone can take calls while working, which makes the accessibility of texting a great communication channel to use for business operations. Text messaging facilitates real-time conversations, logs them to minimize misunderstandings, and provides access them whenever your recipient has time.

For example, you can text a delivery driver special instructions for entering a gated community or talk with your staff to cover for a team member who is out sick for the day.

Recruiting and staffing

Hiring can be a tedious and frustrating process. It can be difficult to connect with qualified candidates for a specific position. Interview no-shows cost time and money, and onboarding issues can slow down progress during important projects. For staffing companies that recruit large numbers of workers, it’s challenging to reach high numbers of candidates while keeping a personalized touch and moving them quickly through the hiring process.

Business texting improves communication and removes friction from the recruiting process. You can reach out to specific segments of candidates, like those who have passed a background check or show interest in specific positions, and organize an interview. Drip campaigns can then remind them of the interview date and location to reduce the chances of a no-show or facilitate rescheduling. Texting’s two-way conversations also make it easy to answer onboarding questions before, during, and after their first day so they can get up to speed faster.

How to use business text messaging

It’s clear that texting can help your business in a wide range of ways. But how do you implement business texting so that you can take advantage of its benefits?

Here’s how to text customers compliantly and effectively,

Choose your business SMS platform or consider SMS integrations

You’ll need a business SMS platform if you want to text leads, customers, and staff members. Without it, you won’t be able to send messages at scale or implement any time-saving workflows that improve customer service.

Look for a business texting service like Heymarket that offers simplicity, functionality, and security as an all-in-one business texting solution. You can also add Heymarket to your preferred apps with SMS integrations for Salesforce, Zendesk, and other tools.

Capture opt-ins

Once you can send business texts, you need to ensure you’re maintaining compliance. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act requires you to get permission to text anyone as a business unless you’re replying to their message directly.

You can collect opt-ins through online forms, by having contacts text a keyword to your number, or by another method that you’re able to document for compliance.

Send a business introduction text message

Business texting can be incredibly effective for marketing, customer service, and other communication, but it can hurt your business if you do it wrong.

When you receive a new texting list subscriber, you must send an introductory text message that clearly outlines who you are, the purpose of the messages you will send them, and how they can opt out of receiving future messages.

Need help creating a compliant introduction? Check out our business introduction text message samples for some inspiration.

Send promotions, updates, notifications, and reminders

Text messaging is accessible, engaging, and scalable, which means you can use it for all types of outbound messaging. Your SMS platform’s mass texting tools make it easy to send text to large lists of contacts at once while maintaining personalization with custom fields.

Some business text messaging examples include:

  • Sales
  • Upcoming releases
  • Meeting reminders
  • Business hour updates
  • Notifications about products or services
  • Appointment reminders
  • Delivery updates
  • Feedback requests

Text templates can cut down on drafting time even further and help maintain consistency in your messaging between mass texts.

Provide SMS customer service with two-way texting

Real-time conversations are the best way to provide customer service to your leads and customers. Two-way texting helps you quickly resolve customer concerns, answer questions, schedule meetings or appointments, and facilitate sales in ways that calling and email don’t.

You can also leverage auto-reply tools to expedite your SMS customer service by creating auto-replies to specific keywords in inbound messages, setting an out-of-office message to address leads when your team isn’t available, and creating automations that trigger when someone takes action like closing a ticket.

Allow opt-outs at any time

Opt-in management isn’t just about ensuring contacts opt into your texting list – they also need to be able to rescind their permission at any time. The TCPA requires that you provide opt-out information in each outbound message that isn’t a direct reply, including marketing texts, notifications, and other messages.

Generally, your business SMS platform will have keywords that you can use to opt out of texting, including STOP, END, CANCEL, or any other opt-out keywords.

Use AI to speed up responses

Artificial intelligence (AI) is an emerging technology that has quickly made its way into many aspects of business, including customer communication. You can use it to shorten response times and maintain a consistent tone and style in your messaging without painstakingly crafting it yourself.

AI texting creates personalized texts based on your training data and the prompt it receives. You can teach it to use branded speech, change the tone to fit your brand, translate your reply into other languages, make your message more professional, and shorten or expand on texts. You can also use suggested replies that take the customer’s message into account before creating a context-aware response in seconds.

Business texting: fast and friendly communication made easy

Communication is the backbone of a successful business. You need to communicate with your team, leads, and customers as quickly and effectively as possible to improve operational efficiency and build better relationships with consumers. Business SMS lets you do just that – and more.

Business texting for customer service gives you a communication channel that most people can access, and 60% of consumers prefer it over other channels. SMS marketing is also an efficient marketing strategy, with click-through rates of as high as 36% compared to email at just 5%.

Best of all, with the right business SMS solution, it’s easy to start texting customers. Platforms like Heymarket let you text-enable your existing numbers to seamlessly add another communication channel for your business to provide better customer service.

Ready to upgrade your communication? Check out our “How to use texting” page to learn more about getting started with business SMS.