The other day I had a conversation that opened my eyes to an underutilized channel that can be incredibly powerful: SMS (or Short Message Service). It's gaining traction in the marketing space for a couple of reasons:
68% of consumers find SMS messages sent to them from a company to be valuable, compared to email at 46%
By the end of this year, 49 million consumers will agree to receive SMS notifications from brands.
Straight from the expert
With SMS on the brain, I decided to do a little digging. I sought out my friend, Sofia Laurell, the fantastic co-founder of Tiny Organics, a D2C organic baby food company committed to creating adventurous eaters. (I mean, how adorable is that?).
They've had an incredible couple of years: they were selected to collaborate with Michelle Obama's Partnership for a Healthier America, closed a new round of funding, and have been experimenting with more digital tools than ever before, including Attentive for SMS.
Sofia extolled the value of SMS in their acquisition strategy, reframing D2C as "direct to community." Texting has led to back and forth conversations to understand their customers and truly connect with them.
Notably, more than half of Tiny Organic's incoming customers come from organic sources, and SMS leads the way. This is a positive trend of venture-funded companies now focusing on thoughtful and sustainable growth paths instead of being highly reliant on paid acquisition.
And it makes sense — we're on our phones more than ever. The average person now spends over five hours a day on their phone, and 90% of messages are read within three minutes!
For more reading on SMS and other alternatives to email:
In the winter, I wrote a blog post about Singles' Day and the immense growth of the holiday in China. For context, in 2019, it was bigger than Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Prime Day combined. But what's most interesting to me is the incredible use of live stream shopping.
Livestream shopping is the digital equivalent of the QVC experience in decades past, where a person on a screen simultaneously interacts with a product and an audience. The difference is that livestream shopping usually features influencers or hosts selling a product in real-time on a platform such as Instagram Live. Users can interact with the on-screen talent and purchase the product right on the platform.
It's the next phase of social commerce that offers the frictionless purchasing experiences that audiences are craving — which is why major tech players like Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok are adding new features to allow customers to buy products from videos more easily. One company in particular that has been crushing it in the livestream and TV shopping space is Beekman 1802, a beauty and lifestyle brand that brings a compelling spin to its events thanks to its hosts.
"The brands that have done well are the ones that give exclusive access to something," says Madison Schill, head of communications at Livescale. "Even if customers are not going to buy anything, they want to tune in for [Beekman 1802] because of the [hosts]. Their strategy of livestream shopping events is unique and fun."
Inside the Mind of an Email Marketer 🧠
Evi Katsoulieri, AdRoll's Lifecycle Marketing Manager, answers three of my 🔥burning🔥 email marketing questions:
C: How do you measure success, and what metrics are you focused on?
E: I look at the open rate, click rate, click-through rate (CTR), unsubscribe %, deliverability, and conversion rates. I also always check to see whether my emails have made it to the correct inboxes.
C: What's the most valuable lesson you have learned from experimentation?
E: The only way to optimize your email campaigns is by running experiments — subject line, sender info, button, call-to-action (CTA), creatives. You may be surprised with the results — what resonates with your audiences is not always what makes sense for you.
C: How do you stay up to date on trends and tech in the email marketing industry?