Far and away our most popular FranFunnel bulletin in the past few years has been, On The Whole "Texting At Night" Thing.
For those who missed it, here’s the TL;DR for you. We answered a common question users have been asking since the day our software went live:
"Should I be texting people outside the course of normal business hours?"
The answer was (and still is) a resounding yes.
We believe that responding to leads quickly is more important than anything. If a lead is requesting information during the evening, then it's vital to start the conversation immediately, regardless of the hour of the day. This chart demonstrates the overall timing trend. It’s based on 1m+ texts sent and received by our system since 2017:
As you can see, response rates aren't significantly lower in the evenings relative to the day.
But what about the issue of how? What does a salesperson think, say and do once they start texting leads at night?
Considering FranFunnel’s #1 top organic search keyword term is, “text at night,” we wanted to revisit this important topic and unlock the next level of value for you. It all goes back to the always important KPI of “speed to lead,” aka, the amount of time it takes from the moment your lead first fills out a form, expressing interest in your franchise, to the earliest moment you have a chance to contact the lead.
With that, our new question to answer is this:
If it’s a smart idea to send texts overnight, in an automated fashion, what are the best practices for doing so effectively?
Here we go!
Since FranFunnel’s inception in 2017, the number of texts sent and received by our system is well over a million. And the lifetime number of individual leads FranFunnel has successfully produced for our customers is in the hundreds of thousands.
This data is just a reminder that we eat, breathe and live automated text messaging. We talk about it with each other and with our customers every day.
During a recent phone call with one of our newer users, we brainstormed a few ideas for best practices for texting at night. Not surprisingly, he was nervous about it. But what we told him was the following:
If you’re feeling nervous like this customer, you’re not alone. We assure you that automation is not only welcomed, but encouraged and useful.
In another one of our popular posts, Timing Is Everything: A FranFunnel Finding About Your Sales Team, we shared data about how quickly leads respond to outreach via text message.
In our experience, leads excessively prefer to communicate in the immediate aftermath of declaring their interest to you. Leads are less likely to respond every minute. As you can see below, 50% of the people who respond do so within 5 minutes. 70% are within the first hour:
The people who get back to you, get back to you quickly. Unlike the medium of email, where a message sits in your lead’s inbox indefinitely, allowing them to look at it at some other time, or not at all, texting is different. It’s a one hit wonder, and in the best way possible.
Leads receive it, and you have their interest at that point. And the text has a very quick half life in their minds, so they use the medium for quick response. FranFunnel assures you get to them quickly.
Now that you’re embracing the era of automation with leads responding fast, let’s talk about how to handle all the messages that came back to you while you were sleeping.
What are the key differences between a good text during the day and a good text during the night? Essentially, the only distinction is a change in the CTA.
With these responses, you're not opening yourself up for someone requesting to speak with you immediately while you're not working or asleep.
Then, when you as a salesperson wake up in the morning, you're locked and loaded with messages from leads that came in overnight.
FranFunnel has appointments already set for you when you wake up. And in the event of a scheduling conflict with the time your person requests, you can easily and quickly use the calendaring feature to send updated invites to yourself and the leads. It’s seamlessly integrated with your calendar app, leading to more scheduled meetings, more conversions and of course, more deals.
Many people won't try night texting because they're afraid to bother people.
But the reality is, you're doing just the opposite. These leads want to hear from you. The only reason you are texting them at night to follow up is because the lead itself first came to you at night.
If you send a sales message automatically, then bothering people is a mathematical impossibility. Remember, the biggest asset you have at this point in the sales process is, you’ve earned their permission. That’s a big deal.
The two scarcest assets most in the modern business climate are trust and attention, and with the help of FranFunnel, you’ve got them both. Now it’s reasonable to want to move forward in the sales conversation.
Our recommendation is, if you don't start texting at night, that means you can't improve it. You’ve got to start somewhere, so you may as well knock where the door is already open.
Figure out what works from a messaging and follow up perspective, and then iterate with whatever new feedback comes in from leads. It might take you a few days or weeks to hone in on the ideal flow for night texters, but once you figure out the system that works for your brand, you can let the automation take over, and you can focus on what you do best, closing deals.
The data is all there. Leads who text you at night will absolutely answer your return texts.
More importantly, when those messages are executed in an empathetic, timely and compelling way, those leads will be stoked to talk to you first thing in the morning.
Who needs coffee when you wake up to that?
Eli Robinson, Eli Rosenthal, and Scott Ginsberg make up the content team at FranFunnel. Ironically, they almost exclusively wrote this during the day.
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