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How to Leverage Email and SMS in Omnichannel Marketing

Omnichannel marketing is a new concept for the majority of businesses. Omnichannel differs from more common multichannel marketing as it puts the customer, rather than the product at its heart. 

As a result it requires a different mindset, as well as a different strategy and a high level martech integration.

Effective omnichannel marketing is all about making sure all of your moving parts are working seamlessly together. Once you understand that, putting together the strategy becomes much clearer.

At this stage most businesses would be well used to putting together email or SMS campaigns as part of their marketing strategy. They’re not the most complex to put together.

But now, they need to get in the mindset of leveraging these channels as part of an omnichannel marketing strategy.

What to do with your Data

All marketing, even omnichannel, begins with data. Regardless of the campaigns you’re setting up, email or SMS, your data is the first thing you should be thinking about. You need to understand your customers before you can effectively communicate with them.

The deeper the  understanding you have, the better your interaction rates will be when it comes to promoting your offers.

Quality is Important

Omnichannel marketing, powered by robust first party data is what makes customers want to interact with. Using the right marketing technology allows you to capture data as your customers interact with your website and business.

The more often they interact with you the clearer the picture is in terms of their preferences and behaviours. However, the modern customer is willing to part ways with their data much easier than they used to, as long as there is something in it for them. This is what we call zero party data.

Once you have that data, you can use it to inform your campaigns. A successful omnichannel strategy relies on relevance and personalisation.

Your customers expect much more from you. A message that is personal to them, regardless of whether it’s email or SMS, is what makes you stand out. No personalisation equals no business from them. They will happily spend their money with a business that engages with them personally elsewhere.

When it comes to email marketing campaigns they have an open rate of about 22%. And SMS campaigns have an open rate of 90%.

Making sure you introduce the right level of personalisation per campaign is where business is won. A basic level of personalisation will only get you so far. Using a customer’s name will give you a 9% boost in open rates. But there is so much more to gain from going the extra mile.

Introduce your knowledge of customer buying habits, previous purchases, and demographics. This will help you create more personalised campaigns that return much better results.

Think about what you’re actually doing with your data once you have it. Make sure your capture processes are accurate, treat it well and don’t just let it sit there.

Segment Wisely

Treating every customer in the same way is more likely to lose you customers, rather than win them. 91% of consumers stay with a company that understands them, remembers them, and offers relevant promotions and content.  Relevance is the main word to focus on here.

Segmentation is a crucial aspect of being relevant to your customers. You need to understand who you’re speaking to, what you’re saying to them, and why.

Andrea Bustos, Account Manager at Hustler Marketing had this to say about using data to increase relevance when it comes to email and SMS campaigns:

Once you’ve begun collecting customers information, now you can create segments as specific as you wish and work on a new tailored strategy that has hyper-personalised content, which will make your audience feel valued, special and even more eager to buy”

Using specific data types to create segments means you can make communications even more relevant. We mentioned things like buying habits and previous purchases earlier. You should be using this information to create campaigns for customers with particular purchasing behaviours.

Ultan O’Callaghan, Director of Thooja explains how gaining an understanding of your customers leads to repeat business:

Understanding the typical purchasing behaviour of customers helps us set up automated flows that guide them on their purchasing journey. For example, if the typical customer places a second order 40 days after their first, we’ll set up a flow with a promotional code 35 days after their first order to encourage them to place their second order.

Set Your Objectives

Putting together and executing a successful omnichannel marketing strategy means that there is personalisation at every stop. Whether that’s online or in-store.

But setting up email and SMS campaigns along the way with no end goal in mind will hinder your success. The purpose of any campaign in an omnichannel strategy should be related to the segment you are targeting.

Every campaign should have a defined objective or outcome at the end of it. Take an abandoned cart campaign for example. The objective here is to re-engage someone who has left your site without completing that purchase. Remind them of what they’re missing out on and win them back.

Ask and you shall receive. Don’t and you won’t. Don’t be afraid to ask your customers to complete an action. Your texts or emails should always nudge your customers towards taking action. Make the next steps you want them to take clear.

Leveraging Email and SMS

67% of customers use multiple channels before completing a single transaction. So leveraging both email and SMS will be an important aspect in your omnichannel marketing strategy.

The customer data you have collected  informsthe type of content, products or services you your customers will respond to. Remember, omnichannel marketing is about being customer-centric, and keeping their needs in mind. Not yours.

Applying that data to your email or SMS campaigns relies on a good structure. within  your customer journey planner. The data will help you to create campaigns that put the right content in front of your customers. And all on a consistent basis using the right channels.

Not only is your existing data important for this to work, but the data you continue to collect as they go along the journey. You should get an understanding of what a customer is enjoying. And that doesn’t always have to be products. If they are sent a blog and they read it, try sending them another blog that may be relevant.

Use the data you collect to iterate your campaigns to make them as effective and as valuable as possible. Even campaigns customers don’t respond to can be valuable. Using your customer data you can quickly identify under what circumstances customers are more likely to open an email or tap on a link in an SMS message.

Leverage your journey planner and both email and SMS channels to nudge your customers as needed to engage with the content or offering that suits their customer profile.

Personalise or Die

That peer-to-peer feel is essential for omnichannel marketing. This is the beauty of SMS marketing. You can send out mass campaigns while still giving your customers the feeling of a specific, personalised interaction.

You won’t get that same level with email, but you can get close.

As long as you keep a personalised interaction with your customers front of mind then you can go pretty far. Resorting to batch and blast campaigns is where companies go wrong.

Domenico Vitolo, founder of Onik Lab had this to say about the issue:

The old approach of ‘batch and blast’ doesn’t cut it anymore. We’ve come to learn that taking a more personalised approach when it comes to remarketing is the way to go. And nothing’s more personal when it comes to online marketing, unlike email and SMS.”

The level of personalisation you can include in SMS and email campaigns is pretty incredible. So make sure you use it to its full potential.

Test, Test, Test

The right message at the right time through email or SMS will work for you when done right. However, customers will continue to surprise you with their reactions.

Where possible, split test your campaigns to constantly get an idea of what is working for your customers, and what is not.

This can help you determine what type of campaigns are working for your business, what messaging works best, and what products to show. Things that work at one point in time may not in the future. And it’s important to understand that.

If you’re not already testing your email and SMS campaigns, now is the time to start. 

Continuous work on it will lead to a successful omnichannel marketing strategy.

To learn more about how email and SMS can add to your omnichannel marketing strategy, get in touch to request a demo.

Click to download our guide to increasing eCommerce conversions and retention.

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