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8 Steps to Create an SMS Brand Voice Guide

Nov 1, 2021

In a world where customers increasingly look to build personal relationships with brands, it’s no surprise that most organizations rely on a brand style guide to establish the tone and messaging for all their communications. 

If you’re using SMS messaging to connect with your customers, having an SMS brand voice guide helps ensure that your customers have a consistent experience across all touchpoints. Let’s walk through the step-by-step process of creating an SMS brand voice guide.

1. Make Sure SMS Voice Mirrors Your Established Brand Voice

Start by reviewing your company’s consistent brand voice and designated writing style. This is likely already articulated in your company’s style guide. Do you sound more professional and buttoned-up, or playful and cheeky? Do you write formally or use common acronyms and contractions? This persona should translate seamlessly into your SMS brand voice. 

For instance, if you tend to communicate with humor and levity in your broader brand communications, this isn’t the time to try out a moral formal brand voice. Customers will sense the difference in voice and feel an element of inauthenticity.

2. Align Communications with Your Unique Brand Mission

Your mission guides your day-to-day work;  it’s important that you also reflect your mission in your business texts. What drives you as a company? To what are you striving? Your mission should be as easily understood from your SMS messages as from your more traditional channels.

For example, let’s say your mission is to bring together your community through your coffee shop and encourage diverse perspectives and lifestyles. That should align with the tone and messaging in your business texts, perhaps by reiterating how much your business values diversity and community. 

3. Understand to Whom You’re Talking — and Why

Who is your target audience? Hopefully, you’ve already defined your target audience from a demographics perspective as part of your broader marketing plan. You understand their general age range, genders, lifestyles and goals. 

Don’t forget that this is the same audience to whom you write your SMS marketing messages. Just as you should envision your target personas when drafting other company communications, you should also craft marketing messages as if speaking to the same person. Let’s say your target audience is a 30-year-old mother with a young child; your SMS messages should sound like you are texting her directly. 

4. Identify Yourself to Your Customers

Make sure your customers can immediately identify your unique brand. Even if you’ve been messaging customers for months, there’s no guarantee they have saved your business’ short code or phone number. Be sure to always sign off with your company name – or some version of it.

Let’s say you own a small hair salon. You would either want to end your marketing messages with “-[Name]’s Hair Salon” or something such as “-Your [Name] Salon Stylist.” That way, whether or not a customer has saved your number, they immediately know who you are and give your message more attention. 

5. Get Personal (But Stay Professional)

Customers are more likely to read your message if it begins with their first name. It gives it a more personalized feel— as if they are being texted by a friend rather than by an automated system at a company. When SMS marketing is done well, the two are almost indistinguishable!

For instance, consider the difference in your own perception as a customer if your financial advisor were to text you, “It’s November — schedule time with your advisor to discuss end-of-year tax planning!” vs. “Hi, [Customer Name] — it’s time to talk about year-end tax planning so we can make sure you have everything set for the year ahead. When is a good time for you to chat?”

This is one of many tips for writing a great text that tailors your message to your unique brand.

6. Keep a Consistent Tone

When it comes to maintaining a sense of authenticity and trustworthiness, a consistent tone is critically important.

Make sure your tone and messaging stay constant throughout all your communications. Set guidelines on abbreviations, acronyms and emojis, as appropriate. For instance, is your brand fun and sassy and geared toward a young audience? Emoji communication might be perfect. Is it a buttoned-up financial firm managing millions of dollars for Baby Boomer clients? Emojis probably wouldn’t be appropriate.

7. Remember: Less is More

Keep your SMS communications brief and to the point. Identify text length guidelines — generally, just a few lines are plenty. Customers will likely only read the first few lines anyway, and more than that can come across as too pushy or salesy. 

8. Tell Your Clients They Can Chat with You

If you have two-way texting enabled, do your customers know that? Customers might assume that texts from your company are just “heads up” communications or offers when really you’re offering the capability to have a two-way conversation.

A good way to do this is to add a question at the end of your business texts to elicit a response. For instance, “[Customer Name], it’s time for your pet’s annual immunizations. Would you like to schedule an appointment now?”

Choose Textedly For Your SMS Marketing 

Textedly is a leading SMS marketing platform that provides easy-to-implement solutions. The user-friendly, affordable platform is ideal for any business size and industry, including retail, restaurants, real estate, enterprises, nonprofits and more. Specifically, Textedly offers ready-to-use templates and bulk messaging features that allow your unique brand to easily communicate with your customers. 

Ready to start texting your customers? Sign up for a free trial with Textedly and start today.

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