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Four Tactics To Develop Cross-Channel Email SMS Messaging

Recently, Strongmail published stats commenting that 57% of business have not yet integrated mobile and email marketing. Of the 43% that have, four tactics stood out as low hanging fruit:

  1. Mobile-optimized web pages
  2. Capture mobile number during email sign up
  3. Use of mobile-optimized templates
  4. Cross-channel email/SMS campaigns

Well, that’s all well and good, but how exactly does a company achieve the above (especially considering that so many companies have yet to take this step)? Glad we’re here:

Mobile-Optimized Web Pages

Even though mobile-heads would think that most everyone knows about mobile-optimized web pages, the Strongmail survey commented that only ~30% of companies have implemented this tactic. For those non mobile-heads, a mobile-optimized web page is one that has content easily readable on a mobile device. Here’s an example:

Look familiar? Hopefully, it’s the same site you are reading right now, blog.msgme.com. As you can see from the example, viewers can easily read and select content of interest. Contrast the above with a non-optimized page:

Difficult to view, hard to access information and mandatory pinch and zooming in order to meaningfully interact with the content.

Based on the examples, hopefully the reason to create a mobile-optimized web site remains clear. If you send an email or SMS to a customer with a web link (an essential traffic-driving strategy by the way), and that customer has difficulty accessing content, he or she is not coming back or spending much time browsing. In financial terms, that’s lower customer satisfaction, less engagement, lower revenue and decreased customer lifetime value.

All that said, it’s not hard to imagine a case where building an entire mobile website seems daunting. Perhaps resource constraints exist, a desktop website has too many intricacies to optimize every page, or the mobile experience of a current website seems like too much effort.

If this is the case, here’s what to do: build a mobile-optimized landing page. Don’t feel pressure to build out an awesome mobile-optimized website if the timing is not right. Instead, create a basic landing page with a call to action to make sure that mobile visitors convert. One example:

Not a perfect example, as there are some options to learn more about the company on the bottom navigation panel, but hopefully the idea is clear. A simple mobile-optimized page with one call to action would work well for those ~70% of companies not yet implementing a mobile web strategy as a strong starting point.

Capture Mobile Number During Email Sign Up

Pretty straightforward. Anywhere there’s a place for people to sign up for email alerts, include an additional field (can be optional or mandatory) for people to include their mobile number.

Implementation is simple. Either use an API to integrate mobile into existing forms, or build new forms that have both an email and mobile sign up.

Another idea: flip the model and capture email during mobile sign up. During events, conferences, trade shows, or anywhere else customers probably don’t have their computer in front of them, a simple mobile call to action is perfect for capturing mobile number. Follow that initial sign up with an email capture message via mobile in order to add both points of contact to a customer database in a seamless fashion.

Use Of Mobile-Optimized Templates

Same thing applies here as does on the mobile web. An email that appears difficult to read on a mobile device will invariably remain unopened or un-scrolled through. Here’s an example:

With regards to mobile messages, the same rules apply. Sending messages greater than 160 characters will make for a poor SMS messaging strategy. Bottom line, remember that communication exists on a mobile and create and deliver content accordingly.

Another thought here: optimizing for mobile is not just about content creation. It’s also about CRM. As part of a communication strategy, ask customers how they want to receive content. Do they want HTML emails? Or text emails? Do they want SMS for time-sensitive messages and email for monthly updates? Remember, optimizing for mobile isn’t solely about the device itself, but how the end customer uses his or her device.

Cross-channel Email/SMS Campaigns

We’ve covered cross-channel in detail before. Another idea: come to our webinar one week from today. We’ll be discussing everything related to cross-channel mobile/email that you ever wanted to know.

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Long Codes vs. Short Codes – Which Should You Use for SMS Marketing?
SMS Marketing Vs. Email Marketing for Your Loyalty Programs
10 Extremely Effective SMS Calls to Action

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