SMS/text marketing

How do you decide when to use text messaging vs. email for your marketing programs? Or should you use them both as part of your campaigns?

The answer is, it depends.

Your choice should revolve around the specific goals of your program, the audiences you want to engage with and the type of content you’ll deliver.

The strengths of text messaging vs email

Both channels have their strengths, so it isn’t a clear either/or choice. The choice for your company may also be different than for another, once again, depending on the variables.

Text messaging

Texting is a much more natural form of communication in today’s digital world. Generations of the digital age prefer it over any other channel. It’s immediate, interactive and until now, hasn’t been spoiled by over-zealous marketers.

  • Text messaging is a better channel for attracting new prospects and engaging them in early conversations, given the 90%+ read rate and 6X response rates vs email.
  • It offers a powerful, non-invasive way to ask questions that help you understand interest areas and intent, and begin to create personalized conversations that will compel leads to move forward.
  • Text messaging lends itself to delivering shorter or digital content, although many digital natives are happy to read a 20-page document on their mobile devices.
  • Is obviously the highly preferred channel for younger audiences, since they are the true digital natives.

Email has been so heavily over-used by some marketers that it’s not a good channel for capturing the attention of many prospects. It’s low open and read rates make it a poor channel for any sort of attraction in today’s world.

  • It is a better channel for engaging and retaining traditional customers who are accustomed to communicating via email. Many customers already expect your emails and updates, and prefer this form of communication.
  • Email is usually a better option when you’re delivering long-form content like whitepapers, longer articles, contracts and other lengthy documentation. Many people don’t want to read such documents on a mobile device.
  • For programs that deliver regularly scheduled content, for example newsletters or customer support updates, email may be a better choice.
Blended campaigns

We believe the best option for many marketers isn’t a text messaging vs email choice. It’s the blending of both to create an optimal communication flow that balances attraction and engagement with ease of content delivery. Here are some basic parameters for blending text messaging and email.

  • Use text messaging to initially attract your new leads and engage with fresh prospects. It’s a much more compelling way to attract new audience members.
  • Use text messaging to ask them simple questions about their interest areas, problems, and other information that helps you and your sales teams better personalize each conversation.
  • When they respond to a message that offers long-form content, for example, a guide or white paper, ask them whether they prefer delivery via text or email. Also, be sure to ask current leads and customers who opt in to your text messaging communications which channel they prefer. That’s the beauty of blended conversations, each audience member gets their own choice.
  • For those who prefer, use email as an option to deliver long-form content, or for all communications if that’s what your audience member prefers.
  • When it comes to regularly scheduled long-form content, like newsletters, customer support updates, product updates etc., post the content on a webpage as well as creating a standalone document. Share the document via email with those who prefer, while you can text the url to those who requested text messaging communication.

We believe the next generation of successful marketing programs will be based on the blended approach described above. Next week, we’ll walk through an example of such a campaign with more details. We’ll share how to create the optimum balance to attract more leads, then compel more of your pipeline to actually read and digest your content, then quickly move them through your pipeline and into sales.

If you haven’t yet adopted business text messaging software, and are interested in learning more about what you can do with SMS, feel free to schedule a demo and we’d be happy to share our expertise with you, answer questions and show you what text messaging can do for your marketing results.

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