How to marry SMS and email marketing, and make it work for you

Email marketing is a powerful way to communicate with your customers. It’s cost-efficient, effective, and can easily reach virtually anyone in the world. 

SMS marketing is another tool that has an almost global reach.

While you may wonder if SMS marketing offers any value, text messages – as part of a comprehensive marketing strategy – offer your business the chance to connect with your customers almost immediately. It’s also cheap and great at converting people. 

With an email marketing plan that focuses on driving growth, you can put SMS marketing to work without spending a fortune. 

But before you craft your first message, you need to know how to use text messages as part of an email marketing campaign.

Can SMS marketing be an effective part of your email marketing strategy?

Digital marketers don’t use SMS marketing – or text message marketing – as often as they should. Until recently, most consumers didn’t find much value in receiving marketing offers through text messages. Some of them even found it pretty annoying. 

Like all technology, though, businesses have found a way to incorporate SMS marketing into their email marketing strategy. 

SMS marketing can be a powerful addition to any marketing strategy. With the right approach, text messages offer lucrative benefits like:

  • Generous open rates: Text messages are one of the most frequently read forms of communication. They have a 98% open rate, meaning SMS marketing is extremely effective at getting a message to your subscribers – up to five times more effective than your email campaigns. 

  • Significant engagement factor: Text messages can elicit more interaction from your subscribers. Their response rate is 209% higher than email, Facebook, or phone marketing. People are also quick to respond to text messages – within 90 seconds in many cases. Emails can take up to 90 minutes. 

  • Strong redemption rates: If your business uses SMS marketing to send coupons, you’ll see a higher redemption rate. Consumers redeem text message coupons 10 times more often than they do with other types of digital coupons. Text messages also have a 50% conversion rate.

global text messaging stats

Source: SlickText

As powerful as SMS marketing is, to be truly effective, it needs to be part of your email marketing strategy. That means you want to spend time creating a plan rather than sending one-off texts that don’t have a goal.  

How can you use SMS marketing in your email campaigns? 

SMS marketing as a standalone strategy might produce reasonable results, but it can be difficult to use it without a multichannel approach. To get the best results, you want to use SMS marketing to complement your email campaigns and drive people to perform a specific action. 

There are a few ways to incorporate SMS marketing in your email campaigns: 

  • Get feedback from your customers: You can follow up on email campaigns by asking customers to respond to questions or surveys. Since text messages have high open and response rates, you’re more likely to get legitimate responses than with emails alone. This is also a good way to get feedback about a recent purchase. 

example of a text screenshot

Source: Power Reviews

  • Boost your SMS subscriber base: Your email campaigns are an excellent way to increase your SMS subscriber base. You can include a shortcode for subscribers to opt in and tempt them with an exclusive offer for signing up. Alternatively, you can use text messages to grow your email list by including links to key landing pages that ask for email addresses. 

  • Send targeted promotions and discounts: You know that your customers are more likely to redeem coupons sent to them in a text, so capitalize on that by sending promotional texts that correspond to actions they’ve taken as a result of your email campaigns. This can include targeted offers because of where they clicked in an email as well as any site activity. 

These are just some of the most effective ways to include text messaging in your email campaigns. With a little inspiration, you can find new ways to touch base with your subscribers. 

3 creative ways to incorporate SMS marketing in your next email campaign

The right approach to SMS marketing depends on a few factors: your audience, goal, and strategy. A creative campaign that inspires your subscriber to do something requires a little bit of planning, though. These are some of the most creative ways to use SMS marketing in your email campaigns.

1. Host a giveaway that offers bonus entries for entering on different platforms

Giveaways are an excellent way to spread brand awareness. You can make it simple for people to sign up with their email addresses, then offer them several opportunities for bonus entries. That can include signing up for text messages, as well as following your organization on multiple social media platforms. You can even give people bonus entries for referring friends to the giveaway. 

Pro tip: To boost the giveaway’s potential, team up with other businesses to put together a full package of products or services. This can get your brand in front of an entirely new audience, which increases both your reputation and conversions. 

2. Send exclusive loyalty offers with a clear, compelling call-to-action (CTA)

Businesses that have a loyalty program can use SMS marketing to encourage follow-up purchases. You can include exclusive discount codes for online and in-store use, but that’s just the beginning. You can also offer customers the chance to earn bonus points towards their loyalty rewards. This is a great way to encourage additional spending, especially if your customers are close to a reward threshold.

Pro tip: Include an expiration date to inspire a sense of urgency in your customers. You want them to feel like this is a personal offer that they just can’t pass up. A smart strategy is to give them 24- to 48-hours to take advantage of the offer.

3. Remind customers about upcoming events and expiring promotions

Text messages don’t just have to be coupons and requests for more information. They’re a practical tool for reminding your customers about things they don’t want to miss. If your business offers appointments, you can send reminders about upcoming dates via email and text. You can also use SMS marketing to remind people about email promotions you’ve sent previously.

example of text offer

Source: Power Reviews

Pro tip: Use a short link to get your customers to your website or their account information. Try to keep routine reminders consistent. Send them at the same time so your customers know what to expect. This can inspire confidence, especially for critical reminders.

Best practices for adding SMS marketing to your marketing plan

Even though consumers are generally becoming more tolerant of SMS marketing, it’s still a relatively personal form of communicating with your subscribers. As with email marketing, it’s critical to ask people for permission before adding them to your marketing list. 

In addition to opt-in language, there are other SMS marketing best practices you need to follow to keep from annoying your subscribers:

  • Be respectful of timing: Most people have their phones on them all day. From waking them up in the morning to helping them wind down for bed, your subscribers are perpetually connected. That doesn’t mean you can text them at any time. You need to find the optimal time to send SMS marketing campaigns based on your audience and industry. 

  • Include the appropriate disclosures: While unlimited text messaging is common, some people still have data limits and message rates to consider when they sign up for SMS marketing offers. It’s crucial to include disclosures about your campaigns when people sign up. You also want to let people know how to unsubscribe from your text messages.  

  • Keep it concise and simple: Since you want to be mindful of how many messages you send per month, it’s a good idea to make your SMS marketing campaigns as concise as possible. That means getting straight to the offer and staying within standard character limits. Include short links if you want to expand on the message in your text.  

Think of your text message as a social media post without the images – you need a solid hook and an offer that entices people to click on your CTA.

Wrap up

SMS marketing is an incredible tool that doesn’t get a lot of use. You can get ahead of your competitors by capitalizing on this personal marketing trend, but you need to use the right approach to keep your customers from sending that dreaded “stop” message. 

These three takeaways should get you on the right path:

  • SMS marketing should complement the content in your email campaigns.

  • Get straight to the point, offer value, and be consistent in your copy.

  • Use A/B testing to determine the best day and time to send text messages. 

Don’t forget that you can incorporate SMS marketing and email marketing into a multichannel marketing strategy that includes social media and video marketing. With a well-rounded approach, you can see a boost in your conversion rates and return on investment (ROI).

Looking for a comprehensive email marketing tool? Emma makes it easy for businesses to create the perfect email campaigns to complement their SMS marketing strategy – schedule your demo today.

About the Author

Emma Email

Emma is an email marketing platform that gives you all the tools you need to send campaigns that really connect with your subscribers. With our​​ powerful automation and personalization features, you can create and send email campaigns that reach the right customer at just the right time. It's email marketing that works for you.

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