Text Messaging Etiquette

Transitioning your communication method from email to text meets participants where they are - their phones! As you switch to text, it is important to transition the way you speak with them as well. Follow these steps to keep your texts engaging:

  1. Counting Characters:

    • You may have seen our recent update to character count for all message types: you can now send texts up to 1600 characters! While this is a significant increase and can be useful for sending longer responses that require more detail, we still encourage you to aim for the 160 character mark. We’ve all received long texts that have caused us to disengage (see this T-Mobile Super Bowl ad for reference) - shorter messages generate higher response rates! By keeping your messages brief, you reduce your chances of overwhelming, and increase your chances of hearing back.
  2. Text-Friendly Formatting:

    • While the content of your texts may be similar to your email campaigns, it is crucial to adapt the formatting. Texting is a more informal communication method, and does not adhere to the same email norms:  

      • You don't need to sign off on each text like you would with an email signature. Students will only ever receive texts from a single phone number - they'll always know it's you! Avoiding repetitive sign-offs keeps texts brief and more personal. 

      • When texting, it is best to send a separate message for each topic you want to communicate about. Including multiple paragraphs doesn't allow students to focus on one task or topic at a time, and they're also more difficult to read on a phone. Extra spacing also eat away at your character count!

      • Unlike with email, you don't need to pull a participant's name into each message to maintain consistent communication via text. You can send Quick Messages excluding personalization, or you can pull in any profile field to change up the personalization!

Following these tips will keep your content engaging, concise and strategic for the texting format. I have attached two example texts here; the first follows these best practices, while the second shows an email that’s been copied into a text. The text on the left is easier to read and friendlier, but still gets the point across!

Are there any other tips you can offer as you’ve transitioned your communication to text?

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