Sales Text Message Examples | How to Text Leads & Prospects
Kyle Kuczynski
Kyle Kuczynski
MessageDesk Co-Founder & CMO
Updated: Oct 16, 2022

Build an SMS Sales Funnel by Texting Leads & Sending Follow Up Sales Text Messages

Texting leads is one of the most underutilized forms of sales messaging.

Email has long been the defacto sales message platform. But inboxes are more crowded than ever and sales emails frequently get marked as spam.

So how can you break through, reengage with prospects and leads, and get your sales message heard?

The answer is SMS text messaging for sales.

In this guide I cover:

  1. What sales messaging and an SMS funnel are
  2. Four reasons why texting leads and prospects works for nurturing and closing deals
  3. How to get started with sales text messaging software
  4. How to text at every stage in your SMS sales funnel
  5. How to send the best follow up text messages to clients, customers, leads and prospects
  6. Sending cold text messages and prospecting with text messages (examples)
  7. Sales text message examples and templates

Are you a sales development rep, account executive, or sales manager?

By the end, you’ll know how to use business text messaging to keep your prospects and leads engaged as they flow through your pipeline.

Read on for more.

Try Sales Team Texting Software for Free

Get started with a 14-day free MessageDesk trial. No payment required. ❤️
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What is Sales Messaging?

Sales messaging is how you describe your company, product, and mission. It should include the main benefits of your product or service and the pain points you can solve. Sales messaging is more focused than brand messaging. Your sales messaging is the sales collateral you use to create scripts, email templates, text message templates, and other sales materials.

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What is an SMS Sales Funnel?

An SMS sales funnel is sales messaging that’s built around SMS text messaging. Salespeople use SMS sales funnels to send text messages to lead prospects. These text messages guide prospects and leads through the buyer's journey from awareness to consideration to purchase. SMS sales funnels are often built around follow-up text messages and reminders.

4 Reasons Why Texting Leads and Prospects Works for Nurturing and Closing Deals

Prospects and leads don’t want to talk to pushy salespeople. They want genuine, human experiences in their own time at every stage of the sales funnel.

B2C and B2B customers across all segments and verticals all demand more convenient, personalized, human, ways to talk to salespeople.

In fact, some 76% of customers wish they could simply text a salesperson for answers to questions.

But keep in mind, SMS doesn’t replace email and phone calls. Texting just creates new ways to engage, nurture, and follow up with prospects and leads.

This is where texting has some clear advantages and benefits. Especially when you compare it to email and voice.

1. You get more responses than email and it’s faster to text leads and prospects

Email is the defacto way of connecting with prospects and leads. But email exchanges can take forever and inboxes are getting overwhelmed.

Email also suffers from high spam rates. So sales messages just aren’t getting delivered.

But text messaging can be the better way to message prospects and leads. Especially when you need to make sure your message gets delivered and read.

In fact, text messages have up to a 98% open rate and up to a 45% response rate. Compare that to the averages for email: 20% open rate and 6% response rate.

We also know that Millennials are twice as likely as Gen X’ers to reply to texts from an unknown sender. So it makes sense to use text messaging as a follow-up for that audience.

Text messaging also makes it easier for potential customers to raise their hands and get in touch with a salesperson.

Consider advertising a click-to-text button on your website that says “text us for faster response”. This gives potential customers an easy way to start a text conversation and get instant answers to questions.

Texting is a tool that can help salespeople reduce communication friction throughout the sales process.

Email vs text engagement rates

Open Rate Response Rate Spam Rate
Text Messaging 98% 45% 3%
Email 20% 6% 53%

2. Texting can help you qualify prospects and leads faster with answers to specific questions

Another great use for text messaging is getting quick answers to questions. Instead of playing phone tag or waiting for an email, you could just send a text.

This can help you know early on if a prospect or lead is qualified for further outreach.

Or maybe you’re building a proposal for a potential customer. But you realize halfway through that you forgot to ask a simple question. No worries - send the question via text.

It’s likely your prospect or lead will get to your question quickly. 74% of people respond to texts within an hour. Compare that to only 41% for email.

3. Texting for sales is more convenient and feels just as personal as a phone call

There will always be a place for voice calls in your sales process. A human voice can make a world of difference when it comes to building rapport.

But phone calls used to be the only way to do cold outreach and build relationships with potential customers. That’s since changed with text messaging.

Texting used to feel too informal for business interactions. But today, many conversations occur over text. The reality is that texting is now a way to build trust with prospects and leads.

Simple “Happy Birthday” texts or texting a photo of you and your sales team can go a long way.

Regardless, you’ll still want to be aware of text message etiquette and best practices. You’ll need a voice and tone that meshes with your customers' expectations.

If you’re confirming a demo or sending transactional texts, then it's best to keep your message professional and brief.

Are you texting a post-demo follow-up after you’ve built up a rapport with the prospect or lead? Then you might be able to text more like you would with friends.

4. Text message automation makes it easy to maintain and start more conversations

Inbound and outbound sales all require daily, weekly and monthly outreach. Once a potential customer enters the sales pipeline, it’s the salesperson’s job to follow up.

Automated text messages make it possible to do more sales outreach. Texting software for sales teams helps you automate your response and follow-up process. It can help prevent prospects and leads from going cold.

With the right text messaging platform, a salesperson can even schedule texts for a week or month's worth of pre-saved follow-up messages.

You can also nudge a prospect with a text. This works well if you’re waiting for them to approve or confirm a meeting time or to book a demo. Texting just accelerates the whole outreach process without feeling too aggressive.

For inbound sales inquiries, all a customer needs to do is text an autoresponder keyword like “INFO”, “SALES” or “HELP”. The response then directs the lead or prospect to the right salesperson or sales team.

Auto reply texts can also support two-way SMS and one-way SMS. You can manage a bunch of incoming text message threads in a team inbox and assign a teammate to respond.

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How to Get Started with Texting Software for Sales

So, how does texting leads and prospects work? For starters, texting for sales isn’t like texting from your personal phone.

In fact, using your personal for work isn’t the best. The texting applications on your personal phone and limited. They don’t have features like:

  • Text-enabled 10-digit local and toll-free SMS phone numbers
  • A shared team SMS inbox
  • Text message broadcasts for mass texting
  • Text message templates and tags
  • Support for advanced MMS multimedia messaging
  • Scheduled and automated text messages
  • Keyword-based text message autoresponders
  • Support for high-volume carrier-verified A2P 10DLC text messaging
  • Built-in opt-in and opt-out tools for TCPA compliance

Here’s what you need to know to get started with business texting software.

1. Choose a business texting service

The first step to sending business text messages is choosing business text messaging software.

Looking to get your whole sales team texting follow up sales messages? You’ll need a business texting service with a shared team SMS inbox.

Cold texting prospects? You’ll want text messaging software that supports bulk text messaging and text blasts.

MessageDesk offers text sales team texting features that support both of these needs.

MessageDesk Team Inbox

2. Create a free account

Your next step is to create a free account. Almost every business texting software offers some sort of free trial. MessageDesk offers a 14-day free trial.

Are you a larger organization needing custom or enterprise pricing? Free to meet with a messaging expert to learn more.

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3. Select a new SMS sales phone number or text-enable your existing sales line

Next, you’ll need to get a text number for your business or port your phone number to text-enable your existing phone line. MessageDesk gives you a range of SMS phone number options including both local 10-digit SMS numbers and toll-free numbers.

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To text from your existing business landline, you’ll also need to submit a number porting request.

Note: It will likely take from 1-7 days to successfully text-enable your business number once you submit your request. Sometimes, this process is referred to as number hosting (not to be confused with number porting).

4. Create views using filters

Already have extensions set up for everyone on your sales team? Business texting software with filters and views actually makes it possible to text an extension.

Plus, not every salesperson needs to see or respond to every conversation. This is where filters are also handy. Filters can help you configure your SMS inbox as a text funnel for specific teams, teammates, or departments.

MessageDesk comes with advanced filters. These filters make it easy to sort by “newest to oldest” or “oldest to newest” and by status: new, waiting, replied. You can also filter by assigned conversations.

For even more advanced filters, you can use custom fields. Custom fields make it possible to add custom information to leads and prospects and their conversations. You can then sort, filter, and create text funnel views based on custom fields.

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5. Save reusable sales text message templates for quick answers to sales inquiries

Templates and sales message examples can help sales leaders and account executives standardize messaging.

This is where pre-saved, reusable text message templates, tags, media, and links come in handy. You can even customize your text messages with tags to automatically insert a prospect or lead’s {{ FirstName }} into a text.

6. Set up automated texts and autoresponders

Autoresponders get triggered when a prospect or lead texts your sales SMS number. You’ll want to choose a short yet memorable keyword for your autoresponders. Autoresponder keywords are often something like:

  • SALES
  • DEMO
  • QUOTE
  • ESTIMATE
  • PRICING

MessageDesk also allows you to customize and set up automated text messages for missed calls and inquiries. Just set your availability using the date/time picker for any day of the week.

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Note: Every automated text messaging service requires that you get consent from your contacts before you text them. TCPA compliance is mandatory for A2P 10DLC texting. Otherwise, customers can’t receive automated texts from you. Read my guide to TCPA compliance for more information.

7. Connect your CRM to your sales texting software with integrations like Zapier

Connecting to CRMs using services like Zapier can automate sales messages to customers, leads and prospects.

There are three ways you can use Zapier with MessageDesk to trigger events, automate your sales follow up text messages, and more.

Add or update a contact

Whenever a new contact is created in your CRM like HubSpot or Salesforce, you can sync them with MessageDesk. Or, when you add a contact to your rewards program or newsletter in an app like Square, Shopify, or Squarespace.

Add contact to a group

You can also add outside contacts to groups in MessageDesk as well.

Send a message

Trigger a text message to be sent when an action happens in another app. You can automatically send a message to a customer 2 days before an event and much more.

Try Sales Team Texting Software for Free

Get started with a 14-day free MessageDesk trial. No payment required. ❤️

How to Text At Every Stage in Your SMS Sales Funnel

Timing, and context are everything when it comes to the best sales text messages. It doesn’t matter if you’re running an inbound or outbound sales process.

The trick is always knowing what to say and when. So the first step in this process is to identify where a lead or prospect sits in your sales pipeline.

Think of this in terms of entry and exit criteria:

SMS sales pipeline entry criteria

What are entry criteria? These are the criteria that you define. They describe when a potential customer enters a certain stage of your sales pipeline. They’re definitive actions that a potential customer takes.

What if a prospect doesn’t complete a specific action (like scheduling a meeting)? Then they don’t become a lead and they move to the next stage of the pipeline.

SMS sales pipeline exit criteria

Like entry criteria, exit criteria are definitive actions that a potential customer takes during the sales process. These criteria specifically define when a prospect, lead, or opportunity exits a stage of the sales process.

Below is a simplified example of the various sales pipeline and customer lifecycle stages.

Your pipeline and sales process will differ. But the general principles with entry and exit criteria are universal.

SMS sales funnel stages, entry and exit criteria, and sales text messaging goals

Qualification Meeting Demo Proposal Closing
Sales funnel stage Prospect Lead Lead Opportunity Customer
Entry criteria Prospect raises a hand or submits contact information. Lead schedules a meeting. Lead schedules a demo meeting. Opportunity asks for a proposal from the salesperson. Opportunity agrees to the final draft of the proposal.
Exit criteria Prospect meets qualification criteria, and becomes a Lead when they schedule a meeting. Lead schedules a demo meeting or requests more information. Lead asks for a proposal and becomes an opportunity. Opportunity agrees to or makes revisions to the proposal. Opportunity signs off on the deal and becomes a Customer.
Sales text messaging goals Introduce yourself and ask short, simple questions that help determine if the Prospect is a good fit. Attempt to schedule a meeting. Schedule or ensure the Lead’s attendance by confirming and following up on their scheduled meeting time. Based on fit, try and schedule a demo or second meeting. Follow up with the Lead after the demo and answer further questions. Lead becomes an Opportunity if they ask for a proposal. Follow up with the Opportunity once they receive the proposal and work with them to make revisions as needed. Follow up on the final draft of the proposal until the Opportunity signs off on the deal and becomes a Customer.

How to Send the Best Follow Up Text Messages to Clients, Customers, Leads, and Prospects

There’s an art to follow up sales messages. The real trick is to not sound too naggy or overbearing. Since texts are short, sweet, and to the point they can actually work better for sending sales follow ups.

Follow up texts can be as simple as a check-in. They’re great ways to ask questions, create a sense of urgency, or even inform people about a sales promotion.

The best way to send follow-up engagement texts is to schedule your text message and use sales follow up text message templates.

Below are 4 ways to send follow up text messages.

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1. Text follow up messages to limit no-shows

Potential customers are sometimes flaky. You may not be their first priority and sometimes they’ll simply forget about you. So they’ll skip out on a scheduled meeting.

Missed meetings are also a waste of your valuable time. You’ve taken time out of your sales schedule. This is time that could have been reserved for a more qualified lead or prospect.

The solution is to stop no-show appointments with text message reminders.

Has your prospect or lead previously confirmed the meeting?

Then you could set up a series of scheduled text messages reminding them of the meeting. You can also take this a step further by providing additional content or building excitement for the meeting.

The best thing is that these messages don’t have to be lengthy. All of this communication for a meeting reminder is quick and brief.

So what’s the outcome? You’ll get better attendance for more meetings and ultimately move more deals further down in your sales pipeline.

Here’s an example of a meeting reminder follow up sales message:

Hey {{ FirstName }}, just wanted to remind you and say that I’m looking forward to our phone call today. See you then. - {{ SalesPersonName }}, {{ OrganizationName }}

2. Text follow up meeting invites after a discovery call

You’re in the middle of a discovery call and you’ve got a really engaged prospect on the line.

Everything is going well:

  • The prospect has immediate buying intent.
  • They have a need for your product or service.
  • They seem to understand your product or service.
  • They have buying authority to purchase your product or service.

That’s all awesome. But how can you further reduce friction and ensure that they make it to the next meeting after your discovery call?

Send the prospect a text message.

You’ve got to strike while the prospect is hot and a text message makes this easy.

Your follow up message doesn’t have to be long either. It just needs to be human and have a clear call to action that gets the prospect to book a meeting.

Here’s are some follow up text message examples:

Hey {{ FirstName }}, so happy I could answer questions and better understand your needs today. Thanks again for chatting. I can already see the potential for a great fit here.

When you’re ready, follow this link: https://bit.ly/1AmJ6Rl to schedule a demo with me. Looking forward! - {{ SalesPersonName }}, {{ OrganizationName }}

3. Send follow up sales messages to prospects and leads that have gone cold

It's inevitable that some number of prospects and leads will go cold on you. When this happens you might give them a call or send them an email.

But you can also send them a text.

You could even do this in bulk if you’re cold texting prospects.

One of the best ways to warm someone up again is with fresh content. Remind them that you were thinking of them (be human). Then give them something that they might find valuable for free.

Here’s a cold follow up text message example:

Hey {{ FirstName }}, the last time we talked was a month ago. But I came across this new industry report that you might find interesting: https://bit.ly/9YcJ5Pl. Let me know what you think. Always happy to talk or set up a meeting - {{ SalesPersonName }}, {{ OrganizationName }}

4. Add a text message follow up after leaving a voicemail or sending an email

Text messaging can also augment your current follow ups.

Voice and email will always have a place in the sales process. But text message follow ups can help you break through the noise.

Try sending a follow up text message after you get sent to someone’s voicemail.

We know that Millennials are more likely to respond with a text than answer the phone or even listen to voicemail. So why not try to reach them with a text?

The same strategy works with email. Did you send a follow up email or sales offer to a prospect? Did they open the message but didn’t respond? Then try texting them.

Here’s a follow up text message example:

Hey {{ FirstName }}, I emailed out some new information. I’m not sure if you had a chance to look it over. Just reply back if you did so that way I know you’re in the loop - {{ SalesPersonName }}, {{ OrganizationName }}

Sending Cold Text Messages and Prospecting With Text Messages (Examples)

Depending on your sales process you may or may not want to use text message prospecting and cold outreach. As I noted above, text messaging can be a more powerful tool than email.

98% open rates and 45% engagement rates are no joke.

But in some cases, it’s ideal that you schedule a call or exchange a few emails before you text. Especially before making the leap into sending full-blown, conversational SMS messages.

Typically this all depends on the complexity of your product or service.

As a general rule, the more complex the product or service, then the more explaining you’ll need to do. The more explaining, the more you’ll need multiple touch points and multiple forms of communication.

This can change when the sale is simpler and more direct. In these cases, you might find it’s better to text someone as soon as they submit their contact information. So consider collecting phone numbers on your website or asking for them when a user downloads a piece of content.

It’s always best to follow general texting etiquette. But once you establish the initial relationship and create a connection, then you’re free to start texting.

Below is how you prospect with text messages.

1. Collect phone numbers and use autoresponder keywords

Don’t waste your money on lists of phone numbers. The contact information in these lists can be unreliable, out of date, and sometimes useless.

The better way to collect numbers from prospects is by advertising a “text-keyword-to” phone number.

You can advertise this 10-digit phone number and the keyword anywhere too. Storefronts, websites, web forms, and printed materials are all great places for this.

You can also ask for a phone number when a prospect or lead requests some sort of content. This could be a quote, a downloadable case study, an e-book, or anything else.

In this scenario, your workflow would look like this:

  1. You present an offer.
  2. Your prospect sees the offer alongside your phone number and keyword.
  3. Your prospect texts the keyword to your number.
  4. The prospect gets an autoresponder text message with the content offer.
  5. You start the text message conversation.

This is more of an inbound SMS strategy. But it works well when paired with an SMS marketing strategy, advertising, and a landing page builder like Unbounce.

You could also use Facebook Ads for SMS lead generation. This is where autoresponders come in handy for sending additional information to prospects.

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2. Tell prospects who you are and how you found their information

You don’t want your prospects guessing who’s texting them. The first thing you want to include in a text is your name and business or organization.

By saying “I saw you downloaded our pricing calculator” you’ve explained how you got the prospect or lead’s info.

If it’s the first time you’re establishing contact, then it’s crucial you do this.

Don’t assume that prospects and leads will save your name and number.

Even after your introductory messages, it’s best practice to include a text message signature.

This doesn’t have to be fancy. Just add “- the first name from company name” at the end of your message like “- Kyle from MessageDesk”

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3. Send your texts at the right time, in the right time zone

Sending texts at the right time is what makes text messaging incredibly effective.

Have you ever received unsolicited texts at odd hours? Well, early morning, the middle of the night and weekend texts are obviously not the right time to text prospects and leads.

But this can depend on your organization and the type of business you conduct.

Bottom line: you want to understand your customers and know a good time to text them.

4. Add personalization and be human

You’ll want to greet prospects and leads in the most personalized and human way possible.

Text message personalization tags make this easy. You could be sending the same message to a hundred people. But with personalized text messages, you can make each text feel like you’re only talking to one person.

Some text messaging platforms like MessageDesk also make it easy to auto-insert customer information like {{ FirstName }} into a text message.

But when it comes to personalization you’ll also want to:

  • Avoid text message abbreviations like “LOL”
  • Don’t use all CAPS
  • Limit exclamation points
MessageDesk message showing Veterinary Personalized Appointment Reminder Message

5. Be succinct and direct - don’t waste time

Text messages for notifications, updates, and promo offers work best when kept short and to the point. Text messaging isn’t a platform for lengthy messages. It’s designed for quick answers to questions.

When it comes to professional texting etiquette, time is literally money. No one likes having their time wasted.

6. Include a clear and compelling call to action

Whether you text appointment reminders, notifications, updates, payment reminders, or even promotional messages, your message needs to be clear.

Just like an email subject line, always convey the action you want your customers to take with a call to action (CTA).

CTAs are always very simple and direct and they typically start with a verb.

Effective CTAs look like this: “Start 14-Day Free Trial”, “Schedule Appointment”, “Learn More”, or “Connect with Us”.

Sales Text Message Examples and Templates

Below, I’ve added a list of effective sales message examples and SMS templates for sales. Check out my list of 60+ text message templates for more.

First touch sales template

Hey {{ FirstName }}, just saw you downloaded our ultimate guide to texting for salespeople. Let me know if you have any questions as you read it over. - {{ SalesPersonName }}, {{ OrganizationName }}

Invitation to meet sales template

Hi {{ FirstName }}. This is {{ SalesPersonName }} from {{ OrganizationName }}. Are you free for a quick meeting or phone call? Let me know if you are. You’re also free to put me on your calendar by visiting this link: https://bit.ly/1OmE4Zq

Meeting follow up reminder sales template

Hey {{ FirstName }}, just wanted to remind you and say that I’m looking forward to our phone call today. See you then. - {{ SalesPersonName }}, {{ OrganizationName }}

Sales call confirmation text template

Hi {{FirstName }}, it’s {{ SalesPersonName }} from {{ OrganizationName }}. Are you still available for our call today?

Sales follow up text after voicemail template

Hi {{FirstName }}, {{ SalesPersonName }} from { OrganizationName }} here. I left a voicemail regarding your interest in our services. Are you free to discuss pricing this week?

Demo follow up sales template

Hey {{ FirstName }}, so happy I could answer questions and better understand your needs today. Thanks again for chatting. I can already see potential for a great fit here. When you’re ready, follow this link: https://bit.ly/1AmJ6Rl to schedule a demo with me. Looking forward! - {{ SalesPersonName }}, {{ OrganizationName }}

Trial invitation sales follow up template

Hey {{ FirstName }} thanks again for joining me today during our demo. I’ve put together a special link that you can use to start your trial. This link: https://bit.ly/5UhJ9Ve is just for you and it expires in 14 days. Let me know if you have questions. - {{ SalesPersonName }}, {{ OrganizationName }}

Following up with a cold lead sales template

Hey {{ FirstName }}, I sent you some new information. I’m not sure if you had a chance to look over my previous email. Just text me back if you did so that way I know you’re in the loop - {{ SalesPersonName }}, {{ OrganizationName }}

Payment reminder follow up text template

Hi {{ FirstName }}, I sent over an invoice last week for your requested services. The pricing guarantee expires [Date]. Pay now to lock in the price: [URL]

Account manager introduction follow up template

Hello {{ FirstName }}, Thanks for choosing {{ OrganizationName }}. Your account manager, {{ SalesPersonName }}, will be reaching out today to get you started with our onboarding process.

Post-purchase thank you follow up template

Hi there {{ FirstName }}, thank you so much for becoming a {{ OrganizationName }} subscriber! We’re ecstatic to have you as a customer. Feel free to text us with any questions.

Asking for a sales referral

Hi there {{ FirstName }}. My team and I were talking about how much success you’ve gotten with our service. That’s when it dawned on us. Maybe you know of someone else who needs solutions to the same problems you were experiencing. Do you know of anyone off the top of your head? - {{ SalesPersonName }}, {{ OrganizationName }}

Try Sales Team Texting Software for Free

Get started with a 14-day free MessageDesk trial. No payment required. ❤️

Ready to start texting?

Business text messaging software can simplify your messaging and help your sales team close more deals.

When used correctly, they're a fantastic way to build and maintain positive experiences with your loyal customers, and clients.

Start sending texts with a free MessageDesk account today. Check out our paid plans - pricing starts at just $14 per month. You’re also free to meet with a messaging expert for a demo.