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5 ways to leverage SMS in your omnichannel marketing strategy

New communication platforms and marketing channels emerge daily. Meanwhile, consumers are demanding consistent and personalized messaging that meets them when and where they want. How do businesses keep up with these new demands?

Omnichannel marketing is the answer: creating a unified customer experience out of multi-channel touchpoints that work together more powerfully.

Why SMS is one of the best omnichannel marketing tools

The terms omnichannel marketing and multichannel marketing are used interchangeably, but there is one significant difference. Multichannel refers to using as many channels as possible to get the greatest reach. This means picking relevant channels such as social media, email, and text messaging at the same time to get the most eyeballs for your campaigns.

Conversely, omnichannel is about the interrelation of each channel to leverage their advantages (and to reduce their weaknesses) by using them in a strategic combination with each other to achieve a single objective.

The objective of an omnichannel approach is not necessarily about attention. Instead, it might be loyalty, conversions, retention, or simply awareness. For example, if you sent out a marketing campaign, you may only use email or social media. You only bring SMS into the mix as an abandoned cart reminder for those customers who clicked through but didn’t fulfill their shopping cart orders. The objective here is to create a seamless customer and shopping experience that propels the customer towards the chosen goal of conversions.

Easily add SMS as a powerful lever to increase the effectiveness of existing marketing and customer journeys.

5 omnichannel marketing examples that suit SMS

1. Re-engage lapsed customers with follow up texts

Acquisition of customers is essential but so are your retention strategies. What’s the point of building a great user experience for customers if they leave just as quickly? If current customer-based channels aren’t engaging, consider adding in a quick follow-up SMS.

IMAGE showing a journey: 

Email journey: email - opened - clicked - offer picked up.

If not opened or link clicked, send text - push through to offer

Online retailer Vinomofo used email campaigns to re-engage customers who hadn’t bought wine for almost a year. While this proved somewhat successful with their target audiences, they were looking for ways to increase their reach and conversions simultaneously. By adding texts to customers who hadn’t responded or opened their emails within a day or two of sending, they increased conversions by 21% plus delivered other impressive results.

In short: texts work because they are short, direct, and opened quickly due in large part to our psychological impulses and proximity to our phones.

2. Accelerate a faster sales process with text messaging

When real estate agency Bellarine Property was looking to sell an off-market property, they sent out special black envelope packages to drum up interest with qualified buyers. While this secured some good engagement, it was the follow-up text message that sealed the deal. The buyer of the property was overseas at the time and missed the envelope. They did, however, see the text and promptly arranged an inspection within days of them arriving back in the country.

IMAGE - Journey - Black envelope - followed up text reminder “Did you get our special package?”

RELATED: Learn about how real estate CRM LockedOn helped clients like Bellarine Property drive 500x ROI for their sales process using their secret weapon: SMS.

Text messaging can be highly advantageous when you’re looking to close deals faster or nurture customer relationships. Traditional channels such as mail-outs, email, or outbound calls are great for qualifying interest in your offering. Once a customer has shown interest, text messaging can be an easy way to nurture the relationship (with two-way texting) or close sales faster with time-sensitive offers (e.g. get it now before this property is gone!).

In short: two-way SMS can be used to nurture relationships but can also be used, through reminders and follow-ups, to close deals faster or push customers through the sales cycle.

3. Make personalized marketing and offers easy with SMS

Vinomofo also utilized text messaging for more personalized campaigns. For businesses like Vinomofo, personalization is everything, and customers tend to expect it across every touchpoint.

An image showing a CRM which doesn't talk to your messaging platforms

The problem with that level of personalization is the systems you use and the tools that can integrate into it. While MessageMedia’s text message service allows for in-platform personalization (e.g. first name, company, date, time), it’s best to host all tools under one CRM or management ‘roof’ where they can talk to one another.

To avoid data silo-ing, your platform of choice must be able to track and bring all data together easily. This will help you analyze and plan future interactions with greater customization and detail that customers will greatly appreciate.

An image showing a CRM which talks to your messaging platforms

In short: to make sure your omnichannel marketing strategy runs seamlessly, consider integrating our text messaging service into your customer platform of choice. We have a number of existing integrations, including HubSpot, Shopify, NetSuite, plus many more.

RELATED: See what you can plug and play within our integrations marketplace, connect with a third-party connector like Zapier or download our free API key and have your team make their own!


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4. Embrace loyal customers with the power of text messaging

In constantly changing times, loyal customers are a must for any business hoping to sustain longevity. Finding ways to keep customers faithful to one company over another has been a challenge as leaders look for new ways to give customers a reason to keep coming back.

A phone showing an example SMS

For the retail pharmacy sector, there is no more significant challenge. To encourage return purchases, one pharmacy chain sent out email vouchers with credits to high-value customers. While email was compulsory, some pharmacy stores also used text messaging as an optional secondary distribution channel. Those who used email vouchers experienced an average 37% redemption rate, while those who also used text messaging almost doubled with a 66% redemption rate.

In short: if you’re struggling to increase repeat shoppers or loyalty, consider text messaging. With its high open rate, compelling calls to action, plus mobile-first experience, it’s much more likely for customers to act upon it and enjoy the rewards.

5. Support customers better with two-way SMS messaging

Customers seek new touchpoints to access the support they need when having issues with your product or service. The younger generation prefers unobtrusive experiences such as notifications from mobile apps or text messaging. Messaging platforms also allow customers to reply at their own pace; however, SMS is universal. It does not require you to download a specific app, stay in your browser, or even be online to continue the conversation.

An infographic showing a potential customer journey following an email enquiry

MessageMedia customer Port Networks saw a massive surge in customer satisfaction when they started using text messaging in addition to phone calls for customer support. There were substantial internal benefits for their support reps, who saw a reduction of between 8-10 hours per week in call time and a 50% decrease in wait times.

RELATED: How to gain customer trust and confidence with the power of text messaging

In short: to improve your customer support experience, consider how text messaging or two-way messaging can help you embrace the needs of more customers while also investing in a way to reduce the workloads and increase the efficiency of your staff.


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Top tips for implementing text messaging in your omnichannel marketing tool

Here’s a quick starter process:

  • Map one current customer journey and look for gaps and opportunities
  • If you’re not using one, consider a CRM or omnichannel management tool to avoid data silos and reduce administration workloads
  • Pick an SMS service that can be easily integrated into your CRM system
  • Finally, add text messaging to your journey and test, test, test!

Final thoughts, further reading

If you haven’t guessed it yet, omnichannel marketing is the way of the future. Customers are demanding it but its advantages dictate that you should already be heavily investing in it. Strategically using multiple channels at our disposal together to leverage their strengths should be right up any marketer’s sleeve. Start including text messaging as part of your omnichannel marketing strategy today!

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