How to use business text messaging across the customer journey

Customers want to text with businesses. Here’s how to start connecting with them.

Illustration with yellow shapes.


Texting has become a crucial tool for businesses. More and more companies are adopting it. But before you start messaging customers, you need to learn what business text messaging is all about—and the various ways you can use it.

Click the links below to navigate to each question, or keep reading to learn the ins and outs of using business text messaging.

Business text messaging use cases across the customer journey

Business text messaging is best used for engaging customers in one-on-one chats and building long-term, genuine relationships—not for sharing coupons or boosting short-term sales. This focus on creating personalized conversations to build brand loyalty is also known as conversational support, sales, and marketing.

Summary of how to use text messaging in customer service, sales, and marketing.

Customer service and support

One of the best ways to use business texting is for conversational service and support. In fact, 80% of customer service organizations are projected to make messaging their preferred channel by 2025. Use SMS customer service to answer queries, schedule appointments, send alerts, share invoices, quotes, and directions, or troubleshoot problems. And, don’t forget to send survey requests to ensure you always have a good sense of customer needs.


Ninety percent of leads would rather receive a text than a phone call. SMS is the future of the sales follow-up, as leads are more likely to read and respond to follow-up texts than follow-up emails or calls. Use conversational sales to connect with customers who have questions, give expert advice, offer VIP gift suggestion services during the holidays, and send follow-ups.

Don’t engage in “spray and pray” sales, or sending mass texts to large SMS sales lists. The more targeted your messages and lists, the more they’ll resonate with your leads and move your relationships forward. You want to start conversations with customers, not think of each message as a means of conversion. Engaging with customers in an authentic, empathetic way helps create relationships, draw repeat customers, and increase long-term loyalty.


Conversational marketing helps increase customer engagement. Encourage customers to interact with you by sending targeted SMS marketing campaigns to lists of opted-in contacts. You might share unique product tips, use cases, and opinion polls. You can even run SMS-only competitions, asking customers to send pictures of your product in use. Always let customers know that you’d love for them to respond. Giving customers opportunities to share their experiences increases interest in your brand.


Operations teams can use texting for dispatch and field workers, especially in industries like food delivery and home services. Use it to remind field workers about upcoming job details. Navigate sudden logistical problems in the field. Coordinate directly with customers, keeping them updated about upcoming house visits, personal deliveries, and invoices.

Business text messaging examples and types

You should be sending a few types of messages regularly. They will help you answer customer questions, streamline their experiences, and foster personal connections. Create an SMS template (or two) for each of your most-used message types, then use your SMS templates whenever the same situation comes up.

Inbound responses

When leads and customers reach out to you, you should reply with uniform, on-brand messages. These messages are called inbound responses. You want to send more inbound responses than outbound messages (more on those in the next section). Here’s an example of an inbound response to a customer question:

Outbound messages

Outbound messages are those you send to opted-in customers before they text you. These can include follow-ups, notifications, product tips, and more. When sending outbound messages, be sure to re-introduce yourself and provide value:

Opt-in confirmations

You can only text customers who opt in to your SMS services. A customer can opt in to texting with your business by texting in a specific keyword or checking a box via a web form. Confirm their opt ins with a quick text that outlines what your service is all about, and make sure to include a way for them to unsubscribe if they want to:

Introductions and greetings

Greetings and introductions are important. After all, they introduce your business to leads and customers. Your introductory business texts should have a clear brand voice that sets the tone for future messages:

SMS order notifications

Customers want to make sure you received their orders. Use SMS order notifications to keep them up to date. Include the most important information, like the order number, and reassure them that you’ll reach out when their products have shipped:

Delivery updates

Most customers want to know when to expect their orders so they can keep their eyes peeled. Send delivery updates during each step of the journey. Don’t forget to link or include detailed tracking information:

Scheduling messages

Scheduling customer or patient appointments via business SMS is fast and easy. Make sure each scheduling message is brief but asks pre-emptive questions to make the conversations move along faster:

SMS appointment reminders

Once customers or patients have scheduled their appointments, the trick is getting them to show up. Make sure they don’t forget with SMS appointment reminders. Provide basic information as well as the opportunity to reschedule if they need to:


Send follow-ups after every customer interaction. For example, you’ll want to follow up after SMS ticket resolutions, appointments, and order deliveries. Follow-ups should clearly invite customers to respond:

SMS survey and feedback requests

Some business SMS platforms offer built-in chat-based SMS surveys. They start by asking customers a quantitative question, then automatically follow up with a free-from question. Make the initial question simple so more customers will respond:

Auto responses

Customers want fast responses—even when you’re not available. Manage their expectations with auto responses for when they contact you after-hours or message you during business hours. A during-hours auto response might look like this:

Next steps: finding inspiration in business texting examples

Once you’ve decided on your SMS strategy across teams, it’s time to start drafting texts. If you’re texting customers for the first time—or if you feel like your texts need some sprucing up—we’ve got you covered with plenty of examples for inspiration.

Business Text Messaging FAQs

You’ve got questions, we’ve got fast answers.

As per the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), you may never text customers without an SMS opt in from them, which is documentable, written permission. Some ways that customers can give their permission include texting your number with a keyword of your choice or checking a box on a web form. We advise you to text customers with a confirmation after they opt in, so you can ensure that they want you to text them.
Team tools like private comments and auto assignments help you coordinate on support issues and sales handoffs. Send mass texts by texting an SMS template to a list of recipients. Automations let you streamline repetitive tasks. SMS integrations help you share data between business apps—and even streamline processes by connecting their productivity tools.
If you have a landline, toll-free, or VoIP line, you can separate the texting capabilities from the voice capabilities. All you need is help from a business texting services provider. They can quickly text-enable your number.
Enterprise text messaging is messaging for large corporations. Enterprise text messaging apps empower teams to scale the number of team members managing texts and/or the number of messages received. They also offer features to help resolve more queries, faster.
Follow-up texts should introduce the team member, mention the customer’s last interaction with your brand, and have a clear CTA. For example, you might ask customers to text back if they have additional questions or if they want to complete your survey.