While email continues to be the most favored channel for customers to stay in touch with their favorite brands, with the perpetual rise of mobile users, another channel is gathering some serious momentum as we speak- SMS. Marketers and business owners, hence, must learn to take stock of this trend at the earliest and add both SMS and email to their communication toolkit. In the current scheme of things, different customers have varying communication preferences. So, combining SMS and email using your CRM (customer relationship management) software lets you cater to a broad spectrum of your target audience.
Wondering how else the synergy of SMS and email marketing can benefit your campaigns? Read on to find out!
Boosts Engagement Levels
SMS enjoys open rates as high as 98%. And around 90% of recipients respond to their text messages within three minutes of receiving them. These numbers can contribute significantly to the success of your email campaigns. How? After sending an email to your customers, follow up with an SMS to check whether they have read it or not. In fact, studies show that this approach can surge your open rates by 30%! Particularly in the cases of browse abandonment, cart abandonment, and survey and feedback emails, this can prove to be extremely useful.
However, it isn’t always necessary that your SMS should follow your email. You can flip the order too. Send the text message first, alerting your customers to an upcoming sale, event, or product launches, and deliver the details subsequently in an email. Thanks to SMS’s high engagement rates, you can secure high opens for your emails as well. The bottom line is, combining SMS with email allows you to tap into a bevy of exciting cross-channel marketing opportunities, which ultimately paves the path for improved conversion rates and greater revenue.
Enables You To Embrace The Mobile-first Wave
On average, 6 out of 10 consumers consume their email on the go, and 75% of them use their smart phones for the same. With the number of mobile internet users predicted to touch an astounding 4.4 billion by 2023, businesses can’t be faulted for assuming that, in the days to come, the major chunk of their customers will be mobile email users. To stay on top of this mobile-first wave, email marketers have been laying tremendous emphasis on creating responsive email campaigns for the last few years. As a brand, if you further want to consolidate your stance, think no further than text messages. Designed exclusively for mobile, SMSes can power you to become a trailblazer of the mobile channel, bolstering the visibility and reach of your campaigns in the process.
Allows You To Capitalize On Their Individual Strengths
Since both SMS and email are highly response-focused channels, the insights they offer are quite complementary as well. Common metrics obtained from both the channels- open rates, spam complaints, link engagements, number of messages delivered- are tracked by marketers to measure the performance of their campaigns. As a result, they are able to effectively gauge audience engagement and assess the ROI (return on investment).
Additionally, tracking each channel’s metrics individually can help you understand which among them is more suited for a particular campaign objective. For instance, if you aim to improve your customer response rate, SMS marketing is undoubtedly the way forward. On the other hand, if the objective is to achieve greater customization, opting for email is a no-brainer. Similarly, if you want to deliver a crisp message, go for SMS. However, if you want to share a tutorial or anything similar that entails plenty of details, choose email. Both channels have their own strengths, and using them cleverly in tandem can produce exceptional results.
Gives You Total Control Over Sending Timing And Frequency
So what if you can’t dictate when a customer will open your message? You can always determine when it will land in their inboxes. Yes, both email and SMS let you exercise complete control over sending timing and frequency. Any email expert worth their salt will always tell you that no matter how curated your emails are, they will never be able to elicit the expected response from your target audience unless you get your timing spot on.
When you send your emails is almost as critical as What you send in them (if not more). However, acing timing is no walk in the park. It is as subjective as it gets, varying copiously from one industry to another. Unless you test out different days and hours of the week, you’ll never truly realize what works best for your audience. But once you do identify the times they are most active, leave no stone unturned in ensuring that you deliver your messages in precisely those slots.
Fortunately, both email and SMS give you full control when it comes to plotting the timing of your campaigns. With both these channels, you can send your messages whenever you want, and rest assured they’ll be delivered instantly.
Apart from nailing timing, it is equally important to stay on top of your sending frequency too. Many customers unsubscribe from a brand’s newsletter and other communications solely because they get irritated by the sheer frequency of messages that floods their inboxes. But, it’s not only about putting off the customer; being unmindful of your sending frequency can be seriously counter-productive for you.
Suppose, your target audience only opens their inboxes on three fixed days of the week. Now, when you send them messages on the other four, they’ll either get the cold shoulder or get lost among the barrage of other messages in there. So, why send them anything during those days in the first place? Ultimately, getting your sending frequency right spares you from getting marked as spam by your recipients, thereby protecting both your brand and sender reputation.
Most marketers prefer syncing the delivery timing of their SMSes and emails to improve the performance of their campaigns. Suppose you have to promote an upcoming sale. First, you send an email to your contacts that contains all the relevant details. Then, follow up with periodic text messages, making sure to schedule their deliveries only on days when your customers are most active.
Keeps You Free From Legal Trouble
Both email and SMS are permission-based marketing channels. When businesses adopt them, they essentially comply with all necessary international legal frameworks while sending messages to their customers. Email senders, for example, have to abide by the CAN-SPAM Act or CASL or GDPR, depending on the regions in which they are operating. Likewise, SMS senders have to abide by multiple anti-spam rules as well. Businesses, therefore, must always look to opt for reputable and credible email marketing and SMS services to steer clear of unnecessary legal trouble.
How Does Your CRM Come Into The Picture?
- Your CRM will help you combine the power of email marketing and SMS and lay the foundation for stronger relationships and higher sales. While text messages are apt for sending brief content such as time-based offers and reminders, emails are preferred for delivering detailed communication. With your CRM, you can use both cleverly and increase your sales.
- Integrating your communication and marketing channels into your CRM goes a long way towards giving a leg up to your efficiency. This is because CRMs contain workflow builders that enable you to craft customized customer journeys, each having unique pre-set conditions or triggers. These workflows are automated in nature, meaning once you define the conditions, the execution will take place on its own once the trigger is met. Subsequently, this significantly reduces your team’s workload.
- Using your CRM, you can synchronize the sending of your SMSes and emails and subsequently track their complementary insights to improve the performance of your campaigns by leaps and bounds. CRM makes it possible for you to execute integrated campaigns which give your engagement and conversions a huge boost.
Things To Keep In Mind While Integrating SMS and Email Marketing
- Don’t overlap their KPIs (key performance indicators): As mentioned earlier, both these channels have their individual strengths, which, at the end of the day, complement each other beautifully. But, in order to leverage these strengths, firstly, you have to allocate separate KPIs for each, and secondly (and most importantly), ensure they don’t overlap. Although for some common metrics, you might track their performances parallelly, you’ll only be able to assess their individual effectiveness by evaluating them against their dedicated goals.
- Bid goodbye to a siloed approach: Yes, we know, this point might seem very obvious given the title of this article, but well, it needs to be spelled out. Often when two channels start producing excellent results for a business individually, it is very easy for the marketers and stakeholders to get carried away and treat both these channels separately. And while this siloed approach might continue to pay dividends for some time, in the long run, it’ll definitely falter. Remember, you can only craft a memorable and impactful brand experience when you strike a synergy among your various marketing channels and eliminate the silos.
- Don’t forget to test: When you’re combining two marketing channels for your campaigns, testing becomes all the more critical. The insights that you garner from here will go a long way towards optimizing the experience you wish to deliver.
With the help of your CRM, you can synchronize the sending of your SMSes and emails and subsequently track their complementary insights to improve the performance of your campaigns by leaps and bounds.
Wrapping It Up
If you had second thoughts about integrating SMS and email before starting this article, we hope your doubts have been laid to rest by now. Experience the best of both worlds by combining SMS and email with CRM and deliver a brand experience that your customers truly deserve!