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As a Millennial, I wasn’t around when email was adopted by the financial services industry, but its trajectory was probably similar to what we are witnessing with text messaging. Long-tenured advisors have told me email adoption was slow as well. Because email is and has been a staple of advisor-client communication for many years, it’s easy to forget the challenges the industry faced during its early days.

From broker-dealer concerns about compliance to worries about home computer usage, adoption took time.

While the glacial pace of adoption may feel familiar for those who have had to deal with email and texting, the technological environments during which these two forms of communication struggled for acceptance are markedly different in one respect: the pace of technological change. Technological change is much faster now than when email was gaining popularity. With this accelerated pace comes accelerated expectations from those using “new” technologies.

Consider:

  • Your clients and prospects already text regularly. They are comfortable with text messaging as a communications platform, and they expect others to know when a text is more appropriate than a disruptive phone call or an easily missed email.
  • You provide your clients better service when you text when it’s appropriate (when a phone call would be disruptive or unnecessary, when a timely response is necessary and an email is unlikely to be answered quickly).
  • You risk falling behind those who have embraced texting as an everyday part of their communications arsenal and who are competing for your clients and prospects.
  • You need to be able to use the most expeditious way possible to provide just-in-time information. As but one example, when market volatility occurs, having the ability to quickly reassure your clients via text can help assure them you are there.