I’m a big fan of text messaging. It could be because I’m a bit introverted, but I think texting is the BEST way to communicate your message in an easily digestible manner.
HOW IS SMS USEFUL?
SMS is conversational commerce at its finest. You can simply dialogue with customers worldwide as if you were a friend. Your customer service team can simply text back answers to questions like “where’s my order?” or “can I place a re-order?” Whole conversations can occur in SMS which isn’t possible within the email channel. If there’s a person behind the email, there’s certainly one behind the text. SMS connects with those people conversationally and is promotional.
WHAT IS THE PROMOTIONAL SIDE OF SMS?
On the promotional side of SMS, you can summarize a great campaign in just 140 characters or even with an MMS Gif. You don’t need a full marketing team to design eye-catching creatives, QA your entire email, and then track a whole slew of metrics. SMS is easier to launch, has a quicker impact, has higher engagement rates, and, well, is pretty fun!
INDUSTRY STATISTICS OF SMS:
Just look at some of the great industry statistics about SMS for e-commerce that I compiled:
- 98% of text messages are read by the end of the day.
- 74% of consumers report having zero unread texts, and only 4% report having seven or more unread texts.
- 67% of people would rather text a business about appointments and schedule instead of communicating by email or phone call.
- 32% of consumers respond to promotional text messages from retailers.
- 48% of U.S. consumers prefer SMS loyalty communication over direct mail, email, or application loyalty communications.
REASONS WHY EMAIL AND SMS NEED TO WORK IN TANDEM:
Remember that it takes at least eight touchpoints before a customer will make a purchase. Email and SMS are just a couple of those touchpoints. Of course, if you have the opportunity to market to customers via email or SMS instead of paying to reach people on search and social, you’ll save money and keep more profits. In addition, some customers prefer one channel over the other. I’m a fan of texts for quick alerts, but my wife prefers email. On the flip side, if I’m in shopping mode, I’m going to scan my email promotions to check for a sale or new arrival I’d like; it’s not so easy to do that in a text. And with SMS, I’d only sign up for my favorite brands, not the most brands. With email, I can sign up and categorize those emails, so they’re not clogging my primary inbox.
Long story short: everyone has a channel preference, so there’s no chance SMS would replace email.
Finally, since SMS is a newer marketing channel, it’s currently additive to email. If you decided to replace your cart abandon email with a cart abandon SMS, your revenue would take a nosedive. It’s just not good business sense to remove one channel in favor of another.
SMS will allow you to communicate with customers who prefer SMS or simply don’t engage with email. So, in the situation of a cart abandon, an email follow-up may be ignored, but an SMS cart abandon could be attention-grabbing.
Or, if you sent a Black Friday campaign on Friday at 9 AM and a reminder SMS at 3 PM, you could see a good incremental lift over simply sending another email.
Imagine all the situations where you can add SMS to an existing campaign or workflow. What you as a marketer need to do is measure the incrementality of having SMS vs. not having SMS. I can personally attest that when email and SMS work together, you’ll see a strong incremental lift to your overall channel revenue and higher customer lifetime value. I will continue with the steps you can follow to achieve this goal in my next blog post.