SMS Marketing - An Expert Email Marketer's Guide To Acing SMS As-A-Channel

Learn how SMS marketing can enhance the reach of your email marketing campaign.

Despite being an old communication and marketing tool, email still rocks and with best practices email marketing has become more refined and effective. If you’re planning to run an email campaign adding SMS to it would add value to your marketing strategy and if you’re not sure how SMS marketing can enhance the power of your email marketing…read on.

Understand the similarities, dissimilarities and how incorporating both email and SMS in your marketing strategy can be a game changer.

Why SMS is relevant for marketers?

Brands need to enhance their presence by achieving greater engagement and SMS or text marketing is an effective way to do so.


Because today integrating mobile strategy in customer journey is a must and SMS plays an essential role in it.

Two-third of the world’ population or 5 billion+ people have access to mobile phones and rising every minute and every phone is compatible with SMS functionality.

We use our mobile phone for everything – staying connected, waking up, checking on the weather, news updates, browse, shop, get directions, stay entertained, read, share…and so much more. It can be safely said that we feel incomplete without our devices being around us.

And, SMS is one mode of communication that allows us to reach our targeted audience wherever, whenever.

SMS Marketing Best Practices

Email and SMS can be considered as siblings as no matter how distinct their characteristics are, they ultimately share the same DNA. Let’s take a closer look at the similarities between the two –

  • Consent-based

Similar to email, SMS too requires you to get the consent of a user before you start sending them anything.

  • Segmentation

Personalization is the key to meaningful communication and it requires segmenting your audience. And it works for SMS as well. SMS list can be segmented by engagement rates, demographics, acquisition channel allowing for customizing the texts.

  • Blacklisting

Similar to email blacklist that includes unsubscribing, invalid address, people who mark your email as spam, basically people who no longer want to receive your notification, SMS blacklist contains people who request to be removed from receiving updates from you.

  • Promotional & Transactional

Emails are used in transactional (order update) and promotional (newsletters) capacity and so are SMS.

  1. Transactional SMS – school updates for parents, bank notifications, OTP, appointments
  2. Promotional SMS – Discount offers, coupons, data offers

Now let’s talk about the distinct characteristics that give them their unique personality –

Email is the older sibling – dependable, well-liked and accepted.

SMS is the younger one – trendy, quick to action and eager to prove.

So marketer’s take note of how these two differ and it will make a key difference when you execute your marketing strategy.

  • Size

Unlike email, SMS is restricted to 160 characters so the conversation has to be clear and crisp.

  • Speed

SMS has an open rate of 98% and 90% within 3 minutes of receiving it. Besides, it is a great channel for time-sensitive information. Also, SMS OTP is a great channel for authenticating.

  • Audience

Millennials are more likely to embrace texts as they are on their phones all the time. While the older generations are likely to prefer traditional marketing medium including email marketing.

Although, both SMS and email are effective communication mediums, the dissimilarities are the defining medium of where to use which.

The winning combination of Email & SMS

Text marketing is quick, effective and now widely acceptable and to combat the email marketing fatigue you can use both email and SMS to amplify your marketing efforts to reach a wider audience.

Here are a few examples of how you can use them both and launch a winning campaign –

Email – Send non-urgent notifications including newsletter, updates, initiatives.

SMS– Send time-bound notifications such as meeting reminders, system disruption alert.

  • Event

Email – Send email weeks prior to create interest, reminder to sign up and invites

SMS – Send an SMS a day before for event reminder, parking information, weather updates.

  • Contest

Email – Send out emails with information and terms and condition.

SMS – Send out alerts 2-3 days before the contest and announce the winners via SMS.

  • Promotional

Email – Send out emails announcing an upcoming sale and generating interest.

SMS – Send out additional discount coupons to add up to the offer.

  • App launch

Email – Create a buzz by sending emails about the app.

SMS – Send out the download link on the day of app launch.

  • Customer service

Email – Send out an email about your customer enquiry/update/ conversation.

SMS – Send the enquiry/update/conversation reference ID.

These two channels work well not only because they are similar on many fronts but mostly because of their dissimilarities as they cover diverse areas. And for them to work well it is important to know both, the weaknesses and strengths of each channel.

Use your knowledge of both email and SMS best practices to develop and rock your combined marketing strategy and if you could share, we’d be glad to know how they work.


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