This guest post about how messaging apps can amplify your email marketing efforts is by Anastasia Sviridenko, content crafter and marketer at bulk SMS software provider TextMagic. In her free time, Anastasia likes to wander about the nearest bookstore, looking for yet another science fiction novel.
If you’re looking for a new way to engage your customers, look no further. The answer is likely already installed on your phone.
And it’s not just because people like talking to each other. A survey from Ubisend, a chatbot building company, revealed that over half of its respondents believe that businesses should be available 24/7. With innovations like chatbots and simple autoresponders made available for businesses, it’s easier now more than ever to have round-the-clock support system at the ready through messaging apps.
Messaging Apps Vs Emails: Why Choose One?
With messaging apps appearing as the new way of engaging customers, does it mean that traditional forms of marketing and engagement are now obsolete?
The same report by Ubisend shows that consumers are generally split in half regarding the email vs messaging apps debate. 45.8% of them believe that messaging apps are the best way to get in touch with a business, while 54.2% still prefer to get in touch with brands through email.
It’s obvious that a lot of consumers still haven’t gotten over traditional marketing methods and that messaging apps, though steadily growing popular, just haven’t won over the majority of the market yet. When it comes to marketing efforts, most brands decide that it’s either email or messaging apps, without realizing that utilizing both in your operations can mean more engagement for your business.
Let’s face it: messaging apps have features that emails lack, and vice-versa. The key is to fill in those gaps by playing to the strengths of both platforms to create an impactful strategy. Messaging apps have the immediacy and urgency that emails lack. On the other hand, emails are suited for delivering content, news, and other offers closer through your customer’s inbox.
An integrated strategy would use the unique points of messaging apps to amplify the timelessness of email campaigns. Here’s how you can do just that:
How To Use Messaging Apps With Emails
1. Promote An Email Newsletter
Newsletters are regularly sent out by brands to ensure that their customers are continuously engaged. But with social media and messaging apps growing faster than ever, does it still make sense to create newsletters?
The answer is yes. The New York Times regularly sends out newsletters to its readers. Lindsay Goddard, email product manager at The New York Times, says that newsletters encourage casual readers to become habitual readers, which eventually converts them into paying, subscribed users. Greentech Media, a website focused on green energy-related content, attests to this as well. They said that audiences typically spend 80% more time on their site thanks to their newsletters, which generally have a 62% read rate.
Despite the data, there’s no guarantee that your audience is constantly checking their inboxes, waiting for a newsletter from you. Chances are they’re going about their days and ignoring Gmail notifications as they pop up.
That doesn’t have to be the case. We spend most of our time on our phones so much so that 53% of emails are accessed through a mobile device. Instead of letting your brilliantly-crafted newsletter go to waste, let your audience know you’ve got something waiting for them.
Use messaging apps to remind your audience of an incoming or already existing newsletter. You can program chatbots to do this so you don’t come off as spammy. Alternate between sending the newsletter and the alert. This way, you make sure your newsletters are read and given proper attention.
2. Promote Content
A whopping 89% of adults in the U.S. mobile population prefer to access content through their phones. This includes videos, articles, photos, and other informational material we have plastered on social media and other sites.
And while Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are among the most effective ways to promote visual content, not all content can be delivered through these platforms. Paid content, like webinars, eBooks, and PDFs, is still being delivered through email platforms. In fact, 86% of brands still prefer email for content promotion.
So, how do you integrate both? Continue to deliver content through email but use messaging apps to get them noticed. Notify your subscribers about that new article or the free eBook you’re offering. You can include download links on Facebook Messenger to allow your customers to download your content right away.
3. Promote Time-Sensitive Offers
Emails have an average open rate of 22%, and while it’s a pretty good number on its own, marketers are trying to find ways to improve the numbers by integrating another medium into the mix. The answer? Use text messaging and messaging apps to promote time-sensitive offers.
According to digital marketer Neil Patel, this combo is often one of the most effective but clearly overlooked dynamics in email marketing. His pharmaceutical client used text messages to follow up with unresponsive subscribers, which significantly improved his client’s newsletter open rate, especially when it came to 24-hour promotions and sales that are often overlooked by clients.
Because of the almost-immediate engagement that text messaging and messaging apps provide, they are also reliable in performing other time-sensitive tasks. SMS can be the key in helping clients check their order status and informing customers of new inventory, among other things.
4. Follow Up On Customer Surveys
Customer feedback is the bloodline of every business. This helps you gain perspective when you’re trying to scale your business or nail down USPs against competitors.
In an ideal world, businesses have no problem getting feedback from their clients because everyone wants to see each other improve. But in reality, email surveys have an average response rate of 30%, which is significantly lower than surveys conducted in person and through the mail.
Enter surveys through messaging apps. You can craft a personalized message and include a small incentive like a discount code or a freebie, and add information about your email survey. Both of these strategies make you more humane as a brand and let your customer know that you really care, which may be more than enough to compel them to participate in your survey.
There are a lot of creative ways to integrate emails and messaging apps, and these are just some of them. The bottom line is to always keep your eyes peeled for opportunities that would allow you to integrate both into your operations.
Remember, people’s preference over email and messaging apps are still split in half, giving you plenty of space to create creative, engaging, and profitable campaigns.