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Text messaging in the mortgage industry

How mortgage brokers can capitalize on the popularity of text messaging

A full 90% of young people between the ages of 18 and 29 favour text messaging as their primary mode of communication. So, what does this mean for mortgage professionals and how they choose to communicate with their client base?

Canada has among the highest rates of mobile phone usage globally, with over 90% of Canadians owning a mobile phone as of 2021. This is a huge opportunity for mortgage brokers, making text messaging a surefire way to reach their client base with remarkable efficacy while also offering opportunities for engagement and conversion.

Research also shows that SMS messages boast an astonishing open rate of 98% within the first few minutes of delivery. Not only that, but the average response time to a text is approximately 90 seconds, a significant improvement from the comparatively slower response time with emails.

This real-time interaction is a valuable tool for mortgage brokers, allowing them to provide clients with timely information and support, and ultimately elevating their service standards.

Beyond the speed and efficiency, text messaging also allows for personalized engagement. By addressing clients by name and tailoring messages to their unique needs, SMS campaigns foster a profound sense of connection and relevance. This heightened level of consumer engagement promises to nurture client relationships and drive higher conversion rates, positioning SMS as a vital resource in the arsenal of modern mortgage professionals.

Understanding text message marketing

Text message marketing involves an ongoing process of relaying business updates, sales, promotions or relevant data to customers through text messages on their mobile devices. This strategy fosters brand awareness on a more intimate level, but customers must voluntarily opt in to receive these messages before any communication begins.

Messages can be sent en masse to groups or segments of customers, or they can be meticulously tailored to individual recipients. This strategy circumvents other marketing noise — social media ads, email campaigns — and directly reaches users’ phones.

As with any marketing initiative, the more data you possess and the more precise your customer segments, the better. Comparable to how Facebook ads pinpoint users based on location, age and interests, effective text message marketing is hyper-customized, directed toward a well-defined audience.

Through SMS marketing, your approach becomes as targeted as possible, meeting customers where they are — on their smartphones. By delivering marketing content to a specifically targeted group, you foster deeper connections with users and increase interactions with qualified leads.

Not limited to the younger generation

While text messaging has often been associated with younger demographics, it’s important to recognize that older adults are also embracing this mode of communication.

A study conducted by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) revealed that individuals aged 55 and above are increasingly adopting text messaging as a preferred means of communication, alongside traditional phone calls and emails.

The appeal of text messaging for older adults lies in its convenience and simplicity. Many older adults find text messaging to be a more accessible and manageable form of communication as it allows them to interact on their own terms and at their own pace, according to a report by Media Smarts, a Canadian not-for-profit organization.

Given that older adults often prioritize security and privacy in their communication preferences, text messaging provides a more secure and private channel compared to social media or email platforms. Seniors appreciate the one-on-one nature of text messaging, which allows them to communicate directly with trusted contacts without concerns about their personal information being compromised.

As this demographic becomes more tech-savvy, it presents a valuable opportunity for mortgage brokers to leverage SMS campaigns effectively.

What are the options?

Here are some Canadian text messaging services that mortgage professionals can consider for their marketing campaigns:

  • Twilio
  • Clickatell
  • Telnyx
  • SMSGlobal
  • MessageMedia
  • Nexmo

These are just a few examples of SMS services available in Canada. Each service has its own features, pricing structures and integration options, so it’s important to evaluate your specific needs and requirements before choosing a provider. Consider factors like message volume, personalization requirements, API capabilities and customer support when making your decision.

Guidelines to a successful text messaging campaign

Are you considering launching a text message marketing campaign? Here are some guidelines to keep in mind.

Obtain consent

In its evolution, text message marketing has undergone significant changes. Gone are the days when companies would inundate people with unsolicited texts. Purchasing phone number databases for mass messaging is not only outdated, but also a potential violation carrying substantial fines and penalties.

Similar to email marketing, under the Canada Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), you must acquire explicit permission from consumers before sending them text messages. This not only ensures you engage with an interested audience but also prevents irritation for those uninterested.

Be concise

Messages sent to contacts should be succinct, straightforward and simple. Lengthy messages deter users from reading and lead to opt-outs.

For example, while informing customers about mobile coupons, you can captivate them with a compelling opener, provide coupon details and explain how to access them, all without unnecessary fluff.

Avoid overwhelming

Resist the urge to inundate users with numerous news pieces or promotions. Unlike billboards or social media ads, consumers can’t simply ignore texts. Excessive messages from your business will lead to opt-outs. Strive to schedule messages only when necessary, limiting the quantity sent to an appropriate number of customers.

Timing matters

Avoid inundating consumers at unsuitable hours or trapping them in a subscription. Pay meticulous attention to message scheduling, distinguishing between day and night. Sending texts at random hours might come across as intrusive or unprofessional.

Provide an opt-out option

While audience attrition is undesirable, facilitating an easy opt-out can make consumers more willing to sign up for your texts initially. You can do this by simplifying the opt-out process. This can be done by including an unsubscribe link or instructing recipients to reply with “STOP.”

The takeaway

SMS text messaging has become a formidable force in the ever-evolving landscape of communication. From its remarkable reach and high open rates to its swift response times and personalized engagement, SMS has demonstrated its unmatched effectiveness across generations.

Beyond its utility in personal exchanges, SMS holds immense potential for businesses and industries, including mortgage brokers, to foster deeper connections and enhance customer engagement.