It’s hard to un-see an SMS notification — you. just. want. to. open. it. And most people do, within minutes. That’s why SMS marketing is growing fast, with no signs of stopping.

But, what if we told you that you could turbocharge your email with SMS marketing. It’s a perfect marriage like peanut butter and jelly. They’re both great alone. But, together?

They create a powerful (sometimes sticky) marketing and customer experience tool that can help drive business results.

Luckily, it’s easy to add SMS marketing magic to your emails. If you’re already using an email marketing tool, you can add text messaging via our integrations or API.

In this post we’ll explain:

  • What are transactional emails?
  • 7 ways to use SMS to support email
  • Email and SMS marketing best practices

Want to skip straight to the fun bit? Sign up to send your first SMS.

What are transactional emails?

These are emails sent automatically to customers when they take specific actions, like buying something or changing their password.

Transactional emails are not to be confused with marketing emails. They’re used for important information and can be an essential part of the customer experience.

Think about the last time you booked a flight. After you paid, you checked your email for the flight confirmation, right? Once you receive the email, you know you’ve got everything you need to check in or manage your flight. It’s just good customer service.

Small to medium businesses can use transactional emails too. They are an easy and cost-effective way to build customer loyalty.

7 ways to use SMS to support email

When adding SMS to your email mix, it’s best not to think of them as separate channels with separate objectives. Instead, think of it as a blended experience. Mostly because, customers channel switch all the time — even when they’re in the middle of a purchase

So, how can email and text messaging work together to create an optimal customer experience?

1. Get customers to opt into SMS via email (or vice versa)

Between purchase and delivery, you have your customers’ attention. So, use it.

When you send an email confirming a purchase or booking add a call-to-action to sign up for text notifications or SMS marketing. Then you can stay in touch with customers or send them targeted promotions and offers.

After all, it’s much easier to convert an old customer than win a new one.

Likewise, you can get customers to opt into email via text message.

Outdoor sign with basic black on white message 'text your email address to 78900 for all the things'
Some savvy businesses also drive email opt-in via SMS using their offline advertising channels.

2. Get feedback from customers or clients

People actually want to reply to text messages. Business text message replies beat email by 750%.

So, why not use SMS to easily gather customer data or feedback about their experience? After all, an easy and affordable way to gather customer feedback is every business’s dream.

For example: with automations and integrations, it’s easy to send customers an automatic SMS survey after they open a confirmation email.

Ask them a simple question, like how would you rate our product from 1 to 5. Measure the responses, tweak your offering, and boost your business.

3. Optimise the delivery experience

We all know that SMS can be used for order notifications. But, how can you use it with email to optimise the whole purchase experience — from buying to unboxing — for customers?

You can start by using SMS for notifications that need to be read in real-time — updates and order information.

Use transactional emails to send supporting, but important, information. You can send the invoice, receipt and contact information for support via email. You might even want to slip some cross-selling in here if you’re wheelin’ and dealin’.

This delivers time-sensitive information right on time. While making sure your customers have everything they need post-purchase.

4. Update email details

Two hands holding a tablet with customer info displayed with 4 checked box fields

Has a customer’s email bounced? Don’t delete them from your database straight away! If you can contact them via SMS, you can alert them that you’ve attempted to email them and request their current email address details. If they are interested in remaining subscribed to your business, they can reply with their email address.

5. Secure your systems

Protecting data, yours and your customers are very important. But, it can be tricky to implement.

According to Microsoft, 99% of breaches can be blocked with multi-factor authentication.

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a sign-in process where users must enter more information than just their passwords to log into their accounts.

Once a person has entered their password and account details, they’ll be asked to supply other information to confirm their identity. For example, they may use a one-time code that’s sent to their mobile number. And, press a confirmation button in an email.

MFA is most commonly set up via integrations — find out more about MFA and 2FA in this guide.

6. Support, where they need it

Different people prefer different types of communication. So, why not give your customers a support smorgasbord by offering both email and SMS?

Think that managing two channels sounds like a lot of work?

Well, you can use integrations to make all their questions flow through to the same customer service tool or your CRM. Just like magic.

Dive in: Sign up for free and see why our tool is one of the best SMS marketing software around.

7. Engage subscribers with integrated campaigns

Integrated campaigns featuring email and SMS is a great way to engage your customers. Create a unified marketing message that delivers numerous benefits – increase revenue and brand loyalty while saving money.

Many of emails will go unread, but the same can’t be said for your SMS messages, with average SMS open rates of 98% across the board. A timed SMS can drive subscribers back to their email inbox to take the action that you want them to take – whether that’s buying a product, visiting a store, etc.

Infographic of an integrated SMS and email campaign from fictional business Joe's pizza shop including 4 email or SMS touchpoints after an initial visit

Email and SMS marketing best practices

Different channels, the same best practice rules apply. Here are some things to consider when mixing text messages with email.

  • Get permission
    This one is important. Make sure your customers sign-up for emails or opt in to receive text messages. And, make sure you always show them how to opt-out.
  • Put customers into groups
    Segment your email and SMS lists based on customer behaviour and demographics. Then you can tailor messages to each group to increase engagement. Hyper-relevant communications are in.
  • Timing is everything
    Send emails and SMS messages at times when customers are most likely to engage, such as during the middle of the week or mid-morning.
  • Watch and learn
    Keep track of your email and SMS delivery rates and engagement metrics, such as open rates and click-through rates. Then optimise your campaigns over time.

Ready to mix SMS with email?

Don’t snooze on using SMS to support your email communications. With ClickSend, it’s super easy — you can send email or SMS (or both) from our simple dashboard. Integrations and API are available too. Let’s go!