Email and SMS marketing are essential tools for ecommerce brands. Both are affordable, owned channels that can help you boost engagement and sales.

By signing up for your SMS and email lists, your subscribers are telling you they are interested in your brand, which makes them an ideal audience. They want to hear from you.

When defining your marketing strategy, consider the unique benefits of email and SMS marketing -- and how combining them can improve your campaign results.

3 benefits of email marketing 

Email is a tried and true marketing channel that averages a $36 return on every $1 spent, according to research from Litmus. Here are some of the biggest benefits of using email to share your marketing message. 

Reach customers when they're ready to listen

Seventy percent of consumers said they prefer brands to contact them via email.

People like email because it's not disruptive like ads can be. Emails arrive in the person's inbox and can be opened at their leisure. And because they're already familiar with your brand, you don't have to win over their acceptance like you do with new audiences.

Personalize your message

More than 70% of consumers expect personalized interactions from brands (and 76% get frustrated when they don't). Email marketing software makes it easy to segment and personalize your campaigns, which builds trust with your prospects and customers.

You can tailor your email marketing campaigns for different audiences to ensure you send the right message at the right time, based on their interests, browsing and purchase history, and other first-party data you gather on your customers.

Why is this important? Imagine getting an email with the subject line "20% off your first purchase" from a brand you've been buying for years. Or repeated promos for a product you've already bought. It probably wouldn't make you feel like a valued customer.

Automate your marketing

Email automation makes marketing easier than ever. You can set up automated email sequences that trigger when someone takes action, such as signing up for your newsletter, making a purchase, or leaving something in their shopping cart.

This helps you stay in touch with customers and prospects in a way that reflects where they are in the customer journey without depending on one-time newsletters. It also enables you to send timely and personal emails automatically. (Who doesn't love a birthday discount?)

3 benefits of SMS marketing

SMS (short message service) marketing has quietly become a powerful channel for ecommerce brands. SMS messages are opened 3.8x more often than email, which means your customers are more likely to read your marketing message. Here are a few reasons why.

Reach customers where they are

In the U.S., people spend an average of 4.5 hours on their smartphones daily. What's more, 95% of text messages are read within three minutes of receipt. So when you text your customers, you're reaching them on a platform they're active on.

With email's 25% open rate, your customers may not see the marketing messages you send via email right away – or at all. But when you use SMS marketing, customers receive your message almost immediately.

This makes it an ideal channel for time-sensitive messages, such as flash sales, Black Friday promotions, and order updates.

Build customer loyalty

Customer retention and loyalty are vital to the success of ecommerce brands, and your customers want to be heard.

Unlike email, SMS marketing is two-way communication. You can use SMS messages to send out helpful reminders and order updates, and your customers can respond with questions or feedback. Or you can automate conversations for things like frequently asked questions, product recommendations, and re-orders.

Text messaging with your customers helps build relationships and establish trust. It can also alert you to issues and enable you to resolve them quickly. This lets your customers know your brand is responsive and invested in providing a great customer experience.

Get ahead of the competition

Adding SMS marketing to your tool belt can give you an edge over competitors who aren't using it.

According to Pew Research, 76% of U.S. adults (and 92% of consumers ages 30 to 49) say they make purchases from their smartphones. Yet only 55% of brands include SMS in their marketing strategy.

That means you can be one of the few brands in your industry to enjoy the benefits of text message marketing. Just don't wait too long. As SMS marketing gains popularity, you'll have more competition for your customers' attention.

3 benefits of combining email and SMS marketing

With more than 300 billion emails sent every day, it's easy for your marketing emails to get buried under a pile of unwanted spam. But SMS on its own can only communicate so much in a short message.

Combining SMS and email marketing can supercharge your owned marketing efforts by using the strengths of each channel to achieve more conversions and increase customer retention.

Reach more prospects and customers

More people will see your message when you use SMS and email marketing together.

You'll be able to grow your email and SMS lists individually for customers who only want to be contacted on one channel, but also together for customers that want to hear from you on both channels.

In fact, two-thirds of Gen Z shoppers prefer SMS over email. So you're missing out if you only use one channel.

Provide a better customer experience

90% of shoppers think it's important for brands to contact them on their preferred channels. Some of your customers may prefer email, while others would rather receive text messages. Communicating via their preferred method helps increase customer satisfaction.

By using email and SMS in tandem, you can run personalized and behavior-based flows that show recipients they're valued customers and that you're ready to meet them where they are.

For customers who are signed up for both SMS and email, you can also be selective about what you send by email and what you send by SMS. For example, you can send a customer a less time sensitive message that their order has shipped. Then when it arrives, you can send an SMS message to let customers know it's at their doorstep.

Boost results with cross-channel marketing

Some channels are better suited for certain types of messages. For example, email is better for long-form content, complex messages, and content with a lot of visuals. Text messages, on the other hand, are best for short content, time-sensitive updates, and conversations. By combining email and SMS marketing messages, you can reach customers with more effective messaging.

You can run tests to determine which kinds of messages perform best on which channel and even segment your audience by their engagement on each channel so you reach them where they're most likely to take action.

Using them in tandem, you can send an email with more details, and a follow up text when a customer doesn't take action.

Start texting your customers with a platform built for ecommerce

If sending SMS messages isn't already part of your marketing strategy, it's time to get started. Emotive is an SMS marketing platform built specifically for ecommerce. It integrates with your favorite email marketing platform so you can use your flows to reach customers on both channels.

Our white-glove services can even help you create a text-messaging strategy, write copy, and respond to customer inquiries effectively. Sign up for a demo today.