The SMS Comeback

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💬The SMS Marketing Comeback

In previous editions of the newsletter, I’ve discussed the benefits of owning your audience and building an email list. Email lists are great because almost everyone has an email address (3.9 billion email users vs 3.5 billion social media users) and it’s a channel that most people check daily. Even still, email marketing isn’t easy. People frequently change their email addresses or have multiple ones, some of which they dedicate to less important items. When someone signs up for your email list, it’s hard to know which priority bucket you’ll fall in. It’s even harder to know how frequently the emails will be opened or if they’ll even make it to your subscriber’s primary inbox. That means that a majority of your recipients might miss the emails you’ve worked so hard to delicately craft. This is why it’s important to diversify your marketing channels.

Despite being around for years, in the last twelve months SMS marketing (or text message marketing) has regained steam as another effective marketing tactic. The premise is simple. Text message marketing, when done correctly, works by meeting consumers where they already are. With over 5 billion people owning a cellphone worldwide, no better way to capture eyeballs than going directly to the source. No need for the recipient to open a third party social media app or rely on an algorithm to show your content. Let’s break this down a bit further.

Upsides: In addition to the massive accessible audience, text messages have significantly higher open rates than emails ( 82 percent vs 21 percent respectively), with 90 percent of messages being opened within 3 minutes. Text messages also have much higher click through rates. It’s nearly impossible to hit these kind of metrics with email. People are much less likely to switch their phone numbers, whereas with email you might worry about an address from a university or company becoming obsolete. SMS marketing is also favorable for the younger demographic who might not check email as frequently (if they even have one), but are constantly locked in on their phones.

In general, text messages are reserved for friends and family. Texting someone creates a more personal connection than an email, so this is a great way to let the authenticity and personality of your brand shine through.

Downsides: People tend to unsubscribe way faster from SMS which lowers the LTV (lifetime value) of a customer. Due to the pay-per-message pricing structure many services offer, SMS marketing is much more expensive than email which can make it hard to scale unless you have a large budget. Yet compared to other channels like paid social, it is rather cost-effective.

If done in a promotional or spammy manner, which many companies do, SMS marketing can be viewed as a pesky disturbance that pushes people away from your brand. There’s a fine line between a successful campaign and annoying users and it’s very important to find yourself on the right side of this divide.

Services: Community and Postscript.io are two great SMS marketing platforms designed for completely different uses. If you couldn’t tell by the name, Community is focused on fostering a text community around a personal brand or celebrity. With Community you receive a separate phone number that lets you send mass messages, but also have two way conversations with your audience within the app. In order for someone to sign up, all they have to do is text the designated number.

Postscript is designed specifically for Shopify users who want to drive more traffic to their online stores. Using existing Shopify data, users are able to better segment their audience and automate text messaging campaigns, have two way communication with their customers and ultimately create more revenue for their business.

These are only two of the numerous text message marketing platforms out there. For a larger list of options, click here.

Bottom Line: Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Diversifying marketing channels is important and SMS is a great way to do that. SMS marketing shouldn’t be the only thing that you focus on, but given its mass reach and favorable performance metrics, it should definitely be a piece of the pie. For some prime examples of successful SMS marketing, click here.

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🗣️The State of Corporate Reputation

The phrase personal brand gets thrown around a lot and it seems as if everyone has their own definition. I like Jeff Bezos’s definition the best:

“Your brand is what other people say about you when you're not in the room.” 

The integrity of this brand is important in all facets of life, but especially in entrepreneurship and the working world.

When seeking early funding, many companies may be bootstrapping or even pre-revenue. Therefore, the investors are looking into two things. The idea, but more importantly, the entrepreneur. In my conversation with MICK, a world-famous DJ, investor and entrepreneur, he emphasized the importance of investing from a humanistic perspective.

“I look at founders first. Do they have that ‘it’ factor? Are they good people? Would I enjoy having a human relationship with this person? Are they qualified? It’s a lot easier to take a bad idea and make it good than a bad person and make them good,” he said.

You never know where the journey will take you, which is why it’s so important that you are constantly acting with your brand in mind. Especially if you have a goal of running a company someday.

Statistics show that the reputation of CEOs plays a large role in the happiness of their employees and performance of their business. A 2017 survey from Weber Shandwick spoke to more than 1,700 executives at companies with revenues of at least $500 million across nineteen countries. It was found that:

•Global executives attribute 45 percent of their company’s reputation to the reputation of their CEO.

•Additionally, 77 percent agree that a CEO’s reputation plays an important role in attracting employees to a company and 70 percent credit it as a motivating factor for them to stay.

•85 percent agree that the emphasis of ethical conduct throughout the company is a distinguishable factor in the 30 percent of CEOs who are well-liked internally.

This concept isn’t just relevant to CEOs, but rather any individuals looking to make their mark in the ever-evolving workforce. The days of staying at the same organization for decades are over. With older generations heading for retirement, the average employee tenure has been reduced drastically with young professionals job hopping every two to three years. Without a good reputation, chances of consistently landing jobs is a lot harder.

With this definition of brand in mind, it’s important to think of a few core values that you’d like to be known for. Personally, my two are kindness and reliability. I want to be known for acting on my words and delivering quality work 100% of the time.

If you’re interested in learning more about reputation in the corporate world, you can check out Weber Shandwick’s The State of Corporate Reputation in 2020 report for similar research.


🧰 Tool of the Week

Regardless of how Zoom fatigued you may be, there’s no denying that Zoom has cemented itself as the communication tool of the decade. Last week, Zoom announced the arrival of a suite of native integrations called Zapps. Designed to enhance the experience and workflow of its flagship product, Zapps can be used to boost productivity before, during, and after meetings. So far, Zoom has announced 35 companies who’ve already put together Zapps, such as Slack, Asana, and Dropbox.

Here’s an example of Slack’s:

Similar to Apple’s app store, Zoom is opening the door of Zapp creation to all third-party developers. The introduction of the Zapp Store (unofficial name) births an entire new world of applications and businesses created specifically on the back of Zoom’s existing infrastructure. This is a massive opportunity for developers and entrepreneurs alike. I fully believe that we will see billion dollar Zapps built the same way we have seen multiple unicorns in the App Store. The first 35 Zapps are set to be shipped this year, with developer access coming after the initial launch.

Have an idea for a Zapp? You can sign up to receive developer info here.

That’s it for this week. As always, all feedback is greatly appreciated. Please let me know how you felt about today’s newsletter by clicking one of the links below. If you want your name to be attached to your feedback, make sure to include it in the free-text section.

If you’re new here and want to catch up on some old editions, here are a couple of my favorites: Fast and Curious and Friday Fuel - August 14th, 2020. You can also follow me on Twitter or check out randymginsburg.com for more writing.

Thanks for reading,

Randy