Plenty of things have changed in my lifetime. Now hitting my mid 30’s, I can fondly remember the time before mobile devices ruled the communication world, and the postman was the much needed gateway to non-spoken communication. Well I have harped on about email being awesome for many a year now, but with the recent inclusion of SMS into Maxemail, I thought it was time to talk about how you can use SMS as part of your email strategy.
First things first, SMS is more expensive than email. So before you jump headfirst into SMS, you need to hit the brakes and work out the best way SMS can work for you.
Why would you need to use SMS?
The main difference between SMS and email is that as soon as your message is received, recipients will be alerted. Not all businesses or industries will benefit from SMS. For example, I doubt many of you would be over the moon if you received an SMS from your local supermarket letting you know that they have a great offer on a dozen eggs.
So how can you make it work for you? An example could be a restaurant that has a special deal for valentine’s day. You could send out an initial email to your relevant subscribers, and follow it up with an SMS to all unopened email recipients. So you are using your email as your primary method of contact, but hitting the message home with SMS as a follow-up.
Where do I start?
Take a good look through your data and see if you have mobile numbers for your contacts. If you have never actively collected these then you will need to start from scratch, going back to your contacts and requesting it from them. If you have been collecting phone numbers but haven’t specified if it is home/ office or mobile, you can simply export your data and filter by numbers starting with 07 or +447. You can then reimport the data to append to your list with the mobile numbers mapped to a new field. Alternatively, you could use a preference centre and request your subscriber to update their data with a mobile phone number.
With Maxemail, the SMS setup is very similar to email, and you can segment your data as accurately as with email. So if you have an offer on at a particular store, you can target just those within the area of the store.