Gartner’s mobile messaging team have said that direct to mobile messaging is an incredibly effective but underitilized mobile tactic among marketing leaders. There can be no doubt that messaging is particularly valuable and has a low delivery cost when used in concert with native mobile features such as Wallet, Calendar, QR Codes, 2WAY and Geo Location. Mobile messaging can orchestrate a deepening level of customer engagement, so investing now in messaging puts a marketing team in a better position to take advantage of the opportunities to extend the capabilities of engagement in the mobile customers journey.
Resistance to change is inevitable. The text v email channel debate is going to be happening more and more. Historically, online sales have been driven by email and have in times past made up between 17% and 25% of eCommerce sales, with the rest coming from social tools like FB, Instagram etc.. (around 25%) and SEO (more than 25%) and the rest from sources such as incremental/referral and brand osmosis. These numbers will change.
There is no doubt that email when considered as cost vs return has been a solid revenue generator for most organisations, and will continue to serve online commerce providers in some capacity, although already returns are diminishing. The attached Campaign Monitor chart shows that in the period 2019 to 2021 email open rates in retail (mainly eCommerce) dropped by 6.32% – more than in any other category. Interestingly others went up – keeping the often quoted email average open rates seemingly quite respectable. However in the retail sector – less than 9 in 100 retail emails is even opened. As the space becomes more clutered marketers will need to find new ways to cut through with their messaging.
There is a new and emerging channel that is available to marketers today – Visual and Text Messaging Direct to the Mobile Inbox – the results are immediate and significant.
The MobileDigital business model is built around text as a new and optimum channel to the mobile user, not an alternate channel, a new channel. We expect that within the next 5 years text generated sales promotions, conversational (two way messaging enagement) and text based eCommerce will represent between 15% and 20% of online sales. Text is not email’s enemy – in fact visual (MMS) and text (SMS) messages have an immediate impact on improving email open rates. Email, plus SMS or MMS increases your brand message exposure to a wider audience – and that is a good thing.
I remember well a client after doing their first personalised MMS re-activation campaign saying “I was really happy with the response, but what really surprised me was that my email open rates lifted the next week by over 7%”. Brand awareness is brand awareness, if a consumer knows your brand, it is “criminal” to let them lose touch with it. It’s 8 times easier to sell to an exisiting client, and much easier to sell to an inactive client – much easier and less costly than having to build your brand messaging with new clients.
As eCommerce grows, so will the costs of customer acquisition, companies will need to consider nuturing their customer relationships to succeed in what is an ever increasingly crowded and costly space. As attrribution gets harder with tracking under challenge, in a more crowded market social and SEO pricing will continue to accelerate and untimately become cost prohibitive as brands with deeper pockets push prices up, and competition down. Things change – sometimes very quickly.
There are many who believe that text will play a very important role in the next phase of eCommerce, and not just as the appointment reminder, authentication and delivery advice transactional product we see in full swing today. SMS (text) and MMS (visuals) gives brands the opportunity to meet customers where they spend their most time. Consumers engage faster with text – on average 90 seconds vs 90 minutes with email, and 98% of your messaging is seen.
2020 taught us, we need to be able to try new things, if they don’t work we try others, but we have to keep trying. After all, text’s success as a marketing and engagement channel is inevitable – there has never been, nor will there ever be again anything that has its power.