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6 Ways to Dominate Your Market by Merging SMS and Email Marketing

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6 Ways to Dominate Your Market by Merging SMS and Email Marketing

SMS isn’t the first channel that springs to mind when marketing. But it’s actually an incredibly effective channel to use.

SMS has fantastic open rates, a brilliant response rate, and is great for customer engagement. However, it’s limited in terms of the more creative aspects of marketing (design, for example, or video)

When combined with email marketing, however, these limitations vanish. A blend of SMS and email marketing can result in engaging, successful customer journeys that lead straight to conversion.

Here, we’ll run through the reasons you should incorporate SMS into your email strategy. Then we’ll tell you our six top tips for merging SMS and email to dominate your market.

Advantages of SMS marketing

SMS marketing has a lot of very important advantages. By combining SMS with your email marketing, you can make the most of the following benefits:

Incredible open rates

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There’s an immediacy to SMS that can’t be ignored. We’re far more likely to drop everything and check a text message than we are to dive into our email inbox. Only a third of email marketing messages get opened, while nearly all texts are opened. 

The response rate for SMS is also fantastic. 45% of SMS marketing messages get a reply – and that figure rises when the recipient knows and trusts the sender.

Mobile-friendly

This may sound obvious – but SMS is very mobile-friendly! 

In this day and age, it’s vital for marketing to be mobile-friendly. People use their phones for everything, from taking notes to listening to audiobooks and even for creating royalty free podcast music.

However, types of mobile devices differ a lot. It’s almost impossible to optimize most types of content for every single sort of phone. 

For SMS, it’s different. Every phone – from the latest smartphone model to the most basic brick – can receive SMS. This makes SMS very accessible.

It also enables you to reach new audiences. It’s estimated that 3.5 billion people worldwide have internet access. That’s an impressive figure – but it does still leave some people out. However, 6.6 billion people worldwide have a mobile phone and can receive text messages. 

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So, by incorporating SMS into your marketing mix, you can open your messaging up to a far wider audience. 

Fast delivery

SMS is at its best when you need to get in touch with the customer quickly and reliably. SMS messages reach customers almost immediately. What’s more, with their excellent open rates, you can be sure that the customer will not just get your message quickly – they’ll also read it quickly.

This makes SMS great for sending important information, like delivery notices, news of service disruptions, and so on. 

Sometimes, getting in touch with the customer quickly is vital for a good customer experience. SMS is the way to do this.

Works brilliantly with other types of marketing

SMS is very versatile. You can use it to reinforce, extend, and enhance any other marketing channel.

Here, we’re going to be talking about how you can merge SMS with your email marketing, and we’ll be looking into things like the right tech you should use, including types of sales enablement tools. A lot of our tips can be adapted for other channels. So, keep an open mind!

6 ways to blend SMS with your email marketing

Hopefully, we’ve convinced you that merging SMS with your email marketing is a good idea! Now, let’s get into how you can merge the two channels to best effect.

  1. Play to the strengths of SMS

The great thing about merging email and SMS is that each channel can do things that the other can’t. When used together, they make a perfect campaign. 

The major strengths of SMS are its delivery speed and its exceptional open rates. As a fast and reliable channel, SMS is great for things like:

  • Building buzz about events
  • Notifying about changes to service
  • Sending delivery messages
  • Sending passwords or password reset links
  • Sending discount codes
  • Getting feedback
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Here, for example, Adidas uses SMS to alert a customer about an impending delivery:

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And here, an airline uses SMS to alert a customer of a flight delay:

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What SMS is not great for is conveying a lot of information. It’s also pretty basic when it comes to things like design, creative content, and so on. This is where the combined talents of SMS and email marketing come into play.

For example, if you need your customer to absorb a lot of information quickly, you can combine SMS and email in a two-pronged approach. 

Take advantage of the immediacy and high open rate of text by sending your customer an SMS asking them to check their email (or maybe even linking them to the relevant information on your website!)

Or, think of your SMS as a subject line. Use it to grab attention and draw people into your email. Then put all that creative, long-form goodness into the email, safe in the knowledge that your open rates will be high.

This way, you can keep your customers up to date with the important info and drive up your email engagement rates while you’re at it.

  1. Use each channel to build the other’s lists

Lead generation is a huge part of any marketer’s workload. And gaining subscribers through just one channel is a thankless task. 

However, when you combine SMS and email in your lead generation efforts, that job becomes a whole lot easier.

Text your SMS list and suggest that they subscribe to your email marketing. Adding an incentive like a discount or a freebie often helps. Given the high open and response rate of SMS, you can build up your email list via SMS very quickly.

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You can do the same with your email marketing. Send out a campaign encouraging customers to sign up to your SMS list. 

You can even promote your SMS list in your regular emails. Put a subscription link at the bottom of each email or in a box-out (whatever works best for your format).

  1. Centralize your data

Every customer touchpoint is a potential source of great data. SMS is no different. By combining SMS and email marketing, you can gather plenty of data to analyze and draw insights from.

Whether you’re using an Azure data lakes system, a CRM, or a commercial DMP, your data will be at its best and most useful when it’s in one, easily-accessible place.

By centralizing your data, you make it accessible for teams across your organization. It’s easy to find, analyze, and use. 

A centralized database, in which data from every channel comes into a single location, helps you to see the bigger picture. You can draw broad insights from many different points on the customer journey rather than isolated insights from single points/channels.

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A centralized database is also great for streamlining your data. Because everything is in one place, there’s no duplicate data bulking up your system.

  1. Use the right tech

We’ve spoken above about centralizing your data. To do this properly, it’s worth shopping around for the platform or system that suits you. 

This doesn’t just apply to data, of course. Marketing is going through a tech revolution, and there’s some really exciting stuff out there. The right tech could have a huge impact on your SMS and your email marketing, allowing you to blend them in innovative ways.

For example, marketing AIs can curate and automate blended SMS and email customer journeys, releasing personalized texts and emails at the perfect time to nudge your customer to the next stage.

There are many different types of sales enablement tools that can help you to streamline, manage, and enhance your SMS strategy. From SMS automation to data-management platforms and CRMs to centralize your data, there’s plenty out there. Don’t be afraid to shop around for the right martech for you.

  1. Keep it brief

We’ve spoken above about the comparative strengths of text and email. Long-form messaging is not a strength of SMS.

People will open your SMS quickly, but if they’re met with a wall of text on that tiny screen, they won’t stick around to read it. So, keep your texts brief. Provide the essential information as clearly and succinctly as possible.

If you’ve got a lot to say, use the SMS as an alert to get the customer’s attention and direct them elsewhere for more details, as Macy’s has done here:

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  1. Be consistent with your messaging

Brand consistency is important across the board. If your brand’s voice or values differ from channel to channel, your customer will be confused. In order to build a relationship with your customer, you need to present a consistent persona at every point.

This can be tough with SMS. It’s hard to convey your brand’s personality in a few brief words. Having TOV (Tone of Voice) guidelines to hand can help. 

TOV guidelines are useful when coaching sales team. Moving forward, a TOV document will give salespeople and marketers a quick go-to guide when they’re not sure what wording to use.

Rule your market with a blend of SMS and email

Few things can grab a customer’s attention like SMS. By combining SMS and email marketing, you can build high-converting customer journeys and dominate your market.

Play to the strengths of each channel, and you’ll quickly find the leads flooding in and your conversion rate rising rapidly.


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MARKETING

YouTube Ad Specs, Sizes, and Examples [2024 Update]

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YouTube Ad Specs, Sizes, and Examples

Introduction

With billions of users each month, YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and top website for video content. This makes it a great place for advertising. To succeed, advertisers need to follow the correct YouTube ad specifications. These rules help your ad reach more viewers, increasing the chance of gaining new customers and boosting brand awareness.

Types of YouTube Ads

Video Ads

  • Description: These play before, during, or after a YouTube video on computers or mobile devices.
  • Types:
    • In-stream ads: Can be skippable or non-skippable.
    • Bumper ads: Non-skippable, short ads that play before, during, or after a video.

Display Ads

  • Description: These appear in different spots on YouTube and usually use text or static images.
  • Note: YouTube does not support display image ads directly on its app, but these can be targeted to YouTube.com through Google Display Network (GDN).

Companion Banners

  • Description: Appears to the right of the YouTube player on desktop.
  • Requirement: Must be purchased alongside In-stream ads, Bumper ads, or In-feed ads.

In-feed Ads

  • Description: Resemble videos with images, headlines, and text. They link to a public or unlisted YouTube video.

Outstream Ads

  • Description: Mobile-only video ads that play outside of YouTube, on websites and apps within the Google video partner network.

Masthead Ads

  • Description: Premium, high-visibility banner ads displayed at the top of the YouTube homepage for both desktop and mobile users.

YouTube Ad Specs by Type

Skippable In-stream Video Ads

  • Placement: Before, during, or after a YouTube video.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Vertical: 9:16
    • Square: 1:1
  • Length:
    • Awareness: 15-20 seconds
    • Consideration: 2-3 minutes
    • Action: 15-20 seconds

Non-skippable In-stream Video Ads

  • Description: Must be watched completely before the main video.
  • Length: 15 seconds (or 20 seconds in certain markets).
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Vertical: 9:16
    • Square: 1:1

Bumper Ads

  • Length: Maximum 6 seconds.
  • File Format: MP4, Quicktime, AVI, ASF, Windows Media, or MPEG.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 640 x 360px
    • Vertical: 480 x 360px

In-feed Ads

  • Description: Show alongside YouTube content, like search results or the Home feed.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Square: 1:1
  • Length:
    • Awareness: 15-20 seconds
    • Consideration: 2-3 minutes
  • Headline/Description:
    • Headline: Up to 2 lines, 40 characters per line
    • Description: Up to 2 lines, 35 characters per line

Display Ads

  • Description: Static images or animated media that appear on YouTube next to video suggestions, in search results, or on the homepage.
  • Image Size: 300×60 pixels.
  • File Type: GIF, JPG, PNG.
  • File Size: Max 150KB.
  • Max Animation Length: 30 seconds.

Outstream Ads

  • Description: Mobile-only video ads that appear on websites and apps within the Google video partner network, not on YouTube itself.
  • Logo Specs:
    • Square: 1:1 (200 x 200px).
    • File Type: JPG, GIF, PNG.
    • Max Size: 200KB.

Masthead Ads

  • Description: High-visibility ads at the top of the YouTube homepage.
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080 or higher.
  • File Type: JPG or PNG (without transparency).

Conclusion

YouTube offers a variety of ad formats to reach audiences effectively in 2024. Whether you want to build brand awareness, drive conversions, or target specific demographics, YouTube provides a dynamic platform for your advertising needs. Always follow Google’s advertising policies and the technical ad specs to ensure your ads perform their best. Ready to start using YouTube ads? Contact us today to get started!

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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

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Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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