Back to all blog posts
Combining SMS and Email Marketing for Higher Engagement
SMS Marketing Best Practices

Combining SMS and Email Marketing for Higher Engagement

With eCommerce increasingly going mobile, the combination of SMS and email marketing holds the promise of being the best way for digital-first businesses to communicate with their audiences.

September 16, 2022

SMS and Email Marketing. Name a more iconic duo … I’ll wait. (Forever missing that era of the internet). But we don’t think it’s an overstatement to say that using SMS and email marketing together is an iconic marketing strategy. 

Like every marketing channel, email and SMS have pros and cons, but they can create some real magic when used together. In this blog, we've put together how the two channels stack up against each other, how to use these channels cohesively, and some campaigns to try out. 

SMS vs Email Marketing 

Email Marketing

Email is an effective tool for generating new leads, acquiring customers and increasing retention, and simultaneously maximizing the ROI with each campaign. There are more than 306 billion emails sent and received each day. 

Some of the key pros and cons of email marketing, boiled down:

Email Marketing Pros:

  • More interactive
  • Richer, long form content

Email Marketing Cons:

  • Slow to catch audience attention
  • Low engagement
  • High inbox saturation

SMS Marketing

SMS marketing is the perfect channel to exceed customer expectations with quick responses and targeted communications. Where SMS marketing out paces email is intimacy and saturation. With SMS, your brands messages are showing alongside texts from love ones which leads to open rates of 98%. That means that almost every SMS sent is opened by customers. On the other hand, email marketing is extremely saturated, so email has an overall average open rate is 16.97%. It is easier to capture the audience’s attention with creative, relevant, and time-sensitive messages using SMS. 

As a marketer, you can make the most of this channel by generating leads, converting them into sales, and building relationships with customers across their purchase journey. You can further optimize engagement by using marketing automation to reach out to customers, inform them about new products, promotions, discounts, or provide any other relevant content.

Some of the key pros and cons of SMS marketing, boiled down:

SMS Marketing Pros:

  • High open rates 
  • Highly targeted
  • Immediate customer attention 

SMS Marketing Cons:

  • Character limit 
  • Quiet hours 

Collecting Email and SMS Subscribers 

Giving your customers the option to opt-into email and SMS is an easy way to grow both subscriber lists. It can be as easy as having email and SMS opt-ins on your welcome modal

For example, if a customer signs up for a back-in-stock email for a product, in that confirmation email, you could add a CTA along the lines of “Check your texts more often? Sign up for back-in-stock texts, so you are the first to know when this is back!” 

During a promotion or sale, balance communicating with customers on both channels thoughtfully. Play with the timing of email and texts to capture attention. Entice email subscribers to sign up for the generally more effective SMS channel by sharing exclusive discounts for SMS subscribers. This could be as simple as having a CTA in your emails saying, “Want 10% off? Sign up for our texts!” 

SMS and Email Campaign Examples

Secret Sale Email

One email and SMS campaign we recommend to our customers is a doing a secret sale email. 

It’s the most effective method for brands to grow SMS subscribers and gain revenue. Send an email to your list of email subscribers, encouraging them to sign up for SMS to receive exclusive access to your “secret sale”. Brands who have used this highly effective campaign saw accelerated SMS list building. As well as incredible revenue conversion by appealing to customers through exclusivity (“shhh, it’s a secret”). 

Product Launch or Sale Announcement 

To take advantage of SMS open rates, you can start cross-channel promotion for your sale or product launch. Using a combination of SMS, email, and social will get as many eyes as possible on your marketing. 

Email marketing can be used to spread long formed content about the upcoming launch or sale. As well as promoting “be the first to know about the sale” or “gain early access” by signing up for SMS. Again, this tactic of offering early access creates a feeling of exclusivity with your customers, which is a key aspect of increasing your CLTV (customer lifetime value)

When it’s time for the launch or sale, use SMS for the high open rates and immediate customer actions. Also, send out an email to make sure you have as many eyes on it as possible. 

A Holistic Marketing Approach

Taking a holistic approach to marketing and playing to each marketing channel's strengths will ultimately bring your brand the most success and build an effective multi-channel approach. 

Looking for more SMS best practices? Download SMS Marketing 101: The Definitive Guide now and equip your company with all the knowledge and tactics needed for a successful SMS voyage. 

Originally published Apr. 2019. Updated Sept. 2022.

get updates to your inbox

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Never miss an update from Voyage. We'll send you the latest and greatest in SMS marketing, message commerce, and more.

Thank you! You are now subscribed!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
By subscribing to our newsletter, you agree to our terms and that you have read our Privacy Policy.