Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 2.07.06 PMBoth email marketing and SMS marketing can be great ways to stay top of mind with customers—if you keep up with these efforts. Of course, when you run a small business, staying on top of marketing efforts is no small task. Fortunately, marketing automation technologies can make it easier, so your messages to your customers don’t keep getting put off. Using Signpost, you can easily run automated email and SMS marketing campaigns that deliver an engaging, customer-friendly experience. As soon as customers start doing business with you, automation services gather data that helps you reach specific customers more effectively in future marketing campaigns.

So what should small business owners know about email and SMS marketing? Below are some basic advantages and differences in implementation between the two:

Advantages:

The consultancy firm McKinsey & Co. found that sending email marketing messages to prospects’ inboxes is nearly 40 times more effective than using Twitter and Facebook combined in acquiring customers. McKinsey’s research also found that customers acquired through email marketing spend 17% more, on average, on purchases, than for social media marketing.

SMS marketing—consisting of 160-character text messages—also offers many advantages. Given that your message is sent directly to customers’ mobile phones, the average click-through rate is 36%, according to one study. Not surprisingly, SMS promotions were in the top five marketing expenditures for 2015 for companies surveyed by Salesforce in 2015.

Below are some suggested automated email and SMS marketing campaigns that are known to have a high success rate:

News bulletins: Alert customers that your business has opened a new location, received a shipment of a product that is in hot demand, or introduced a new service requested by your clientele.

Reminders: Send your customers a note about an upcoming deadline, such as the end of early registration prices for an event you’ve organized—or let them know that a subscription is ending and you will be auto-renewing it.

Directions: If you’re holding a special event, such as a sale or a customer appreciation day, customers will appreciate receiving directions to your location or information on parking, if it will be scarce.

Discounts: Perhaps the most effective automated email/SMS campaign is offering a discount. Giving new and repeat customers even a small percentage off the price of your products or services can help get them in the door and keep them coming back.

Differences:

On the most basic level, SMS marketing has a higher open rate than email. In fact, engagement rates for SMS marketing is eight times higher than traditional email marketing. However, also keep in mind that you have a limited number of characters in SMS messages. The restricted word count means you can’t communicate detailed information. Lastly, keep in mind your audience when using SMS marketing, which is more likely embraced by younger customers, while older ones prefer more traditional marketing channels, like email. SMS is also a great tool for immediacy, such as notifying customers when there’s a limited offer.

Smart businesses should consider using SMS and email marketing together by giving customers more detailed information through email and following-up with an SMS message. The key is to stay in touch regularly—which marketing automation tools, like Signpost, will allow you to do.

Why not take the first step and start automating your email and SMS marketing today—so you can cross it off your to-do list and start reaping the rewards? Click here to schedule a demo!