For years, email marketing has been one of the most reliable revenue-generating channels. With an average return on investment (ROI) of $36 for every $1 spent. Email has remained one of the most effective ways for businesses and organizations to get their message to consumers. While the basic premise of email has remained constant over time, the rise of mobile usage means that consumer habits have changed and marketers need to adapt to those changes.
Statistica reports that there are now more than six billion smartphone users in the world. Most email users are now reading their messages on a mobile device, but it’s not just email. Consumers are now engaging with the “mobile omnichannel” where email, mobile app push notifications and SMS are converging more than ever. Each can function as an important part of your mobile messaging strategy, with the best marketers optimizing these channels to target customers effectively and maximize the ROI of their targeting marketing efforts.
Let’s explore the roles, benefits and tips for getting the best out of each:
Email – “The Work Horse”
Traditional Uses: Promotion and Communication
Role in Mobile Omnichannel: Email is the least intrusive marketing channel of the three. While it often generates the lowest engagement, email still does the bulk of the heavy lifting in the omnichannel approach. It’s where marketers can craft their message and highlight what’s important to the consumer.
Tip #1: If you have an app, make sure to deep link your emails by sending consumers directly to your app where the more customized experience leads to high conversion rates.
App Push – “The Specialist “
Traditional Uses: Product Highlights, Special Offers, Alerts and Updates
Role in Mobile Omnichannel: Push provides a direct route into your app. It can also serve as a notice to customers that they have new offers available. The combination of an email message and an app push sent concurrently can be a very effective tool for promoting special offers and time sensitive information. If you’ve ever redeemed a code from a food delivery service enticing you with free delivery or a discount, then you know this method works well. Sending an app push follow-up a few days after an email offer can also help create a sense of urgency and serve as a reminder for customers who just need a small nudge to complete their transaction.
Tip #2: App users are generally presented an option to opt-in to notifications when downloading or opening an app for the first time; clearly articulating the value that the app brings to the user, along with associated timely notifications, will increase the likelihood that a user will agree to be contacted via this channel.
SMS – “The Closer”
Traditional Uses: Transactional Communications, Interpersonal Conversations
Role in Mobile Omnichannel: SMS is the most direct method of reaching the consumer and the most visible channel of the three. Communication with customers over SMS requires a segmented approach in which you are providing a message that the consumer will value. Using a targeted approach, marketers can send engaged consumers down a path where an SMS message can be focused and personalized. SMS also plays an important role in transactional communication sent post purchase, which can help strengthen the customer relationship with the brand.
Tip #3: SMS is considered by users to be the most intrusive channel for smartphone users. For this reason, be sure that this message has a deliberate purpose and immediacy behind the call to action. (Also, be sure that you’re obtaining consent to contact your users via SMS; This is separate from giving consent to be emailed or called.) One great example might be to trigger a discount code to a previously active customer who hasn’t made a purchase in a while.
The Final Product
The most effective means of successfully managing omnichannel engagement is with user journeys. Now offered by most email service providers, the journey allows marketers to create a targeted approach to customer communications, in which customers can be targeted at specific intervals within the customer life cycle, based on specific actions they take within the journey. With journeys, you can monitor email offers that the customer opens but does not convert on, then follow up with a push or SMS nudge a few days later. This is often a timely reminder that spurs the customer to complete the transaction. For the purposes of the mobile omnichannel, this means identifying and utilizing the method that best fits the purpose of the message.
In use cases at GALE, we’ve found these multitouch journeys to be highly effective at driving incremental sales, consistently providing a 5% to 10% lift in sales, with a ROI as high as 1,100%. Regardless of the method of mobile communication, be sure to follow the cardinal rule of targeted marketing: Make sure your customers know what to expect when they opt in. Combined, the three make for a powerful mobile marketing tool that can help increase your engagement success.