Move Over, Email Marketing

looking at phone while holding a coffee

You’ve likely heard that email has the best ROI of all marketing, and there’s a good reason for this.

It’s because an email is free to send.

You see, there’s a big difference between reaching an audience by paying someone like Facebook or Google or a newspaper or whomever to reach their audience, and having a direct line of contact with who you want to speak to.

When you can reach your contact directly, there’s no cost (or very minimal) to send them a message.

And this is why people have been adamantly suggesting for years to build an email list. Because now you control the audience, and can market directly to them.

You can pay to reach someone else’s audience, or you can own the audience and reach them for free.

But this idea isn’t limited to email.

If you collect a mobile phone number, you can do SMS text message marketing, or you can connect with them in their Facebook Messenger inbox. These are two other places where you have a direct line of communication with your audience.

And these (and email) are places where you can send a message in a very personalized way because you know exactly who you’re sending a message to.

You might know their name, their age, their location, maybe some of their interests or how they connected with you, whether or not they’re a customer, when they last engaged with you, and much more. And your message can be tailored to that information.

But here’s something really important to note. There are big differences between different inboxes.

People have come to expect that they’re likely going to get marketed to in email, and they’ve become pretty accepting of that. But to a lot of people, their phone and their Facebook Messenger inbox still feel like pretty private places, and I think marketers really need to respect that.

There’s less tolerance for receiving marketing in these inboxes than in email (for now).

So your frequency needs to be a lot lower (certainly no more than twice a month). And your use of these should be restricted to when you have something truly, genuinely, super valuable to offer. Something your contact wouldn’t want to miss out on and won’t be annoyed by being notified about.

If you flood these inboxes with the same strategy as email, you’ll quickly get mass unsubscribes and your brand perception will take a hit.

Too many marketers are approaching SMS and Messenger marketing the same way they approach email marketing, and that’s a really big mistake. They are big opportunities, but they need to be treated differently.

Lane Anderson

Lane Anderson

Lane has worked in marketing since 2013, and is the owner of London Road Media. He lives in the beautiful city of Lethbridge with his young family and serves clients locally and around the world.

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