Blog Post

The ABCs of Getting Timely Responses from Prospects

How many messages do you get in a day? If you’re like most people, you’re inundated with them.

Every hour of the work day, you’re likely competing with 15 other people to try and get your prospect’s attention. No wonder you’re looking for strategies to improve response rates — it’s an e-jungle out there! Here are the ABCs of getting timely responses from your prospects.

Add value.

A lot of these 120 daily points of contact ask your prospects for something: their time, their money, their business, and their support. With all those outstretched hands, those knocks on the virtual door, you have to be different to be heard.

Be the voice in the crowd that’s offering something that makes your prospect’s day better.

The more value you add, the more likely you are to get something in return. It’s the business texting communication Golden Rule.

Here are some examples of how to provide value:

Text to help solve a problem

Text to help answer a question

Text just to make them smile

Be brief.

You’ll notice that none of those sample texts go on and on. Because your prospects are drowning in messages, their attention, like all of their resources, is finite.

Emails that are between 50 and 125 words have an over 50% response rate. Sending brief, to-the-point messages tells your prospects:

  • You respect their time
  • You know they’re busy
  • You move quickly
  • You care about making things easier for them

Boil your message down just to the essentials. Skip the flattery and paragraphs about yourself and cut right to the chase:

  • What you have to offer (the value you add)
  • What you’re asking for

Here’s an example of what not to do:

Hey Gigi, it’s Andrew for CompleteHealth Staffing. I’m writing to tell you about some of the great travel nursing gigs we have available coming up next month. We have excellent gigs every month and have for the past 27 years. If you are looking for something in California, we have over 800 great positions. If you are looking in Wisconsin, we have 400 great positions. Of course, we want to make sure you are a Registered Nurse and have at least one year of experience before we start to chat. Could I call you tomorrow morning?

Why this message doesn’t work:

  • It’s too long.
  • It gives too much detail about the sender’s company.
    • Gigi probably doesn’t care how long the company has been in business.
  • It gives information that might not be relevant to the recipient.
    • Andrew doesn’t know where Gigi is interested in pursuing a gig, so by guessing, he could easily be losing his audience.
  • It buries the lede.
    • Andrew needs to know if Gigi is a qualified lead before he starts pitching to her.
  • It wastes both their time.
    • If Gigi isn’t qualified, there’s no reason for them to jump on the phone.

Here’s an example of a great, brief business text message:

Why this message works:

  • It’s brief.
  • It gets straight to the point.
  • It offers a partnership.
    • Andrew would like to establish a working relationship
  • It acknowledges Gigi’s needs.
    • Andrew would like to help Gigi get a job
  • It’s a clear ask.
    • Andrew needs more information to possibly start that partnership and see if he can fulfill Gigi’s needs.

Cut the formality.

Business has gotten increasingly casual. It’s more than just the rise of remote workers or the power of social media in the office — the work-life split is becoming a thing of the past and the two parts of our lives are commingling in exciting, powerful ways.

So, we want to communicate with one another in natural, human ways all the time, not just when we’re “off-duty.” We want our business communication, like all our contact with other people, to be real, genuine, and relaxed.

It’s no surprise then that messages written at a 3rd-grade reading level get the most responses. It’s not about treating your prospects like 9-year-olds or dumbing down your message. It’s about making it easy for your busy, overloaded prospects to instantly grasp what you have to offer and what you need.

So, skip the formal language and complex ideas. Communicating casually and naturally makes people want to respond to you.

  • It makes your prospects feel comfortable and at ease.
  • It helps you and your company seem relatable and approachable.
  • It sets the tone of correspondence. Your prospects will be more likely to pop off a quick, casual message in response.
  • It creates a sense of connection rather than a feeling of transaction.

Here are some tips for writing successful, informal messages:

  • Be yourself. Most likely, you wouldn’t use “therefore” seriously in a letter to your mom or list your positive qualities in academic language to your best friend. Don’t do this in sales messages either.
  • Be honest. Today’s consumers are savvier than ever when it comes to spotting a pitch — they are inundated with them on the daily. Don’t sell to them — talk to them.
  • Be direct. Don’t beat around the bush.
  • Be funny. Humor is humanizing. It lowers barriers, helps forge connection, and is a major stress buster. Making someone laugh makes them feel good — and they’ll associate that goodness with you.  

Looking for more on how to get more responses? Check out our post on how to get people to text you back.

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