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How to Combine Email & SMS Marketing for Higher Conversions

12 min read

Forget chasing your audience across the digital Wild West. Imagine a world where your marketing messages land right in their hands, ready to convert.

This is omnichannel marketing for you — a strategic approach that employs multiple channels to deliver a consistent brand experience. The secret of this approach lies in reaching your customers where and when they prefer to be reached.

In this article, we’ll dive into the dynamic duo of email and SMS marketing, exploring how their combined power can significantly increase your conversion rates.

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Why Omnichannel Marketing Works

Imagine a customer browsing your online store for a new pair of sneakers. They add a few options to their cart, but then abandon it before checkout. An ecommerce story as old as time, right?

Now imagine you could send an SMS to that same customer a few hours later, inviting them to come back and finish shopping. No result? Well, then they get a final reminder by email the next day, informing them that you’re about to remove those products from their cart, but they can get a limited-time discount if they act fast. And hopefully, you get that sale.

That’s one example of how omnichannel marketing works. By combining email and SMS marketing in your customer’s journey, you can create a multi-point approach that gently nudges that customer back to your store and towards conversion.

In fact, marketers using three or more channels in a campaign earned a 494% higher order rate than those using a single-channel campaign. It highlights the power of an omnichannel strategy in increasing engagement and driving sales.

Understanding the Powerhouse Duo: Email & SMS

Now, let’s take a closer look at how email and SMS marketing can work together to create a seamless and effective omnichannel strategy.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is the veteran of the digital marketing scene, although it’s anything but outdated. This channel enables you to showcase product details, highlight promotions, and nurture leads with relevant and personalized content.

When used correctly, email can be a real game changer, and here’s how:

  • Advantages over other channels: Email marketing offers a return on investment you cannot refuse (on average, $36 for every $1 spent). In addition, people who sign up for your email list are already interested in what you have to offer. It makes them more receptive to your messages compared to unsolicited advertising.
  • Building strong relationships: Nowadays, email marketing goes beyond generic blasts. There is plenty of room for segmentation and personalization, and the types of content you can send are endless. Sharing interesting content and exclusive offers can build brand loyalty and encourage repeat business.
  • Sense of community: Emails don’t have to be one-sided. You’re free to encourage replies and foster two-way communication to build a stronger connection with your audience. You can incorporate interactive elements like polls, surveys, and quizzes in your emails to encourage engagement and get valuable feedback.

Including reviews in abandoned cart emails, similar to how Therapy Notebooks does, is a great strategy to try in your store

SMS Marketing

SMS is the newer kid on the block that packs a punch with its immediacy and high open rates. Everybody you know uses SMS, and typically, they look at them immediately. So, talk about “here and now,” right? Here’s what the competitive edge of SMS marketing is:

  • The power of immediacy: SMS messages have a near-instantaneous delivery and open rate, perfect for time-sensitive promotions, flash sales, or urgent announcements. Even better, 54% of customers would love to get promotional SMS from brands (if they opted in, of course).
  • Integration: SMS marketing can be easily integrated with your other marketing channels, like email and social media. You can use SMS to send messages like reminders or follow-ups after cart abandonment.
  • Easy tracking and measurement: Most SMS marketing platforms provide detailed analytics on message delivery, open, and click-through rates. So you can conveniently track the effectiveness of your campaigns and make data-driven decisions.

Craft creative SMS copy similar to The Vitamin Shoppe’s fun Father’s Day message featuring an offer

The Magic of Combining Email & SMS

Think of email and SMS as peanut butter and jelly — delicious on their own but truly beautiful together. Here’s why combining these channels can be a game-changer for your ecommerce store:

  • Increased reach and engagement: Not everyone checks their email religiously, but most people have their phones glued to their hands. Combining both channels allows you to cast a wider net and ensure your message reaches customers on their preferred platform.
  • More conversions: Studies show that omnichannel campaigns that involve SMS at some point might result in an increase in conversions by up to 47.7%.
  • Better customer experience: The omnichannel approach creates a unified brand experience across multiple touchpoints. Customers will appreciate the convenience and feel valued when they receive relevant messages catering to their unique needs.

Strategic Integration Techniques

Now that you understand the power of this dynamic duo let’s explore how to effectively combine email and SMS marketing for maximum impact:

Timing Is Everything

Schedule, or even better — automate — your communication strategically. For example, send an SMS reminder about abandoned carts a few hours after customers leave items behind. For emails, consider sending a more detailed product follow-up the next day.

Segmentation Is Key

Don’t blast generic messages to your entire audience. Segment your email and SMS lists based on customer behavior, purchase history, and preferences. For example, you can select the less active audience segment and send them an offer they can’t refuse to re-engage them. This way, you deliver targeted messages that resonate with a specific customer group.

Pro tip: If you sell online with Ecwid, you can easily segment your customers using the Customer dashboard in your Ecwid admin. Filter your clients by number of orders, customer group, tax-exempt, and more.

Pick the Right Platform

Look for an all-in-one omnichannel marketing platform, for example, Omnisend, that allows you to manage both email and SMS campaigns under one roof. Trust us, it’ll save you a headache because your data will already be synced, and you won’t have to jump from platform to platform.

Ideas & Best Practices

Let’s translate these strategies into practical steps you can start implementing today:

  • Welcome new customers with a warm embrace: Send a welcome email series introducing your brand, highlighting bestsellers, and offering a special discount code. Then, if the discount code isn’t used in a while, follow up with a friendly SMS reminding them to use it.
  • Re-engage dormant customers: Don’t let those inactive email subscribers fade away. Come up with a win-back email offering, like a limited-time discount or exclusive early access to a new product launch. After a little while, reignite their interest with a short SMS reminding them they haven’t visited in a while.
  • Drive urgency with flash sales: Create some sense of excitement, enticing your audience with flash sales announced via email. Then, send a timely SMS reminder just before the sale ends to encourage last-minute purchases.
  • Personalize your messages: You can do better than just “Hi [First Name].” Put customer data to work and personalize your messages with product recommendations based on past purchases or browsing behavior.
  • Track your results & measure success: Monitor key metrics like open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates to see how your combined strategy performs. This data will help you optimize your approach and achieve even better results.

Encourage customers to replenish items they previously purchased, following the example set by Sephora

Common Pitfalls to Avoid

While the power of email and SMS combined is undeniable, there are a few pitfalls to be aware of:

  • Frequency fatigue: Don’t bombard your customers with messages; rather, look for the right balance between staying top-of-mind and being intrusive. A good rule of thumb is to think for yourself — how often you’d like to hear from a brand? Even if you like the brand, it’s probably not more than once or twice a week. So just be the example you’d like to see in others.
  • Irrelevant communication: Sending irrelevant messages is the fastest way to get unsubscribed. Create targeted content that offers value and addresses your customers’ unique needs. For example, if your subscriber is a so-called window shopper — browsing without buying anything — you can set up an automation that sends them emails with product recommendations based on their browsing activities.
  • Neglecting mobile optimization: Ensure your emails are mobile-friendly and your SMS messages are clear and concise. Remember, it doesn’t matter whether it’s email or SMS — most people will be reading these messages on their smartphones.

Wrap Up

Email and SMS marketing, when used together strategically, can be a powerful one-two punch for your business.

By leveraging the strengths of each channel — email’s ability to deliver detailed content and SMS’s immediacy — you can reach a wider audience, drive conversions, and create a more cohesive and positive customer experience.

Just remember to prioritize segmentation, maintain a balance in frequency, and keep your marketing relevant. This way you too will experience the beautiful benefits that omnichannel marketing can bring to your business.


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About the author

Milda is a communication specialist with over 7 years of experience. Currently, she works as a Content Marketing Manager at Omnisend. Beyond communication and content creation, she enjoys making ceramics and spending time in nature with her dog.

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