Leads360 has released a new study [download page] examining the impact of text messaging in the sales process. The study, which analyzed almost 3.5 million lead records from more than 400 Leads360 customers across a variety of industries, found that while the use of text messaging is linked to above-average conversion rates, it also could have a negative impact. Specifically, the conversion rate of prospects texted only after a relationship has been developed was 112.6% above the average conversion rate of contacted leads. But for those prospects contacted by SMS only before a relationship had been developed, the conversion rate was 4.8% below-average.
For those prospects contacted by SMS both before and after phone contact, the conversion rate was 19.6% higher than the average for contacted leads. The data indicates that texting can have a positive impact on the sales process, but that prospects respond better after initial phone contact has been made. In fact, the study also found that sending a text to a prospect prior to contacting the prospect on the phone decreased the likelihood of ever contacting the lead by 39%.
So how many texts should be sent? While noting that few prospects were sent more than 3 text messages post-contact, the study shows that those leads converted at a 328% higher rate than the average, suggesting that prospects are accepting of multiple texts if the situation calls for them. (Those sent a single text message converted at a 89% above-average rate, while those sent 2 messages converted at a 74% higher rate.)
The researchers note that texting represents “an incredible growth opportunity for sales organizations,” with less than 1% of contacted prospects being sent text messages after phone contact.
About the Data: The lead records analyzed were all generated in the first half of 2012. Milestone, call, and text data for those leads was collected through the end of the third quarter in order to allow enough time for contact and conversion.