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Digital Marketing

Combining SMS + Email: What’s the Best Approach?

Email marketing has long been one of the most powerful digital marketing channels available to brands looking to maximize their revenue and connect with leads and customers. But recently, a new player has entered the space: text message, or SMS, marketing. 

Many marketers have found themselves scratching their heads on how to not only incorporate SMS into their existing digital marketing agency’s efforts, but also on how to ensure it complements their email strategy. In this article, we’ll be walking through how to combine your email and SMS marketing strategies to maximize results!

The Differences Between SMS + Email 

More and more companies are utilizing SMS marketing in addition to email marketing. There’s no doubt that SMS marketing is a powerful tool, boasting engagement rates 6-8 times higher than email. It’s important to understand the differences between email SMS to optimize your internet marketing services. 

Email → is a great medium for sending longer, richer messages that include images and attachments. Emails provide more opportunities to convert than SMS, as emails can include more links, CTAs, and stories. This allows marketers to focus on educating and nurturing. Email is perfect for sending newsletters, tips, and testimonials. Research shows that 90% of users check their inbox at least once a day. Emails have an average open rate of 20% and an average click-through rate of 2.5%, and email marketing returns $42 for every $1 spent. 

SMS → is the perfect communication channel for concise, timely information or discounts. SMS has much higher engagement metrics than email, with a 98% open rate and 29% click-through rate. SMS is great for promotions, but not ideal for content aimed at educating and nurturing. SMS has a 160 character limit, creating a need to keep messages short and concise. SMS marketing is also more expensive than email marketing. Use SMS best practices for limited product offers, reminders, urgent updates, purchase confirmations, and promotions. 

SMS Best Practices 

There’s no doubt that SMS marketing is one of the most personal forms of marketing, which reinforces the need to tread carefully. How can you engage your customers rather than annoy them?

  • Get permission: Similar to email marketing, it’s incredibly important to make sure you have the contact’s permission before you contact them. Every single person you send a text to must have opted in to receive messages from you. This means requesting customers opt-in via an online form or inviting them to text a word to a phone number or shortcode. It’s also critical that you provide contacts opportunities to opt-out from receiving your messages. 
  • Ensure your messages are time-sensitive: Make sure to take time zones into consideration when sending out messages. It’s important that your SMS provider automatically sends your texts to your customers at the right time, depending on their time zone. This ensures that your text won’t annoy anyone in the middle of the night. 
  • Keep your copy short and to the point: No one wants to receive a marketing text message that’s a paragraph long. Keep your copy short, to the point, and easy to read. 
  • Consider using an auto-responder: Using an auto-responder to engage in conversation with your customers can be extremely powerful. By giving your customers the opportunity to ask questions, give feedback, or seek more information, you’re creating a strong foundation for your customer relationships. 
  • Resonate with your audience segment: When writing a text message, put yourself in the shoes of your audience segment. What kind of content do they want to receive? What sales or products might be important to them? Personalization is key. 
  • Include an actionable CTA: What is the intended result of your SMS campaign? Is it to drive traffic to your website? Do you want people to take advantage of your sale? Whatever your goal may be, it’s crucial that you be specific about what action you’d like your audience to take. Include a link to your product page and be direct in your wording. Use phrases like “Check out our newest edition!” or “Shop now before it’s too late!” 
  • Limit how often you send: The easiest way to turn a customer away is by spamming them with text messages. While the frequency of your text messages will depend on your goals, we recommend aiming to send two texts per week. 
  • Consider your SMS provider: When choosing an SMS provider, you’ll want to pick one with an extensive carrier network that will allow you to reach customers in many geographic areas. You’ll want a provider that can grow with your SMS marketing and can send text and picture messages quickly and efficiently. 

Striking a Balance

Striking a balance between email vs text is crucial to marketing for your business, especially in the world we live in today. Email has been the true-and-tried method of mass marketing communication. But now with mobile devices in the picture, SMS is now a very efficient and effective way to communicate with your customers. The average person spends 5.4 hours a day on their mobile device. To put it more into perspective, the average person takes 90 minutes to respond to an email and 90 seconds to respond to a text. Crazy right? Understanding when to use SMS and when to use email is very important.

The Best Approach for Combining Both Methods

Email marketing should be used for longer, richer messaging that includes photos and important links. Good examples of when to use email includes order confirmation, newsletters, product launches, promos, or educational content. These messages should not be very time sensitive and are usually saved for future reference. Depending on the industry and how promotion heavy the brand is, the sends per month is going to vary. Usually, it ranges from 4-10 sends a month. 

On the other hand, SMS marketing is best for short and concise messages that are time sensitive. Good examples of when to use SMS includes tracking information, flash sales, and restocks. It is important to cap your sends for text marketing to 1-2 each week. You do not want to be an inconvenience to your customers. 

As you can see, both email and SMS marketing have their strengths. The use of them together can leverage your business over its competitors while you build brand awareness and build meaningful relationships with your customers.


Digital Marketing

5 Best Practices To Supercharge Your Landing Pages

At Power Digital Marketing, we know how difficult it is to build a high converting landing page for your business and industry vertical, but with these five best practices we hope we can get you started on the right foot towards a higher conversion rate and lead generation. Now there are more than just five landing page best practices, but today we’ll be going over the ones that we’ve seen transform into a high converting landing page again and again in testing and implementation with over a hundred clients. 

The key to utilizing these landing page best practices and getting higher conversion rates requires us to be analytical with the data we are seeing with our tools like Unbounce and Hotjar/Lucky Orange (for heat mapping) and being consistent with our A/B testing. Now assuming you have a strategy for testing and have set up your tools properly, let’s dive into our CRO marketing best practices.

Best Practice #1: Have only one conversion goal and CTA

To start off this list, we have a relatively simple yet often overlooked philosophy of only having one conversion goal and a CTA button that aligns with said goal. Why do we want to only have one path to conversion on our landing page design? 

Let’s say you were running a PPC campaign with a very clear CTA that a potential customer clicks on and lands on your page that has several different CTAs and conversion possibilities. Not only is your PPC manager mad at you because their conversions are going down the drain, but your website visitor is more likely to go down another path, away from your offer. The reason we call them landing pages and not websites is because they are very specialized for one goal; adding multiple goals to a landing page is like poking holes in your straw while drinking — very inefficient and frustrating.

So when you are building out a landing page strategy, make sure you only have one concrete conversion goal and offer on the page. Not only will you see an increase in your conversion rate, but it makes creating content for said page a lot easier if everything is driving towards a singular goal. 

Best Practice #2: Make sure your offer is appropriate for the stage of the funnel

That seems like it should be common sense, but isn’t followed nearly as much. If I just heard about your brand from an article I read, I’m not likely to immediately convert to an offer that exists at the bottom of your funnel and request a quote or proposal. Now would I be willing to give you my email for an ebook or similar low-stakes offer? Potentially, if the content was relevant to me. 

When using landing pages as a part of a PPC campaign, you might not need to worry too much about a potential customer being at the right part of the funnel because a good PPC manager will make sure they are going after the right target audience. However, it’s still something you need to consider during the planning stages of your landing page optimization strategies and deciding what content would be appropriate for someone at that stage of the funnel.

Best Practice #3: Use a multi-step form

Now, this best practice is specific to a lead-generation landing page, but is crucial to increasing your conversion rates for pages that include forms with more than four input fields. In practice, a multi-step form breaks up several fields into multiple steps, hence the name “multi-step.” When a visitor completes one step of the form, they continue on to the next step, until the form is submitted.

The strategy behind multi-step forms is the idea that visitors are more likely to complete something that they’ve started. This stems from project management psychology that we as humans don’t want our efforts to go to waste once a task is started, also known as “sunk costs.” That is why we want the first step of the multi-step form to be the easiest to complete.

The key to a high-converting multi-step form is sorting your fields, starting with the fields that are least threatening (something like “How many pets do you have?”) to most (contact information, name, email, phone, etc.). The first step of the form is to use the least threatening fields to reduce the amount of friction it takes to start filling out the form, with the following steps utilizing higher threat level fields.

Best Practice #4: Personalize your landing page design

Personalizing your landing pages is something that is relatively new and becoming easier to do using dynamic keyword injection and platforms like Proof and Dynamic Yield. The idea behind personalized landing pages is to cater content to your customer and create a unique experience that connects to them and is more likely to convert. Personalization is great, but you need to exercise some restraint. People might like that content on a page being specific to them, but being too specific can have an adverse effect. For example, if you landed on a page that knew intimate details about you such as your age, race, gender, etc. and displayed it prominently, how would that make you feel? Gross? Violated? Would you convert? Not likely.

Best Practice #5: Make it load fast

Probably one of the most important aspects of an effective landing page is how fast it loads. Page speed is one of those things that is more technical, but is fairly easy to improve assuming your landing page is running on fast and stable servers.

The first step you want to take when optimizing your page speed is to optimize your image files. A landing page builder like Unbounce automatically optimizes your images when you upload them, but if you don’t have access to Unbounce or Photoshop, running your files through TinyPNG is a great way to reduce file size, and therefore improve your page speed.

Another factor to page speed that is easy to change is reducing or replacing scripts that are running on your landing page. As a digital marketing agency, we love scripts that track as much information as possible so we can improve our strategies, but having too many scripts or custom scripts can adversely affect our page speed. To check if the scripts you are running are noticeably slowing your page speed, make sure you analyze your page using Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix. Both services are free and only need the URL of your page to analyze and give you actionable insights into your load times.

The Bottom Line

These best practices are just what we have seen to work with our clients, increasing their landing page conversion rates again and again. Remember that best practices are nothing if you don’t have a consistent testing strategy to make sure that what you’re changing on the page is what’s causing your successes — or failures. We have many great articles on how to start testing your landing pages, 7 Tips for A/B Testing your Facebook Ads and Website CRO: Optimize Landing Pages With These Tips being two of my favorites. Now go update your existing landing pages.


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