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Ellie Mae Study Finds That Sellers Plan to Accelerate Use of Text Messaging to Meet Shifting Consumer Preferences

March 13, 2018 at 9:00 AM EDT

The substantial gap between consumer expectations and seller text use is narrowing, with 87% of sales professionals planning to increase their use of text over the next five years

Consumers detail current preferences and most appropriate reasons for a sales-generated text

PLEASANTON, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mar. 13, 2018-- Ellie Mae® (NYSE: ELLI), the leading cloud-based platform provider for the mortgage finance industry today announced the results of its newest study titled, Great TEXTpectations: The Text Messaging Playbook for Sellers.” Ellie Mae surveyed more than 500 consumers and more than 350 sales professionals to better understand shifting consumer expectations for text messaging during the buying process and how sellers’ use of text measures up against those expectations.

“Consumers have been telling us that text messaging is well suited for their on-the-go, digital lives,” said Nick Hedges, Senior Vice President, Consumer Engagement Strategy at Ellie Mae. “And while consumers expressed a nearly universal expectation for text communications from sellers, there were a number of surprises regarding the appropriateness of texting them for different reasons. This detailed feedback can be invaluable for sales professionals looking to make smarter decisions about integrating text messaging into their digital lead generation and sales workflows.”

The survey found both consumers and sales professionals voiced confidence in text’s potential to improve the buying experience by speeding up key processes. But consumer responses also show that text messaging can hurt sales efforts if not used in an appropriate fashion. Consider that less than one-third of consumers feel it’s appropriate for a seller to text for the following reasons:

  • Promotions or special programs (29%)
  • Happy birthday wishes (26%)
  • Just to say hello (19%)

Over time, however, a growing proportion of consumers have become open to the idea of receiving a text for the reasons above. Respondents were the most open to receiving texts for appointment reminders, deadline reminders, and four other reasons detailed in the report.

“Sales professionals have a tremendous opportunity to improve engagement and outcomes by integrating and synchronizing text with other communication channels,” continued Hedges. “They can deliver a more optimal consumer experience by aligning text use and other efforts to individualized preferences.”

Previous Ellie Mae research established that all buyers, regardless of age, have a strong preference for more online and digital interaction with their seller. The survey finds another compelling trend: the overall upward movement for text, and downward trend for email. Emailing is becoming less popular as the number of consumers who find email intrusive has grown over the last 5-10 years. The survey shows that text is already preferred over email for important and urgent methods.

“Though it has a long way to go, the widespread upward trend of preference for text raises the possibility that text might someday become the preferred method of communication,” said Hedges. “But for the foreseeable future, consumers prefer text on a situational basis and there is no contact strategy that is one-size-fits-all.”

Sellers cite three main challenges to implementing text:

  • Compliance concerns (56%)
  • No tool available (50%)
  • Don’t want to use personal cell (34%)

Pain points like these are some of the major forces driving Ellie Mae’s latest enhancement to Velocify LeadManager Text Messaging, announced last week. The new Velocify LeadManager SMS Texting features provide lenders and other sales professionals with a seamless and easier way to send automated and individual texts from within Velocify LeadManager to mobile phones. Velocify LeadManager helps ensure that texts lenders send are highly relevant and reach the right person, at the right time, and in the right way. No other technology delivers such powerful mobile communications integrated into a centralized lead management solution.

For more insight on appropriate and effective ways to incorporate text and provide consumers a better mortgage experience, read the full report “Great TEXTpectations: The Text Messaging Playbook for Sellers.”

About Ellie Mae

Ellie Mae (NYSE:ELLI) is the leading cloud-based platform provider for the mortgage finance industry. Ellie Mae’s technology solutions enable lenders to originate more loans, lower origination costs, and reduce the time to close, all while ensuring the highest levels of compliance, quality and efficiency. Visit EllieMae.com or call (877) 355-4362 to learn more.

About Velocify by Ellie Mae

Velocify® by Ellie Mae is a sales acceleration software platform that helps high-velocity sales teams turn more prospects into customers. More than 1,500 companies streamline, automate and optimize their sales processes using Velocify. Velocify’s software delivers a prescriptive approach to selling and surfaces actionable performance insights to ensure salespeople stay focused on activities that lead to more sales. Visit Velocify.com or call (888) 843-1777 to learn more.

© 2018 Ellie Mae, Inc. Ellie Mae®Encompass®AllRegs®, the Ellie Mae logo and other trademarks or service marks of Ellie Mae, Inc. appearing herein are the property of Ellie Mae, Inc. or its subsidiaries. All rights reserved. Other company and product names may be trademarks or copyrights of their respective owners.

Source: Ellie Mae, Inc.

Ellie Mae, Inc.
Erica Harvill, 925-227-5913
Erica.harvill@elliemae.com
or
Allison+Partners
Alexandra Gardell Kreuter, 646-428-0618
EllieMae@allisonpr.com