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✉Is SMS in your email toolbelt?

sms list

This is Inbox Hacking, a Free Newsletter for email marketers eager to level up. Email marketing insights, tools, & tactics sent twice per week. Someone forwarded you our Newsletter? Sign up for your Free subscription. Today→ why adding SMS to your email marketing is wise & how to avoid SMS NoNos.

Pat yourselves on the backs, Inbox Hackers. It’s basically the weekend at this point. (10 days until Father’s Day)

To close out my productive 3.5-day work week I’ve put together the dos and don’ts for effectively using SMS marketing alongside your email campaigns. Without ruining your reputation or having the FCC or Spam Swat Team kick down your door.

⭐Our friends at SalesAgency have a remote job opening for an Email Production Associate – apply here.

SMS List Pros, Cons, & Facts

*SMS also means MMS for my purposes… technically, SMS means simple text messages, MMS equals messages with pictures or videos.

The good news? Phones are in hand 24/7 so SMS marketing engagement is sky-high.

The bad news? Engagement also means people typing STOP or filing spam complaints.

Things happen fast on mobile. Quicker clicks on sales but also quicker “go to hell” replies.

Regardless, it’s a bad idea to avoid adding an SMS list to your email strategy because:

  • Open rates are higher than email (the highest stats are touted by SMS services, so take with saltiness)
  • Click-through rates of 8.9%–14.5% considered ‘good’ by (Klaviyo)
  • 53% of marketers surveyed say SMS is a top-3 revenue-driving channel (Attentive)
  • 86.6% of consumers wish they could text a brand for customer service (Attentive)

🔑You don’t need your entire email list on SMS.

The 300 Your 300

300 Spartans made a difference at Thermopylae. A small army of your most engaged email subscribers can do the same for your first SMS list.

sms list

Take it slow so your brand won’t be martyred like the 300.

💡Get express permission to send SMS marketing messages. Email the request to select subscribers.

💡Test simple yes or no polls via text. Harder for subscribers to ignore or put off until later like with email. 

💡Offer nearly-out-of-stock deals only to VIPs via text sales (not your entire email list).

Ok, what not to do…

Don’t Treat SMS like Email Campaigns

Not every person uses their phone the same. Some lunatics (4%) claim they don’t open text messages at all!

So brush up on age segmentation and look at your own phone habits. 

*2.2% and above unsubscribe rate = time to panic (Klaviyo)

When are you most likely to respond to a brand’s SMS poll or flash sale?

🛏In bed? 

🛀🏼Soaking in a bubble bath? 

🏢While you should be working?

Also, don’t forget people are used to marketing emails. They’ve built up inbox patience.

⭐SMS Marketing is Way Newer

Plus people have no patience with any phone activity. So make your messages count. Err on the side of too few SMS sends. 

Make SMS Marketing Messages Bite-sized

Correction. Nibble-sized. Err on the side of too few words. 

No one’s clicking off a text to read an e-book. But they will click to see a short video.

The call-to-action is about all you have room to insert in the entire SMS!

Be creative. Be urgent. Your message is competing with some imbecile on TikTok partaking in idiotic activities sure to lure your subscriber away in seconds.

Hey, it’s hard to kill your darlings. So get an AI writer to murder excess words so they fit nicely in a text message. Or use a meme that says it all. We’re talking phones here, no one expects a Harvard essay (see imbecile reference above).


Start Slow & Non-sleazy

The top 2 reasons people unsubscribe from SMS marketing:

  • See messages as spam
  • Get too many messages

You can control both of those problems.

  1. Only test SMS on your most engaged email subscribers. Pretend SMS is a cool new gadget in your Bat Belt – one that requires caution.

  1. Make it plain as day who you are and why your brand is texting them. How you got their number (people forget then falsely accuse brands of spam). Lastly, every message needs a way to STOP future texts— one that works (see ‘dark patterns’ below).

Now, once you’ve tested SMS on a small scale, go grow your SMS list.

BTW, Top 3 Subject Lines Currently in My Inbox (+why they worked)
  1. ❤️ For EMAIL MARKETERS (job personalized)
  2. 🍯 Honey coated Exit-Intent popups (tasty concrete wording)
  3. Final Call: Memorial Day Sale Ends Soon (weird – holiday was 6 days ago so I had to open)

Knowledge Base

🔌Knowledge is power, but play helps.

Deep dive— subscription ‘dark patterns’ (careful w/ your reputation).

🤖Teach ChatGPT to understand + remember your brand for future reference.

Get better at Zoom interactions if it impacts your take-home pay (giant study).

How many brands are adopting DMARC and BIMI? (June 2023)

*Follow Inbox Mailers on LinkedIn.

Email marketers’ major struggle?

Inactive subscribers. Dead email lists.

But most re-engagement campaigns seem awkward, sometimes plain desperate. 

“Please come back… yada, yada, ya…”

Overused. Played out! 

Real re-engagement can happen though. By getting your emails placed alongside other emails your inactive subscribers ARE opening.

How? Inbox Mailers’ triggers. Triggered by your subscribers actively opening other emails!

Learn more with a Free Demo and see up to 70% open rates and higher click volume.


Self Help

“Work now ranks as the 5th leading cause of death in the U.S. due to work-induced stress.”

But it’s not like some employers aren’t trying to fix this terrible problem ($8 billion spent on employee well-being in 2018).

And workers can’t just not work, unless they somehow don’t require food, shelter, and wifi.

This study presents 5 drivers of workplace well-being. Sorry, no magic pills.

  1. Resilience
  2. Purpose
  3. Stress-reduction
  4. Emotional regulation
  5. Relationship building (yes, this means interacting with humans 😎)

If those don’t work for you, hunt until you find something that will. Because stress will never disappear. Never. No matter how many people promote a fictitious right to no discomfort while selling the dream of constant ease.

*Shout-out to Inbox Hackers:

📢Jules at Caffeine Queen Teacher (kid edu)

📣Rory at Football Central (soccer gear)

Facts and Stats

  • 53% of B2B European firms use email marketing, compared to 48% in the U.S. (Media Post)

  • 31% of consumers unsubscribe to emails because they “don’t recognize sender” (Validity 2023)

  • Shopping websites that were more popular, according to Alexa rankings, were more likely to feature ‘dark patterns’→ malicious, confusing, deceitful things (Princeton study)

Bonus: Study reveals consumers less likely to support brands with oddly-spelled brand names – (ex. Lyft)

Triggered Open Rates 

You can stop having night sweats about perfect subject lines.

This one strategy unlocks better open rates→ using triggered emails.

Inbox Mailers holds the key…

  • Get open rates of 50% – 70%
  • Increase/Fix your reputation, deliverability, and inboxing rates
  • Increase/Fix Sender scores and IP Health
  • Re-engage your Dead/Unengaged list

Learn more with a live Free Demo. Inbox Mailers uses patent-pending technology that does what no other platform can— utilizes your subscribers’ inbox actions to instantly trigger your emails.

Today's inbox hack

Get Hacking

AI content won’t away. Not unless a real Sara Connor’s out there (if so, give me a call, I love allegedly crazy ladies who ultimately save mankind).

Anyway, seems like every ESP is rolling out an AI assistant. HubSpot → ChatSpot.

If you don’t wanna be left behind in the AI race, start poking holes in AI content. 

It’s all over the web. Writers playing with ChatGPT to show what it can do. 

Poke holes in the content. In finding AI weaknesses, you’ll also find its strengths.

This will help you write better emails and avoid laziness bound to infect those who begin depending on AI too much.

*Know other human email marketers who could use Inbox Hacking, please forward them this email. Many thanks.

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Please take survey below. It’s laced with puppies’ breath.