The role of SMS in multichannel marketing

Topic: Esendex news, How-to guides

Communicating via SMS has a broad appeal for many businesses and is used by many marketers today, sometimes independently of any other communication tool. When 98% of text messages are read vs. 29% of Tweets, 12% of Facebook posts and 20% of emails (Frost & Sullivan 2010, Slick Text 2013), who’d blame them?
If SMS alone has such great engagement rates then what would the marketing potential be if a business integrated SMS alongside other communication channels?
As with any marketing strategy, it’s important to understand how your customers work, live and play. If, for example, a brand was to offer clothing based on catwalk fashion, it is likely that the target audience would be aged between 16-35 and active on social media. The marketing communication channels and tone of voice must be adapted to target these customers effectively.
A database of customers would need to be managed in such a way so that you know which marketing channels each customer uses so that appropriate messages can be sent to each segment.
Imagine that well known fashion icon is invited to a store for an autograph session with customers. Using a multichannel approach, customers residing 10 miles of the store could be invited, two weeks in advance, via email. At the same time the event could be promoted on the website.  It would then be a good idea to send an SMS reminder, the week before and on the morning of event. Twitter could also be used leading up to the event and at the event, including live tweets and photos.
To add greater impact to the communication a sale incentive could be integrated into the message, for example: 20% off all clothing that has design influence from the fashion icon.
So, let’s go through the process…

  • Email: Although the open rate is only 20%, using digital content like videos and images is likely to wet your customers’ appetite.
  • Website:  As the email open rate is low, broadcasting the message on the website is an excellent way to communicate to its visitors.
  • SMS: With a 98% open rate, this helps to effectively remind customers and encourages an impulsive decision (important to send in the morning prior the event – a time when people are planning their day). You can also include a hyperlink in the text message to drive people to the website – this certainly has value as the majority of the target audience will have smart phones. It’s also worth mentioning that people forward SMS – making your SMS campaign go viral.
  • Twitter: Perfect for sharing messages live, it’s also easy to share a photo which increases interactions – so although only 29% of tweets are read, a simple tweet can be retweeted to thousands of people in a matter of seconds.

This is just one example of how SMS can be integrated into a communication strategy to increase the effectiveness of other channels. As always, if you’d like any advice on how best to use your SMS messages please get in touch – 0845 356 5758.

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Hannah