Unlocking the Power of SMS: Why Texting Leads is the Future of Effective Communication

Hi everybody, my name’s Rod Solar from LiveseySolar. The topic of this video is to explain the seismic shift that’s occurred in communication preferences pretty much across everybody that most people are basically sleeping on, which is the importance of SMS in lead engagement.

Back in the day, it was all about the phone, and after that, it became email. Now, it’s very much about SMS, and if you’re not responding to your leads and engaging with them on SMS, then you are missing a valuable opportunity to talk to your leads where they live.

And just so you know, most people will respond to SMS well before they’ll respond to pretty much any other communications medium. And that’s what we’re going to get into in this video.

The rise of mobile and SMS communication

Why SMS over things like email or even things like talking to people on the phone? Well, if you are like everybody else in the world, you know that you’re going to respond to your text faster than you respond to everything else.

Why is that?

Well, basically is because you’re carrying it around all the time, right? So pretty much as soon as something buzzes in your pocket. You’re going to pull out this puppy and you’re going to have a look at it.

You’re going to go what’s going on, right?

Why? Well because social media and texting has conditioned us to receive interesting news as a result of this buzz or beep. It has triggered the dopamine centers in your brain to give you a hit every single time that you feel that buzz or you hear that beep.

And so what do people do?

Your customers and leads – as soon as they feel that, they open it up and they look at it right away. This is great in a lead interaction where time is of the essence, but it’s also super valuable with patients because you know that you might send out lots of emails to patients. Well, the open rate on emails can sometimes vary as low as 20%. And certainly, the click-through rate is even lower.

Higher open and response rates

With SMS, 98% of those SMS messages are read. Have you ever wondered where spam SMSes go?

Guess what?

They go into the exact same spot as the rest of your SMSes, because there’s no spam folder in SMS. Whereas, no matter how good your email delivery systems are, chances are, some of your emails are ending up in the spam folder. And that’s especially true with people that you’ve never contacted before over that medium, even if they’ve called you, okay?

So that’s one of the main reasons why SMS has now really surged beyond all of the other communication media. Everybody’s got a mobile phone, everybody opens it up as soon as it arrives, and there’s no spam filter in that SMS medium so that your messages are almost guaranteed to get through.

Instant and personal communication

Now if you ever opened an email, you’ll probably notice that it was probably maybe two hours at best and sometimes potentially four hours, 24 hours or
a few days since that email’s been sent.

Now what that does is it reduces that hit of that communication fluency and momentum that you can establish with SMS. If you send out an SMS response to your leads, well here’s what happens. That SMS goes into their phone and even if they’re chatting on a website, and they’re having conversations on a website, then they close that website and move somewhere else. Let’s say, for example, they close their computer and off they go, they pick up a bus and they’re traveling into the city. All of a sudden, bang, in their pocket, that SMS rings and beeps, right? And then they pick up that phone and they’re still in constant communication with you because even though they’ve moved medium, that channel has not changed.

That SMS is going right into their pocket, right in front of their face, and they’re now responding in real time. And why is this valuable? Because when somebody is waiting for us and we feel that sense that somebody is basically sitting on another line, we are absolutely compelled to respond to those messages, right? An email we know, hey look, | might not be able to respond to that email right now because it’s going to have to be a whole email.

A –

“Dear so-and-so,
| hope you are well.
Here’s what’s happening with me.
Sincerely. Rod.”

Why would you want to do that, right?

Convenience for leads and businesses

With SMS, the efficiency of communication is much greater. It’s like,

A – “Hey, how’s it going?
B – “Great, how are you?
A – “Awesome, let’s meet up later.
B – “Damn, that sounds like a great idea.”

End of conversation, you’re there. So again, back to that instant gratification and that efficiency of communication that people today are considerably more accustomed to and in fact, demand, not only from their friends, but also from their business providers, you are in the game now.

You are talking like they are and they feel more familiar to you, with your brand because you are like they are.

NOTE: The best way to answer that nagging question about practice growth or marketing or patient volume in the back of your mind is to book a free 15-minute compatibility call. Get some options and go away with a clear idea of what’s possible.

Staying ahead of the competition

Now imagine you’re having a conversation with a lead in SMS. Now how many of your competitors are doing the same thing? | would venture to say none.

And the reason that is is because most people, most businesses do not have SMS enabled as a communication channel between them and their customers.

Now you might be saying, hold on a second, Rod. Sometimes a business will SMS me and remind me about an appointment. Now have you ever tried to respond to that appointment?

Right, have you ever tried to respond to that SMS and engage in a conversation that’s like, oh, four o’clock, hey, guess what, sorry, I’m going to be late. You can’t do that. It’s either, I’m going to attend or I’m not going to attend, because the SMS is run by a robot that’s not very intelligent, whereas an SMS run by a human being or potentially a bot that is driven by artificial intelligence.

Now you have a communication flow that is nuanced and you can respond to people, to a business, in such a way that doesn’t require you to get on the phone with them. And you know what? One of the things that people most abhor is the prospect of getting on a telephone call with somebody they don’t know. And that’s especially strong today, right?

Back in the day, when I was coming up, we would just pick up the phone and have chats with our friends, no big deal.


Because we had no other option, right? And we all dreamed of the potential of video calling to be in our present day. Well, it turns out here we are, we’re doing video calls, it’s happening, but we still defer to text for most of our communications. And that’s what | would like you as a business to do with your customers and leads as well.

Tips for effective SMS communication

So what are some tips to communicate effectively over SMS? Well, you have to keep it conversational, right? You don’t need the, apart from the first SMS, just identifying who you are,

“Hi, it’s Rod from such and such practice.”

You might wanna do that because chances are it’s just going to come up as a number and most people will look at it and unless they see who it’s from in the first sentence, they might potentially ignore it and consider it spam and that’s not good.

So, if you identify yourself in that first line and then from there, you don’t have to keep signing off. They’re like, Thanks very much, Rod. “Sincerely Rod,” that’s for email.

This is SMS. It’s just a conversation So what do | advise? Have a conversation the way that you might with a friend or a family member. You might want to keep it a little bit more formal. You might want to maintain the voice of your practice, but again SMS is a much more conversational medium and it forgives so much more than a written email might, right?

So that means it’s entirely okay to have typos in the SMS. Not that you want to necessarily implement typos deliberately, but if you happen to have a typo, if you’re missing punctuation, if you’re summarizing a few things with abbreviations, that’s okay because that’s how SMS works, and that’s what we’re used to.

And the reason for that is because most of us are using our thumbs for this, right? So in reality, we all forgive each other for SMSs that aren’t as polished and constructed as emails and letters.

And that’s a good thing because once you get down to this more familiar style of conversation, what does it feel like?

You’re not communicating with a brand voice anymore. You’re not communicating with a business. You’re communicating with a potential friend.

And that’s considerably more advantageous to you if you want them to like you, if you want them to trust you, and if you eventually want them to buy.

Now I hope I’ve convinced you that using SMS is the future of communication for now, okay? This is where we’re at right now. You need to catch up, you need to make sure that you’re interacting back and forth in two-way SMSes, right? Not just one way where you’re reminding people of appointments, but in two-way SMSes where you’re going to have proper conversations. Now you might be going to me, “well, Rod, | don’t have somebody basically sitting there on a mobile phone, their personal mobile phone, responding to SMSes”. No! That’s not how I want you to do it.

By using a system like Hattie, you can have an SMS number for the entire practice. And even better, the SMS communications that go back and forth, they don’t stay on one phone that you have to pass around physically.

Like, for example, let’s say somebody goes home and wants to SMS with people over the weekend. Let’s say there’s an SMS required in the evening. Who’s got the phone? Where do you find the phone? No, no, no, no, no, no. What we do is we implement the SMS two-way exchange in Hattie.

And that means that anyone in your practice that has access to Hattie, whether they’re in your office or outside of your office, at any time 24-7 can interact via SMS with that customer and the record of that transcribed conversation remains in Hattie for good.

So what that allows you to do is leverage the entire team to jump in and support this patient and see the path of that SMS conversation stream in the past. So that you can leverage the context that’s been created by that conversation in real time.

So you can either use yourself, people who work for you to communicate via SMS, or if you’re really, really cool and flashy, you can implement an Al booking bot that will communicate via SMS with customers until they book, sounding like a real person, and thereby getting more bookings as a result.

Even when you’re not in the building, even when you’re on the beach, having dinner with your wife or husband, whatever it is, that thought is working on your behalf with your prospective customers and your patients. Isn’t that wonderful?

All right, so that’s the beauty of SMS messaging and the beauty of integrating Hattie to manage your SMS messaging for your practice.

About the author

Rod Solar
Founder & Scalable Business Advisor / fCMO

Rod Solar is a co-founder of LiveseySolar and a Scalable Business Advisor for its customers. Rod mentors and coaches eye surgery business CEOs/Founders and their leadership teams to triple their sales, double their profit, and achieve their “ideal exit”.

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Meet our Founders

We’re passionate about helping leaders of high-quality, growth-minded practice owners double their practice revenue

Rod Solar

Founder & Scalable Business Advisor

Rod Solar is a co-founder of LiveseySolar and a Scalable Business Advisor / fCMO for our customers. Rod mentors and coaches CEOs/Founders and their leadership teams to double their sales, triple their profits, and achieve their “ideal exit”.

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LiveseySolar completely transformed the way we were approaching this… We’ve gone from having just the dream of having a practice to having a practice up and running with people making inquiries and booking for procedures… It’s extremely pleasing. We feel lucky we connected with LiveseySolar.

— Dr Matthew Russell, MBChB, FRANZCO, specialist ophthalmic surgeon and founder of VSON and OKKO

Laura Livesey

Founder & CEO

Laura Livesey is the co-founder & CEO of LiveseySolar. She has developed powerful refractive surgery marketing systems that increase patient volumes and profits for doctors, clinics, and hospitals, since 1997.

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Rod and Laura know as much about marketing surgery to patients as I know about performing it. They are an expert in the field of laser eye surgery marketing. They know this industry inside out. I believe that they could help many companies in a variety of areas including marketing materials, sales training and marketing support for doctors.

— Prof. Dan Reinstein, MD MA FRSC DABO, founder of the London Vision Clinic, UK