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Ready to Text Your Clients and Prospects? Don't Break These Rules

In April 2017, FINRA released Regulatory Notice 17-18, which directly addressed texting in the financial services industry. It stated that text messages, like social media content and email, must be archived.
Despite this regulation, our research has shown that more than 50 percent of advisors are already texting clients, putting themselves and their firms at risk. Texting is one of the most efficient ways to reach clients, which explains why most advisors are doing it – whether their firms’ policies allow it or not.

Advisors have found that not only is texting the most responsive form of communication, but, clearly, customers overwhelmingly prefer it. In fact, 98 percent of texts are opened, and 90 percent are read within the first three minutes. Because regulators are starting to take a closer look at advisor-client texting behaviors, make sure you’re following these texting best practices.

1. Obtain Consent to Text

By law, you must obtain consent to text a client or prospect before you can begin texting them. This is sometimes called opt-in or attestation. To obtain this consent, the first text you send to a client or prospect must be a compliance message that states who you are, that message and data rates apply, and how to opt out.
In order to make sure you get this opt-in right, using texting technology that already has built-in compliance is highly recommended.

2. Text With Care

The casual nature of texting can also lend itself to easily being abused as a channel for spam. If the recipient doesn’t respond to your opt-in text, we recommend following up after waiting the same timespan you would when following up with an email. Remember: they can text “STOP” at any point during the text conversation and this will legally require you to stop sending texts.
If that happens, a proper compliant texting platform should automatically shut off all communication with that contact.

3. Respond in a Timely Fashion

Once your client texts back, it’s usually best practice to respond as soon as you can. This could be difficult to do given you have other tasks at hand and responding back to dozens of client texts daily can seem daunting.
When overwhelmed with a Herculean task, there’s no better way to tackle it than through delegation. Giving your staff members access to your client texts via a team texting console so they can respond to on your behalf is a great way to address this. That way, if you don’t have time to respond to a text, your staff members can.

4. Follow Your Firm’s Communication Policy, Privacy Rules and Standards

This best practice might seem like common sense, but many professionals often unintentionally throw policies and rules out the window when texting, due to its casual and quick nature. When looking to invest in texting compliance technology, you should consider one that has built-in text blocking functionality that will prevent you from sending certain words.
If you’re a Hearsay customer, join us for this month’s advisor webinar, “Optimizing Your Mobile Efforts,” on Tuesday, September 18, 2018, at 8am PST / 11am EST / 4pm GMT to learn more about the latest in mobile advisor communication, how it is an essential part of your business, and how Hearsay Relate can help you solve these business problems. Leave with action items that enable you to get the most out of your digital communication channels.
Disclaimer: The material available on this blog is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice.

4 Digital Best Practices from Industry Experts [Infographic]

Everyone’s talking about digital transformation, but how do you actually execute on it? At our 2018 Hearsay Summit, we heard how several industry leaders tackled this enormous mandate, and developed successful, measurable programs to digitize their field force. Here is what four of them had to say:


Hearsay’s September Product Release is Here

Today, I’m happy to announce that our latest product release is now generally available!
Our sixth release of the year includes significant enhancements to Hearsay Social (check out the updated mobile app), as well as key new features inside Hearsay Relate. As always, many of our updates to Hearsay Social work seamlessly with Hearsay Sites. This makes it easy for advisors to generate awareness at the top of their sales funnel and easy for you to support them throughout the entire buyer’s journey.
The new features include:

For Hearsay Social and Hearsay Sites:

Enhanced Mobile App 
It’s no secret that an advisor’s time is best spent one-on-one with clients and prospects. That’s why they’re often out of the office, on the go. With Hearsay Social’s enhanced mobile app, your advisors can manage social networks, engage clients and nurture prospects — all in a few quick taps. 
The reimagined app includes many of our new desktop features like the Action List and 1-to-1 Outreach. Combining these with Push Notifications, Hearsay Social can alert your advisors of an important marketing or sales action they need to take, and make it dead-simple to complete. This could be scheduling posts to attract new prospects, following up with a website lead to close business, and more.
In addition, the mobile app makes a few simple but powerful email marketing tactics actionable for your advisors. Let’s say your advisor goes to an event, meets a few prospects who are interested in life insurance, but aren’t quite ready to buy. In a few taps, your advisor can subscribe them to an email drip campaign – about life insurance – right on their phone. Now, the advisor can effectively nurture those leads without spending time on it or learning email marketing.
Hearsay Content for Canada
We launched Hearsay Content in April to help you curate great content in less time. Backed by eight years of data, we provide organizations – at no cost – feeds of high-quality articles to help you make content marketing easy for advisors.
Now, you can get Hearsay’s top four feeds curated specifically from select Canadian publications. This makes it easier and faster for our Canadian customers to create an engaging content strategy for clients in their home market (after all, 3rd party content is key to a well rounded content strategy).
Note: To review available or discuss potential new Content Channels from Hearsay, please engage with your Customer Success Manager.
Automated Content Approval
As more advisors publish content via Campaigns, and as Hearsay Content delivers more into your Content Channels, it is more important than ever to optimize the content review and approval process for supervision teams.
With Automated Content Approval, supervisors can automatically review and approve third-party articles brought into Hearsay — while ensuring compliance with your organization’s policy. Supervisors are alerted of any articles flagged as risky and can quickly review them manually to take the appropriate action.

For Hearsay Relate:

Web Opt-In Form
To stay compliant, advisors may need consent from their clients and prospects to start texting. The Web Opt-In Form makes it easy for advisors to get more clients and prospects signed up at events, during new client onboarding sessions, and more. It’s as simple as sending a link to their personalized opt-in form.
Easily Resend Texts
Text messaging is a great way to get a hold of clients, but sometimes, for a variety of technical reasons, texts don’t quite make it to their recipients. With Hearsay Relate’s web app, your advisors (and often their assistants) can easily resend any text messages that don’t make it to a client or prospect.