The Statistics of Texting
85 percent of American adults own a mobile phone. One in five households has cut the cord and replaced their traditional land-line with a mobile number.
In the business of finding people and skip tracing we all know these statistics from experience—so many dropped calls.
One benefit of all those mobile phones is this, 80 percent of mobile phone owners use their phone to send and receive text messages. It is the most common mobile phone activity. Text messages have a 98 percent open rate and a 45 percent response rate.
Compare that to voicemail, which has just a 4.8 percent response rate and you can easily see why using text messages as part of your people searches and skip tracing will help you find people faster.
The truth of these statistics is why texting is built into BellesLink. We know that texting works for skip tracing.
The Truth–Texting vs. Phone Calls
Recent studies have demonstrated the value of text vs phone calls for research surveys. The reasons that text works well in surveys apply to skip tracing and find people searches as well.
People are more truthful in texts
People are more likely to answer sensitive questions truthfully in a text message than in a voice interview. And they’re also more likely to give more accurate answers to numerical questions by text.
The truth is easier at a distance
Text maintains a greater social distance between you and your subject. That added distance makes responding to a text less threatening for them than returning a phone call.
It’s the same psychological principle that allows trolls on the internet say hateful things because they can maintain the social distance of anonymity.
Text responses get better with time
Researchers believe people give more precise answers in text because there is less time pressure to respond, in an asynchronous communication like text, than there is during a phone call.
Asynchronous means “out of sync”. A phone conversation happens in real-time, a text conversation has time delays in responses. Even though 90 percent of all text messages are read in under three minutes, people take time to respond and their responses are more truthful.
Many people prefer text
In the world of business, particularly customer support, text is quickly becoming a primary means of communication. In fact, a recent survey of 1,000 consumers found that one in five consumers is just as likely to prefer a text message from a business as they are to getting a phone call.
Among 18-to-24-year-olds, this number is even higher with more than 36 percent citing text messages as their preferred form of communication with businesses.
Tips for texting your subject
Even if you’re a texting ace, don’t assume texting subjects in a skip tracing search is like texting your BFF. It isn’t.
Here are three ways to tailor your approach:
- Keep your messages simple, clear and avoid using any “text-speak” Well written, professional language will earn their trust.
- Clarify who you’re texting with and ask specific questions that require detailed, non-general answers.
- Allow for the time needed for asynchronous communication. Expect a bit of lag between your message and their response.
Texting for a skip trace works. So use it.
There’s no doubt that texting works. It can help you make contact with a subject who is unlikely to ever return your call.
In BellesLink you can text a subject from the same phone numbers you use for phone calls. This makes communications between you and your subject consistent and credible. You can even text with your BellesLink numbers from our mobile app.
If you’re a BellesLink customer we encourage you to test texting your operation. If you want to know more our product and texting features, request a demo today.