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4 Reasons to Text Prospects for Better Conversion

This blog post is part 1 of a 2-part series. Check out part 2, “5 Texting Tips for Increasing Lead Conversion.”

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Whether you’re waiting in line for your morning coffee, commuting to work, or even sitting in a meeting—there’s one thing you can count on happening all around you today. Everyone is texting. According to Pew Research Center, 97 percent of U.S. smartphone users text at least once per day. In fact, text messaging has become the most widely used feature on our phones, followed by using the internet, making voice/video calls and email.
Texting has become a crucial part of any high-performing advisor or agent’s communication arsenal. By texting with a prospect, you’re 40 percent more likely to convert that prospect into a client. In a hyper-distracted world, it’s a critical way to connect with prospects.
Here are four reasons to text prospects for better conversions:

1. Millennials don’t answer their phones.

By 2020, almost half of U.S. workers will be millennials. They simply don’t answer their phones. If you’re serious about reaching this tech-savvy sector of the workforce, you have to text them. Many millennials find voice calls intrusive compared to receiving a text. A Nielsen study showed that among 18-to-34-year-olds, average monthly voice minute usage has dropped dramatically from 1,200 to 900 minutes while texting among 18-to-24-year-olds has more than doubled in the same period from an average of 600 messages a month to more than 1,400 texts per month.

2. Communicating via text is a quick, efficient way to get your message across…and get a response. 

Texting, by definition, is a short message (it wasn’t called a Short Message Service, or SMS for nothing). With email, there is a higher expectation for more context, but texts are supposed to be brief. When you’re reaching out to a prospect, texting is a great way to force yourself to keep the message concise. If you’re setting up a lunch to go over a retirement plan, you can worry about the details in person. Just text a note to set up a time. Texting will save you time (emails take longer to write) and help you get to the point quickly.
But texting isn’t just an efficient way for you to get in touch with prospects. It’s also the best way to guarantee your prospect will get your message and respond. A study by Radicati Group showed that 98 percent of texts that are sent will be opened by recipients and 90 percent of texts are read within three minutes of sending them.

3. Texting is personal.

Texting is the most intimate and personal form of communication available to you as an advisor or agent. A great email can still get lost in your prospect’s inbox, but a text message appears alongside your prospects’ texts from her closest family and friends. It’s also casual means to send someone a quick text, which can feel more thoughtful and help build relationships. As an advisor or agent, you’re often communicating about big life ups and downs—a divorce, a new baby, a college savings plan. These are sensitive topics and being able to talk about them one-on-one over text can feel more intimate and private. 

4. Texting provides an easy entry point for a follow-up.

Because texting has such high open and response rates, it’s a great channel for beginning a serious conversation about financial products and services. Perhaps a client of yours introduced you to his friend Gary at a party. You guys chatted casually and at the end of the conversation, Gary mentioned he’s looking for a new home. But you didn’t get his phone number. You follow up with your friend for Gary’s number and text him.
In today’s world, this is a totally kosher way to communicate. Setting up a meeting or call by text is easier for both you and Gary. This requires little effort on your end, and also makes it easy for him to ask for more information. Since you’re highly likely to get a response over text, you can start the conversation about being a first-time home buyer there and follow up over email with information about the real estate market in your city or mortgage loans. Texting makes for a great conversational starting point for business when prospects want to learn more.
It’s a no-brainer as an advisor or agent that you should be taking advantage of texting as an effective communication channel for converting prospects into clients. As long as you’re using a compliance-enabled solution, it’s hard for any prospect to ignore a concise, to-the-point text from you.
To learn more about compliance-enabled text messaging, visit www.hearsaysocial.com.
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The sales and marketing impact of social media

Ed. note: This post is the second in a series drawing from Mainstay Salire’s study on Social Media ROI: Quantifying the Benefits of Social Media Marketing Platforms for the Enterprise. Download the entire report for free here.

Expanded Marketing Reach

Companies embracing social media marketing solutions reported a significant increase in the number of people reached through various channels, notably Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+. One insurance company, for example, saw a 150% to 420% increase in its local Facebook fan base, largely because the platform’s simplicity enabled agents to post more frequently and effectively.
A major educational institution reported a 189% increase in its fan base because teachers and administrators could post more customized, relevant content and build a “feeling of community” among current and prospective students. Feedback through the platform’s analytics also helped fine-tune the content to focus on messaging that generated strong local-consumer engagement.
Findings

  • Local agents and branch managers that adopted Hearsay Social’s platform saw a two-to-five times increase in their local fan base over locations without Hearsay Social
  • 95% of local financial advisors said they now reach more customers through social media
  • 40% of the study participants reported a “positive sales impact” from adopting the social media marketing solution

Surge in Consumer Engagement

As companies established integrated corporate-local social media networks, they not only saw more fans signing up, but these fans and followers also responded more frequently to communications from the company. Marketing managers said that the platform’s automation and scheduling features allowed local marketing staff to “concentrate on crafting more pertinent and appealing posts,” thus attracting more engagement (including clicks, comments, views, and check-ins) from local fans and followers.
Findings

  • An educational institution adopting Hearsay Social saw a 13X increase in online consumer engagement as measured by the number of Facebook “likes” recorded per page
  • Businesses saw a doubling of customer check-ins (Facebook, Foursquare) after implementing Hearsay Social
  • Agents at an insurance company reported a 5X increase in Facebook “likes” after adopting a social media marketing platform, as shown in the figure at left.

Drove Transactions

Better outreach and engagement of consumers at the local level positively impacted sales and other measures of business growth at the companies studied. Several companies reported jumps in sales conversion rates, with one retailer doubling sales tied to specific promotions, largely due to the ability of marketers to design more attractive deals with targeted local social media offerings.
As shown in the figure below, an insurance company adopting Hearsay Social saw business improvements in several areas, including a boost in lives insured, premiums, and total assets. The volume of posts and tweets increased overall, but especially among junior advisors who adopted social media as their primary channel for stimulating sales growth.
Findings

  • 50% to 500% increase in revenue performance measures at insurer adopting social media marketing platform
  • Sales conversion rate jumped from 1.5% to 3% at retailer due to targeted offerings

Thanks for reading! If you want to learn more, download Mainstay Salire’s study on Social Media ROI: Quantifying the Benefits of Social Media Marketing Platforms for the Enterprise.