It’s a myth that if you already use email for marketing, you shouldn’t use SMS marketing and vice versa. We think that potentially this myth comes from a fear of change or concern for taking on different strategies that may increase workload. We would like to dispel that myth and show you how snugly email and SMS marketing can fit together to bring a well-rounded campaign to your brand. Good marketers understand that the key to a successful campaign is a consistent multimedia approach. Why narrow your field to one marketing outlet? It’s wise to cast your net wide to catch a lot of attention. One of the questions we get asked a lot about SMS marketing is:
How do I combine SMS and email?
One of the great things about both marketing channels is that they share some similarities so it’s not a huge leap to incorporate the two. Here’s how you won’t need to double down on your efforts:
- Both permission based – In the same way that subscribers need to opt-in to receive your marketing emails, they also need to opt-in to receive your marketing text messages. The request for permission can be combined in one tick box to streamline the process for subscribers. Just make it clear that the permission is for both.
- Shared Database – Collecting subscriber data and maintaining a database for SMS marketing is no different from how you already perform this for email. The information can be stored on the same database and used for either campaign straight from your platform.
- Reaching subscribers – To entice your SMS subscribers, you can use your current email marketing strategy to incorporate the growth of your marketing channels. For example, to grow your SMS subscribers, you can incentivise your current email audience via email.
- Brand image – as you would expect, cross-channel marketing will mostly share a theme to reflect your brand. This means that whatever you are sending out via email should also work for SMS but as a snapshot. This saves time in creating brand new material, you can utilise what you already have and make it work for SMS easily. However, don’t mimic content entirely or it will become repetitive and subscribers won’t see the benefit. Make sure that what you offer for SMS subscribers is exclusive.
- Email to SMS gateway integration – A good provider should be able to offer this service. At TextAnywhere Our gateway instantly works with all major Email providers like Gmail, Outlook, Apple Mail, Yahoo, and more!
- Same customer lifecycle – SMS and Email share a similar customer lifecycle pattern. Both go through reach, acquisition, conversion, retention, and loyalty.
What are the top benefits of combining SMS and Email marketing?
The jump from email to SMS marketing is not that wide. Let’s explore the benefits of a combined approach and find out why the two methods complement each other so well:
The open rate for SMS messages is 97% which is 4 times greater than email. Encompassing both methods is a sure-fire way to reach all of your target audience. You can reach busy people on the go and also those who like a little more time to process.
Opening up another avenue of communication for your customers will enhance your relationship with them. Consumers report that it can be hard to engage with their favourite brands because communication streams are often limited. You may have systems in place for customers to email you already and a team handling responses. A big plus point for SMS is that customers can instantly reply on the go. Using automated SMS and keywords, engagers can receive an immediate response to their enquiries and continue the interaction.
Building a relationship and securing it
Email is a great way to grow a relationship with your brand. It’s a way you can share the story and beliefs of your brand. It’s a good place to welcome new subscribers and fill them in on what you have to offer. Use SMS marketing to encourage a long-term commitment to your brand or products by sending exclusive discounts only available to SMS subscribers and send reminders and news flashes out to keep them connected and hooked.
Both are low cost
You have probably been enjoying the low-cost benefits of email which is notably cheaper than other marketing channels. Did you know that SMS is also low cost and thanks to an unbeatable customer reach is unrivalled on ROI?
Perfect for for follow ups
As part of an email campaign, you can use SMS marketing to further promote your material. Once the bulk of the information has been sent out via email, short follow-ups can be scheduled to be sent via SMS. Just a hint though, make sure your SMS messages also read well as stand-alone texts to catch subscribers who have failed to read your emails.
More choice for the consumer
If you have not tried SMS marketing as part of a campaign before, you may feel that your current email marketing strategy hits the spot with your consumers. However, two fundamental things can influence subscribers:
- Freedom of choice
- Fear of missing out
Offering subscriber benefits and interaction across multiple channels allows for freedom of choice. Many people now much prefer to hear from their favourite brands via text message. Being a permission-based interaction, they can opt-out of receiving SMS or email at any time. Having the choice may mean that they only opt-out of receiving one.
Having your deals and news available on both channels means that your loyal followers will not miss out. There is nothing more gutting than realising you missed a deal on email because you didn’t have time to open them. The average person receives 100 emails per day so they can be forgiven for missing them sometimes.
Best practices for integrating SMS and Email marketing
To make email and SMS marketing work for your campaign you need to clearly set out what you will use each channel for. The general rule of thumb is that for lengthy pieces with a lot of picture content, an email will work. It gives the opportunity to showcase what your brand has to offer and allows your subscribers to get to know the brand better. SMS is shorter and more punchy and has a wider window in terms of the best time to send it due to its convenience and portability.
Use SMS marketing for more urgent calls to action, quick alerts, flash sales, and voucher codes. By using segmentation you can target subscribers whilst in the vicinity of a store or restaurant and ensure that they will see it in time to act.
Use SMS for two-way conversation
Most marketing emails are non-reply and even when they aren’t, subscribers don’t usually expect to be able to reply or want to for that matter. SMS was made for two-way interaction and subscribers are used to this. As mentioned, automated SMS allow for an immediate response meaning that customers don’t have to wait around to connect. Waiting around could cause them to look elsewhere.
You may already be gathering information from your email subscribers at the sign-up stage and during purchases. There will also be customer information available from your website activity. Gathering further data can be a problem as people become more guarded about sharing their personal details. However, use SMS to continue to gather information in exchange for a more personalised service or instant rewards. For example, a beauty retailer might ask:
“Tell us what beauty product you couldn’t live without and we’ll give you 20% off your next order”
This is how you can build on initial information about your subscribers to personalise their shopping experience.
It is vital that when using both email and SMS you maintain brand continuity across the channels. Take care to use the same voice and image for all communication. By doing this, your brand will be instantly recognisable to your subscribers and they can build trust in the marketing and feel at ease with it.
Mix it up
Marketing messages can become repetitive when received through the same channel. No one wants to receive too many emails or texts from the same company. By using both channels, you can send double the content without it seeming like spam. Also, SMS messages tend to be opened and actioned quickly so are not clogging up an inbox the way that emails can.
Reminders and alerts
Sending a confirmation via email is the norm. Most people expect this level of backup when they make a purchase or a booking. The confirmation should contain a high level of details and potentially links for further information. For example, when we buy an item of clothing we will want to see an overview of what we have bought and perhaps images. It is also helpful to know when we can expect to receive it and how we can return it if we need to. This level of detail is hard to achieve in 160 characters on SMS so email is the right place for it.
However, for purchases and reminders, you can also set notifications to streamline the process and ensure transactional success. Text messaging for delivery updates is popular with subscribers and usually comes with links to tracking information. For restaurants and leisure venues text reminders have reduced the number of no-shows and allowed for better customer management. SMS is the best place for this type of communication because it is 4 times more likely to be read than an email.
Experiment and track your campaigns
Because both email and text message marketing is trackable and can be segmented, it’s easy to see your campaign reach. You will be able to see your subscriber’s preferred channel of communication and tweak your strategy accordingly. SMS tracking is instant so you can change your approach as and when you need to.
Is SMS better than email?
With a 97% open rate and the relationship we now have with our phones and texting, it is hard to see how businesses can afford to overlook SMS in their marketing strategies. However, there is an argument for both methods as both provide different functions. Is SMS marketing better than email? Let’s just say that we think email is better with SMS marketing.
With email to SMS integration, see what TextAnywhere can do for you today
We take the stress out of customer communication with:
- No hidden charges – unlike other providers we only charge you for the messages that you send.
- Easy Email integration – our gateway instantly works with all major Email providers like Gmail, Outlook, Apple Mail, Yahoo, and more!
- Seamless & secure – rest easy as our Email to Text service is packed with in-built safety features like PIN protection and IP address approvals.
- No training needed – your team can immediately start sending SMS messages from the comfort of their existing Email provider.