Any small business owner knows that the foundation to a solid customer relationship starts with good communication. Having quick and accurate correspondence is key when building rapport with your customers and cultivating a strong brand image. By keeping them up to date on the status of their purchases and other relevant events, customers can rest assured that future transactions will occur in predictable ways.
With technology making our society more connected than ever before, SMS communication still proves itself to be one of the most effective ways to interact with customers. According to a 2020 report by Techjury, text messages have an incredible 98% open rate, with 90% of them are seen within the first 3 minutes. Even more amazing is the fact that 75% of people don’t mind receiving text message alerts from brands that they’ve opted in to. Knowing that text messages are widely accepted and interacted with, here are some things to keep in mind when integrating text messages into your existing email marketing workflow.
What’s the Difference Between Email and SMS?
Although email and SMS are two popular forms of communication that can easily be combined, knowing what roles they fill within a marketing workflow is still important. By understanding the benefits of each one and leveraging them to fill in gaps left by the other, you can create an automated line of communication that builds customer confidence.
Email marketing is a great way to interact with your target audience through long-form communication. Whether it be a sale announcement, retargeting campaign, or just suggestions for recommended products, email can be a great way to engage with customers with richer content.
Email campaigns can also be a great way to build a visual identity for your brand and solidify your brand image, as they can contain layouts and designs that wouldn’t be possible through texts. Alloy offers tons of integrations to popular Shopify apps like Kalviyo and Omnisend to make it easy to automate your existing workflow.
SMS or text marketing is another way to keep your customers informed, particularly when it comes to smaller updates. With the shorter and simpler format of texts, this can be a great way to send quick shipping updates or reminders to customers. Alloy’s vast library of app integrations and recipes can also help you to automate your SMS marketing, making it easy to send personalized messages and handle replies from your customers.
8 Tips to Combine SMS with Email Messaging
1. Remember that SMS is a privilege, not a right Just like email messages, customers also have to opt-in in order to receive SMS notifications. While this means that they are most likely interested in what you have to say, this also means that they have provided consent for your business to communicate with them via text messages.
In order to respect this privilege, you should view SMS messages as a personalized way to interact with an engaged audience rather than as just another ad channel. By doing this, you can make sure that texts are adding value to the customer’s day rather than getting deleted or ignored under all of the other notifications they might be receiving.
2. Be concise Just like the early days of Twitter, text messages are limited to 160 characters. Although you could split messages across multiple texts, it’s much better to just get to the point. This not only saves your customers time but prevents your messages from appearing like spam.
This is one of the key ways that SMS can play off of longer email messages, as they can serve as quick reminders (“Your Order Has Shipped!”) or summaries (“Don’t Forget to Use Your Discount!”) for people who haven’t had the time to check their email.
3. Add a call to action When combining email and SMS marketing tactics, having a clear and incentivized call to action is an easy way to get people to sign up for texts and add value to their experience.
Some customers might not see the relevance of receiving messages across different formats; however, calls to action such as “Text ‘Hello!’ to 111111 and receive 20% off your next order!” can get them in the door. Once they have opted in, you can then use personalized messages that are catered to their interests to keep them coming back.
4. Personalize your messaging Texts are almost always delivered to your customer’s phone, a technology that has become deeply embedded in our everyday lives. Knowing how personal this platform can be, it is important to target your SMS marketing to a specific audience and make messages seem personal.
One key way this can be done is through segmenting your audience to understand their interests and desires. You can also leverage the insights you gain from email marketing responses to figure out what kind of content drives engagement and conversion the most. By doing some research into what your customers do and don’t like, you can create relevant messages that help build brand loyalty and make customers feel addressed.
5. SMS can be used to lure customers in Although emails can have more wiggle room when it comes to length, there is always the possibility that they become too long and unengaging. This can be solved by using SMS to lure customers in with key details of a longer email, allowing you to split your message across two mediums and convince them to keep reading later.
This can be key when launching new products or announcing major updates to your store, as a long-winded email can make this seem overwhelming for the consumer. By leading into these changes with short texts and giving customers the most important details first, these adjustments can be made more smoothly.
6. Don’t bombard your customers Though the 98% open rate of text messages might make it tempting to send several texts per week, you want to find the right frequency to avoid becoming a nuisance.
Since text messages are much shorter, their content also becomes more valuable. As a rule of thumb, marketing texts should be sent 2 times a week at most, with informational ones (such as order updates) being sent as needed. They should also be kept simple and easily comprehended, to avoid taking up too much of your customer’s time. By setting the correct expectations from the start, customers will be more likely to stay opted in and interact with your content.
7. Texting offers immediate gratification With almost 90% of texts being read within 3 minutes, SMS messaging can be a powerful way to get creative with your marketing and see the results immediately. This can be a great way to promote sales and drive traffic to your store, especially when it comes to time-sensitive deals.
For example, high-value customers could be reminded of sales that are about to end, encouraging them to check out products before they miss out on a good deal.
8. Long form emails build relationships, while SMS secures commitment While all communication with your customers should be kept short and to the point, there is no doubt that emails can fit more information than single texts. Keeping this in mind, the two can be used together to play off one another and build customer relationships that lead to actionable responses.
For example, your email marketing can be used to deliver newsletters and other longer updates to customers, keeping them informed of big events. After emails have been sent out, persuasive text messages can be used to seal the deal and drive sales by reminding them of your email’s key points.
Sample Alloy Workflow
Through Alloy’s powerful automation tools, merchants can streamline their email and text marketing workflows to send out persuasive and targeted messages. Using Alloy’s premade recipes makes it easy to do this, allowing you to automatically do things like segment your audience and send out relevant marketing copy. can easily segment your audience into distinct groups. By keeping the unique features of email and SMS in mind and following best practices, Alloy can help you combine the two into a powerful solution that keeps customers informed.