5 Alternatives to email marketing

Don’t overlook these concise, powerful marketing and communications tools.

Once upon a time, email was the golden child of digital marketing. Though it still remains a popular business tool today, here are other powerful communication tools that you can add to your marketing stack.

SMS Marketing

The first text message, which simply said: “Merry Christmas” was back in 1992, and today, there are over 18 billion text messages sent daily worldwide. SMS (short message service) allows you to send messages directly to your customers’ mobile phones.

Often overlooked, this concise, powerful marketing and communications tool is highly recommended for any business.

SMS marketing has an average open rate of 98%, and recipients typically open them within three minutes of receiving it. They’re short (campaigns are typically under 160 characters) and great for:

  • Abandoned cart recoveries
  • 24-hour flash sales
  • Personalised upsells and cross-sells
  • New product and service launches
  • Exclusive VIP discounts and offers
  • E-commerce order, shipment, and delivery notifications

Inbound SMS marketing is also one of the simplest and most effective ways to build your mobile number database. Customers can simply text in an SMS keyword to your dedicated virtual number to claim an offer and join a list.

For example, they can text in “JEANS” to receive a 25% discount code and also be added to your Jeans list for future marketing campaigns.

MMS Marketing

MMS (multimedia message service) marketing is a more visual version of text messaging, and it allows you to send images, videos, audio, or GIFs directly to your audience.

MMS started in the early 2000s, and it is only now becoming more popular for business use like its predecessor, SMS, especially for e-commerce MMS marketing.

Based on the experience of our customers, it also boasts a 98% open rate, along with an impressive average click-through rate of 11% and an opt-out rate of 0.1%.

The caveat is that MMS marketing is more expensive than SMS because of the creative file you send with it. For that very reason, we typically recommend it for:

  • New product and service launches
  • Big discounts/clearance sales
  • Abandoned cart recoveries
  • Seasonal campaigns
  • Special gratitude, birthday, or anniversary messages

RCS Marketing

RCS (Rich Communication Services) is an up-and-coming messaging protocol developed by Google. Considered the next generation of SMS, it enables you to send simple text messages and multimedia files and can provide an app-like messaging experience, all via mobile carriers like its predecessors. This means that recipients don’t need to download anything new, since RCS lives within the native Android messaging app (currently not available on iOS).

The technology isn’t yet widespread. Only about 90 telecommunications operators worldwide have adopted it with more on their way. If you’re interested in what RCS can do, join our waiting list.

RCS business messaging is an ideal channel for use cases like:

  • QR tickets and boarding passes
  • Exclusive discounts and promotions
  • Ordering products and food and billing
  • Events and entertainment tickets
  • Customer support

For example, when Subway tested an RCS marketing campaign against an SMS one, not only did they get a significant increase in response rates, they also received over 140% more conversions.

Source: Google, Subway

Omnichannel Marketing

Omnichannel marketing uses multiple consumer-facing channels. This means that you combine the power of SMS, MMS, and RCS along with popular messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp to provide a unified brand experience for your customers.

By using Sendsei, you can easily combine these various channels to create a seamless customer experience, enabling your leads and customers to contact you from any channel they’re comfortable with.

Omnichannel is great for:

  • VIP and loyalty programs
  • Marketing campaigns
  • Customer support and service
  • Purchase, shipment, and delivery notifications
  • Automated reminders and alerts

Omnichannel marketing is highly effective for modern audiences. As your audience is likely using several messaging apps and technologies, omnichannel services are effective at reaching them where they’re at.

Combine this with automated responses to streamline your customer service efforts, allowing your customers to get prompt and useful responses to their common enquiries.

Social Media Marketing

Over 53% of the world population is on social media, and the average user spends about 145 minutes on them per day.

Using popular platforms like Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok, you can engage your audiences and promote your products and services. You don’t need to include every single platform in your social media strategy. It’s more important to understand your audience and select the right channels for your business.

Social media marketing is a great tool for:

  • Running competitions
  • Promoting discounts and sales
  • Creating brand awareness
  • Engaging customers and provide support
  • Building your mobile database (promoting your SMS keywords)

Final Thoughts

These alternatives and email have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. You may find that SMS is better for reminders, coupons, and 2FA messagesβ€”anything that is quick. On the other hand, emails are better for long-form content and educational content like your blog.

We believe that email and these tools are complementary services and that you should include them in your marketing stack.

Try our versatile omnichannel services platform to accelerate your marketing efforts. Experience our free 14-day trial with no obligations, and no credit card needed.