When used appropriately, SMS and email marketing are both excellent avenues for building your sales funnel. If you’re just getting into this style of marketing for the first time, let’s run through some basic tips and approaches.
Pro Tip: Keep in mind that email marketing (EDMs) and SMS marketing are primarily for retargeting existing customers, as opposed to acquiring new customers.
First, you need the contact data
Before you attempt email or SMS marketing, you clearly need the requisite customer data. This means that you’ve collected and stored customer information in your CRM or a similar tool.
So, first off the bat, whether you use an eCommerce store, retail POS tools, online forms (such as competitions) or even manual methods, you need to collect customer data! At the very least you’ll need:
- a first and last name
- an email address
- mobile phone number.
The more you can enhance this information – for example, having a record of what your customers have bought from you in the past – the better. With this information, you can segment your database effectively.
Of course, you should be automating all this data collection through your CRM, ideally connected to your webforms, eCommerce store, or POS terminals.
Getting started with email marketing
Email marketing is still a great way to retarget existing customers – and keep them engaged. Some may think that email marketing is a bit old hat – but it still holds a lot of value, especially when done well.
Email marketing fails when you attempt to ‘cold email’ people who haven’t had dealings with your business before. So be sure that you’re emailing engaged previous customers only. You may even fall foul of anti-spam laws if you do this, so be careful.
3 keys to successful email marketing
- Wait until you have something to share – a promotion or valuable message.
- Do it sparingly. Too many emails will force the user to unsubscribe.
- Time your communications for when you want to encourage repeat business and reinforce your brand.
As Jess Portelli, Reckon’s marketing executive tells us,
“The frequency that you send emails all depends on your brand, offering and audience. Sending too many emails can lead to market fatigue, while not sending enough can lead to customers forgetting about your brand. It’s essential to test different frequencies and find out what works best for your audience. Look to your data!”
Email marketing – a quick checklist
- Use a solid, highly automated email platform that is connected to your CRM.
- Keep your email tight and to the point. People don’t have the attention span to read through dense text blocks and laborious preamble.
- Personalise emails with first name fields.
- Have a tight and captivating subject line.
- Include an offer or promotion in your email – don’t just email for the sake of it.
- Share free content or useful resource links (like a blog post that drives traffic to your site of value to your audience.)
- Add a call to action asking your customer to click on a link to your website with sales action in mind.
- Track open rates and click-throughs to understand how effective your emails are.
- Always follow Australian regulations and have an unsubscribe functionality in every message.
Nailing SMS marketing
You should use quality software to send group or personalised SMS marketing messages. The beauty of SMS marketing is the high open rate as compared to email marketing.
In fact, research indicates that SMS has open rates up to 98%. When you compare that to the open rates of emails, it’s only around 20%.
However, you must be very careful with SMS, and consider not using it at all. This is due to the personal nature of an SMS, which can mean customers may feel invaded – especially if you use it too often.
If you decide to engage in text message marketing make sure you’re set up to respond if your customer replies–54% of people claim significant frustration if they can’t send a business an SMS back, and they may be replying to take up your offer!
When to do SMS marketing
- Use this tool very sparingly.
- Send SMS as an appointment reminder.
- Align with a very special promotion.
- Send customised texts (rather than blasting in bulk) for very important information such as appointment reminders – (many companies only use it for such reminders to customers that have signed up for something.)