Regardless of the size of the business, there are numerous tools and trends at the disposal of the typical business owner or marketing executive when it comes to online marketing. The field of online marketing is especially promising considering the introduction and growth of new mobile and connectivity technologies. Today, any business owner can rest assured that the majority of people who walk through their doors have a smartphone with internet connectivity. This situation provides both opportunities and challenges with respect to marketing techniques that will keep the audience engaged as well as informed about what the business in question is offering.
Email marketing continues to be one of the most useful marketing techniques around when it comes to consumer-business communication. Businesses are always looking for new and creative ways to complement the power of email, and text messages have emerged as one of the most popular. Text messages provide a direct marketing channel and offer a high return on investment. Research in the past,for example, has revealed that a large number of people who sign up for SMS marketing made the decision to make a purchase as a direct result of the SMS message they received.
The smart business person understands that trends and technology change rapidly in the digital marketing world, of course, and that what was once useful might quickly grow to be obsolete. This can be especially true with marketing methods that contact potential customers on their cell phones. The combination of text and email should therefore be done very carefully. Here are some tips on how best to pull it off.
There are three main types of combined email and SMS marketing communication techniques:
When the email and text send the same message
This is one of the most common techniques used by companies, but is also one of the most poorly executed. To be effective, this strategy must be carefully planned and implemented. To get the most out of this, send the email first and give respondents sufficient time, usually a few days, to click through the message. Next, evaluate the results of the process and look through any unopened newsletters. Finally, send text messages to those leads who have yet to open the email as opposed to sending them to your entire database. The idea here is to have the text messages complement the email campaign.
When emails and the text messages differ
Marketers might want to send emails and text messages regularly at the same time, with each channel communicating a different message. With this technique, note that the email platform is ideal for the heavy stuff, informing customers about the company or sending out industry news. SMS marketing, on the other hand, is ideal for the promotion of immediate sales. Before beginning this combined campaign, make sure to analyze your customer activity database and evaluate it carefully. Separate customers into active and inactive readers, and then send texts to active email readers. For the inactive readers, try to capture their attention through a focused re-engagement campaign. Segmentation shows that some thought was put into the process, and customers will love that.
The email-SMS interaction
There are many interactive email and SMS techniques to keep in mind when it comes to inactive leads. These work best when there is an incentive built in, like the possibility of greater rewards for increased activity. Examples of such incentivized campaigns involving SMS and email combinations include email campaigns that require recipients to reply and receive a code texted to them. This code is then typically used to secure discounts. Other methods include things like sending a text with an invitation to reply in exchange for an eBook or newsletter sent to the user’s email.
Email might be good enough for many, but the addition of text can offer extra advantages. Consider the following statistic: 90 percent of text messages are read within three minutes of being received. This alone should be enough to convince marketers about the power of SMS. Text messages also offer additional benefits, especially when combined with email, and they are both ideal for sending short and time sensitive messages. With more people now accessing their mail through mobile devices, the combined power of email and text can be huge.
Even for this seemingly simple combination, there are rules that one must follow to be successful:
- Permission: remember, email and text are both permission-based. There must be some sort of opt-in from the recipient before they are sent the email or text message.
- Text message limits: unlike emails, texts are typically limited to 160 characters
- Frequency: just like any other online marketing channel, the frequency of use will determine the effectiveness of the message
- Clarity: the clearest incentivized messages will receive the most traction
As the online marketing field evolves, marketers can no longer only rely on one strategy. Innovative combinations that will result in marketing communication that has a big impact.