Truth #1. You will never get a better chance to engage with a customer.

Truth #2. Mess it up, and you won’t get a second chance.


Before we start discussing the Dos and Don’ts of SMS marketing, it is important to establish the role of SMS in your solar conversion toolbox.

SMS has one very clear purpose or objective that must be understood in order for SMS to be an effective marketing tactic. 

That purpose or objective is this:

To start a digital conversation that leads to a physical conversation. 

You will not sell a system on SMS and it is not a platform for delivering quotes. The purpose is to warm leads and to move them along the funnel to a physical interaction. That can be a phone call or a site visit.

SMS is, without a doubt, the most effective direct communication channel to reach homeowners. The open rate on SMS is around 98% compared to less than 5% for most email marketing. It’s true that well-targeted and relevant emails can often achieve rates of 20-30% but that is rare and still well below even the poorest rates on SMS or Messaging apps.

But with such high engagement rates, SMS comes with its own set of challenges. Despite what the business owner and the sales team passionately believe, most people do not like being sold to. They are not sitting beside their phone waiting for the offer of a lifetime. Most are not even ready to purchase just yet. Most people making a considered purchase that will cost thousands of dollars and involve a technology they don’t even understand are looking for three things. Trust, Value and Service… in that order. Most homeowners will put trust before value when there is a perceived risk associated with a major purchase. 

Why is that relevant to SMS?

Because generally, you will only get one shot. Make sure it counts.

It’s unrealistic to imagine you will complete a sale through an SMS conversation so it makes no sense to lead with price or telling the customer to expect your call.

You are not advertising, you are having a conversation. It makes perfect sense to use that conversation to build trust and convert that trust to a phone call or a site visit when it’s time to close the sale. 

Here are some rules about optimising your success using SMS or messaging apps.



Do make it personal – Use your name and the homeowner’s name if you know it. Also, because we have already communicated with them, make the connection and refer to Kelly or 3Quotes.

Don’t make the first message an offer or a request to call – Use the principle of value exchange. Give them something of value in exchange for more information. E.g. “It looks like you can save $1200 a year. I can confirm this if you can send me a copy of your most recent energy bill.”

Ask for permission to have a conversation – e.g. “I thought it might be easier to ask a couple of questions by text before I send you the quote for solar”

Don’t assume anything – It is pointless describing solutions or outcomes without first asking questions and seeking to understand the homeowner’s needs.

Do make your message brief and use natural language – Develop SMS templates where you have considered every word and make it easy to answer questions with Y or N options.

Don’t ever use emojis or TXT speak – While this is perfectly acceptable among friends and family, this is a business conversation and you will not build trust with smiley faces or gr8 text words.

Be prompt – Surprisingly, nearly 90% of SMS messages are read within 15 minutes. Show respect and reply accordingly or let people know if there will be a delay.

Don’t rush – Develop an approach that leads to a call or a meeting within five steps. That outcome should be a natural and expected outcome of the SMS plan.

Do be polite – Always remember the unique opportunity you have been given by the person accepting your text message in the first place.

Don’t be threatening – Telling a person to expect your call without introducing yourself or your business sends the wrong signals. Use SMS to build trust and create a reason to have the call.