Cold Texting: How to Legitimize Your Messaging

Dikran Seferian
Dikran SeferianContent Writer

Published: Jul 13, 2023

Cold Texting

We’ve all received an unsolicited SMS message from a brand trying to sell a product or a service. That would be known as cold texting. Considering the high open rates of SMS, it’s undeniably tempting for a business to take a reckless approach to business text messaging. Any resulting leads would certainly be a win. But what often gets forgotten or neglected is whether or not it is actually legal to take this approach. Here's what you need to know about cold text messages and what measures you can take to connect with prospective customers in a compliant way. 

What Is Cold SMS Texting?

Cold texting follows the same concept as cold calling or sending cold emails, which involves reaching out to potential customers you’ve never communicated with before. It is essentially a marketing strategy where you send text messages to people who haven’t shown any interest in your products or services yet. When you buy a contact list or find phone numbers of prospects online, any text message you send afterwards is considered a cold text. 


Is Cold Text Messaging Illegal?

Considering that it involves contacting people out of the blue, is cold texting illegal? The short answer is yes. Sending cold text messages is illegal since it violates global privacy laws, which require businesses to obtain consent from recipients. This means offering prospects the choice to opt in before sending them marketing messages. Going against these regulations may, in many cases, result in hefty fines—in addition to a series of complaints that can harm your reputation. 

However, there are certain ways you can send cold text messages more lawfully—although it involves treading into a gray area. For instance, you can gather the phone numbers of recipients from a social networking site like LinkedIn. Prospects who have posted their numbers publicly may be open to receiving text messages from businesses. But then again, keep in mind that it’s still a gray area, and the legality of it is debatable. 


Do’s and Don’ts of Cold Texting

Suppose you managed to obtain the phone numbers of prospects legally and are considering cold text marketing just for the initial outreach. There are certain measures you’ll want to take to ensure your approach is as professional as possible. That being said, here are a few do’s and don’ts to account for:

Do Keep Your Texts to the Point

When you’re bulk cold texting prospects, it’s all the more important to keep the content short and simple. Nobody wants to read a long message, especially if they haven’t subscribed to receive it in the first place.

Don't Send Generic Text Messages

Avoid sending generic text messages, as they tend to come across as spammy, and targeted messages will most likely be ignored or deleted. Some recipients may even report it as spam.

Do Personalize the Texts

It’s always a good idea to reach out to prospects on a personal level. Addressing the recipients by their names and tailoring the content will make the cold text message feel less cold.

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Don’t Use Slang or Industry Jargon

Using slang or even industry-specific lingo in your cold SMS text will make you seem unprofessional and ruin your chances of generating a lead.

Do Add a Call to Action

Wrapping up your message with a call to action goes a long way. It lets the recipients know what you want them to do after reading the text. 

Don’t Send Your Text at the Wrong Time

Cold texting late at night or early in the morning is a surefire way to be ignored. Instead, aim to reach out in the middle of business hours during the day, when recipients are more likely to open the message.


What You Can Do Instead of Cold Text Messaging

The alternative to cold SMS marketing is quite obvious: warm texting. This essentially means sending text messages to prospects and potential customers in a compliant manner. Here’s how you can reach out to recipients and gain their trust in the process:

Include a Choice to Opt In

Among the best practices of SMS marketing is to get permission from prospective customers by giving them the choice to opt in. Getting the green light from the recipients themselves will give you peace of mind knowing that you’re texting them legally. It also indicates that the person you’re texting is actually interested in your products or services, and doesn’t mind receiving messages from you. 

You can encourage people to opt in to your SMS campaigns by using a keyword. By texting the keyword to your short code, for instance, a prospective customer would be subscribing to receive SMS marketing messages from you in the future. 

Put Your Phone Number Out There

By publicizing your phone number, your prospects will know how to contact you if necessary. You’ll essentially be making it easier for them to get in touch with you if the text only allows for one-way messaging. Let’s be honest—nobody wants to dig through a website just to find a phone number. 

Make sure to display your number on your website in a way that it’s clear and easy to spot. You’ll also want to make it available on your social media as well as any other marketing mediums you may be using. 

Offer Real Value

You most likely want to foster lasting relationships with your customers and prospects. To make that happen, make sure your SMS messages provide real value. Otherwise, chances are recipients will unsubscribe sooner or later. Nurture leads down the sales funnel by sending them valuable and relevant information that they might relate to. And remember to be mindful of how many text messages you send within a certain timeframe; too many can come across as spam. 

Place a Click-to-Text Button on Your Landing Pages

Another way to do business texting the right way is by adding a click-to-text button on your website. Whenever someone visits your website and clicks on the button, the native messaging app automatically opens on their cell phone with your number and a pre-written text. Once you receive a text message from a lead, you can respond to them and begin the process of converting the prospect into a paying customer. 

Make Use of a Bulk SMS Platform

Using the services of a texting platform like Dexatel ensures you’re going about your campaigns in a compliant and professional manner. You’ll also have a sender ID of your own, making your brand appear more trustworthy. This includes the option to use a memorable short code or a 10-digit long code. Other benefits would include branded messages, bulk texting, audience segmentation, and campaign scheduling.