Everyone’s text messaging these days. You get text messages confirming appointments with dentists, text questionnaires about the service on an oil change and even text messages from colleagues reminding you of important meetings. But what about text messaging from an insurance business that thrives on personal contact? Does it fit or is it a terrible idea?
It does not just fit, it’s a great idea! Text messaging is a valuable tool with which you can reach clients. It’s also much more personal than an email message that may or may not get read. Chances are that people get all their texts, from both wanted and unwanted sources. You just have to make sure you don’t become a pest by overdoing it.
Applying text messaging options to your agency as a means of communication isn’t as simple as it sounds either. You can’t just send one offs, hoping for the best, not knowing if the client’s been messaged from another staff member just minutes prior. You’re best off buying an automated texting software that allows you to text from your computer keyboard and document the sent texts so there are no overlaps.
Before your text marketing campaign begins, get your employees to get out of the habit of sending texts from their personal cell phones no matter how familiar and casual a relationship with an insured may seem. It’s important to remember that when texting a client you must be in compliance with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). You have to have the client’s written consent to receiving texts from your agency.
Beware: Just because a client sends a text doesn’t mean that he/she cannot complain if you text back -- unless you have written a proof of permission. Now, explain all this to your agents and producers so they understand why you don’t want them using personal phones for business-related texts.
Choosing a Number: Start a Texting Campaign
Contact a text message marketing service (there are many options for text marketing companies here) to get set up to control your texting from a keyboard and monitor. It’s highly advised that you send messages from only one number, maximum two if you want to do A/B testing to see which types of messaging are working best for your agency.
To start a package with a text message marketing service, you’ll need to give an estimate of the number of subscribers you anticipate having. You can always step up a tier when you outgrow the one you choose in the beginning.
Getting People to Sign On
Send emails and even letters in the mail telling clients about the free text message service which can help them pay bills on time or be aware that it’s almost time for a policy renewal. Post on social media about the service too. You can also offer incentives for signing up (prizes, discounts, etcetera).
Create an auto reply reminding them that they signed up for text messaging but also give them the option of unsubscribing.
What Kinds of Text Messaging Marketing Campaigns Are There?
You may want something very streamlined with a basic mobile messaging CRM or you may want to take your marketing campaigns a step further. Some software allows clients to text you from a Google Ad. It is important for you to review the options available to you. Some dashboards will be more simplified than others so getting a walkthrough from a few companies is a good idea. You want the software to be sophisticated but it should also be user-friendly.
Pros of mobile marketing
- It’s the most direct and personal way to get in touch with clients
- It costs pennies per text if you buy in bulk.
- Texts are more widely read than emails.
Is SMS Marketing Effective?
Not only is SMS marketing effective, but it’s also much less expensive than print, radio and television ads, which remain the most expensive forms of advertising. It’s also interactive and has a 98% conversion rate with mobile users touching their phones 2,617 times per day. Millennial's, especially, are most responsive to this form of communication.
Tips on Writing Text Messages
- Make sure your message gets straight to the point. Use emojis and shorthand when you can.
- Make sure your message is relevant and important.
- Only text crucial information. Don’t confuse texting with social media posts.
- You can schedule texts so send them at an appropriate time, not in the middle of the night!
- Provide texts that create incentives to contact your agency and only send notes to the right clients (notices about the bundle and multi-policy discounts, payments due, etc). You can program the scheduler to go through and alert any of your clients.
- Don’t send more than one or two texts a month.
- Have one person in charge of running the text campaign and supervise them.
- Make sure to give the option to unsubscribe with each text message you send.
Tracking Your Text Messaging Activity
This method of marketing is very different from the type of texting you do with friends and family. Each word counts and you never want to send more than one or two texts a month, maybe more if it’s absolutely necessary.
The centralization of the documentation of texts will prevent you from over texting and it’ll help you analyze which texts are most effective, informing your marketing campaigns as you go forward. It goes without saying that overlaps amongst agents and producers would be a problem (and a nuisance to clients). The service provider should offer easy ways to track outgoing texts and conversions.
Who Likes Texts from Agents?
You’d be surprised by how many people like being reminded about bills and important upcoming events. In fact, mass texting campaigns are becoming the preferred method of communication with millennial's. People will appreciate that you’re giving them a free service so they don’t need to jot down important dates in their calendars.
If you’re an insurance agent, we can help you grow your business with great tips like the ones you’ve read here. We also offer the best insurance leads in the industry. We look forward to helping you expand your business: (877) 323-7750.