Should You Text With Your Prospects?
Should You Text With Your Prospects?
Short answer, YES. Long answer, YES. But as long as you follow the rules.
No other method rivals SMS in terms of reliability, reach, and open rates. Your prospects can easily skip over emails, and when they are opened, it might be after some time. Texting is almost instant, with nearly 90 percent of texts being opened in under 3 minutes after being received.
In addition, text messages have a 209 percent higher response rate compared to phone, Facebook, or email. You’re pretty much assured that at least the first step of reaching your prospects is covered with text.
Also, texting gives your prospects the power of decision. Your potential patients will respond better to texts they can read and respond at their own convenience compared to phone calls which arrive unexpectedly and most likely at inconvenient times.
A survey by Neilsen showed that 56 percent of people, healthcare consumers included, preferred texts over voice mail. Here are more statistics that show communication has shifted to texting:
- 81 percent of Americans text frequently.
- Roughly 50 percent of adults aged 18-24 reveal that text conversations are as impactful as phone calls. Further, adults under the age of 45 receive an average of 85+ texts daily.
- SMS open rates are estimated to be as high as 98 percent, while the response rates stand at 45 percent, which is quite impressive compared to email open and response rates at 20 percent and 6 percent, respectively.
Consider the impact of these eye-opening trends for a practice that still depends on phone calls as its main patient communication method. Today, phone calls and voicemails are no longer the most reliable, efficient, fast, and convenient form of communication.
With the option of text messaging, not many people have the patience to listen to voicemail anymore. Besides, unlike a phone call, a person can easily distinguish spam and real contact messages—think about the volume of spam calls you receive daily, weekly, or monthly.
The experience of your potential patients is critical, and texting allows your practice to put your prospect’s best interest first, increasing conversions and enabling you to focus on what’s vital—optimizing health outcomes.
There’s no denying that smartphones have literally changed the face of communication. By embracing texting as a communication channel for prospect engagement, your practice can realize significant benefits. You’ll transfer a lot of time for your staff from administrative tasks to strategic functions that will support the growth of your practice, all while improving communication.
According to findings from a text messaging study by Lead360:
- Texting prospects after making contact drives conversions.
- Sending potential patients three or more meaningful texts at the right point in the lead journey can increase conversion rates by 328 percent.
Several bodies heavily regulate the use of text messaging by practices. The Joint Commission (TJC), the Federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) all have their own rules concerning the appropriate use of texting in different healthcare settings.
Failure to comply with the regulations can lead to hefty fines for your practice. That is why it’s imperative to partner with a company like MDprospects that understands various uses of text messaging for practices and the ways of getting consent.
Ultimately, as convenient and effective as texting is, respecting and protecting your patients’ data is a top priority. In our next blog, we’ll delve into SMS use cases, HIPAA protocol, and FCC measures to protect consumers. While we urge you to message your prospects, we’ll also advise you on exercising caution when texting is restricted and when it’s not.
Communicate Efficiently and Conveniently with Your Prospects
Personalized, patient-centered care needs to be the hallmark of your practice. Two-way texting from MDprospects will enable you to offer next-level patient-centered care when connecting with your prospects. If you would like to know more about how to get the most out of texting in your practice, please schedule your demo today.