Multichannel Marketing with Twilio

Learn how you can increase engagement and amplify conversions with multichannel marketing from Twilio

Multichannel Marketing with Twilio

With the vast number of marketing communications targeting consumers today, B2C marketers are finding it increasingly difficult to cut through the noise. Meeting organizational expectations of delivering conversions, loyalty, and customer LTV has never been more complex. Existing channels aren’t as effective as they used to be and when messages do get through, the consumers are adept at ignoring all but the best and most relevant material. 

Enter Twilio! 

This guide offers a simplified look at all the amazing things you can do with Twilio to help increase the effectiveness of your marketing communications.

Let's start by introducing Jenny, a fictional customer who signs up for marketing communications from Owl Shoes, an imaginary shoe company that offers unique styles for men and women. After adding her information to the CRM, we'll witness how Owl Shoes runs effective downstream marketing programs, demonstrating tangible returns on investment. This success empowers the company's leaders to confidently pursue further international expansion. And guess what? Jenny is not only delighted with her experience, but she's also enthusiastic about participating in an upsell program, ultimately increasing her lifetime value with the brand!

Communicate with subscribers on preferred channels

Meet Jenny. Jenny has a strong sense of style, loves shoes and expressing her individuality with different colors and designs. Given her love of shoes and their unique designs, Jenny is open to marketing communications from Owl Shoes, especially since Owl Shoes includes a 20% off coupon for signing up. 

Owl Shoes desires to communicate on each individual customer’s preferred channel. Doing so provides a better customer experience, increases the likelihood of downstream conversions, and minimizes costs by refraining from sending communications that will not be viewed. 

Jenny happens to prefer SMS for marketing communications and email for order and shipping updates. She selects her preferences on Owl Shoes subscription webpage.

Pro Tips!

Enabling customers to select their preferred channel for communications will provide a better customer experience, increase the likelihood of marketing conversions, and minimize costs by refraining from sending communications that will not be viewed.

Increase the likelihood of your customers subscribing to marketing communications by following best practices such as stating “Never more than X per month” and reinforcing that they can opt out or unsubscribe at any time.

Remember that sign-up provides a great opportunity to gather 1st party data to feed your CRM and enhance future campaign success. Something as simple as asking, “What products interest you?” and then providing a selection list can work wonders for your future targeted segmentation.

Verify subscribers to reduce fake accounts and increase trust with consumers

After Jenny selects her preferences, she receives a 2FA authentication via Twilio Verify from Owl Shoes. This is a seamless and painless process but is extremely important to both Jenny and Owl Shoes. Owl Shoes benefits by ensuring that Jenny is real which eliminates the potential for fake-user accounts and the associated financial costs. And the security protocols help further Jenny’s trust in the retailer and likelihood of conducting business with them. 

Seamless MarTech stack integration

Of key importance to Owl Shoes leadership has been the ability to adapt their marketing infrastructure to new technologies without costly and timely upgrades. Twilio has helped achieve this goal by providing the flexibility to seamlessly integrate new communication channels into their MarTech stack, revolutionizing the way they engage with customers.

Pro Tips!

With Twilio’s developer friendly platform, you can integrate Email, SMS, MMS, WhatsApp or Voice into your existing MarTech stack, measure and optimize your marketing performance, and be prepared to iterate and adopt future technologies such as AI.

At this point, Jenny’s verified account and preferences have been loaded into Owl Shoes CRM. Let’s follow Owl Shoes marketing team as they move forward with campaign development and optimization. 

Initiate A/B testing for optimization 

Owl Shoes also has big plans to draw more shoppers like Jenny for Black Friday. Determined to make it their most successful Black Friday sale ever, they hypothesize that offering early access discounts to subscribers will increase their overall conversion rate compared to the previous year. In preparation for what we’re going to call the ‘early shopping’ campaign, the marketing team initiates several A/B tests of their planned promotions via SMS, WhatsApp, and Email. Let’s dive into SMS.  

Step 1: Generate an audience of relevant consumers

Within their CRM, marketing has identified 1,000,000 messaging prospects for their Black Friday campaign that met the following criteria:

  • Opted-in to SMS promotional discount messages
  • Location: USA and Canada


Step 2: Identify subset of prospects for test program

Marketing carved out 15,000 prospects for the test program

  • 7,500: Interested in Men’s Products
  • 7,500: Interested in Women’s Products

Pro Tips!

Owl shoes gathered this information at sign up. What 1st party data can you gather to increase your future success?

Step 3: Build the Test Campaign

Marketing’s test criteria includes men vs women products, varying images and message copy. Of course, Owl Shoes will also be communicating on each individual’s preferred channel that was learned during the prior sign-up flow. 

Pro Tips!

Not all link shorteners are created equal. Twilio Link Shortening, a feature in Engagement Suite, includes the brand name in the URL which can increase deliverability over public URL shorteners and increase trust (and clicks) from the message recipients. In addition, Engagement Suite delivers the capability to A/B test, measure, and optimize the ROI of SMS, MMS, and WhatsApp communications with advanced data and dashboards.

Step 4: Message Tagging for tracking and analysis 

Owl Shoes uses Twilio Message Tagging (Private Beta). They include the test variables (e.g. Men vs Women) as well as Customer ID to track back to the individual recipients for click throughs, additions to shopping carts and conversions. This data will also feed back to their CRM for future campaign knowledge such as facilitating Abandoned Cart campaigns.

Pro Tips!

Message Tagging provides the ability to attach tags to individual messages. Marketers and other lines of business love the ability to segment traffic based on their particular needs. Common examples can include tracking volumes to campaigns or message type (e.g. shipping notifications vs marketing), facilitating Abandoned Cart campaigns, departmental invoicing (e.g. security alerts vs marketing), ROI analysis and more!

Phone number validation  

Owl Shoes takes phone number validation seriously. 

First, they run any new phone numbers in their database of subscribers through Twilio Lookup to verify the numbers can actually receive SMS. 

Pro Tips!

How up to date is your phone numbers database? What is the impact to your conversion rate if you send messages to non-valid numbers?

In a 3 month evaluation of more than 40M numbers submitted through Twilio Line Type Intelligence, 13.7% of the numbers were found to not support SMS!  Validating your database of phone numbers will reduce long term costs and optimize your campaigns.

Second, they use Twilio Lookup Reassigned Number to verify the numbers still belong to the actual subscriber of marketing messages. 

Pro Tips!

Did you know the TCPA may penalize companies $1,500 per violation of contacting US consumers without consent if the consumer decides to pursue legal action?  Use Reassigned Number to limit the risks of TCPA penalties.

Scheduling messages and optimizing deliverability

Owl Shoes uses Twilio Message Scheduling, a feature in Engagement Suite, to distribute the test campaign 8 days before Black Friday.

During delivery, in real time, Marketing uses Twilio Messaging Insights to view deliverability rates and triage errors for resolution. This increases the number of messages that reach their intended recipients and therefore increases the total number of conversions possible.

Pro Tips!

Twilio Messaging Insights is a real-time, out-of-the-box dashboard for monitoring and troubleshooting message delivery and engagement. Use Messaging Insights to analyze your application's messaging, identify and debug issues, optimize delivery, and find areas to boost engagement with your end users.

Templates that work across channels

The test results came in and Owl Shoes marketing is ready to kick off their early shopping and Black Friday campaigns.  

In the men’s test, Owl Shoes learned that men preferred the prominent 20% off image and the ‘holiday shopping’ copy versus the Black Friday copy.

In the women's test, Owl Shoes learned that Women preferred the picture of the shoes image and also preferred the ‘holiday shopping’ copy versus the Black Friday copy.

Based on this winning content from the A/B testing, they built templates that work across all messaging channels by using the Twilio Content Template Builder.

Pro Tips!

Twilio’s Content Template Builder enables businesses to develop templated content that works across SMS, MMS, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger. Additionally, with the Content Editor, Twilio provides a simple to use graphical interface that enables marketers and other users to begin developing templates quickly and simply.

Flawless delivery of Black Friday campaign messages

For the early shopping campaign, the final count of messages that went out on the Monday before Black Friday totalled 975,000. While monitoring Twilio Messaging Insights, they were thrilled to see no hiccups in deliverability, in part due to the marketing team’s previous success in triaging errors during the test campaign. 

Pro Tips!

ROI begins with your marketing platform’s reliability and deliverability. 

In a Twilio commissioned study by Forrester Consulting, they found Twilio Messaging to provide a 3% increase in deliverability over previous providers

If Owl Shoes converts 1% of messages delivered and has an Average Order Value of $100, then a 3% increase in deliverability would equate to $29,000 in additional revenue!

How would a 3% increase in deliverability impact your marketing campaigns?

Audience segmentation and message copy

Using what they learned in the early shopping campaign, Owl Shoes further segmented their audiences and the associated marketing copy. The additional groupings and message copy included:

Group A: Did not click on Hyperlink for their discount code

Owl Shoes: OMG, Black Friday is here. Your 20% off discount code awaits. Click here. domain.shortLink/zzzzz

Group B: Received discount code but did not purchase.

Owl Shoes: Today is the last day to use your special 20% off discount code. Shop now! Here is your code: XXXXXX

Group C: Abandoned Carts - Received their code, added items to cart, but did not purchase

Owl Shoes: We know you love your shoes and you have 20% off waiting in your cart! Purchase today and save (Discount codes expire Midnight Eastern). [Link to cart]

Group D: Redeemed Code and made a purchase

Owl Shoes: Loyalty deserves to be rewarded! You redeemed your 20% off code, but perhaps something else caught your interest? Here is a new 20% off discount code (Discount codes expire Midnight Eastern). Here is your code: XXXXXX.

Abandoned cart campaigns

What about Jenny?

Jenny was included in the full campaign launch. She loved the original SMS message on Monday and clicked to receive her code. She shopped for a bit, found some great shoes and added them to her cart with the intent of going back to complete the purchase later in the day. However much she loved those shoes, Jenny is a busy person and was pulled away to take care of something at home.

Lucky for Jenny and Owl Shoes, she won’t go shoeless. Thanks to a preprogrammed Abandoned Cart notification, Jenny received a reminder that reignited her excitement about those beautiful shoes. Jenny completed the purchase and happily received her 20% off.

And to Jenny’s delight, she was kept apprised of her anticipated packages thanks to the transactional shipping notifications by email, per her preference selections during the sign up flow. 

Improved customer experience and upsells

Jenny was thrilled with her new shoes but disappointed that the “Additional Rainbow Shoe Laces” were missing from the box. Again, Jenny is a busy person and was concerned about the time it would take to resolve and certainly didn’t want to sit on hold, waiting to talk to a customer support representative. Then, in the shoebox, she saw the thank you card which also stated, “Have any questions about your order? Just text us at 800-555-1212”

Jenny excitedly sent a message to Owl Shoes saying:

"Hi, I just received my order number XYZ123. It’s missing the Rainbow Shoelaces that are supposed to come with. Can you help me?"

In seconds, Jenny receives a reply. The rest of the thread goes like this:

Owl Shoes: Hi, I’m sorry to hear that! I can help you out. Is this Jenny?

Jenny: Yes, this is Jenny. Thank you!

Owl Shoes: I have your shipping address as 789 Customer St, Seattle, WA 98116. Is that correct?

Jenny: Yes, sure is.

Owl Shoes: Great. We’ll get those shipped out immediately! You’ll receive email shipping notifications per your preference. 

FYI… You may have already seen, but we do have matching rainbow socks for $14.95. If you’re interested, I can give you the 20% off, similar to your original order?

Jenny: Really, that’s great. I’d love to order some of those…

Owl Shoes: Terrific. It’s been a pleasure serving you and we really appreciate your business. Would you be open to me sending you a simple link to provide an online review of your experience with Owl Shoes? 

Jenny: Of course. Happy to do so… send my way!

Pro Tips!

Turn unhappy customers into an upsell and positive customer experience with 2 way texting functionality through Twilio. 

Don’t stop there. Take it to the next level by asking for online reviews to help drive new business!

ROI analysis and analytics 

The marketing team at Owl Shoes gathers a wealth of data for reporting the ongoing effectiveness of their marketing and the impact to ROI. Some examples include:

Subscriber Growth: This data is facilitated by their initial onboarding flow

Valid Subscriber %: Recall that Owl Shoes uses Twilio Verify for authentication and to ensure that new subscribers aren’t fraudsters. They also use Twilio Lookup to ensure phone numbers are valid and with the correct subscriber. In Owl Shoes reports, they specifically call out how these activities reduced costs and potential for fines and fraudulent activity.

Twilio Messaging Insights with readily available reporting for:

  • Messages attempted to send
  • Messages delivered (volumes & percent)
  • Messages delivered with Hyperlinks (vs those without)
  • Click Through Rate of Hyperlinks (volumes & percent)
  • Unsubscribes (volumes & percent)

Landing Page Conversion Rates: Facilitated by Message Tagging and tracking to the individual landing pages.  

Abandoned Cart Rates: Volumes by landing page of Cart Additions vs Cart Completions as well as subsequent abandoned cart campaign success rates

Attributed Pipeline: Facilitated by Message Tagging and tracking to the individual campaigns.  

Overall ROI: Facilitated by Message Tagging and tracking to the individual campaigns vs expenses.  

Pro Tips!

Custom build your testing and analytics functionality by leveraging data from Twilio Event Streams, webhooks or csv downloads from Logs in Console. You can conduct granular A/B testing, track conversions to your customer records, conduct marketing attribution to the appropriate channels, report on ROI, and more!

When reporting on your KPI’s, include your efforts to maximize deliverability and the impact to the bottom line. For example, when resolving error codes or filtering, the increase in messages delivered also increases conversions and consequential ROI!

Compliance and international expansion 

After a long holiday season, the marketing team presented their results to executive leadership. Leadership was pleased to see the quality of data and that volumes, revenue, and overall ROI exceeded expectations. In fact, it was so good that the executive team followed with a request for international marketing expansion. 

Leadership’s international expansion concerns ranged from addressing compliance regulations by region to balancing the technical requirements of global delivery to ensuring the program was cost effective. 

The Owl Shoes marketing team was confident. They had anticipated this and were ready with the information they requested, “With Twilio, our system works in 180+ countries. We can communicate on our customer’s preferred channels whether it’s email, SMS, MMS, WhatsApp, or voice. We are able to proactively resolve compliance issues globally and ensure optimal deliverability without straining our engineering resources. As for your timeline, we can start immediately with a small POC, test, and expand once we know the ROI proves out!"

Pro Tips!

Twilio Trust Center has taken the complexities of global telco regulations, phone number compliance, and onboarding — and created a platform that simplifies the process of engaging customers around the world effectively and compliantly.

Twilio also provides information, resources, and services to ensure continued success when addressing GDPR, or data protection compliance, or scalability challenges with capacity and throughput management across geographies, volumes, and use cases.

About Twilio and Next Steps

Twilio empowers marketers to create personalized, data-driven, compliant campaigns that are differentiated for increased conversions and customer lifetime value. 

With Twilio’s communication API’s, software, and professional services, businesses can integrate Email, SMS, MMS, WhatsApp or Voice into their existing MarTech stack, measure and optimize marketing performance, and be prepared to iterate and adopt future technologies such as AI. 

Reach out today to talk with your Twilio account team or send your technical team to these resources:

We can’t wait to see what you build!

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