By now, everyone agrees that the most effective way to increase engagement and conversion of your marketing campaigns is to “send the right message, to the right person, at the right time”.
However, in today’s increasingly hyper-personalized world, this is no longer good enough. We now also need to consider sending “to the right channel”.
Sophisticated marketers appreciate the fact that automated Customer journey maps help marketers better understand their customers and identify opportunities to strengthen and build long-term relationships. Yet, these customer journeys often only use one channel, typically email.
Leveraging different channels at multiple touchpoints is an integral part of the overall Customer Journey. In addition to email, another channel that you should be considering is SMS. If not, you may be missing out on an important opportunity to connect with your customers.
How often do you check email? Now what about your phone? What better push channel than SMS, then, to send short, timely, personalized reminders about events, deliveries, reservations and appointments to customers? While email is better for long-form and more creative messaging, SMS is ideal for short and time-sensitive notifications.
SMS has been generally adopted as a common (and often the preferred) method for day-to-day communications. Over 1.6 trillion SMS messages are sent annually worldwide. Here’s the most recent breakdown:
- Asia-Pacific: 665 billion messages
- The Americas: 641 billion messages
- Europe: 288 billion messages
- Africa and the Middle East: 81 billion messages
Moreover, the engagement rate for SMS is outstanding. SMS is almost always opened instantly and read. Here are some key metrics:
- On average, 90%+ of all SMS are opened and read compared to 20% of email.
- Comparative response times are impressive as well: 90 minutes for email versus 90 seconds for SMS.
With these numbers, it is no wonder more businesses are starting to use SMS as part of their marketing mix. However, a strategic approach needs to be taken when pairing SMS and email as part of your automated customer journey. Each channel has unique characteristics that need to be considered.
SMS is a quick and easy way for customers to provide invaluable feedback and rate your business. An effective SMS campaign can make customer onboarding a breeze, improving customer experience. Considering an internal communications campaign? An SMS blast to employees is a sure-fire way to get everyone’s attention. Used strategically, and not intrusively, SMS allows you to engage with audiences on a platform that’s convenient for them. Your helpful assistance keeps your brand top of mind.
Ready to give SMS a try?
To get you started, here are a few key elements that can help turn your email and SMS pairing from ordinary to outstanding:
- All successful email and SMS campaigns start with a strong database of qualified customers and/or prospects. Being GDPR/CAN-SPAM/CASL compliant not only ensures that you stay on the right side of regulatory bodies, it’ll provide you with a rich email and telephone database that will increase open, response and click-through rates.
- Understand your customer’s journey. Choose the right channel for the right message and call-to-action. Email marketing is usually most powerful when it is informative and incentivizing. SMS is often best used when managing the customer relationship through helpful and timely reminders about things like appointments, reservations and renewals. Your customer journey may be unique to your business. Tailor it according to your clients’ habits and preferences for a winning combination of email and SMS communication.
- Test, test, test. With Symplify, your vision for your customer journey can be validated in test mode, through the “Walk me through my Journey” flow preview. You’ll receive a summary of your Journey starter. Prompts will display if any settings are missing, and can easily be fixed. You’ll be able to see how your message will display in every channel and on every platform. Your matches will be counted, and you’ll be able to verify contact attribute data. If you’ve included a split in your customer journey, you’ll be able to follow each individual path to completion.