Why you may want to start texting your clients

More people are texting than using social media, meaning it's a major form of communication that agents should be utilizing.

To be a successful life insurance agent, consistently refining your message so that it resonates loud and clear is one of the smartest things you can do. However, an effective method of communication with current and potential business isn't heard, but seen: texting.

Though you may currently confine your texts to friends and relatives, it may be time to bring this brand of interaction to work with you, suggested Robert Kerzner, president and CEO of LIMRA during the global research organization's 100th Annual Conference held in Chicago.

How ubiquitous is text messaging? According to Kerzner, in 2015, more people sent or received written messages via handheld devices than used social media.

"Texting is proving to be a more effective tool in reaching consumers," Kerzner explained.

Case in point, based on research conducted by a U.K.-based internet marketing services firm, a whopping 98 percent of texts sent in 2015 were read and 9 in 10 were looked at within three minutes of transmission.

Digital communication is not only more convenient for many consumers, but the increase has aligned with stronger sales. Nearly 30 percent of life insurance customers interact with their agents electronically, according to a separate poll performed by J.D. Power and Associates. That's up from 21 percent last year. At the same time, over 85 million U.S. households have some type of life insurance protection in place, LIMRA found in its most recent "Trends in Life Insurance Ownership" study. In 2010 - when text messaging was less widespread than it is today, the total was 82 million.

Over 95 percent of Americans use text messaging at least once a day, based on survey data from the Pew Research Center.

In summation, if you haven't added texting to your sales repertoire, now's the time. If you are currently, go through some of your correspondence to see what talking points worked and how they can be improved upon. Every word counts.