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Cold Texting in Sales: What is It? And Should You Do It?

Have you ever received a promotional text message from a strange number or company you have no prior contact with? How did that make you feel? Intrusive, Annoying, Unethical, Unprofessional, Scam … The list is endless.

SMS is crucial in internal and external business communications because it is relatively cost-effective, direct, and impactful to sales and marketing compared to other channels. On the face of it, sending text messages to clients seems like an excellent idea – it goes straight to their phone and has a higher chance of being opened and read.

In fact, 69% of consumers across all age groups prefer texting and would like to contact a business by text compared to other communication channels. Additionally, Gartner found that mass text messaging has a high open rate of 98% compared to a 20% open rate for emails. This explains why many companies prefer using text messages for transactional notifications (such as order confirmations), customer service, and SMS marketing.

The effectiveness of business texting and SMS marketing could tempt you to send cold text messages to clients. Sadly, cold texting is illegal. Sending unsolicited text messages to leads or prospects without consent could risk you facing serious fines or damage to your reputation. The good news is that you can use the following tips to encourage prospects to opt in to your text messages. Keep reading to learn more.

Table of Content

  • What is Cold Texting?
  • Why is Cold Texting Illegal?
  • Cold Texting vs. Cold Calling: What’s the Difference?
  • Benefits of Cold Texting (When done right)
  • 4 Ways To Legally Send Cold Text Messages To Leads
  • 5 Cold Text Messages Examples
  • Effective SMS Marketing Strategies To Leverage Text Messaging

What is Cold Texting?

is cold texting illegal
Simple Texting

Cold texting means sending an SMS message to a prospect or lead you to have no prior contact with them. It follows the same principle as cold calling and cold emailing, reaching out to prospective customers you have not contacted before or have a relationship with via text messages. How does this work?

It refers to sending unsolicited text messages to prospects that you purchase their contact list or found their prospect’s phone number online. It involves sending mass text messages to prospective customers without their consent. Examples of activities that would lead to cold texting include the following:

  • Find the prospect’s phone number online
  • Purchase a contact list from a third party
  • Obtaining someone’s phone number in a way they don’t know about.

Why is Cold Texting Illegal?

cold texting scripts

Cold texting is highly invasive, making it illegal, and is less effective than other digital marketing channels. In addition, it goes against international privacy laws that demand that individuals consent and opt-in to receive the marketing communication.

The U.S., for example, has regulations from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Telephone Consumer Protection Agency (TCPA) that require businesses to get specific opt in from prospects or customers before sending SMS messages. Similarly, in Europe, GDPR requires companies to opt in before sending people any outreach.

For a better understanding, cold texting prospects run the risk of breaching global data protection laws such as

  • GDPR – which covers data protection for individuals in Europe.
  • TCPA – protects U.S. consumers from robocalls and telemarketing (including texts).
  • CASL – Canada’s anti-spam legislation was created to stop electronic threats.
  • CTIA Messaging Principles & Best Practices – a set of guidelines developed by members of the U.S. wireless ecosystem to protect consumers from unwanted messages

If you violate any of these laws, there is a potentially hefty fine attached to it, not to forget the many complaints you can get from your clients, thus reducing your reputation. Aside from cold texting being invasive, it is also not adequate and takes a lot of time to get through to the clients because it is unsolicited. Therefore, rather than using a cold text strategy, you should focus more on warm texting to get informed consent from SMS subscribers.

Cold Texting vs. Cold Calling: What’s the Difference?

cold texting real estate

Cold calling is a technique where salespeople contact individuals who have not previously expressed interest in the offered products or services. It typically refers to soliciting by phone or telemarketing to people you have no relationship with to promote the product or encourage them to purchase.

Cold texting is similar to cold calling. The only difference between the two is that call texts are sent via SMS to the prospect’s cell phone, while cold calling involves calling the prospects. These two traditional outreachs are made without the prospect’s permission or consent.

Benefits of Cold Texting (When done right)

Not all business texting is illegal. As a matter of fact, 29% of the target audience responds to messages, and 47% of those who respond go further to make a purchase. Additionally, 60% of users reply to a text message within 1 to 2 minutes. This means there are some practical ways to use text messaging throughout your sales process without making it illegal.

With the right information and process, you can successfully use SMS texting to transform prospective customers into loyal business fans. Here are five crucial benefits of using SMS marketing for promoting sales.

1. Higher open rates

Compared to phone calls or emails, bulk SMS has a high open rate, as research revealed that 98% of text messages sent to clients are opened, making SMS campaigns quick and highly effective.

2. It is cost-effective

Additionally, Bulk SMS is a form of Cloud messaging service, making it a highly cost-effective option. Cloud telephony offers Bulk SMS options via SMS API or their platform allowing businesses to contact thousands of customers in a few steps. When you compare this to other forms of marketing, SMS marketing is relatively more budget-friendly.

3. Instant delivery

Business texting can be achieved with a good Cloud telephone provider with a strong network operation connection worldwide, making it easy, fast, and guaranteed to reach clients instantly.

4. It has a better conversion rate

Despite the high usage of instant messaging apps, SMS still has a better conversion rate than other alternatives. Research has shown that people are more likely to visit your business and take action on the promotions or offers shared via SMS than other marketing services.

5. It has a greater audience reach

A report by Statista reported that 52.2% of all online traffic was generated via mobile phone, making SMS the popular choice for business communication. Additionally, SMS marketing does not require internet connectivity, making it a lot easier to reach customers right at their fingertips and allowing them to reach a large target audience.

5 Ways To Legally Send Cold Text Messages To Leads

Is cold texting legal? No, but using text messages for your customer outreach is not impossible. Sending cold texts legally involves getting their permission to use their phone number. Here are f ways to legally send a cold text message to leads.

1. Create an SMS Opt-in To your Website

what is cold texting

Add an SMS opt-in on your website to capture more traffic and get new inbound leads. You can use a chatbot that directly collects the person’s phone number or create a text conversation with your sales team.

Alternatively, you can also use inbound forms to collect the communication preferences of your inbound leads by requesting their preferred method of contact.

2. Make your phone number available

cold texting prospects

An excellent way to encourage your prospects and leads to reach out via SMS includes making your phone number available. An effective way to do this is by adding your phone number to your LinkedIn profile, email signature, and other channels your prospects can find helpful.

3. Set up a texting shortcode

cold texting in sales

Shortcodes enable prospects or customers to text a short message to your number and automatically opt-in to receive your messages legally. Fortunately, you can use shortcodes online or offline to get your prospects consent before contacting them. You can do this in the following ways:

  • Add a short code to marketing content via SMS
  • Place the shortcode on your website’s chatbot or customer support contact
  • Promote your brand with a short code opt-in via social media.

4. Find available phone numbers via LinkedIn

why is cold texting illegal?

Another effective way of getting your prospects or clients’ phone number is checking their LinkedIn profiles to see if they have publicly added their phone numbers. Additionally, if you are connected with them, they could recognize your Name when you reach out later via text messaging.

5. Convert social media followers or email subscribers

cold texting vs. cold calling

If you have a large social media following or email subscribers, you can provide a way for these followers or subscribers to opt into text messaging.

5 Cold Text Messages Examples

benefits of cold texting

Unsure of how to cold text leads? Here are five great examples of cold text messages that work well with prospects and customers.

Template 1: Hi [Name], this is [Sales Rep] with [Company Name]. We’re currently offering 20% off our lowest-priced plan until April 15. Would you like to set up a demo to try it? I remember you saying that was the plan you were most interested in.”

Template 2: “[Name], I know solving [problem] is important to you, but the price for [our product] is tough. I talked to my supervisor, and we can give you [discount]. Would you like to move forward?”

Template 3: “[Name], we’re hosting a webinar this week about [service] and how it helps with [problem]. Register here: [link] See you there!”

Template 4:“ Hi [Name], congrats on accomplishing [milestone]! – [Sales Rep] @ [Company Name]”

Template 5: “Hey [Name], we now integrate with [software]. [link] Let me know if you’re interested in learning more. – [Sales Rep] @ [Company Name]”

Effective SMS Marketing Strategies To Leverage Text Messaging

Are you looking to increase your business performance with cold texting tips and strategies? Here are some crucial text messaging strategies with their best practices.

1. Use cold texting for follow-up

cold text messages examples

Rather than using text messaging for initial outreach, consider using it for your follow-up. For example, if you are working with a potential client that ignores your call or emails, you try sending a text message to increase your open and response rate.

2. Keep your message short and sweet

ways to legally send cold text messages
Close CRM

A general rule when using text messages for sales is to use fewer words to stay far under the character limit without scaring your clients. Additionally, be careful using emojis, as some prospects can find them unprofessional.

3. Offers relevant, valuable information or offers

keep your message short and sweet
Message IQ

It can be challenging to get through to your clients if your try to sell to them from the start; instead, create a hook that encourages people to sign up for your products or services.

4. Use text messages as reminders

use cold texting for follow-up

Do you have a sales meeting or product demo scheduled with a prospect? You can send text messages to send a friendly reminder before the meeting. However, avoid using mass texting as a marketing strategy, as this can get you into legal issues.

5. Invest in a texting platform

use text messages as reminders

Consider using a texting tool that integrates seamlessly into your sales team’s workflow. You can centralize all meaningful conversations in one place to give you instant insights into your sales team’s texting activities.

Leverage The Power of SMS Marketing For Your Business Success

Cold text messages are detrimental to your business. They take time to get through to your contact, which can potentially annoy them. It can also waste your time and money, and above all, it is illegal in most countries, making you susceptible to heavy fines and damage to your reputation. A more effective and ethical way to do this is by warm texting your clients instead.

By warm texting your clients, you can obtain SMS marketing permission from every subscriber. Anyone who opts into your marketing list clearly shows interest in your offering. This makes it much easier to sell to people when they know your business and expect to hear from you.