Banking, accounting, and finance SMS: the ultimate guide
Discover how your bank, accounting firm, or tax preparation service can use text messaging to improve client communication.
Money makes the world go ‘round, and your clients rely on you to keep them up to date on the state of their funds.
Because financial services can be high stakes and personal for people, you no doubt spend the majority of your time communicating with clients. But if you’re playing phone tag or getting lost in their email inbox, the lost time could be a loss of money for both parties.
If you think it’s harder to reach clients these days, you’re not imagining things.
- In 2020, the average open rate for an email dropped to 21.3% (a decrease compared to 2019).
- In 2019, Americans answered half of all calls they received on their cell phones.
The takeaway: Traditional client communication channels don’t work as well as they used to.
It’s why more financial services companies are turning to SMS for faster, better communications. 90% of all texts are read in three minutes, and a simple SMS generates a response rate 5x that of email.
Sounds nice, right?
It’s also attainable. We put together this guide to help your financial firm take advantage of the most effective way to reach people: SMS marketing.
What is SMS marketing for finance?
SMS marketing for finance is simply the practice of spreading the word about your services and attracting leads via text message.
Before text message marketing, firms were stuck hoping people didn’t throw away their direct mailers or hoping their emails didn’t land in the junk folder.
Now, companies are connecting with leads in seconds because texting is convenient, fast, and affordable. (We’re biased, but we’re not the only ones singing the praises of SMS).
The benefits of text marketing for finance
Sure, text messages are almost guaranteed to be read. But does that mean your clients want to receive them?
The short answer is yes. Endless email threads and back-and-forth phone calls are frustrating, which is why almost two-thirds of customers would switch to a company that offered text messaging as a communication channel.
Communicating the way your clients want to is a smart choice for any business, but it makes even more sense for financial services.
The reality is that money can be a source of stress and anxiety for people, especially during tax season or during a recession.
Texting can help you provide clients with assurance and guidance, and you’ll gain a reputation as a financial professional who makes money matters easy.
How financial services firms use SMS
Now you know that texting works. Is it right for your business?
Here are a few examples of how you can use SMS:
- Give your clients answers and solutions in seconds. Texting is perfect for fast customer service, especially if your texting platform offers an inbox where you can hold two-way conversations with clients.
- Send appointment reminder texts to cut down on no-shows and the loss of revenue they represent.
- Text out payment reminders to make sure your clients remember to pay you on time. You can even attach their invoice as a PDF directly in your message.
- Send text alerts for important updates, like a low debit card balance, when tax returns are ready, or potentially fraudulent charges.
- Ask your clients for feedback on your services. Solid reviews are important for your business, and SMS makes it easy to text a review link to your contacts.
- Request any details or documents you need over text. Get clients’ pay stubs, IDs, or other required materials without waiting days for an email reply.
Next, we’ll give you a picture of text marketing for finance in action.
How finance SMS works
To illustrate how text marketing for finance works, we’ll use a fictional company, “ABC Tax.”
Their head of communications has two goals:
- Send ABC’S monthly investment report to all clients.
- Enable accountants to book meetings and send updates via text.
What phone number does ABC use?
- Local numbers (be sure to register your local number if you choose this option to avoid traffic disruptions)
- Dedicated short codes
- Toll-free numbers (you’ll need to verify your toll-free number if you choose this option so your message deliverability isn’t disrupted)
- The ability to text-enable an existing local landline or choose a new one, which is ideal for two-way messaging
Sending mass text campaigns
Here are the steps ABC will take to text its investment report to all (or segments) of its clients.
1. Gather contacts
This means getting people to subscribe to receive texts from you. Most businesses use keywords to do this.
Keywords let clients sign up for text message alerts by texting a word or phrase to your number. They’ll immediately be subscribed to the text messages you send.
For example, ABC might create the keyword “ABCREPORT.” When a customer texts this word to its phone number, they’ll receive a message like this:
“Thanks for subscribing to ABC Tax Reports! Msg&Data rates may apply. 4msg/month. Reply STOP to cancel.”
ABC could also:
- Use their existing marketing channels to introduce texting (e.g., send an email that includes the keyword to their clients).
- Make it a part of their client onboarding experience. This could look like putting their keyword on display on their desks or including it on client paperwork.
2. Send the text blast
Now it’s time for ABC to hit “send” and push the message out to all their contacts. This video explains how easy it is to send a text blast.
3. Track performance
As ABC sends out texts, they’ll want to keep an eye on their analytics. Knowing where their contacts came from and which messages they open and engage with will help them focus on what’s effective.
Other helpful tax business marketing features
We have dozens of tools to help you fine-tune your text marketing strategy.
Check out some of our favorites:
- Got existing contacts? You can import these from a spreadsheet into your SimpleTexting dashboard. As long as you have consent to text promotional messages, you can start sending campaigns.
- Create a series of messages, photos, or documents that send out over time. You can schedule automated messages for specific days or on a recurring basis to keep your audience interested and in the loop.
- Use customer segmentation for smarter, targeted messages to specific groups of contacts.
Sending two-way text messages
Business texting is the go-to solution for one-on-one conversations.
Our example company, ABC Tax, can use business texting to:
Send out appointment reminders to cut down on no-shows.
Your clients are busy, too. Sending an automatic appointment reminder helps keep you on the top of their minds. Since you have two-way texting capabilities, clients can confirm their appointments and ask questions.
Send tax return status updates so clients know where they stand.
Save your clients the trouble of having to navigate the IRS’s website. Send them real-time updates as their tax return is processed, and answer any questions they may have about next steps.
Use business texting to support one-on-one informational exchanges.
Texting is the best way to give your clients easy access to you (and you to them). Business texting helps you ask and address important questions without the delay of back-and-forth phone calls or emails.
For ABC to enable their accountants to book meetings and send updates via text, all they need to do is give them access to SimpleTexting’s inbox.
Once that’s done, the team can take advantage of all our excellent business texting features. They can leave private notes for themselves or another team member, use a template, or schedule a text for later. They can even give each accountant their own number.
This video explains how it all works.
Text marketing for finance templates
If you’re looking for tax text message examples or appointment reminder templates, here are eight texts you can use for inspiration. You can also check out our on-demand webinar that 3 SMS Campaigns to Get Through the Tax Season.
Try SMS marketing with SimpleTexting for free
That’s it—everything you need to know about finance SMS in one straightforward guide. The next step is to sign up for a 14-day free trial and try it for yourself.
If you have more questions, you can also request a demo. Alternatively, you can text or call us at (866) 450-4185 or use the chat at the bottom of your screen.