The Top 5 Benefits of Combining Email Marketing with SMS

Combining email marketing with SMS packs a pretty potent punch. Here are the top five benefits of mixing both of these channels into your marketing strategy.

Each new generation has increased interest in receiving brand communications via SMS. Companies need to keep up with the times if they’re going to effectively engage their audience and get the results they need. That means setting up a bulk SMS system that integrates with other marketing efforts.

Text message marketing has the potential to drive significant ROI. It’s a particularly effective channel to communicate personalized offers, event updates, or time-sensitive information. Its strengths can fill some of the gaps in your email campaigns to make your marketing strategies more powerful.

Given the popularity of mobile devices, it’s no surprise the two methods work together well. You can make the most of email and SMS marketing by understanding the best use cases for each. Because their strengths are complementary, using both communication channels strategically can result in more effective campaigns and more engaged customers.

1. Email marketing and SMS are entirely permission-based.

Whether your customers fill out an online sign-up form to a weekly email newsletter or tick a box to receive SMS shipping notifications, they’re providing consent for you to communicate with them on these platforms. The list your company compiles from these sign-ups is higher quality than anything you can gather through social media and search engine cohort builders.

Rather than targeting your audience with ads they don’t want to see, an email marketing and SMS approach offers a personalized solution to interact with the right audience. Those who opt in are interested in what you have to say, making them perfect prospects.

Social media and search ads must appeal to someone who has no connection to your brand. SMS and email marketing come with a guarantee your end audience already knows the basics of your brand. Communications for these mediums have more real estate for you to build your brand and story. Even short missives, when done well, can increase consumer sentiment and boost your company’s image among fans.

2. Customer data and list growth can be shared between the two.

As you grow your email marketing program, you have the opportunity to test and learn what type of content drives engagement and conversion. Over time, you’ll be able to gain insight into your subscriber behaviors and interests to boost both email and SMS success.

You can then take the subscriber list and accompanying insights from your email campaigns to get your SMS marketing off to a good start. Yes, you’ll still have some fine-tuning to do, but you won’t need to start from scratch like most companies do with their email marketing campaigns — that’s a big advantage. You can complement the launch of your text message campaigns with an email blast that asks subscribers for their phone numbers (and consent).

Your SMS success can help optimize future email marketing as well. When you offer good incentives for SMS sign-up, you can expand your reach beyond your base of email subscribers.

3. Reach more customers with multiple messaging channels.

Some customers never want another sales email in their inbox again. Others would hate if their phone buzzed with a text from a store they ordered from once. As with any campaign, the best way to keep every customer happy is by tracking open and response rates then segmenting your audience by messaging preferences.

When you’re working on list-building, consumers won’t always tell you their favorite channel. They may sign up for one or the other because it’s the first one presented to them. You can test their communication preferences by making sure everyone has the option to subscribe to both lists, then see what their interactions show.

You may not want to cut someone from a list if they don’t respond to any of your messages, but you can segment customers based on open rates. Those who tend to click links on your text messages but rarely open your emails should get more frequent texts and fewer emails. Those who glance at your texts but tend to respond to the CTAs in emails should get more of the latter and only the most urgent or important texts. And, if a customer decides to unsubscribe from one of your marketing channels entirely, you’ll still be able to keep in touch with them via their preferred method.

4. You can use SMS for quick responses.

SMS messages drive immediate interactions, which makes them an ideal complement for time-bound or otherwise important email campaigns. While people are more likely to read emails on their phones every year, this doesn’t mean they’ll see or respond to your message right away. If you’re launching a long-term sales campaign, this isn’t the end of the world. However, if you’re sending an email about a flash sale or taking advantage of an unexpected opportunity, you might not get the right-away responses you’re looking for.

SMS lends itself to quick communications, but it doesn’t work for long or complex messages. One example would be launching a new product offering, where you may need to call out specifications and pricing info.

That’s when combining your email marketing with SMS is the perfect solution. The average text message is responded to within 90 seconds. So, whatever the offer, when you want instant results, combining email marketing with SMS is more effective than relying on email messages alone.

Text messages allow more characters than an email subject line, yet, as long as there’s no need to scroll, most recipients will instinctually read it. Keep your SMS messages to 160 characters, and you shouldn’t have any problems. Email and text messages can be chained in either direction, depending on your goal. If your company has an exciting announcement planned for next week, you can send a text message that tells prospects what to expect from an upcoming email.

5. Choosing the right medium can improve the customer experience.

The way people interact with emails versus text messages is different, and respecting this can improve the consumer experience. Think about it: When was the last time you opened an “urgent” email right when you got it? Unless it was from your boss, we’re guessing never. How about saving a text message because you wanted to read the link later?

Emails are better for long-form messages and newsletters. They’re the best place to deliver non-urgent communications or information your customers might want to save. Plan to use email for:

Text messages are short by nature and great for urgent information or real-time communications that require customer interaction, like:

  • Reminders
  • Security alerts
  • Confirmations
  • Shipping or delivery notifications

Customers don’t want to miss important information. They’ll be glad to receive anything that’s immediately actionable via text. Likewise, they’ll thank you for keeping the long-form content in emails, where they can engage with it on their own time.

Plan your first combined email and SMS marketing campaign today

Before other companies get onboard with combined email and SMS marketing, launch a campaign, and you’ll achieve uninterrupted access to your customers’ attention — no matter where they are. Your efforts will also reap valuable SMS marketing data to guide your campaigns in the years to come.

Between conversational marketing and rich communication services (RCS), the future of SMS will offer even more ways for companies to connect with and sell to customers. By 2025, text message marketing is estimated to become a $12.6 billion industry. That’s not a figure any business can afford to miss out on. It’s time to make sure your marketing strategy accounts for the popularity of mobile phones and ever-changing consumer preferences.