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Marketers Need to Make SMS and Email Play Nice Together—Here’s Why And How

Alexa Lemzy, brand marketing, Email marketing, Marketing, marketing budgets, marketing channels, marketing priorities, mobile integration, Mobile marketing, Pr, Public relations, SMS marketing, text marketing, TextMagicBy Alexa Lemzy, Customer Support & Content Manager, TextMagic

Mobile is marketing’s new darling. With open rates as impressive as 98% (versus a mere 22% with email) and the world “going mobile” with a full two thirds of the American population owning a smart phone, it’s time to take a closer look at marketing priorities.

Though email doesn’t have the open rates that SMS does, it still occupies a much larger corner of marketing budgets. You’d be hard-pressed to find a company that doesn’t have an email marketing campaign, but mobile is still considered cutting edge for forward thinker—aka, not a requirement for marketing.

Marketing has reached a point where SMS is the inevitable next step, but we can’t just do away with email. Not yet. In the meantime, the best way to market your brand and capitalize on each method is by integrating the two as much as possible.

In fact, businesses who have integrated email and SMS know that investing in mobile integration is a win-win. Here’s why it works and how to do it for your business:

Generate more traffic to both SMS and email clients

Businesses who integrate their SMS campaign across all media see the best results. In-store signage, websites and emails should all include SMS opt-in details to generate more SMS clients. Take the case study of Redbox who advertised their SMS marketing promotion on Facebook and sent emails to their 30+ million email subscribers. The results were a staggering participation rate of 400,000 customers in their advertised promotion, with over 1.5M SMS messages sent in just 10 days.

But there’s another effect too. The high success rates of SMS marketing also has a ripple effect through other media, helping drive more traffic to sites, stores and, yes, even prod customers into opening dormant emails. While your first SMS clients will probably come straight from your email database, after your texting campaign is up and running, it will take on a life of its own, and eventually be able to deposit even more clients back into your email database. Like was said, win-win.

Keep in touch with clients whose emails have changed

It’s very common for people to change their emails, and if your company has been around for a while, it can be hard to keep your email list updated. Mobile texting is a way for you to contact clients and keep them up to date with products and services when you’re no longer able to reach them via email. That’s exactly the situation described in this case study of QiQ Communications. It’s also a way for you to get your customers’ new email address and keep your email mailing list fresh.

Increase conversion rates

This case study of the Ritz-Carlton Destination Club shows how conversion rates increased from 5% to 7% after integrating mobile and email. An analysis of their site’s metrics revealed that nearly 3% of site traffic came from a smartphone or tablet. When developers used a smartphone to visit the email landing page, they were put off by the page’s appearance. It was so bad, in fact, that they believed the page would drive mobile visitors away from the site and possibly to competitors. After improving the email landing page for mobile users, they saw a spike in conversions, proving that mobile-email integration is a worthwhile investment.

Streamline your design

Mobile devices are smaller than desktop devices and therefore the design considerations are wildly different. Mobile design has to be easy-to-read and make the core message clear. By integrating sleek, streamlined mobile design concepts into traditional desktop-accessed sites, such as email, you can improve your entire user experience.

Send more targeted SMS messages

Based on the information in your email customer database, you can send more personalized SMS messages to the clients. Likewise, you can copy your segmented lists from email and use them to segment your text messages for more targeted results. Your first texting campaigns can make good use of analyzing the demographics and purchase histories of your email database for higher success rates.

Also, a successful SMS campaign will generate its own set of data which can be used to improve email marketing. Optimization will only continue to grow the more integrated these two mediums become.

Improve your content

SMS messages have little space in which to communicate. A mere 160 characters is all they get. Therefore, SMS messages are more specific and more likely to pass on the company’s core message to the client. As attention spans become more attuned to the briefness and immediacy of mobile, emails should try mimicking text messages. Here’s a checklist of SMS content qualities to use in your emails:

  • Friendly but professional (no slang).
  • To the point.
  • Specific—when, where, what, how.
  • Focus on offering value.
  • Personalized (use the client’s first name).

Lengthy, wordy emails can be trimmed and edited to reflect exactly the message you want to deliver, no more, no less.

Email and SMS can be great marketing friends, producing improved customer participation and increased revenues for businesses when integrated with each other. One can only serve to strengthen the other, increasing the impact of your marketing strategies. If you’re not integrating these two yet, it’s time to start. The results will be worth it.

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