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5 Texting Tips for Increasing Lead Conversion

This blog post is part 2 of a 2-part series. Read part 1, “4 Reasons to Text Prospects for Better Conversion.”
shutterstock_298429103Now that you know how important text messaging is for converting prospects into clients, it’s critical to understand the nuances that make texting such a powerful way to communicate. According to a study by Morgan Stanley, a whopping 91 percent of adults keep their smartphones within arm’s reach. But that doesn’t necessarily mean advisors and agents know the most effective way to use their phones for text messaging. 
Here are five text messaging tips to help turn prospects into clients:

1. Know when to text

Texting is an earned privilege. It’s most effective when you’ve had some type of interaction with a prospect. Have you ever received a text from an unidentified number? It can feel intrusive. That’s the last feeling you want to give a prospective client. Once you’ve communicated with a prospect, the door is open to texting. Texting at this stage can significantly improve conversion up to 112.6 percent over average conversion when following up on leads, according to a study by Velocify

2. Be concise

The beauty of texting is that it’s acceptable and appropriate to keep your message short. Be concise. Ideally, you’ve met your prospect or talked to her before you text, so there should be some context when you reach out. Say hello and if you feel it’s appropriate, perhaps refer to something you discussed when you saw her last. Then, get to the point. Even if you were introduced to this person by a friend, he or she is likely talking to you with a purpose. Prospects aren’t looking for a new best friend; they want you to help them with major life decisions. Be concise. Don’t ramble.

3. Set professional boundaries

It’s easy for texting to feel familiar—it’s an intimate channel that can be used to communicate with faraway parents, partners and close friends. As an advisor, on the other hand, you don’t fit neatly into these categories and, although texting can feel familiar and friendly, you need to maintain a business relationships with your prospects. So, when in doubt, ask yourself, “Would I text this message to my manager?”

4. Text as part of a bigger close strategy

Use texting as a means to communicate when it makes the most sense. In general, texting is a good way to set up meetings, send reminder messages or check in about something happening in your prospect’s life without having to make a call. For example, if you want to send a prospect detailed information about a life insurance plan, it might make better sense to send her that article over email. If you can keep your prospect’s text preferences in mind, you’ll be even better off. Some people will want to catch up or ask you questions over text, while others will prefer a phone call.

5. Be yourself

Nobody wants to feel like they’re texting with an automated machine, and texting gives you the opportunity to be yourself and interact with a prospect in a casual way. You can comment on the rainy weather in your town and easily transition to asking about a prospect’s new job or aging parents. Moreover, texting allows you the time to think about what you’re going to say (before you type it) and respond thoughtfully.
When done right, texting is a crucial component of your digital strategy as a savvy, successful advisor or agent. By texting at the right moments, you can build deeper relationships and convert prospects faster.
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Announcing the Predictive Omnichannel Suite in Europe

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 6.05.58 AMWe’re thrilled to announce our new email solution, Hearsay Mail™, and text messaging solution, Hearsay Messages™, in Europe! Our European customers will have access to the full Predictive Omnichannel Suite™ (#omnichanneladvisor), empowering their advisors and agents to build, deepen and grow relationships with their clients and prospects across multiple digital channels.
According to Forrester Research, European adults regularly research online and are comfortable with managing their financial and insurance matters across multiple digital properties. Additionally, as organizations in countries such as the UK (Financial Conduct Authority) and France (Autorité des marchés financiers) are paying increasing attention to the development of industry regulations, the need for a solution such as Hearsay Social to address both the new digital-first consumer and compliance in financial services is clear.
Whether on social media, a local advisor website, personalized email or text message, advisors can leverage the suite’s Predictive Content Library, which recommends pre-approved, compliant content – in their local language – based on client interests and interactions to share, making it easy for them to offer the personalized, omnichannel experience their customers and prospects demand.
At the firm level, corporate marketing teams gain deep insights on what content is resonating at the local level within these different channels, so they can optimize their content efforts. Compliance teams, too, benefit from a 360-degree view of advisor activity across social, Web, email and text from a single Universal Supervision dashboard, increasing efficiency and productivity.
Read the UK press release and French version for more details. We’re excited to continue helping shape the digital transformation of the financial services industry in Europe, and for the Predictive Omnichannel Suite to accelerate our growth abroad!
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Transforming Traditional Advisor Channels: Announcing Hearsay Messages and the Predictive Omnichannel Suite

Today, there are millions of financial advisors and insurance agents worldwide, including more than 500,000 in the U.S. alone. And while technology is rapidly changing consumer behavior, preferences, and expectations, the way a typical advisor engages with customers has largely remained unchanged. What once worked before – cold calling, Yellow Pages, static advisor websites – no longer have a place in today’s digital world. A recent study confirmed 83 percent of consumers prefer communication via email, text and/or social.
Customers are now omnichannel: researching online, reaching out to connections via social and mobile for recommendations, and making purchase decisions long before interacting with a single sales professional. In fact, the average consumer spends six hours every day online – on social, mobile, and digital.
Add to this the onslaught of robo-advisors, self-service consumer e-commerce sites, and anticipated regulatory rulings, and advisors have even more pressure to deliver more to clients while charging less. Confronted with this reality, advisors must fundamentally change the way they do business in order to stay relevant and survive.
Advisors know they need to adapt; they know they need to deliver more value and be accessible across all the channels their clients and prospects are engaging on. But advisors aren’t marketing or compliance experts. And asking advisors to figure out how to do it themselves – or barring them from using these channels due to compliance concerns – has proven to be both inefficient and ineffective.
Six years ago, we saw an opportunity to leverage technology to begin addressing these inefficiencies and the need for change through social selling. Since then, more than 115,000 advisors and agents are using our platform to connect with today’s social, mobile, digital consumer. Today, I’m thrilled to announce our Predictive Omnichannel Suite (#omnichanneladvisor), a full set of integrated apps purpose-built for advisors to save time, stay relevant, and deliver more personalized service to their clients.

Hearsay MessagesWe’re also announcing a new product: Hearsay Messages. Many of you have told us that clients and advisors want to text each other, but compliance requirements got in the way. Hearsay Messages is our answer to your call – a compliance-enabled text messaging application that will allow advisors to send and receive business-related texts with customers using the mobile device they already have.
What is a predictive omnichannel suite?
Our four integrated apps (Hearsay Social, Hearsay Sites, Hearsay Mail, and Hearsay Messages) will help advisors engage across channels with their clients. Each app will have built-in predictive analytics to help advisors save time – everything from auto-suggesting meeting reminders to suggesting the “next best action,” i.e., who to reach out to, when to reach out, and what to say.
All four apps are built on the same single, unified platform so advisors don’t have to log in to four different systems, and compliance supervision teams don’t have to approve the same action four times.
Why are we doing this?
The world has changed. Clients expect and demand engagement on their terms any time, anywhere, and on every channel. Traditional field organizations have no choice but to adapt. It’s become our mission to help with this field transformation.
Looking back, it’s been an incredible year at Hearsay Social – thanks to your trust and confidence as well as to our second engineering office, which we recently opened in Seattle. It’s been an amazing journey to go from a single social media platform to a full omnichannel suite in less than 12 months.
Social selling, beautiful and modern SEO-optimized advisor websites, personalized email at scale that doesn’t feel like spam, and text messaging – all have become table stakes in today’s buyer journey and client experience.
We couldn’t have accomplished all this without your support. Here’s to many more milestones ahead together and to helping equip your field organization to succeed now and into the future.
For more details, contact your customer success manager and check out our new executive playbook, The Omnichannel Advisor. Also take a look at my keynote, “The Age of the Trusted Advisor,” from our Innovation Summit in June.