How do customers want you to reach them? It depends on when you ask them. But we do know a few things about what customers almost always prefer: 76% of customers prefer speed over resolution, and 61% prefer convenience.
That means you need a system in place for replying to customers as you market to them, whether that comes through texting or emailing. But SMS and email can be leveraged together as well. They’re not only the most common ways to interact with customers, but they’re capable tools for managing your marketing campaigns—if you know how to use them properly.
The pros and cons of texting
Texting is immediate, interactive, and ubiquitous. So why can’t every marketer figure out how to market with texting effectively? Knowing how to handle text marketing means understanding its capabilities as well as its limits.
- Interactivity. Text messaging is nothing if not interactive. It happens in real-time. Like chat, email, and phone calls, contacting customers via smart phones can provide your marketing campaign with a personal touch.
- Monitoring. If you were to place an ad in the paper for your services, you’d have to manually ask each caller how they found you. But managing a text campaign means easy analytics and reporting.
- Time management. With texts, you can use automatic time-sensitive appointment reminders to handle much of your business for you.
- Limitation. How much marketing can you do in just a few characters—essentially a “tweet” at a time? There’s no opportunity for long-form content when texting.
- The SMS marketing “spam” stigma. Reaching out via mass text with an advertisement sometimes carries a stigma, so it’s vital that when you do use text marketing, you do it in a way that offers value.
The pros and cons of emailing
Email marketing is one of the most successful ways to get people to hear your message. It allows for creativity, fun, and genuine value created for the customer. But it also has some flaws that are worth noting if you’re going to create a worthwhile marketing campaign:
- Results. Email marketing can be one of your most powerful tools. With high enough open rates, it generates a high return on investment, especially given how inexpensive it is to use.
- Creativity. You’ll have more room to be creative in an email, leveraging HTML/plain text to its fullest possible extent can have positive effects for your brand perception.
- Strategy. Building an email campaign like individual chapters within a novel rather than random messages can help you with higher open rates, making the most of every email client you have and leveraging the strength of your email newsletter to generate instant sales.
- It’s hard to start from nowhere. Part of the appeal of email marketing is that you’re communicating to warm leads. But what if you don’t have any leads at all?
- Consistency. Email marketing is best when done consistently. Email marketing platforms can help with this, but it’s always up to you to update the content and keep your email newsletter fresh.
How to leverage texting and email together in your marketing campaigns
Put together, email and text messaging can be more than the sum of their parts. Email can help fill in the blanks of your small text messages, and texts can provide the interactivity you don’t get from sending out mass emails. And since everyone’s on their phone more than ever, the lines are blurred. That’s why 73% of today’s companies include mobile optimization when beginning a new email campaign.
The only remaining question: how do you use these two powerful tools together to create effective marketing campaigns?
- Begin lead capturing immediately. Lead pages that convert both phone numbers for SMS marketing and emails will give you a list of warm leads. Do as much as you can to incentivize email and SMS sign-ups and ensure that every message you send out is to a warm lead.
- Keep your calls-to-action simple. For a service-based business, including your business phone number at the end of a message is a simple way to direct your customer’s attention the right way. Don’t overcomplicate your CTA.
- Add a personal element. When you text or email someone, it shouldn’t sound like a robot wrote it. Even if you have to use the same message for every customer, include a human touch. Add humor. Make it clear that there’s a person on the other side of the screen, and not a program.
- Monitor and tweak. Then monitor and tweak again. Texting and email both have the advantage of analytics. You can easily view just how effective each campaign is. If you aren’t taking advantage of your analytics, you’re only spinning your wheels. With each new campaign, update your strategy and ditch what didn’t work the last time out.
Integrating email and SMS marketing with your existing structure
If you’ve never done it before, taking on email and SMS marketing campaigns can seem like a lot. But try to think of these strategies as simple ways to handle customer outreach. Done effectively, they can fit neatly into your existing structure.
For example, Grasshopper Connect can help you respond to customers by creating a singular inbox for all of your marketing texting and emailing. You won’t have to worry about these marketing campaigns continually adding new channels you’ll have to check every day. They’ll simply fit into your regular inbox, ensuring that you can contact each customer with the speed they require. With 76% of customers preferring speed over resolution, being in touch with customers is more important than ever.
Done effectively, you can create a unified messaging plan that will handle your outreach without overwhelming you when hundreds of new customers come texting, emailing, or calling. It will allow you to build SMS and email campaigns that don’t interfere with your usual outreach strategies, giving you the capacity to establish rapport with customers, build trust, and easily search through your business contacts in one interface.