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