Email Marketers SMS Marketing Guide

Cathrine Leffler

May 7, 2020

Use Cases

TL;DR -
Many bulk email marketers are trying SMS because they already have the data they can use SMS to market to their clients.

In SMSEdge we've been working with many email marketers who want to integrate SMS into their marketing. Here's what we learned,


SMS is similar to email marketing in
👉 Your success will be determined determined by the quality of your list.
👉 You'll need to manage contacts, campaigns, creatives, sending times in a similar way you'll manage it in email.


SMS pros compared to email
✅ There are not as much delivery issues like you'll see in email.
✅ CTRs are considerably higher.
✅ Creatives are much easier, up to 160 chars.


SMS cons compared to email
❌ The price per message is considerably higher when compared to email, making it like media buying almost.
❌ It's much more aggressive, the person's phone beeps. He'll get annoyed much faster.
❌ Not many offers have a mobile number opt in in them.



To start with SMS marketing
🛂 Start with the best list segment (geo, gender etc') and offer that previously worked, to get a benchmark.
🛂 Send your first campaign through an SMS platform - measure, ROI, clicks, leads and sales.
🛂 If it has positive ROI work on scaling, if it doesn't check why.


⚠️ While it's not hard to incorporate SMS when you already have the data. There's a learning curve to go through, like any other traffic channel.



Good luck :)


SMS works well for mailers because they usually already have phone number in their lists and it's just a matter of how to make the most out of them. In SMSEdge we've been working with many email marketers who look to incorporate SMS marketing into their marketing and that's what we learned to be important for them to know.

SMS marketing is often an overlooked tactic for marketers when comparing to the more “conventional” form of mass email marketing. However with the world firmly moving towards the age of texting, text is becoming an effective way to generates sales.

The "bar" for sending bulk SMS campaigns is low, as the "creatives" (texts) are simpler (160 chars, even less when counting the link), the delivery is easier, and there are basically much less to worry about. With that said, the high price ($0.01 to $0.05 per SMS) means you need to make sure you spend your budgets wisely.

This bulk email type parts of

  • managing lists
  • creatives
  • offers
  • campaigns

makes SMS similar to Email, on the side the other side that the high price per SMS makes it similar to media buying.

Essentially - SMS Marketing =~~ (parts of) MEDIA BUYING + (parts of) EMAIL MARKETING. :)

Along with increasing email related issues such as overloaded inboxes, low open rates and delivery issues has made many email marketers shift their focus towards bulk SMS marketing or to consider integrating it into their overall strategy. 

In the article we’ll shed some light from our experience as to what you’ll need to know when transitioning to SMS marketing and what are the main differences you can expect.

 

SMS Has Higher Open Rates Than Email 

SMS marketing has a more aggressive edge and sense of urgency. When consumers receive a text message there is an impulse to open it almost immediately.

Alternatively you might wait a few hours or even days to read an email and this is largely due to the inconsistent flow of communication with this type of medium. This insight is also emphasized by comparing the open rates between the two, as SMS has a 98 percent open rate compared to just 20 percent for emails. 

 

Consumers are becoming more ADHD and have trouble concentrating long enough to read an entire email until they finally get to the link. Texts are simple, short and get straight to the aim and link in the message.

We’ve seen the average click-through rate for links at about 25 percent, compared to 3.2 percent for emails. Clicks through text also come through much faster, taking just 3 minutes on average. Having a faster click rate cannot be understated as the faster marketers can view results, the faster they can adapt and optimize their campaigns. 

 

Getting users attention with SMS

SMS is considerably more expensive than Email

The cost per email is undeniably low (a fraction of a cent, even when considering the time invested in the infrastructure and creative) when compared to the cost of SMS, which ranges between 1c to 5c on average, depending on the country, volume and type of offer you deliver.

The high price per text message is mainly due to the telecom operators which you pay for the “permission” to text their subscribers. Email also requires designs and graphics in order to appeal to a mass audience while SMS marketing is limited to 160 characters and a link, so there are no design and creativity costs linked to it.

Here is quick example to understand the numbers behind a Massive Bulk SMS marketing campaign

Beam me up scotty! - Start Sending SMS Campaigns

The essentials for SMS marketing include a list of clients, an offer and good ad texts. You know that “numbers” column on your customer list, many companies/marketers often sit on tons of opt-in data they can reuse for SMS marketing which can create an entirely new revenue stream for their business.

 

Here’s a basic flow of any SMS marketing platform

  1. Uploading and cleaning a list.
  2. Sending initial campaign to get a benchmark
  3. Rinse and repeat, scale what works and eliminate what doesn’t.

 

Example of the SMSEdge flow when sending

 

It’s important to be mindful of the SMS price, so it’s wise to start with your best list and country. Once you send the initial campaign, then you’ll get a better understanding if SMS marketing works for you. It really doesn’t make much to see a high ROI with very little effort.

 

The bottleneck of most SMS marketers is the list, like email you’re only as good as your list is.

 

Watch out for over optimization

As describe by Zeno's Arrow Paradox - basically when measuring always half the distance of an arrow to the target the arrow will never arrive to it's destination.

1m, 0.5m, 0.25m, 0.125m, 0.0625m.. to infinity.

Be sure to balance the ad text, rotating offers and similar with the actual work of sending the campaigns. Generally, if it works focus on scaling, if it doesn't see what in the flow is broken (No clicks? no signups? no sales?) Each step might mean a different part of the funnel you should focus your efforts on.

Click here to send your first campaign with SMSEdge.


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