Ecom 80/20 Podcast: Episode 02: Why Email & SMS is Smarter Than Email vs SMS 

 January 3, 2022

By  HiFlyer

Why Email & SMS is Smarter Than Email vs SMS

Full Transcript:

hey isaac happy new year to you how you how you doing this new year happy new year they're doing well thank god for a whole new year a new fresh start like i s 2021 was like a blur right totally totally i had out of my out of sight out of mind i feel like around 2020 and covet and now it's 20 21. somehow we got the 2022. definitely forgettable we'll definitely definitely put that down as a forgettable year but we're excited for for the year ahead 2022 is gonna be a great year and uh we're excited to be here again taking you into the world of e-commerce and today we're jumping into the topic of why email and sms is smarter than email versus sms we're going to take you a little bit deeper into the world of sms as a whole sms for those who don't don't know is refers to text messaging simple mail service meaning from your phone as opposed to multimedia mail service but we're not going to go into into the files that you can attach into text messaging but for now we're just going to go into simple text messaging uh versus email so i want to start off by by asking you isaac what's your preferred method if you were to start with a new new company you were to say let's get into marketing would you tell somebody to do email or sms or both well that's a that's a great question yaakov actually in my experience you know there is no such thing as do one or the other each one has to be complementary to each other and there are multiple multiple opportunities to get in front of the customer in a way that is is personalized to the channel they prefer right so me personally i am not necessarily a text guy i'm not necessarily an email guy either so i i could usually be maybe i'm a handwritten sentiment guy i could send me a something a letter maybe but um or a phone call but i feel like i feel for some people text is great for some people email is great and for some people the combination is what helps just get them to take action on what you're trying to achieve so i think it's really about having email and sms so naturally every brand should be investing in this new channel and sms is relatively new right why why is there that sudden interest why are people just starting to get into that now i think that overall that there's this concept of conversational commerce where a lot of a lot of brands start realizing that they need to be um in the conversation they need to communicate with their customers where their customers are at and we've just this is a kind of a mobile first customer base from now on and even even brands that are focused on communicating with customers on facebook messenger or getting dms on instagram um they still have to communicate with the customer that goes beyond just the inbox so so sms has become the channel where people can just kind of have this direct communication with their customer and the customer will ask multiple you know questions they'll ask is it in stock do you have this item available in my color and my size and just that kind of conversational commerce has played a major role in marketing right now especially in 2021 and it's going forward to 2022. so i think that i think sms is just that channel that says hey we can be a lot more personalized with uh we can be a lot more communicative with our customers rather than just sending them a promotional email in their inbox yeah i think that a lot of a lot of things that we're noticing uh when we're sending out emails is that conversation okay we send out a lot of emails but it's all about the conversation you want to create a conversation with your customer think about the other person on the other side someone is opening your email when you send an email and you have to look at it when it comes to sms also somebody's going to get that text message that you're sending them and just from a personal standpoint i know that when i get a text message i look at my phone real you know all the time but whenever i get a text message come in whether it's on you know regular messaging or or imessage or whatsapp or you know facebook messaging we're not even talking about all the different channels of messaging that there are but you feel that personal connection when somebody messages you and you know as a brand you want to be able to convey that message to the other person on the other end the same way so do you feel like there's there's there that is going in the direction that sms is going to replace email or you think that they're still because they can be symbiotic and still work together yeah i don't believe there's any chance that sms will ever replace email right it's a full channel that people are the the just the inbox alone um has just you just can't replace it with something that um via text message and there's a few reasons why just off the you know off the top of our head think of it this way right how how big of a dialogue can you have within your text right you usually are limited to a certain amount of characters certainly if you're marketing um like 160 on one for one you know one text message about 160k exactly you can only have a limited amount of dialogue there you're going to have you know it has to be conversational has to sound like a human like you said it has to have a human feel and gives that human feel to your business but an email allows you to have a lot more real estate and at the end of the day it converts a lot higher so i think that um going back to your original question um i don't think it's going to replace email at all it's just going to be kind of there has to be some sort of incrementality towards sms so i'll give an example like one automation like quite one automation we build out for all our brands is about you know if someone let's say for example abandons their cart right you typically will send most brands will typically send a card abandoned email right yeah of course but what if what if a person is not subscribed to email right you lose 50 of your of your potential there so you do another check and say well if they're not on email maybe they're on our sms let's let's send them an sms so that gives that incrementality that you may not have had before from email right 50 get the email another 10 can get a text so now you have 10 that you never had before so that's the beauty of sms but it goes even deeper a brand could even say i sent them my card abandoned email did they respond yes no if they didn't even open them or click the email well then you even try sms on top of that too so there's a lot of different ways to have sms be incremental to email not just replace email any brand and i think you'll you'll testify that any brand that comes to you and says hey can we turn off our card abandon email and just send a card and text that that would tank their revenue significantly yeah i don't know that's such a good idea i don't i don't know that we'd recommend that i think we would probably see the way so let's let's talk about those uh those abandons but but more on the on the open rate right let's talk about open rates for a second okay because i know that every time i get a text message i open my phone and i look at it whereas if i get an email i don't always check my email all the time i don't always open my emails some might stay as unread in my inbox talk about the open rates for for text messaging versus email uh this i mean the the data seems to show that there's about a 98 same day open rate for text messages um there's a 18 click through for text that's maybe seven times higher than email and that's no doubt there's there's a lot more potential within sms to get that engagement rate way up um i think they the the challenge is i'm getting them to convert right because there are many times when if they're on mobile devices they're constantly moving they may not actually be in that market to sit down and make a purchase right then and there and that differs with a lot of different brands so it's very hard to say that you know just because a brand opens the the text and maybe clicks through that they're automatically going to drive a significant amount of revenue like i said i think it will help that incrementality and say like email attributes thirty percent of my revenue here if you can if you can get another five ten percent of revenue from sms great that means free money that's right very little very little cost that means you're not you're not spending money on constantly having to you know pay for ads and constantly acquiring new people all the time you're you're maximizing your current list so i think that's that's kind of the the help behind it um but their engagement rate is great i mean it really depends some people are like i said some people are really into getting texts some people are not and um yeah so so let's let's let's touch on that okay some people are not so excited to get text from a brand how do you feel a brand has to get over that hump of you know we talked about making it more personal and making it conversational how do you get somebody to open your text and feel like like like it's something they want to see in their in their text messages that their marketing pretty much they want to see or or just even the conversation i guess yeah but i mean more like like without it being an invasion of their privacy like my text messages my whatsapp is like it's me and my friends and my family and like okay all of a sudden a brand is creeping in there how do we keep it from from being really creeping in there oh yeah you definitely have to focus on um kind of humanizing your brand and not being all about hey i have a i have a phone number i have a tech i have an opportunity to text someone let me sell them something right not every time that approach you have to have you have to be conversational a really great example of this is let's say you someone signs up for your text you know text messaging um for sms and you then send them a welcome text of course you send them maybe that offer but then you also send them a quiz or some sort of way to kind of get to know them and when you're kind of uh quote-unquote dating them via text and getting to know what their what their likes and dislikes are well that that develops a latin a a huge layer of trust that they think is coming from either a human maybe it is coming from human but but it just develops that there is that trust and all the data you need to kind of personalize your marketing from there on for all your channels not just sms for all your channels right so so you have to kind of step back and say is our are we humanizing our brand enough to connect with people yeah and that goes to sorry go ahead okay also but but like you said exactly and i'll pass it back to you from a tech side right it's also so important to have sms that go that transcends marketing and focuses on communication right you get the shipping you know your shipping updates right things like that wouldn't you say yeah of course and you want you want to keep once a person has consented to getting sms and that can be for you know either marketing or transactional email or messages or you know notification sent you know you get text messages for for all your amazon packages or wherever they're coming from whatever shipping information it's it's a level of of security knowing that whatever it is that you just bought is coming and it's coming when is coming the shipping you know the guy's three hours away or two hours away you just know that something is happening and it's it's that security and you can be aware of everything that's going on in the process and and turning it back the other way is when someone is is getting that marketing message if it's still a marketing message building up that trust like you said allows somebody to feel a lot more confident in everything that's going on in their entire journey entire process and i think that that's critical and one thing i was going to say before was that if you if you go to a website let's say and they have that little chat box in the corner you feel a lot more confident when you see a face and a name as somebody you're going to chat with as opposed to a bot as opposed to a you know a a canned message that's going to come back at you after so it's all about building up that personal personalization and and the trust and knowing that that personal connection is there for you yeah you being that there's an actual human there anywhere they touch you facebook messenger instagram whatsapp tech it's all that's all about that conversational commerce so it's so important um but if you're using sms just to just to kind of sell more stuff we'll stay at the channel yeah it's not going to help you right now it's just going to turn turn people off yeah so so that that's a good good segue into the next thing i was going to bring up is where do you see there are some downsides to using sms and maybe it's it's overused maybe it's you know not being too enough personal enough so let's talk about some of the downsides of actually using sms yeah i think the downside is that um and i think you'd agree is that if you're over communicating on the channel that's gonna be a major problem if you treat sms as a as you do email and maybe send four or five emails a week you know even two text messages a week probably could be too much right yeah like the channel you like your other marketing channels right you can't necessarily run ads on sms it doesn't not going to work so i think you also have to be a lot more you know that's the downside of it it's not going to replace anything you're doing right now it will add some incrementality but um if if you treat it like the channel like kind of blasting it out there that's not going to help um i think that i wouldn't say it's a downside but it's actually an upside when you think about one other downside i would say is that it forces you to be a lot more it forces you to be a lot more refined in in your communication right you know that it you have what how many characters are there i think there's like a better um it's like the twitter feed right you have like at some point 180 characters yeah i think with text messaging right now until it goes over to the next test text you have 160 characters but most platforms will allow you to go more but you'll just be sending it counts as two per message there you go so you have to be a lot more and if you use sms well that takes up that's a whole image so that takes a lot of your copy so you have to be really refined with what you're saying and get straight to the point while also humanizing it while also being helpful right you have to combine all that into a certain amount of characters and uh i guess that's not a downside that's just you know you got to be very creative you got to be prepared to be creative with your texts um so let's talk a little bit about friends as a whole and businesses in the sms world how many brands would you say what percentage of brands out there are using sms right now and what is your vision for 2022 and beyond how many more what what that percentage is really going to go up to oh i think i think um probably i i'm not known all the facts off them but i would say i would estimate anywhere between five to five to ten percent of brands are using that sms um that's that's unless you have a different data point there but like the statistic i have says only 12 percent of local businesses are using text messaging versus mark so right a little bit more it makes sense new no one's really sure how to handle it right still learning yeah still learning and i think it is definitely a fast growing opportunity um i wouldn't i wouldn't go into the you know of course if you talk to the vendors out there the top ones in the game you know twilio attentive the top brands out there will tell you yeah sms is growing fast and you've got to capitalize on it and it will replace email and all this stuff my experience having worked at that top one percent of brands you never were going to replace anything it doesn't replace it it helps so a lot of brands you know it don't let that don't it's a little smoke and mirrors i love their brands don't get me wrong but there's little smoke and mirrors here that they're trying to play up but i think that overall a lot of brands will start investigating it investigating it and start leveraging it um certainly for their transactional emails transactional messaging right order confirmation account sign up shipping confirmation because at the end of the day the top brands are doing that and they want the customers need to see like where my updates where are my product updates right yeah and just just you know piece of advice for those uh smaller brands listening out there is you know if you're not ready to implement sms don't don't be don't feel like you have to just because other brands are doing it but at the very least you can start collecting cell phone numbers and getting the consent when people sign up to get your emails because you can implement a second sign up in that one sign up form you get first one is email the second page is a sms confirmation you know perhaps offer a different discount or a different special and then you get the confirmation message so let's talk about that a little bit of of what kind of offers you might see when it comes to email and sms in the same same sign up form oh yeah i guess i guess the the offers can be totally different you tend to see a lot of tiered offers where someone will get sign up for their email list they'll get 10 off then you add an sms you'll get 15 off that is a typical tiered offer again you're getting another major data point from a customer so that's helpful and then um in addition obviously card abandon would be a great option because there's an incrementality there you want to see how the channel is working and see if that special offer on your cart will help them help customers get over the hurdle of buying and i think the i guess some of the more intangible areas where people can start using sms um that will help them incentivize help their help customers feel incentivized to buy something is really in the data is really just in the personalization and you could give them an incentive to take a quiz to learn more about to share some information about what you're in the market for and reward that with a gift card or something like that so that's probably what you'll see a lot a lot of i don't think many people leverage the quiz part as much though it's it is really powerful um yeah you want to know right if you could build out a google form or some sort of uh um survey like was that survey monkey then you can just as easily build out this quiz in sms and you probably will get a lot um higher quality responses and speaking of responses going back towards how many would you say is a safe number of texts to send if you were to invest in an sms how many would you say how many how many messages should a company send out per week per month what do you think is a comfortable number like people won't get you know upset about it upset i would say that max one a week personally that that would be what i would think one maybe some people maybe do two a week we have to think of it this way right um you know think about the journey so if you're if you send a campaign if you send a message hey we're having a new year's sale i probably got a few from new year's i know i definitely got one from cb2 well one of my favorite brands so i got a text message for them about their end of year clearance so imagine if i was shopping or browsing an item or abandoning my card after that first campaign well then i probably will get a card abandoned text right right so that's already two text messages in the span of 48 hours 72 hours um that's that's a lot that's kind of enough you know you don't need to have another campaign there right it's too much um it's a very intimate channel it's a very intimidating right it is that's from your wife you miss the text from your kids school then you miss the text right then it gets aggravating so you're right and then you get you have too many you know my my daughter was telling me that she has what's happened there was one point where she just decided not to look at her whatsapp messages and see how many they can get to before before uh she finally looked at it i think she went a week without looking at it got over 999 plus messages so there's so many messages out there you're on so many whatsapp groups you're in so many different um you know conversations you're already having brands just need to be smart about how they utilize this channel and because it has to be personal it has to be conversational has to be the right message to the right person at the right time now we're kind of realizing that the right amount is probably one to two maximum two a week if it's the right message you know what i mean you gotta really be thoughtful with that with that message with that image with that creative because you only got you know like he's like we discussed that certain amount of characters certainly yeah you gotta be smart you got to be quippy with that line um you know you can't just take your subject line from your email and put it in a text message and hope your hope you're going to get opens right it's not it's not it's not the same right it has to be a good call to action it has to be something that's as personal and conversational yeah i think there's one major area that a lot of um a lot of the small brands don't really recognize this of course the top brands know this so this is something that's always important to remind yourselves of um especially if you're a small business is that email and sms like i keep saying all the time it's a unique customer identifier if you can get someone's cell phone or your phone number and you can get or you can get someone's email you unlock a wealth of data there's a lot there and you can identify that customer in numerous ways then probably the customer wants you to know about but you can unlock a lot of that data big brother right there but a little bit right like i said right fine line between creepy and relevant so um you can but that data can then power your google ads it can power your facebook ads it can power your postcard mailings because you have that data point which ties into every other data point because again it's a unique customer identifier if there was one one data point that summed up yaakov or summed up isaac it would probably be our that we could use everywhere it'd probably be our phone number or our email yeah one of those two it's not our facebook handle like who knows that i don't know your social security number but that doesn't get shared right well that does share that but yeah it's your phone number or your or your email and how often do people change their phone numbers or their email they really don't never yeah just kind of open a new inbox but so that's a major intangible that that a lot of brands don't think about and they should be thinking about it how can i identify my customer and sms is definitely that way email is that way that's why it's email and sms so if there's one thing you would you give your audience just a piece of advice in terms of implementing sms if that's where they want to go this this coming year um just so that we can close on a high note what would you say what kind of advice would you give to our listeners should close on a high flyer note that's right high flyer you got to put that in every time now um on a high note i think um i think definitely try it out definitely at the very least turn on sms for transactional messaging because you'll endear yourself to your customer you'll get them signed up automatically because they're going to want to hear about where their package is what their order is order status and things like that so you may as well build up your list exactly like you said you want to build up that list and then get that get that um get that permission to text and marketing messages can sense a whole nother conversation yeah yeah consent you got to get that consent of course you got to get consent but like build it up slowly but start with you know offering the option of transactional because then they'll love you they'll love you forever right because you're you're just where they're going to be and i love getting texts about my where my package is i'd rather get that via text than that than you know emails yeah for sure that's actually one area with that well i definitely love that okay well yeah great so thanks everybody for listening and uh we'll catch you next time yeah looking forward to seeing your texts on my phone at our number and i'll get the text directly take care everybody


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