Best Practices for Texting Leads & Contacts
The objective of this article is to help you learn the best practices for the best and compliant way to manually and automatically send text messages to your leads and contacts.
Automated Drip Campaign - Text Message (Automated)
When a lead is first entered into ZipperAgent from any of the different lead sources (your ZipperAgent website, Facebook, Zillow, Realtor.com, etc), we give you the ability to send an initial text to that lead as part of an automated drip campaign.
Before you set up an initial text auto-responder in ZipperAgent you'll want to ensure that you have an opt-in form on the site you are generating leads from. With ZipperAgent websites and lead capture forms, the lead is automatically consenting that they agree with your website’s terms and conditions, and consenting that you can contact them.
Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) guidelines
Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) guidelines stipulate certain rules, which include that you must:
- Receive consent before any message can be sent to the contact
- Mention your company name so they know who is contacting them
- Give the value proposition clearly so they are not confused
- Mention the frequency of messages that will be sent every month
- Disclose possible carrier costs and fees that may apply
- Give an option to opt-out of future text messages
Sites that already provide opt-in for you include:
- ZipperAgent Websites
Every initial text that you send to a lead (i.e. the first time you text them) should include opt-out verbiage such as Reply STOP to opt-out.
Hi Sally, I appreciate you wanting to see the new property at 123 Main Street in Anytown. Would you like more details about this property? Reply STOP to opt-out.
Numbers that have opted out should not be sent messages again.
Individual Texting (Manual)
Manually sending SMS or text message is available from the contact detail page in ZipperAgent or via the Marketing Tab in the menu. Individual texts should be used to connect with people with whom you have established some type of relationship already. Here are some quick guidelines on building a relationship with a lead:
Friends & Family: They are a friend, family member, or direct referral to you and know you get to know them well
ZipperAgent Website: They fill out a form on your ZipperAgent website and you start a conversation with them
Zillow Lead: They fill out a form on Zillow or another lead provider website and you start a conversation with them
Open House: You meet them at your open house and they volunteer their contact number
Community Events: You attend an office or community event where they provide you with their contact information
Walk-ins: They walk into your office, and express interest in working with your company
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Where can I find FCC’s official TCPA rules?
A: TCPA Compliance document that explains FCC’s rules are documented here: https://www.fcc.gov/sites/default/files/tcpa-rules.pdf.
Q: Is there a limit on how many text messages I can send per month?
A: Yes. ZipperAgent provides a limited count of text messages per month at no charge, which is included in your monthly subscription. However, if you would like to send more than the free limit, you can contact customer support to discuss your requirements. You will be charged additionally for any SMS text above your limit.
Q: What is the additional charge if I want to send SMS above my free count limit?
A: Please refer to the ZipperAgent pricing page for details: https://www.zipperagent.com/plans-pricing/. For more information, you can contact Customer Support to discuss your requirements and usage limits.
Q: Can I import a list of leads and text them?
A: We would recommend only do mass texting to imported leads if you have their opt-in information, otherwise you may be in violation of TCPA laws. ZipperAgent requires all customers/users to strictly follow all our Terms of Service guidelines.
Q: If a lead hasn't opted in or given me consent can I still text them?
A: No. TCPA laws explicitly state that you must receive opt-in from a lead before you can text them. Cold texting a potential client (or any person) is not permitted as per TCPA rules. For more information read the rules at the FCC website: https://www.fcc.gov/sites/default/files/tcpa-rules.pdf
Q: If a lead doesn't respond to my initial automated text can I keep texting them?
A: We would highly recommend that you stop texting a lead after a maximum of 3 attempts if they do not respond to your initial drip campaign plan. This will keep your account from going out of compliance.