Harness the collective power of email and SMS

Harness the collective power of email and SMS

It is easy to get dizzy when looking at the potential ways to communicate with your customers and prospects. The vast array of social, digital and traditional media channels offer a confusing number of options on how you can get your message out. And with research revealing that the average person’s attention span is only eight seconds and that they switch media platforms as many as 27 times an hour  the task seems all the more daunting.

We are all swimming in a sea of digital distractions – so as savvy marketers we need to be a lot smarter and consider the best tools at our disposal to make our voices heard. So when you embark on your planning you need to think not only about your messages, but how you can use the different media to work together, using their strengths to your advantage.

So let’s start with a couple of natural digital bed-fellows; email and SMS

We are all familiar with the benefits of email marketing, and despite repeated suggestions in marketing media that email is dead – it continues to outperform all other channels both for engagement and ROI. The way email is used is now may be far more sophisticated, as targeted-automated nurture programmes rather than the batch and blast of old, but as a serious communication channel it endures, stronger than ever.

And text messaging…. Really? That’s so ‘00’s I hear you cry – but it presents a huge opportunity that many are neglecting to take advantage of.

The humble text message offers a wealth of possibilities, from sending marketing messages like voucher codes, to offering helpful service updates, such as appointment reminders or delivery updates. Yet, despite the overwhelming figures that you see quoted all over the internet, e.g. 97% open rates, 36% response rates, SMS remains a hugely underutilised channel.

However, it is when you combine email and SMS that the magic really happens. RED Driving School is a great example of this.

The main focus of RED’s email/SMS marketing is the acquisition of new driving instructors, nurturing potential leads for up to 6 years whilst they consider changing their career. Through structured correspondence programmes Red engage their database of prospects to educate them about the brand, opportunities and training offers. One of RED’s strategic campaigns is their acquisition programme which runs over a 3 month period drawing prospects through the sales funnel.

“e-shot™ is the backbone of our marketing communications and has taken our acquisition programme to a new level. Email is our most important channel, which is now getting even better results with the addition of SMS. The integration of both media, and combined reporting is proving very, very effective.”
Andy Mitchell, Commercial Director, RED Driving School

The series of emails takes the recipient on a journey, starting by explaining the benefits of being a driving instructor and being your own boss, including illustrative case studies and examples of experienced instructors, which are then followed up with training enrolment offers and the specific benefits of working with Red. This series of emails, supported by SMS reminders, is designed to both educate and engage prospects. SMS is used to target email ‘non-displayers’ as well as providing an additional opportunity to reinforce key promotions, creating a sense of urgency and importance for limited availability offers.

“The integration of the SMS service into Forfront’s system was a masterstroke. We immediately switched from our current SMS provider for all of our marketing communications as the benefit of aligning SMS and emails is huge and we are already reaping the rewards.”
Andy Mitchell, Commercial Director, RED Driving School

By building a customer journey, using the detail and brand power of email and the urgency and cut-through of SMS, your campaigns can be stronger and more effective. As more people engage with email on their mobile devices, you can even boost the velocity of engagement with a well-timed SMS. N.B. You just need to ensure your email is fully mobile optimised so your contact can interact with both stages of your campaign on a single mobile device – triggered by the SMS. 

With e-shot™ you can manage your email and SMS sends, automated series and triggered sends and best of all, when it comes to reviewing your results, you can not only view your campaign and send data, but you can also view your contacts as individuals, tracking their engagement across both email and SMS in a single unified report.

“The clear, concise reporting helps us optimise our campaigns and the integration of both email and SMS reports gives us a comprehensive view of our prospects engagement throughout our campaigns” 
Andy Mitchell, Commercial Director, RED Driving School

If you are interested to find out more about how SMS could boost your digital communication results contact our Customer Success Team.

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