Guide to SMS and Email Marketing for 2022
Quick Summary A comprehensive list of tips to improve your email and SMS marketing in 2022.
It's 2022 – eCommerce growth isn’t only going to come from your Facebook ads and marketing funnel anymore. If you’re serious about scaling your online business, investing in email marketing and SMS marketing is absolutely crucial. In fact, for every dollar spent on email marketing, merchants see $36 back on average, giving the channel a huge ROI.
However, there are strategies needed to get to that payoff. Thinking about it from the consumer’s side; it’s important to remember how many emails they receive a day. Campaign Monitor reports the average office worker receives 121 emails per day. To stand out, businesses should follow the set of best practices we lay out in this guide. Plus, enjoy tips from our fantastic “Av-expert” Morgan Mulloy, Associate Director of Email Marketing.
Why Should You Invest in Email Marketing?
For those of you who are thinking, “But Avex, our social media following is huge and that’s been way cheaper to handle than an email marketing platform!” We hear you. We see you. But we have to set the record straight.
Email Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing
Having a substantial following on any social media network is both impressive and helpful for your business, but how many of those followers are actually engaging with your posts? More importantly, how many of them are engaging with your brand? Email marketing will get you more bang for your buck, as long as you use the right strategy.
In the emails your brand sends, the call-to-action button is right there for the customer to click. Plus, you’re able to personalize what content gets sent to who and when. This way, the right customers are seeing content that pertains to their interests, rather than general products or discounts.
Email Marketing vs. Paid Ads
Another competitor in your marketing budget is paid ads. While this avenue has worked for countless brands in the past, it may not be as beneficial anymore due to higher prices and more intense data privacy options for consumers. By summer of 2021, Google and YouTube’s cost per mile (CPM) went up by 108%, and Facebook’s CPM saw an increase of 89%. Put those funds into email campaigns to ensure your brand sees more revenue and higher sales.
Lastly, email marketing provides you with the space to talk more about your products than social media, SMS, and even your homepage does. Your emails can go into detail about offers, new launches, or special events, making the customer more aware of what’s going on with your brand and how it can ultimately benefit them.
How Does SMS Marketing Add Value to My Brand?
SMS marketing has become incredibly popular in 2022 for a few reasons. For one, it’s fast. Think of how quickly you check your texts versus how soon you open and read an email. On average, 60% of customers read texts within 1 to 5 minutes after receiving them. Knowing you can connect with a customer almost instantly has the potential to do wonders for your brand, especially when it comes to flash sales or back-in-stock notifications.
Also, customers are asking for it! The data is proving time and time again that consumers are interested in connecting with brands over text. 75% of people under the age of 44 prefer receiving offers and contacting businesses over SMS. As more businesses start implementing SMS marketing, now would be a great time to start on your own campaigns, so your brand isn’t left behind.
All that being said, it’s important to remember not to abuse the right to contact customers via text. The channel is more personal than email marketing (most people have multiple email accounts, but only one phone number) and therefore interferes more. It’s best to err on the side of caution to ensure you’re not overdoing it and annoying customers. A great plan would be to combine email marketing with SMS marketing and create a cohesive marketing plan that way, which brings us to the next point of the guide.
Why Use Both Email and SMS Marketing?
Combining these two processes will help customers gain a stronger connection with brands – they give the brand the opportunity to know their customers better, and help the customers get to know the brand better. Plus, using email marketing and SMS marketing ensures that connection is ongoing, and (hopefully) grows over time.
“Think of them as sisters. They seem like they are going to be the same, but they have differences as well,” says Morgan Mulloy, Associate Director of Email Marketing at Avex, as she describes the relationship between the two channels. Utilizing both will help the channels speak for themselves, and create a process where one can pick up the slack for the other.
Morgan provided us with more specific examples of how to rely on each type of marketing. “SMS is best for urgent messages. It's a much more invasive channel, so your audience here are usually your VIPs and want to know about product drops, sales, etc,” she explains. “Email has the essence of time. Emails are usually opened within the first 5-6 hours, but those super urgent messages? They could be missed. That's why emails are great for presenting more detail on products, value props of the brands, and it gives the customers the opportunity to engage on their own time.”
Interested in learning more? Continue reading for detailed information on how to see that high ROI from both email and SMS marketing.
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How to Increase Sales Through Email and SMS Marketing (With Real-World Examples)
If you’ve decided to dive into email and SMS marketing, or if you’re already working on it and want to see better results for your eCommerce store, these guidelines are for you.
Don’t overdo it: Less is more
While email marketing gives you the chance to go into depth about your products, you also have to remember how quick people’s attention spans are. In fact, one study suggests the average attention span is 8.25 seconds, which is less than the attention span of a goldfish. Bottom line: if you include lengthy copy, chances are people aren’t going to read all of it. Cut any copy that isn’t truly necessary to the message to make sure you keep your customer reading long enough to click that CTA button and convert!
This also pertains to how many messages you’re sending, not just what’s inside that message. It’s likely that sending an email every day, especially if you’re also sending SMS, is overkill. When asked what one of the biggest email marketing pitfalls brands do is, Morgan answered, “Blast their clients with SMS and emails every day! It doesn't give the customer a chance to breathe and instead can leave a sour taste in their mouth regarding the intrusive experience. Always remember, it's about quality over quantity!” Find more on how many emails to send later in this guide.
Whether it’s your website, social media posts, email marketing, pop ups, or SMS texts, it’s important that your branding stays the same throughout. Let customers recognize your content the second they see it.
Also, be consistent with how often you’re sending out messages. This will allow customers to know what to expect from your brand at any given time. Not sure how frequently to send? Make a plan, and A/B test to see what works best for your customers.
Keep a clear focus
For each email and text sent, make sure it’s clearly known who it’s going to and why. Don’t waste time blasting out an email to a huge group of customers when you know only a certain type of customer will be interested in what’s offered. Segment out your customers and target them with specific messaging, imagery, and discounts.
Another element to remember is the simplest of them all: your value prop. What makes your brand stand out in the first place? When it comes to improving email and SMS channels, Morgan says, “The main thing I see is forgetting the heart of the brand. We get so caught up in dollar signs that we forget to provide the customer with the "why" and of the brands "why". Why should they buy from you? What does it mean to you?
More and more consumers are becoming more aware of wanting to purchase or interact with brands that align with their values. Show them your heart!”
Collect emails effectively
Use a popup on your eCommerce website to grab customer’s emails as they shop. Make sure you’re staying consistent and using your branding on the popup, so the experience is cohesive for the customer.
This would be a great place to add an incentive for the customer in exchange for their email address, like a 10% discount code or a free gift with their next purchase. Also, include a clean and easy way to exit out of the popup, so customers don’t feel trapped into adding their email if they’re not interested in doing so.
Provide valuable offers
Speaking of giving a discount code, it’s important to offer something people will actually want. In 2022, plenty of brands are offering discounts. What sets yours apart? Maybe your popup discount is larger than the average percentage, or customers on your email list get early access to new products. Be creative!
Another tip to follow is to have your welcome email give your best offer. This helps unsure you get that first purchase from the customer, and can move on from working on acquisition (which is expensive) to working on loyalty.
Send emails when it makes sense to
Figuring out the best days and times to send emails can be challenging. A great way to simplify the process is by knowing your audience. Teens that are looking to buy affordable makeup products are going to view their emails in a different fashion than middle-aged men looking for high-end dress shoes. Concocting what your customer’s daily life might look like will help determine when they’re more likely to engage with your content.
You can also look at general data surrounding send times, like this study that states that Tuesdays and Fridays net the highest open rates. From here, make sure to test and analyze constantly to optimize the schedules.
Use the best tools
There are tools on the market that make all of these tips much easier to execute. Klaviyo uses powerful targeting, segmentation, and automations to ensure your emails stand out from the pack. The tool allows you to take customer data and build experiences across all channels, beginning with email. It’s no wonder over 265k businesses trust Klaviyo with their email marketing.
For SMS, Attentive is your best bet. Attentive allows you to personalize your SMS messages, target the right audience, and integrate with ESPs like Klaviyo and Customer Service apps like Gorgias. The solution promises to drive 20.5% of online revenue from your SMS marketing, and is trusted by over 4k brands.
The combination of these two tools guarantees to do the work for you, saving you time and ultimately making our brand money.
Stay on top of trends
Keeping up with the trends of eCommerce sounds like an intimidating task. Luckily, you don’t need to spend hours researching email trends every week (although, reading this guide was a great start).
Instead, try analyzing what it’s like to be a consumer at brands you already like, and for your competitors. Go to their site, get on their email and SMS lists, and see what strategies you agree with and what you find frustrating or strange. Morgan advises you to question, “What are they doing that is engaging and informative? What are they doing that is confusing?
Stay true to your brand, but there's always room for improvement and the moment we think about our consumer experience, we will see huge wins!” Learn from those around you to inspire your own work and see where that journey takes you.
The Future of Email and SMS Marketing
For looking at what the future holds in the eCommerce industry, turn to our Av-expert one last time. “I believe we are going to continue seeing more and more cross-platform interaction,” says Morgan.
We saw this begin when the pandemic started: the BOPIS experience. People like the convenience of buying online and picking it up on their own time at a store. This is where those value props will really thrive!”
She also adds that things like “inclusive photography” and “accurate sizing guides” are more important than ever in 2022.
“At the end of the day, email isn't going anywhere and if you feel that the channel is going stale, SMS can pair nicely with it to really give it an audience boost as well as overall engagement boost!"
If you’re looking for more help on your email and SMS marketing, or looking to migrate to Klaviyo, let us know. We’re always happy to chat with you about growing your brand.