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A lot of what you read on this blog offers advice and guidance for brands that have been around the block at least once when it comes to email marketing. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it might be a little hard to get you into the flow of things if this is your first time setting up an email marketing campaign. Once you’re in gear and up to speed with the latest trends and best practices, you’ll be able to really pull some value out of the rest of the content. For now, here’s a few quick tips that will help you skip the learning curve and make a great email template for your first run of marketed messages.

Simple Coding is the Way to Go

To start, let’s talk about the meat and potatoes of your template – the coding. While you might be a web design whiz who can turn random strings of characters into a beautiful webpage, that talent’s better suited for places outside of the email. Because of the varying platforms and coding accommodations of the different mail providers, simple coding that keeps things clean and tidy is your best bet. This means sticking to the basic tags and fonts, as well as testing out your emails in a “what you see is what you get” (sometimes referred to by the acronym WYSIWYG) setting. By following this line of thought, you’ll never have to hear back from potential customers who wanted to check out your latest email offers, but couldn’t because your message looked more like a bowl of alphabet soup than a potent marketing message.

Go Easy on the Vids and the Visuals

Keeping up with this theme is the concept of cutting down on the videos and images found in your email messages. Much like complex coding, these additions can look great when viewed on certain platforms, but can also go the other way and bog down an otherwise powerful message. Additionally, plenty of email users already have images turned off by default, so all they’ll be seeing is big empty spaces that could otherwise showcase some great text. To circumvent this dilemma and still get some solid use out of these visuals, drop them on your landing pages and social sites so that viewers who like what you’re offering in the email wind up seeing this content anyways.

Don’t Forget the Mobile Viewers

Another key technical feature you can’t forget about when prepping your first email template is that plenty of your audience is going to check out these messages on a smartphone or tablet. Naturally, these mobile viewers need a little extra attention to ensure they can actually view the message. This means taking into account the reduced screen sizes in your scaling coding and going light on the graphics and visuals as mentioned in the previous part of this post. Additionally, mobile landing pages are a must if you go this way to guarantee you can move these viewers from the inbox to your online store.

Keep These Words out of the Mix

Aside from the more techy stuff that goes in your template, the actual wording of your template makes a big difference as well. Some words might seem like a must in your message, but the reality of the situation is that all they do is turn your viewers off pretty quickly. “Final,” “donation,” “don’t,” and “tempting” all bring up some seriously negative responses in your audience. While getting your message across does require some strong wording at times, making the reader feel rushed or compelled to do something is not a smart marketing strategy. Keep it friendly and let your deals and offers speak for themselves.

Think Big Picture

The final point isn’t necessarily a “do or a don’t,” but rather a philosophy that can extend beyond marketed emails and into any outreach with customers and others in your industry. When building a template for communication, keeping the “Big Picture” in view should always be your top priority. While focusing on the coding and technical aspects of your message definitely opens up a pretty powerful channel to spread your message, if the message isn’t good, you’re not really accomplishing anything at all.

As you build your template and the accompanying message, try to look at it as if you were the audience. Does the message make sense? Do you understand what’s being offered and what you need to do to redeem this discount? If either of these questions have answers that are anything but an emphatic “yes,” it might be time to go back to the drawing board and rethink your approach. Although this doesn’t sound like much fun, you’ll be enjoying it later as you watch open and redemption rates go through the roof with a message that’s supported by a great email template.



The impact of mobile marketing can’t be overstated. According to IDC, more people in the U.S. will access the Internet through a mobile device than through their PC by 2015. In this new series, Elite Email takes a look at highly successful campaigns to uncover their mobile marketing lessons. This week’s case study: How a smart SMS campaign gave Avenue a major boost in sales and customer visits.

Everyone enjoys picking up a new outfit now and then. Whether it’s a big formal effort or just grabbing clothes to gear up for going out with friends during summer, having a new wardrobe can radically change how you feel about yourself. Interestingly enough, the same holds true for how your company makes an impression on potential customers. Don’t believe it? Just take a look at how Avenue, a plus-sized women’s clothing store, revamped its look with a great SMS campaign that encouraged shoppers to come in and pick up the latest styles.

A Little Background Before the SMS Run

Before making the switch to texting customers, Avenue stores did all the usual ho-hum marketing stuff. TV spots, local ads, etc. They all did some work in bringing in new customers, but not enough to really equate to a big time boost in sales. While business was steady, plenty of other stores offered up potential shoppers the same styles and selection of women’s clothing size 14 and larger. To break the mold and separate itself from the rest of the crowd, Avenue built a smart and well-planned SMS campaign that tapped into the shopping audience’s love for great deals and for texting.

Looking Your Best for Customers

So what all went into this mobile marketing operation? To start, shoppers in the store, online, and on the company’s email mailing list all had the opportunity to add their numbers to the texting database. From here, the campaign did two things – continue to promote signups and offer great discounts to these willing customers. For joining in on the texting fun, shoppers received $5 off their next purchase. While this might not seem like much at first glance, it was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of text offers from Avenue. Over the next several weeks and months, more offers came down the pipeline and enticed women (and their husbands looking to snag a quick deal before birthdays and holidays) to stop by and check out all the latest styles.

Avenue’s Big Reveal

While all of this sounds nice, you probably want to just get down to the nitty gritty numbers and see if it was really worth the effort for Avenue to reach out this way. If that’s the case, you won’t be disappointed. To date, Avenue stores have reported an astounding 6,600 percent return on investment for the time and money spent on texting with customers. Digging a little deeper, the 500 store chain also noted that these messages generated a whopping 97 percent open rate, with 71 percent of users checking out the deals from a smartphone. Looking forward, the owners of Avenue expect the growth rate of about 30 percent each month to continue and bring in even more shoppers who want to look great and save money at the same time.

Making Your Business Look Great Too

After reading that, you’re probably wondering how you can get in on these major returns as well. Thankfully, we can pull quite a few tips and guidelines from Avenue’s campaign that should apply directly to your next attempt at mobile marketing. First, try and find some synergy with your other marketing endeavors to maximize the value of your SMS messages. This means tapping into your email list, as well as plugging your upcoming mobile offers in-store and online. By doing this, you’ll get more numbers and have even more reach once you start pumping out the deals.

Once you’ve started building that base of customers, the next step is giving them something that will keep them interested. This doesn’t mean giving away your product, but coupons and discounts that at least make your potential shoppers think twice about stopping in should be enough to get the ball rolling. Having mobile landing page links in the text that let your customers share the details on Facebook and other social media just adds more opportunities to get your messages out to new people. From here, keep up the deals and watch your ROI skyrocket as you enjoy the steady stream of new customers that couldn’t get enough of your text deals.



For the regular readers of this blog and pretty much any other site that covers email marketing, you probably see a ton of discussion regarding social media – and for good reason. While emails are still your best bet for generating leads and hammering out sales, there’s a ton of overlap between this marketing approach and getting friendly with your email list and other potential customers, especially on Facebook. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of this synergy and how you can best retool your company’s Facebook account to supercharge your next email marketing campaign.

Everyone Loves Being Liked

The first entry on the list is pretty straightforward, but highly effective. By simply having a “like” button in the bottom of your email messages, you give your list members a fast and easy way to share your content and let it go viral. With so many social groups looking to show off great deals, it only makes sense that you give them the tools to do this with a simple click. From here, others who might never have known about your email list can jump on the bandwagon and get your daily or weekly offers in their inboxes going forward. In short, it’s a simple addition to your message that goes a long way with customers who love being social on the web.

Learning More about Those Already on Your List

Outside of having your email list show off your deals by liking and sharing your latest message, you can dig a little deeper with Facebook and learn more about your target audience. With so much information being made publicly available via this social network, your company can compare its mailing list with what these customers like and which social communities they’re a part of. Even just a few years ago, this type of insight into what your audience likes and wants was pretty much unheard of. However, with this information in hand, you can reshape and rework your email marketing operations to give them what they really want and boost conversions in a big way at the same time.

Timing’s Everything on Any Platform

It’s funny how some things, regardless of the platform, never change. When it comes to email marketing and posting on Facebook – or any other social network – timing is at the top of this list. If you’ve taken the steps to learn as much as possible about your target audience, then you should have a pretty solid idea of how and when they like their messages. If not, that’s OK too. By fiddling with when you schedule posts on Facebook and keeping track of which offerings blow up and which ones fizzle out, you’ll learn a lot about timing and your audience. From here, putting those test results to good use by optimizing your email messaging schedule is a nifty little trick that can help you sneak in a few extra conversions that might have otherwise have gone by the wayside because of bad timing.

Having a Little Fun

Of course, the synergy between email marketing and Facebook that your fans will like the most is letting them have a little fun. At first glance, you might be wondering how this is even possible. However, simply opening up a browser window with your own Facebook page and looking at your newsfeed will answer this pretty quickly. If you’re page is like most of the rest of ours, you’ll notice that everyone’s filling out quizzes and surveys for pretty much anything. From TV shows to the latest Internet trends, surveys asking “which character are you most like” and a variety of other topics are a major part of the Facebook social experience these days – and there’s no reason your brand shouldn’t get in on the fun.

By having links to your own Facebook surveys, quizzes, and even contests in your emails, you’ll not only engage your audience a little more by letting them have some fun filling these out, but you’ll also learn a lot about what makes them tick. When it comes to maximizing sales and exposure on any part of the web, this kind of insight and interaction should be a top priority for any brand that’s serious about getting the most out of social media and email marketing.

Give Your Viewers a Reason to Share

The final entry on the list is more of a mantra than a specific tip. While all the other synergies we’ve covered have been pretty specific, the biggest thing to remember, regardless of what you decide to do with your company’s Facebook page and email marketing campaign, is to give your audience a reason to share your content. No matter what direction you go, keep this ideal at the forefront of your strategy and you’ll be sure to hit a home run with the social butterflies that make up your audience the next time you roll out a new campaign.



The impact of mobile marketing can’t be overstated. According to IDC, more people in the U.S. will access the Internet through a mobile device than through their PC by 2015. In this new series, Elite Email takes a look at highly successful campaigns to uncover their mobile marketing lessons. This week’s case study: How savvy SMS marketing got the rhythm flowing at TAO Nightclub.

Few people can say no to a night at the club with good friends or maybe that special someone. From enjoying a couple drinks to getting your groove on as the DJ keeps the music rolling, you really have to go out of your way to not have fun. Unfortunately, TAO Nightclub’s slacking attendance quickly switched the dance tunes to the blues for the owners and managers. Fortunately, with some catchy SMS messages and a good eye for great timing, TAO Nightclub turned things around in a big way. If you’re wondering how, don’t worry – we’ve got all the details and a little insight into how it might fit into your mobile marketing strategy moving forward.

Setting the Stage for the Big Night

While plenty of other SMS marketing case studies focus on setting up a great text message database, this one’s a little different. Instead signing up new users for the first time, TAO Nightclub already had a thriving user list of 6,000 customers. With these partygoers serving as the foundation for the campaign, the club began laying the framework to help highlight the next big event on the calendar. As you’ll see, honing in on a big event ended up being the centerpiece for some special nights at the TAO.

Filling the Dance Floors with a Great Mobile Strategy

Unlike other companies covered in this series, most of which simply got behind coupons and called the process good (definitely a strong strategy), TAO Nightclub had to do things a little different. By making the text message an exclusive offer for an upcoming event, the club gave the mobile marketing list members a reward for joining the club. Naturally, throwing in a discount at the door didn’t hurt either. With this text message in hand, the text members got to show off at the door and save a few extra bucks while the rest of the crowd watched and waited in line.

Getting Particular with SMS Messages

Of course, the big secret to this campaign was that the messages only promoted the visiting DJs and weekly parties the night they happened. By doing this, TAO Nightclub helped drum up some hype and made the regular nights at the club even more exciting by giving the events a more personal feel. Instead of just a simple “come to our club” message, members of the text list received something that was closer to having a friend invite them to a big-time event that’s going down later that night and less like just your average night at the club.

The Final Tally

So once the doors closed and the employees cleaned up the bars and dance floors, what was the final tally on the night? As far as heads in the door go, the first run of the SMS marketing campaign brought in an extra 118 guys and 102 women to the club. In total, $1,770 worth of extra revenue via admission fees was good enough to call the whole deal a resounding success. However, people don’t just come to the club and skip out on drinks during the night. The 220 partygoers ended up spending an additional $4,400 in drinks by night’s end. Adding this on top of the usual crowd made for the first of many outstanding turnouts at the TAO Nightclub.

Where Do You Fit in?

While you might not be in the nightclub business, there are still quite a few lessons you can take from this case study and sneak into your own great SMS campaign. First off, it’s all about timing. By shooting off messages the day of the event, you can add a feeling of spontaneity and urgency to your marketing that might be lacking if you’re bludgeoning your viewers over the head with daily messages. Additionally, simply getting customers in your doors is a big deal. TAO Nightclub knew that giving discounts at the door naturally eats away at that specific revenue stream. However, these clubbers might not have even shown up if not for the discount – not to mention the massive amounts of cash spent at the bar by these event-goers during the night. In short, get them in the door with a great deal and your bottom line will thank you later.



The past few days have been pretty tumultuous for the email marketing world, and that’s putting it lightly. In a surprising move, Yahoo decided to switch up how it handles email verification, leading to a major headache for brands that use this domain to send out promotional messages to customers. If this is news to you, don’t worry – it is to most of the rest of the industry as well. To help catch you up to speed, here’s a quick rundown of what happened and what you need to do to make sure you stay in contact with every member of your mailing list.

What Happened Exactly?

As part of a new approach to email, Yahoo augmented its Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) reject policy. Basically, that’s a fancy way of saying that emails sent to the people on your list en masse from an @yahoo.com address – or the @yahoo.ca, @ymail.com, and @rocketmail.com variants – might get bounced or rejected under the new authentication policy. The reason why? Because they’re coming from an outside platform and not directly from Yahoo’s servers. Currently, the known providers bouncing these messages include Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, and Comcast.

Why’d Yahoo Do This?

Yahoo did this to break mailing lists and ruin email marketing, right? Not exactly. While it is a bit of a roadblock for brands currently using these addresses, this wasn’t the plan behind the change. Actually, Yahoo’s reason for making the switch centers on spoofing attacks made against its millions of users – the mass amount of bounces is an unfortunate side affect that’s part of a larger plan for enhanced security. From that perspective, it’s pretty hard to blame Yahoo, but it doesn’t make it any easier for companies to deal with the fact that these emails are now running right into an authentication brick wall.

Protecting Your Mailing Lists Moving Forward

Now that you’re all caught up, it’s time to build a rebound plan and get back in touch with your audience. First on the list – stop sending out emails with a Yahoo reply address. These messages never make their way to your mailing list members’, as they will only continue to bounce. Once you’ve got this under control it’s time to make a switch with which domain you use.

If you’re thinking short term, there’s plenty of free options out there that don’t currently set off the Yahoo red alarm, like Hotmail or Gmail. However, there’s no guarantee that Yahoo’s new DMARC configuration isn’t the start of a new trend among all the major email players. To permanently protect your ability to show up in your subscribers inboxes, you’re going to have think a little more long-term. What this means is going with a domain that you own or operate to prevent any future hiccups like the one inadvertently caused by Yahoo’s attempts to cut down on all the real junk mail.



SMS marketing is a powerhouse tool used by some of the biggest brands out there. From Fortune 500 companies to international mega corporations, it’s a key part of some of the best marketing campaigns around. Because of this, you might think that connecting with customers on their mobile phones doesn’t have a spot in your daily operations. However, just because some of the biggest brands out there use mobile marketing doesn’t mean that local or small companies can’t get in on the action as well. If you’re on the fence about SMS marketing, that’s OK – after reading these five reasons why you should give it a try, you see just how powerful this tool can be to bringing in new faces to your local shop.

SMS Marketing Is Budget Friendly

The first question you probably have about SMS marketing is how much it’s going to set you back on your budget. While your first thoughts might bring to mind empty bank accounts and expenses reports dripping in red ink, the reality of the situation is that this type of marketing is most definitely budget friendly. Aside from cutting down on the physical costs of traditional marketing – everything’s electronic with mobile marketing – you can save a healthy chunk of your time, effort, and money by automating the process. Scheduling mass texts and using templates cuts out the cost of setting up the marketing campaign and lets you focus on the important stuff – namely running your business once the interested customers start rolling in.

Engaging and Selective Marketing Goes a Long Way

Aside from being a pretty thrifty way of getting your message out to the masses, SMS marketing is also a highly effective channel to connect with your customers on. Because these messages are often short and to the point, you can create an attractive text that puts an emphasis on brevity and value. For customers on the go, these are two big positives that can help cement your status as a go-to outlet. Messages can also contain a short-link back to your online store which helps engage those customers that might never step foot in your physical shop, but would be more than happy to come through the virtual storefront and do business online.

Everyone Reads Texts

Taking this a step farther is the simple fact that basically everyone loves reading texts. With average open rates hovering right around 93 percent, it’s safe to say that you’re message will definitely end up in front of the eyes of your audience. While this doesn’t always mean that these customers will convert right away, it does plant the seed for keeping your brand at the forefront of their minds. By staying in touch regularly with great offers, you’ll not only snag the sales from the eager members of your audience, but potentially build up enough steam to get over with those who might be a little wary about doing business at first. This is definitely a long-term outlook that requires a little patience, but it’s a great way to build brand loyalty and leverage those high open rates associated with text messages to your advantage.

The Potential ROI Is Through the Roof

Not surprisingly, all of the aforementioned reasons mobile marketing might be a great call for your small business come together to form an outlook that is big on gains and low on risk. Because the costs associated with texting customers are so low and open rates and engagement are so high, SMS marketing often offers up a big chunk of every business owner’s favorite stat – return on investment (ROI.) While throwing around figures and reasons is a nice way of explaining the benefits of mobile marketing, at the end of the day you just want to know if this is going to make your business money. Provided that you come up with engaging content that’s to the point and offers up some good deals to your customers, it’s hard to see the answer to that question being anything other than a resounding yes.

Room to Grow

With the first four reasons in the rearview mirror, our last entry is a little more forward thinking. Since especially savvy business owners are always looking to the future, it only makes sense that the same considerations have a spot in your marketing outlook. Thankfully, the future is looking as bright as ever for SMS marketing. With more people than ever before in your local town, and around the world, carrying phones that can do more and more tech wise, the opportunities for enhanced and even more engaging mobile campaigns are nearly limitless. While it’s impossible to say for sure what the future will bring, it’s probably a safe bet that text message marketing has a firm spot in the majority of great advertising campaigns moving forward.



Email marketing has a lot more in common with a beauty pageant than you might think at first. You spend a lot of time getting your outreach ready for the big moment and the last thing you want to do is fall flat on your face once your emails take center stage against the competition. However, this happens all too often for brands that don’t know the ropes yet when it comes to connecting with customers via their inboxes. To keep your messages looking their best and on the right track, look over these five common mistakes that have tripped up other brands who tried to strut their stuff via email marketing.

Image-Only Emails

While it might seem a little odd to add imagery to an email marketing mistake blog post, image only messages definitely have a spot on this list. With over 66 percent of email subscribers disabling images by default in their inboxes, an image only message won’t convey anything other than a blank screen to these viewers. To overcome this hurdle, don’t commit to having your text built into image formats. This way, you can still reap the benefit of compelling visuals, all while hooking the audience with great content that would otherwise go unread in the image-only format.

Content That Lacks Relevancy

Another prime time offender that has derailed plenty of email campaigns are messages that simply don’t have much to do with the targeted audience. This lack of relevancy comes from marketing tactics that simply slap together a few stock messages and tie them to several keywords or other metrics that target certain audiences. While this might not seem so bad at first glance, just try and imagine what it must be like for a customer who looked up vacation plans for a family to receive email offers for singles getaways. While it might get you to chuckle a little bit now, it’s definitely not as funny when it’s your brand that is the butt of the joke.

Being Too Lazy to Test

Complacency probably won’t take you very far in the other facets of your business strategy, so why should it be good enough for your emails? While you might come out of the gates blazing with a great set of messages, going the path of least resistance and simply reusing or rehashing content isn’t a smart strategy. Neither is making changes without any rhyme or reason. Although it does require a little extra effort, take the time to roll out test runs of your emails using A/B testing and other strategies. By doing so, you’ll have a chance to not only get a better read on what your audience likes and dislikes, but also keep your content fresh and interesting after your initial outreach.

Unreadable Mobile Formatting

Even if you’re not a regular reader of this blog, you’ve probably been inundated with all the talk about the mobile craze on other sites. Despite the seemingly constant coverage that the rise in smartphone and tablet usage gets around the web, simply looking out your front door was probably all the evidence you needed to see that people can’t get away from these devices. Because being glued to your phone is now the norm, if your emails are only designed for desktop viewing, you’re cutting out a sizable portion of your audience. Instead of just hoping your emails show up right on the customer’s iPhone or Galaxy tablet, make sure your offerings are not only viewable, but optimized for these platforms. Otherwise, you’ll soon find out that the trash folder or, even worse, the unsubscribe button are only a few finger strokes away for customers who don’t want unreadable messages cluttering up their screens.

Multiple Daily Messages

Ever had a friend that calls or texts you way too much? While they might mean well, you’ve probably gotten to the point where you knowingly “miss” or avoid these messages because you just need some time for yourself. Unfortunately, you could be taking on that same role unwittingly by sending off emails multiple times a day. Customers love deals, but they definitely don’t love getting spammed. Because of this, you need to avoid the temptation of sending multiple emails a day and give the audience a little time to mull over your offers before you hit their inbox again. Depending on what you’re business offers, the right blend could be anywhere between one a day to once a week. Using a little testing and customer feedback can help you nail down the time and ensure you’re not getting too pushy with your email deals.



The impact of mobile marketing can’t be overstated. According to IDC, more people in the U.S. will access the Internet through a mobile device than through their PC by 2015. In this new series, Elite Email takes a look at highly successful campaigns to uncover their mobile marketing lessons. This week’s case study: How Turner Sports pumped up the MLB playoff excitement with a smart SMS campaign and the TBS Social Dugout app.

There’s nothing like a day at the park – especially once the playoffs start up. Whether it’s the win-and-in wild card or game seven of the World Series, being in the stands and part of the action as your team fights to keep their season alive is one of the best memories you’ll ever make. But what if you could get in on the action and compete too? Turner Sports thought the same thing this past playoff season, which led to the unveiling of the TBS Social Dugout app.

For the hardball fanatics that installed this app while watching the games, a fun and interactive competition added an extra level of excitement to the play on the field. Questions, trivia, and the ability to talk shop with other fans around the world were all part of the Social Dugout experience. However, just making a great app and hoping word of mouth gets the job done isn’t exactly a sound marketing strategy, even if you’re a major international brand that holds the rights to the biggest games of the year. With this in mind, let’s look at how a great SMS campaign put Turner Sports’ app over the top as October baseball kicked into full gear.

The Need for a Major League Play

You’re probably thinking to yourself that a great app like the Social Dugout should catch fire just because it’s a fun and exciting way to spice up an already action-packed baseball game. However, the big problem is that there are so many apps worth your audience’s time that it’s almost impossible to expect them to simply find it on their own. Think of it this way – with over 1 million apps in the Apple App store alone, would you rely on blind luck for people to pick your app out of this crowd? The guys heading up the app development at Turner Sports saw this issue and decided that the best way to get things rolling with downloads and participation was to get proactive in a big way.

Stepping up to the Mound

At the heart of the campaign was a clever blend of TV spots and SMS instructions. To cut down on time and entice viewers to jump in on the Social Dugout fun, instructions aired live during games giving fans all they needed to get the app immediately. A call-to-action containing the keyword “DUGOUT” and a SMS short code gave viewers access to the first part of the process. From here, those who sent off the text got an immediate response containing two things – instructions on how to download the app and a shortened link that took them directly to the Social Dugout page. Adding in that the app went viral on Facebook and Twitter after fans started receiving download instructions gave the SMS campaign even more reach.

The Big Finish

So what did Turner Sports get for the on-air plugs that were followed up by some savvy SMS messages? Over the first three days of the campaign (which lined up with the first three days of the MLB playoffs), 2,000 baseball fans downloaded the Social Dugout app after responding to the text call-to-action. From here, the app continued to roll and gain ground with the viewers that didn’t see the TV spot run the first time, but stayed tuned in during the rest of the playoffs. Adding in that the consumer response to the simplified “text to download” process was overwhelmingly positive had the added benefit of giving the Turner brand some valuable insight into the blueprint for future SMS campaigns that really resonate with the target audience.

What It All Means for You

Naturally, your company might not have the budget or the opportunity to fire off instructional TV spots during prime time major television events. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t put some of these lessons learned by Turner Sports to good use the next time you’re ready to get in touch with your audience. First, don’t be afraid to keep it simple with the call-to-action and the follow through. A fun and memorable keyword and some easy to follow directions go a long way with customers who don’t have the time or patience to try and decipher what you’re asking them to do. Additionally, if you pushing an app like the Social Dugout, shortened URL links that take your viewers right to the download page are always a good call. With these tools in hand, you’ll be rounding third base in no time and well on your way to some big results via smart SMS tactics.




There’s nothing wrong with getting caught up in the rush to jump on the latest craze or trend. While SMS marketing isn’t exactly new to the advertising world, it doesn’t mean that everyone’s heard about it before. If you’re just now finding out about how texting your customers with exclusive deals and offers work, this post will help you figure out if it’s right for the audience related to your industry. Once you’re done reading over the these points, you’ll have all the info you need to make the call on whether or not SMS marketing is the way you want to go with your marketing budget.

SMS Compliments Other Marketing Outreach

If you already have other marketing operations going, you’re in luck – SMS messaging meshes well with email, social and a wide variety of other platforms. Because there is so much overlap between all of these outreach programs, great SMS messages can help pump up your other programs by redirecting customers to your Facebook or Twitter pages, as well as boosting sign-up numbers for your mailing list and website newsletter. Having this diversity in how you interact with your audience, without having to radically change what you’re already doing, can go a long way toward reaching those fringe shoppers who might otherwise look to competitors who are willing to mix things up.

It Works on a Budget Too

For the smaller brands out there, this probably all sounds like it’s going to break the bank before you ever see a dime back for your investment. However, SMS marketing is actually pretty budget friendly. What makes this type of connection with your audience manageable is the scalable nature of the whole system. Because most text systems measure costs by message, you’ll generally only have to spend as much as you want once the texts start rolling out. For companies that know how to target the customers most likely to convert, SMS marketing isn’t only effective, it’s efficient too.

More People Read Texts

Because pretty much everyone has a phone of some sort, and not all phones offer “smart” services like email and web access, it’s safe to say that you’ll reach a lot of people with text messages. For instance, if you’re in the food service industry and familiar with The Daily Meal – a new source dedicated to promoting growth in this sector – then you might have seen their recent take on how SMS marketing can generate some serious views by virtue of the overlap between phones and hungry customers. In short, it’s hard to find a platform that has more reach than texting with your audience.

Small Businesses Can Go Toe-to-Toe with the Big Boys

If you’re trying to stay afloat in an industry with a bunch of major corporations, this type of marketing is the great equalizer. While these organizations might throw more money at the advertising process, a well executed plan that doesn’t have the same kind of resources can generate just as much response from customers. With the right message – think coupons and freebies – it doesn’t matter how big your business is, you’ll definitely drum up some positive reactions once your texts start making their way to the phones of shoppers in your area.

The SMS System Is Here to Stay

Perhaps the biggest draw of SMS marketing is that it’s not going anywhere any time soon. Unless you’ve got the inside scoop on an upcoming sudden drop in phone usage around the world, it’s hard to imagine a future where phones aren’t a part of your audience’s everyday life. Naturally, the rise of IM apps and other messaging tools might take a bite out of some of the coverage offered by text messaging, but it’s going to take an unprecedented shift away from what’s already built into phone functionality – and covered in phone plans from every major carrier – to see text messages go the way of the dinosaurs.

So, Is Your Industry Right for SMS Marketing?

After reading all that, it’s pretty clear to see which side of the debate we stand on. Because there’s such a major upside to adding in SMS marketing to your approach, it’s pretty much a no-brainer for this approach to be a part of the advertising plan for any business, regardless of the industry. As long as your target audience isn’t comprised of technophobes and you build a sound campaign, or have some marketing experts working with you, you’ll be in great shape to get a serious return on investment for simply texting with customers who are interested in what you have to offer.



In a world of endless marketing blogs, talking heads on Twitter, and a glut of information in general, sometimes it’s easy to get lost in all the jargon and buzz words. Unfortunately for those who aren’t already in the know with the latest trends and happenings in the marketing world, this can be a major turn-off. To keep you from hitting the brakes on mobile marketing before you ever get rolling, let’s look at some of the essential components of a great campaign. Once you’ve got all of this mastered and start shooting out texts to customers who are ready to put your discounts and coupons to good use, you can put your new found knowledge to work and start tweaking and optimizing your strategy with all of those concepts and tactics that used to look more like a game of Scrabble gone wrong.

Make a Starting Point

Are you even ready to start promoting your brand with mobile messages? This first thing to consider is one that might not make many other blog posts, but it still should on your mind as your learn about mobile marketing. In a lot of ways, creating a starting point impacts all the other steps we’ll cover as you get ready to connect with customers on their smartphones. By gauging just how much of the infrastructure you have in place – mobile landing pages, database tools for tracking customers, etc. – the entire process becomes much easier and way more effective.

Landing Pages Matter

Speaking of landing pages, now is a great time to talk about how important they are to mobile marketing. Basically, you can have the best text message plan in the world that literally makes an impression on every person that opens it up, but if your landing page won’t show up right on their screen, all of that work goes down the drain. A great mobile landing page is different from your regular landing pages because it keeps things simple with minimal graphics and maximum functionality.

While being flashy and having lots of bells and whistles is great for regular forays into Internet retailing, cut all the fluff and keep it to the tools that your customer needs to make a sale. While it might go against your initial thoughts, think about how much you really want massive graphics that bog down load times when you’re trying to cash in a text discount on your coffee break.

First Name Basis

This one might be stepping things up in the complexity department, but having personalized messages is so important when it comes to connecting with users that it should be part of your plan from the start. While you’ve got limited real estate in an SMS message, slipping in a “Brian” here and a “Susan” there goes a long way. Just like your emails, though, don’t go overboard with the name game. If you do, it’s safe to say that you’re moving from savvy marketer territory to coming off as awkward and creepy. If you’ve already got a database for customers or an email list, you’re in great shape to start this part of a smart SMS campaign. If not, ramping up an opt-in list that includes promoting sign-ups in your store and other media – like social networks – can help you get moving.

Are You Getting the Most out of Social Media?

Another big question that needs a solid answer as you prepare to send off text messages is how good are you with social media? While it might not seem like there’s much overlap here, a great mobile marketing plan gets customers interacting with your brand on any channel possible. This includes everything from Facebook to LinkedIn, so you’ll need to be on top of your game.

On your landing pages and even in your texts (if you can fit it in), linking back to your social media pages is a great idea. However, all these likes, comments, and shares won’t do much if you’re not managing the page to its potential. Before you start promoting your social media along with your text messages, make sure you’re not embarrassing yourself with a sub-par page or account.

A Little Help Never Hurts

What’s the best way to wrap everything we’ve covered up in a nice little package and ensure you’re ready to dazzle them with great offers via text message? Enlist the help of a marketing expert or firm. With this kind of support on your side, you can skip the learning curve and get right to connecting with customers on the go. If you’re always on the go yourself, you can definitely use a leg up to get your brand on their screens and in their minds.


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