Marketing channels seem to grow all the time. And while there are a hundred ways to get people to find your brand and make a purchase, the one constant channel that continues to push the highest revenue is email.
But how can you make email work harder and smarter for you?
Yes, you should have marketing automations set up and utilize best practices for personalization and delivery, but that’s not all. After seeing where people like seeing marketing messages most and how that impacts sales, we’ve seen that marrying together email with SMS marketing is proving more than fruitful.
It’s looking like the marketing combo that’s here to stay.
Why Email and SMS together?
It’s a good question. Look at the stats to see what sort of answer you can get:
- Email marketing has an average ROI of 4200%
- The ROI from email is as high as 28.5% compared to 7% for direct mail, as found in one marketing study (Chief Marketer)
- On average, a welcome email series of three drives more revenue than having a single welcome email or none at all (WordStream)
- The average open rate for an SMS Marketing message is 95%
- CTR of SMS is between 20% and 35%
- According to Forrester, marketers attribute 12.8% of revenue to SMS
It’s easy to see the impact both channels have. But seeing these two channels come together as a dynamic marketing duo shouldn't surprise anyone, as common as smartphones are and how people are constantly checking their email and phones all the time.
We noticed this trend started coming to the fore a few years ago and decided to make changes to our platform so that our customers can make the most of a solid email and SMS strategy.
The three best ways to blend an email and SMS strategy inside Sendlane
1. Use two-step opt-in forms
If you’re going to have email and SMS join forces, then the best way to get that started is with your opt-in forms.
These forms are the foundations for growing your list for both channels, but not every form is made the same.
Now, you could have one form that collects emails and one form that collects numbers for SMS messages. But the most fluid way is to use two-step opt-in forms because they tend to flow much easier.
Here’s a visual example of how they generally look.
This is the initial pop-up on The Beard Club. After you enter your email, it shifts to asking for your phone number next.
After your number is in, it gives simple instructions for what to do next to ensure you collect consent.
One form. Two types of info collected. Both your email and SMS list grow. There are plenty of third-party tools like Justuno that Sendlane integrates with to make funneling information to your account nice and easy.
Platforms like BigCommerce already have a feature where you can enable a checkmark to your forms so you can collect SMS consent.
2. Weave SMS into your current email automations
When it comes to marketing automation, email still wins as being the best way to create loyal customers and generate revenue. But when you layer SMS into the mix, it can make it all just that much better.
There are more ways than one to make this happen. For now, let’s start with your welcome series. Typically, with email, you could have the flow something like this:
Person signs up to list → 5-10 minutes later email one sends (thanks for signing up + incentive) → wait 24 hours → email 2 sends (learn about the brand)→ wait 24-48 hours later → email 3 sends (discount offer)
But when you’re using SMS in your automations, you can layer in more touch-points like this:
Person signs up to list through two-step form → immediately receives SMS confirmation message (Press Y to confirm) → receive SMS message after pressing Y (thanks for signing up + incentive) → 5-10 minutes later Email one sends (thanks for signing up + incentive) → wait 24 hours → email 2 sends (learn about the brand) and receives SMS (See our best-sellers) → wait 24-48 hours later → email 3 sends (discount offer)
This is just a suggestion of how you could build a flow with email and SMS. The more comfortable and knowledgeable you get with Sendlane and using triggers within the funnel, the more personalized and 1-to-1 these interactions can feel.
Within automation, you can use conditional splits to send an SMS only when needed. For example, if you send emails within your welcome series, but they're not getting opened, a conditional split can be used to send an SMS only to those who didn’t engage with a certain email.
For a detailed walkthrough of how to set this up, this support article is a great place to start.
3. Create SMS-only automations and campaigns
Don’t get me wrong. Email is still numero uno in marketing. But just like you’re bound to have email-only marketing campaigns or marketing funnels, you can and should have some SMS-only campaigns in your back pocket doing some wheelin’ and dealin’.
While these would be working on their own, they work to support your email marketing strategy and vice versa to keep things all united and synced up.
SMS-only campaigns and automations are very similar to what you’d do with email. One of the easier of these automations to set up is a browser abandonment SMS.
For this automated message, you can create an SMS automation in Sendlane with the conditional trigger set to send the text when someone views a product page but doesn’t add it to their cart.
It will alert them with an SMS message and hopefully get them back to complete the purchase. Simple and pretty quick to set up. You don’t have to stick with just automations, either.
You can set up SMS campaigns too that have their own purported behind them:
- Send quick and simple tips
- Promote upcoming events or sales
- Alert to SMS-only or site-wide sales
- Introduce your brand
- Seasonal campaigns
- Ask for reviews on a recent purchase (can be added to a post-purchase funnel instead
- Gift guides
As you can see, all these ideas can be emails too. And now, with both in your arsenal, you’ll be able to improve your reach, CTRs, touchpoints, and customer loyalty through the channels your customers prefer most.
The 5 best practices for marketing messages
Email marketing has a lot of its own best practices. But now that you’re adding SMS into the mix, there are some other practices surrounding it that you are good to know.
Now, we’re not going to be talking about the big no-nos of SMS – that’s a whole article on its own. Instead, here are some best practices for when is the best time to send:
- Don’t worry much about CTRs. The CTRs of marketing messages tend to be relatively constant throughout the day, peaking slightly in the afternoon (1-5 pm EST) and night (after 6 pm EST).
- Send messages after 1 PM. Revenue per message is 33% higher for messages sent after 1 pm EST vs. in the early morning (before 9 am EST)
- Send based on Local Time. For the best performance when sending early or late, use Sendlane’s “send local time” feature to deliver messages to your recipients’ specific time zone. This feature automatically adjusts the send time for each subscriber to align with the six different US/Canadian time zones. We use data from email and SMS to determine this time.
- Weekdays are for Revenue. Weekends are for CRT. Marketing messages sent over the weekend drive higher CTRs than on weekdays. Weekdays see higher revenue per message than weekends.
Uniting email and SMS doesn’t mean merging them into one marketing glob.
Like any good marriage, each one is its own thing and capable of its own power, but they can come together to flow and grow toward a common goal.