Questions? (877) 643-7244
FutureNow Post
Friday, Jun. 18, 2010 at 11:02 am

Ubiquitous Email Marketing Offers Versus SMS

By Melissa Burdon
June 18th, 2010

With my addiction to sugar, I know all the good sweet spots in my city!  There is a really great frozen yogurt shop near my home called Red Mango. I was in there recently, getting my fix, and I noticed a sign telling me to text a phone number to receive a coupon via text for a rebate on my next frozen yogurt purchase. Of course, this marketing tactic worked and I came back the following day to claim my coupon!

I know I’ve mentioned in the past how I like to wait for the great “clearance emails” from my favorite online retailers.  Their seasonal clearance sales with promotional codes made it feel like I was getting an exclusive offer/opportunity that I didn’t want to miss out on. The only issue is that I am getting bombarded with these types of offers on a daily basis now. The offers are becoming less and less enticing because they no longer feel exclusive; they just feel like spam!  I don’t respond as strongly to these emails anymore.

So, how can you stand out in a world that is bombarding customers with marketing? Red Mango came up with a pretty interesting idea with their coupon text messages. How can you take this idea online? Perhaps instead of having your visitors sign up for your email newsletter to get weekly discounts etc., you can have the visitor give you their cell phone number so that you can send them monthly coupons to their phone that they can redeem online? This could also be a great opportunity to collect phone numbers for visitors who are interested in what you have to offer, paving the way for an opportunity to create a phone campaign as well.

An article in the New York Times says that, in the information-overloaded digital marketing world, SMS marketing may be the closest thing to a “guaranteed read,” and the article goes on to say that SMS is still a relatively uncluttered and spam-free marketing channel. Read the rules listed in this very interesting article to get started using text messaging as a form of marketing.

Just as the old clearance emails were a great way to create a long term relationship with customers back in the day, SMS is a great new way to strengthen that long term relationship with customers. Just remember to approach any SMS campaign with the right frame of mind: the goal is not to get results for that one campaign, but to continue building relationships with your customers and develop their loyalty.

Add Your Comments

Comments (86)

  1. [...] original post here: Ubiquitous Email Marketing Offers Versus SMS | Conversion Rate … Comments [...]

  2. I think this is a good idea up to a certain point. If clearance emails came to be what they are now considered, spam, I can’t imagine customers being too happy being bombarded with sms offers on a daily basis. Not only that but, depending on the wireless plan, the consumer can get charged for each message received. Mainly on prepaid plans, but still.

  3. Really great article thank you

  4. [...] View full post on Conversion Rate Optimization & Marketing Blog | FutureNow, Inc [...]

  5. Good article . Your writing is very good. keep doing good work. GOd bless you.

  6. The NYT says “SMS is still a relatively uncluttered and spam-free marketing channel”.

    I’d like it to stay that way, and would prefer it if marketers avoided it, thankyou very much!

  7. Taking advantage of cell is a pretty good idea vs. email. People’s phone number is much more personal than their email addy. Good stuff!

  8. hi,Melissa Burdon

    Good article,but
    what is the best way to send mass marketing email without getting blocked and spammed?

  9. I have been using this method for years and it works great. If you aren’t using sms then you should be.

  10. [...] Ubiquitous Email Marketing Offers Versus SMS Published: June 20, 2010 Source: Conversion Rate Optimization & Marketing Blog | FutureNow, Inc With my addiction to sugar, I know all the good sweet spots in my city! There is a really great frozen yogurt shop near my home called Red Mango. I was in there recently, getting my fix, and I noticed a sign… [...]

  11. You’ve really given your readers a really great idea. Most of us are concentrated on internet stuff to market online products so why not really try to use sms. Clever!

  12. I like the idea of SMS marketing, but the downside to it is that it has higher initial costs than e-mail marketing for example.

  13. Hi Melissa,
    Thanks for sharing your SMS marketing idea.Actully it is very good idea for marketing.I like your idea.I think it will be useful in feature.

  14. Text marketing is permission based. Not spam. If you sign up, you get the coupons. If you stop the alerts, they stop. ie No spam. SMS is huge for the food industry and really works for impulse purchases and new customer acquisition. Only recently has it started to be considered in retail advertising – see this news release from Editor and Publisher – some news media are adding text to all of their advertising so the ad begins a relationship rather than just being a one-off billboard for one day. http://www.editorandpublisher.com/Headlines/scripps-papers-to-use-cctext-mobile-ad-program-61725-.aspx

  15. I think this is a good idea while it’s still new. This will become like the span emails that we are annoyed with now once certain businesses get wise to the idea. If it stays a one time thing like a frozen yogurt coupon then that’s fine what will keep these companies from just spamming as they are now?

  16. The issue is SMS is very short. But the reach, and attention will be much better than email. I too feel that after one has seen the advertisement, he can’t reach the target webpage if he doesnot have any data connection. This prevents to have more information. So still i believe email will be one step forward if some one else is reading the email.

  17. sweet idea!

    Never thought of evolving the newsletter to mobile services!

    Do you have any data on how this went?

  18. I think SMS marketing could work, however it needs to be upfront, opted in, and only used in a few industries (especially the food sector since people actively seek coupons). I have gotten a few text messages in the past and they were ads that A) I didn’t sign up for knowingly and B) were irrelevant to me. I didn’t necessarily mind that these companies texted me because they didn’t abuse the power, but it did cost me money per text. The usage of my allotted monthly text was the real kicker for me.

  19. I think it is great for brand loyalty. That said I think that a consumer is not going to sign up for your text message coupon without being past first hump of trying your product… i.e. they already have a good first impression, they already want to support you, and they want to continue a relationship with your brand!

  20. This SMS is a great example of opt in marketing where the user willingly engage with the marketing and therefore ensuring a higher level of conversion vs annoying SMS that gets send to you without permission.

  21. I would just like to add that movie producers have been promoting their movies lately with SMS’s.

  22. It is a good idea to plot the data so that you can explore its features.
    An exploratory plot of your data enables you to identify discontinuities
    and potential outliers, as well as the regions of interest.
    Thanks…

  23. Business objective is to seek profit through efficiency. Technology makes business become efficient.

  24. SMS spam is more irritating that emails. What happens when the marketing turns to spam, and invariably it will for some.

  25. Really great article thank you

  26. An exploratory plot of your data enables you to identify discontinuities

  27. B) were irrelevant to me. I didn’t necessarily mind that these companies texted me because they didn’t abuse the power, but it did cost me money per text. The usage of my allotted monthly text was the real kicker for me.

  28. Publisher – some news media are adding text to all of their advertising so the ad begins a relationship rather than just being a one-off billboard for one day.

  29. türkiyenin firma rehberi sitesi

  30. dantel örnekleri

  31. lots of tips

  32. pes 2010,pes 2011

  33. Great article..

    Thanks for sharing.

  34. Hi Melissa,
    Thanks for sharing your SMS marketing idea.Actully it is very good idea for marketing.I like your idea.I think it will be useful in feature.

  35. Nice article..

    Thanks for sharing.

  36. The contribution is not at the point! Find also it should be done just like that. I like the idea of SMS marketing, but to the downside it is that it has higher initial costs than email marketing for example.

  37. SMS marketing does have higher costs than another form of direct marketing, an example being email. Also there is the issue that SMS marketing may seem too intrusive, this may prevent customers from signing up in the first place proving difficult to build your list.

  38. Been to a presentation of T-mobile in Czech Republic regarding the issue of SMS marketing. The biggest problem is the legal one – customers have to agree to receive a message from the operator. Sure, sms marketing brings lots of positives (you can aim at specific target group precisely – like sending a sms during lunch time with advertisement of a local restaurant), but imho e-mail marketing isn’t over yet.

  39. Especially when you target a foreign group. In that case sms marketing can be very expensive.

  40. Melissa,
    We use SMS marketing in the automotive industry and find it does convert better than standard email. I would say it is more web to SMS and we see it have a huge upside.

  41. SMS advertising should be willingly accepted by the potential buyer, if its not that way, it will just come off as spam in 90% of the cases, and that hurts reputation

  42. Really good article, keep doing the good work.

  43. “SMS is still a relatively uncluttered and spam-free marketing channel” It is at least until techniques like the ones you are suggesting become popular. Cutting edge marketing now, spam tactic in three years :)

  44. I agree with you, notifications on promotional sales and coupon giveaways sent on my email are becoming less enticing. Clever idea regarding taking advantage of SMS. Btw, I love Red Mango too lol.

  45. sms is very effective & spam free, because its not easy to get numbers from a lot people.. where as email marketing is irritating & less effective now days. even company like dell is using sms marketing compaign in Pakistan

  46. Thanks for sharing.

  47. [...] [...]

  48. araç kiralama sitesi

  49. Pretty good article….

    my bro will surely like it….

  50. yes, I agree that SMS can be a choice for marketing, since it has more real time and can be sent in any time without spam disturb, sms or MMS will be trend for marketing, it can reach mobile in the world

  51. I really believe email marketing these days AND sms marketing provide low conversions…

  52. Hi Melissa,

    Wow! I am really surprised to see all this agreement with your article. Even though it was a good read, I feel compelled (like Daisy in comment no.2) to point out that moving a Spam approach from one channel to another hardly seems like a good, long term strategy.

    Would it not be a better idea to learn from the past and come up with a new, relationship building approach? In the spirit of Seth Godin I would claim that using a tactic in SMS, that no longer works in email, will lead to loss of permission with your clients – especially since consumers are more guarded about their phone no. than their email adress.

    Now I appologice for not offering a better solution and just criticising but I strongly feel that a word of caution is needed here!

    Besides that, thank you for a good article on an interesting subject

  53. The idea of having an open market using people’s phones may seem like a good idea, like Daisy said it could also be problematic. There are a large number of people that generally aren’t too pleased when they receive a call from a telemarketer and I know that I would personally prefer to get the emails than the phone call. However, I do like the idea in the individual choosing to receive the information. Something like a daily text or a subscription to a twitter account that gives them the marketing information that they want to send.

  54. But I don’t give out my mobile phone number for precisely the reason that I don’t want spam on my mobile phone. Sure, I’m guarenteed to read the message, but I’m much more weary as a consumer about signing my number up, and I feel dissapointed when an inpersonal automated message comes through to my phone.

    Coupons can stay in the email space. I’m happy with that.

  55. #

    SMS spam is more irritating that emails. What happens when the marketing turns to spam, and invariably it will for some.

  56. SMS is considered an effective tool for local marketing and targeted consumers but not recommended for online business marketing because it has relatively high cost. It can be used for effective secondary tool.

  57. Another way is FAX marketing. A fax machine offers you a fast and inexpensive way to alert potential customers to new or service product offerings or special promotions.

  58. Good read this, I’ve found SMS marketing is particularly valuable because it seems to strike a chord with recipents more than email is right now – - as you hint in the article, email is everywhere but there’s something innately personal about receiving an SMS. Definately an important strategy to go with a body of other marketing techniques.

  59. SMS is going the way of fax machines as smart phones increase in usage. Instead of making your email irrelevant, focus on sending email that people want to read.

  60. I think this is a good idea up to a certain point but i am not sure customers would be happy to be bombarded with sms offers

  61. That sounds like a really smart marketing by Red Mango. If you are already in their shop, they know that you like their product. They just simply give you another incentive to keep coming back and maybe even tell others about them.

    Simply genius!

  62. Interesting, I myself starting receiving text messages from a local chip shop on the days England played during the World Cup, I was initially surprised that a chip shop was using SMS as a form of marketing, but to be honest it is a great form of targeted marketing.

  63. Yes! SMS is really a great tool to in marketing your business. You can send your costumer an information or services that you can offer, this is really helpful.
    There is also one of the most effective marketing strategies like referral-in this kind of strategies you can gain trust and a long term relationship with your costumer. Remember always that availability of your time with your costumer is must, make sure that you make your costumer feel that you are always available to serve them.

  64. Mobile marketing can be used for a wide range of purposes: announcing new product, one-day specials, new store openings, special events…etc. Subscribers can be treated as an exclusive group for offers and information that only they have access to, increasing loyalty, purchases, and speed of communications.

  65. As a marketing tool, SMS text messages are used in many other ways also. If you use key words similar to keywords used by the consumers, they accept your message you are promoting. You can use the five digit text number short cut codes that helps in receiving the responses and handling them automatically.

    Great article Melissa! keep it up :)

  66. I love the new SMS coupons, I only sign up for them from places that I really want to shop at. It’s great not having to carry all the coupons around, just the cell phone. Hope this catches on!

  67. With sms marketing, I think that’s another problem. Minding that some businessmen will go over on this, spam messages via cellphones are annoying. With email marketing, seeing my inbox with spam messages is terrifying, how much more if it’s on cellphones. As long as there comes a law setting up limitations when using sms in marketing products then it’s alright.

  68. Well according to me its not a great idea of marketing using sms to bombard customers and clients with offers because most of the times customers are not happy to be bombarded with sms offers any how if any customers ask you to update him with your offers by this sms marketing technique then its fine but if you just start bombarding sms to your customers not knowing ether they are willing to receive this kind of offers from you or not it would be very irritating for customers because cell phones are for personal use and if keep doing marketing sms on them ethically it will be wrong.

  69. I agree with you, its not such a good way to “attack” your customers with sms offers, i rather choose a email marketing because it’s more efficient and better targeted.

  70. Yes, most of the time mobile phones are for personal use. Sending text messages for purposes of advertising can be frustrating causing the opposite of what you would like to achieve imo. Thanks for this post miss Burdon.

  71. I think if you can get the target client to send the marketer a text message to receive further information, then it wouldn’t seem quite so intrusive. Much like those “Text this number for $1 to get a joke of the day!” kind of deal.

  72. hi,Melissa Burdon

    Good article,but
    what is the best way to send mass marketing email without getting blocked and spammed?

  73. That is a very clever idea. My only concern would be the cell phone users becoming irritated with the constant updates and such.

  74. “An article in the New York Times says that, in the information-overloaded digital marketing world, SMS marketing may be the closest thing to a “guaranteed read,””

    This basically hit the nail right on the head. People are wary now of email “offers” and a lot of times, they delete it without reading. But with SMS, everyone reads every messages so there’s a good chance that they’ll be able to read what you have to offer. A good first sentence will lead to them reading the whole message.

    I believe it’s better than email marketing because of all the anti-spam features that email has. I don’t believe SMS has that just yet.

    What Red Mango did was genius. It was able to get a repeat customer and of course, get the mobile number along with it.

    But please, make the conscious effort not to spam. There should also be an “opt out” option.

  75. Is it not just a matter of time before this great new technique becomes passe?

  76. With the SMS, I see my convenience, however with Email marketing offers I personally would like to regard it as SPAM only. But this post changed my viewpoint, at least to some extent. THX Brendan.

  77. I think SMS marketing could work, however it needs to be upfront, opted in, and only used in a few industries (especially the food sector since people actively seek coupons).

  78. Good post – SMS marketing has its place.
    However, I’ve just delved in to look at the search figures for ‘SMS Marketing’ compared to ‘Email Marketing’ using Google insights.
    Based on this data, SMS marketing still has a long way to go to catch up with the popularity of email marketing.
    Time will tell.

  79. May be you are right, people checks their SMS more quickly then their emails, so reminding them of anything via SMS is more fruitful then emails.

  80. I think both sms and email marketing can be use to boost your profit. However, SMS And Email Marketing can be combined to create a marketing powerhouse for any company. Just doing one without the other, can provide some results, but combining the two is much better.

  81. Good point. Most marketing related emails just end up in my spam, but I always read my texts.

  82. Ugh the idea of marketing through SMS is sort of disgusting to me.

    Has everyone read the articles about how average phone calls are getting shorter, and SMS is being used more as a primary means of mobile communication.

    So I think the sanctity of SMS needs to be kept, otherwise we’re gonna be living in spam hell. Imagine your phone vibrating none stop.

  83. Nice.. SMS can only be useful at local or national level while email marketing got wide scope

  84. SMS is definitely the future for online marketers. The trend of smart phones also opens up new avenues for businesses to keep in touc and interact with their customers. Also as stated above, currently SMS is the closest thing to a guaranteed open.

  85. I think using SMS for marketing is way too much. It can be much more annoying than email marketing itself.

    Have you ever tried waiting for an important SMS with great anticipation. It came and you are so excited…to find out it is spam

  86. I like to receive emails from Marketers, it’s just the spams that I cannot stand.

    If I stop receiving the right emails from the website I subscribed to, I immediately delete their emails on my contact list :(

Add Your Comments

 

Print this Article
Share

Melissa is a Senior Persuasion Analyst at FutureNow.

More articles from Melissa Burdon

Marketing Optimization Blog
FREE Newsletter Sign-Up
send it once every: