Many businesses around the world use email and text messaging to communicate with their customers because they are two of the most popular channels. Our entire lives revolve around email and text messaging. We communicate with family, friends, colleagues, business partners, utility companies, our favorite retailers, and more. We receive our bills, invoices, reminders, offers, promotions, booking by email and SMS, which makes them two of the most visited communication channels.
According to McKinsey, email is 40 times as effective as Twitter and Facebook for customer acquisition, while over 6 billion text messages are sent every day. Together they make two strong advocates for brand-customer interactions and communication.
In this article, we want to show you how combining the power of email and text messaging can increase your business revenue, retain customers, and achieve better conversions.
So, we agreed on the popularity of these two channels. But how are they different?
The most obvious differences are the content and deliverability. With text messaging you are limited to 160 characters per SMS, while email doesn’t have a specific limit to the number of characters.
Also, another difference is that SMS arrives on mobile devices instantly and they pop up on the phone screen immediately, whereas email is usually downloaded via your computer or phone periodically. Sometimes, you don’t get notified if you receive an email unless you turn the notifications on from your phone settings.
An email is dependent on an internet connection to download, while an SMS is sent instantly without depending on wireless.
Cost is another factor to keep in mind. For bulk text messaging and email, businesses have to pay a cost per send. Usually, the cost per text is a bit higher than email because phone network companies charge themselves a minimum delivery fee.
In both cases, companies need to have consent from customers to contact them directly on both communication channels to comply with GDPR policies.
Greater conversions can be reached with increased customer engagement. Techniques for engaging customers come in many forms and shapes. From marketing strategies, customer care, product enrichment, and stronger connections.
However, not all channels can engage customers in the same way. And don’t forget about how industries play a huge factor in open rates.
According to Mailchimp, the highest open rates are found in government-related emails, with an open rate of 28.77%, while the retail industry hits only 12% open rates.
If retail is your target industry, then you might want to consider text messaging because statistics show that the open rate for text messaging is as high as 48.75% compared to email. When we look at engagement rates such as click-through rates and other interactions, we find that rich messaging provides an average rate of 43.15% compared to a 2.1% engagement rate in email.
Grab your customer’s attention with a short text to create interest. Give as little or as much information as needed. If you need to send a quick alert, choose a short SMS, stating facts and next steps.
Customers have preferred communication channels. Speak to them and gather this information to see where they’d like you to send notifications, and at what times. You could either send a survey capturing all this information or ask your account manager to consult each customer.
If you can determine the intent for your customer journeys, then you will be able to choose between email, texts, or a merge to deliver the message. For example, you may choose to send a short text message to complement your email campaign or alert them of an email coming through. This can be for new products, brand updates, offers, and promotions.
Whether it’s a rich media message or an email, they each come with a landing page. Creating highly effective and visually appealing landing pages has proven to be a decisive factor in conversions.
Needless to say, this is one of the most important factors. Whether your goal is to sell more, send users to a landing page, get feedback, increase views, or download something, it’s imperative to urge the user or customer to take that action, so make sure it’s being reinforced in all communication.
Send thank you emails or messages based on your customer’s activities. Appreciating a new order or the completion of a survey establishes your brand’s credibility and trust. Higher conversions always follow when customers feel valued and appreciated.
The first step is deciding what channels are best suitable for the nature of communication. Transactional activities are different from bulk because they are triggered by individual events such as booking confirmations, purchases, appointments, so they contain more information than promotional purposes.
In the case of bulk messaging, be it via email or text, the purpose is to inform your entire contact database if there is a problem, a change, or to advertise. It might be the launch of a new product, a new feature to your services, a seasonal promotion, or a discount code.
Brands across many industry sectors are using omnichannel strategies where they can reach out to customers or the customers can reach out to them on multiple channels such as voice, SMS, email, WhatsApp, Viber, live chats, apps, etc. While offering a plethora of channels is a good thing, many companies suffer from channel fragmentation.
While customers have their preferred channels, you have to also consider that they prefer a certain time and date to be contacted. Not knowing all of these details can impact your CX.
For example, 49% of customers prefer to receive customer support via SMS rather than a call or email. If you respond to customer queries via email because it’s easier and that’s where you train your staff to respond, it’s likely that your customer will not be happy.
Prevent having channel fragmentation by reaching customers on the right channel, at the right time, with the right message. That’s where optichannel communication strategies make all the difference.
Email marketing and text messaging represent two of the biggest drivers in customer engagement. While SMS marketing is quickly growing, email remains an essential part of any business communication. When paired correctly, the potential to meet and surpass your objectives, needs, and wants becomes possible.
Cristina Ionita is a Digital Marketing and Lead Generation Manager at VoiceSage. She’s passionate about content marketing and organic, inbound marketing strategies, she dedicates her time researching new technology trends to write about.