Should you text internet leads in addition to calling?
Technology is always changing the ways that attorneys do business. Years ago, email, phone calls and letters were the major ways to communicate with potential personal injury leads. But today, it is common for attorneys to get a person’s cell phone number as their major point of contact. So now that you have the person’s cell phone number, should you be texting the lead, calling the lead, or both?
To answer this question accurately, it is important to point out these guidelines:
Check With Your State Bar Rules on Texting
We generally support text messaging clients and leads as it is an effective way to stay in front of them. But your state bar could have a different view of the matter. It is a smart idea to check with your state’s bar about how they view SMS messaging and marketing.
Note that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) states that all businesses must have the permission of consumers before sending any type of text message.
Call First, Then Text
When a consumer gives their information on a legal lead form, they expect that someone will contact them soon. Thus, it is always vital to contact that lead as soon as you can. A legal lead is much more likely to become a legal client if they have not moved on to something else. And if you do not call them right away, they may find another personal injury attorney.
After you make the initial phone call, whether you get to talk to them or not, texting them a follow up is a good move. People check their text messages throughout the day, so you are definitely going to stay in that lead’s mind with an SMS message.
Setting Up a Time to Talk
If you have a phone number and an email of a legal prospect, it is a good idea to call the person first and get the time to talk set up that way. Leave a message if they do not answer. Then follow up with an email to suggest setting up a time to talk.
Texting in this case should probably be used just to change the meeting time or location.
Exchanging General Information
If you need to communicate some details to the client or lead, a text message can work fine. But if the text subject is getting detailed, going to email is a better solution. At that point, you can summarize what you were texting about and get into a more specific discussion.
However, remember that you should not be divulging detailed case information with texts. Also remember that many cell phones preview text messages on the screen. If you are taking text messages from clients, that feature should be turned off on your phone.
How to Use SMS Texting with a Legal Prospect
If you do not know how to start texting with a prospect, here’s a simple script:
- State their name to start the text.
- State your name and your law firm.
- Tell them you are contacting them because they made an online inquiry for legal representation at a certain date/time.
- Let them know other ways you tried to contact them – either phone, email or both
- Provide your email or direct number and ask to set up a time to talk
If you keep these tips and guidelines in mind, you can use texting as an effective way to contact leads and clients.