Why Your Full Inbox Doesn’t Mean Email and SMS Marketing Doesn’t Work


Every time I discuss email marketing with clients, they invariably question its efficacy because they never read the newsletters they are inundated with. This is even more true when we discuss SMS marketing. I have long been a critic of SMS marketing because of how I feel when I receive marketing content via SMS. However, we have seen it work. Sometimes, our own experience is not a microcosm of our client’s target market.

With our inboxes overflowing with unread newsletters and our phones pinging with promotional texts. As mentioned above, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and dismiss these marketing tactics as outdated or ineffective. However, before you write off email and SMS marketing for your business, consider this: your personal experience isn’t always the same as the experience of your target audience.

Our experience tells us that email and SMS marketing work, and they are one of the top three most powerful tools to reach and engage your customers behind only SEO & Pay Per Click. Indeed, according to Litmus the average ROI for email marketing is $36 for every $1 spent, or a 3,600% ROI. It is higher for tourism at $53 per $1 spent (53:1), media at 45:1, and retail/ecommerce at 43:1. For SMS marketing, according to Beambox, the average ROI is extremely high, often over 4,900% or $50 in sales for every $1 spent. Some industries see even higher ROI, such as restaurants at 60:1 and ecommerce at 25:1 for abandoned cart recovery.

Why Email Marketing works:

  • Direct & Personalised: Email allows you to speak directly to your audience, delivering tailored messages based on their interests and behaviours.
  • Cost-Effective: Email offers a high return on investment compared to traditional marketing channels.
  • Measurable Results: Track opens, clicks, and conversions to understand what resonates with your audience and refine your strategies.
  • Building Relationships: Consistent email communication helps nurture leads and builds brand loyalty over time.

The Power of SMS Marketing:

  • Instantaneous Reach: Text messages have a 98% open rate, ensuring your message is seen.
  • High Engagement: SMS allows for immediate interaction and drives quick responses from calls to action.
  • Mobile-First World: People are glued to their phones, making SMS a direct line to your customers.
  • Perfect for Time-Sensitive Offers: Flash sales, event reminders, and limited-time promotions are ideal for SMS campaigns.

Overcoming Personal Bias

It’s natural to project our own preferences onto our customers. However, understanding your target audience is key. Research their demographics, behaviours, and preferred communication channels. You might be surprised to find that a significant portion of your audience actually responds well to receiving updates and promotions via email or SMS.

Tips for Success

  • Segmentation is key: Divide your audience into groups based on interests and demographics to send targeted messages.
  • Personalise your content: Use names, purchase history, and other data to make your emails and texts feel relevant.
  • Provide value: Don’t bombard your audience with sales pitches. Instead, offer helpful information, exclusive deals, and engaging content.
  • Respect preferences: Always give users the option to unsubscribe and avoid excessive messaging.

Remember, when executed well, email marketing and SMS marketing are not about adding to the noise. They’re about building relationships, fostering engagement, and driving results. You can leverage these powerful channels to grow your business by understanding your audience and employing strategic tactics. If you would like to learn about how you can use email and SMS marketing for your business, contact us for a free consultation.

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