How to Build an Integrated Media Plan for SMS, Email & Facebook Messenger Marketing
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How to Build an Integrated Media Plan for SMS, Email & Facebook Messenger Marketing

August 26, 2019
Reading Time: 3 minutes

When you compare SMS, email, and Facebook messenger marketing, how do you figure out which channel to prioritize?

Revenue and data.  Everyone’s a hero when sales are amazing! Let’s get to crafting that plan.

With this post, we’ll take a look at industry benchmarks, build out a comprehensive outline for maximizing revenue across the three channels, and put together a step by step plan to help you build your own media plan.

  1. Compare opt-in rates across SMS, email, and Facebook messenger

  2. Estimate traffic from each channel based on benchmark open rates, click thru rates (CTR)

  3. Forecast revenue with benchmark conversion rates and AOV

  4. Build your own plan

Audience Size: Opt-in Rates & Click Thru Rates

The first step is estimating how many folks want to receive communications via SMS, email, and Facebook messenger.  Can’t sell your product to an empty (virtual) room :(

  1. With a 25% opt-in rate, email still reigns as the traditional winner.

However, this behavior has been ingrained in consumers since e-commerce began (back when Amazon just sold books?).  Don’t be deceived, this front-runner falls behind once we start looking at click thru rates.

  1. SMS takes the runner-up spot at 14% according to internal Postscript data.

We’re primed to provide phone numbers at check out for shipping notifications, so no surprises here.

  1. Facebook messenger opt-in rates wrap up the pack at 8%.

As the newest entrant into consumer behavior, consumers are more reluctant to opt-in to communications  via messenger.

Just because folks opt-in, doesn’t mean they really care to open the messages or visit your site.  Think about the number of emails go directly into that wonderful spam and promotions folder in Gmail.  With my sample size of one, I received 17 promotional and spam emails in the last 16 hours. They’re all stores I buy from on a regular basis--I’m just ghosting them.

Visits: Estimating the Number of Potential Customers

Based on open and click-thru rates, we get a pretty good estimate of the number of visits expected from each channel.  For this hypothetical exercise, let’s say that my ridiculously expensive French macaroon shop has 50,000 customers.

  1. Winner - SMS Drives the most visits

With the highest open and click thru rates of all three channels, SMS drives the most potential site visits.  As I drive more hungry macaroon customers to my site, I have a higher potential for driving revenue.

  1. Facebook Messenger - comes in second

Surprisingly, Facebook messenger’s lower open rate and opt-in rate drives lower traffic compared to SMS.  It’s definitely worth noting that this new channel is still outperforming email, the oldest channel.

  1. Email fatigue is real...really really real.

Based on 2019 benchmark data for retail, email CTRs are around 2.25%.  This is less than 10% of the CTR that both SMS marketing and Facebook messenger marketing are receiving.  Since both newer channels have stringent compliance rules, SMS and Facebook messenger end up benefiting from competing against fewer other messengers per consumer.

The Money: Show me the Conversion Rates (and Revenue)!

If you’re tired of nerding out over numbers, just skip to this section.

Winner: SMS Marketing

With conversion rate around 3% (2.68% weighted average to be precise), SMS generates a healthy conversion rate. While it didn’t straight up win the prize for conversion rate--combined with the highest number of visits, we expect to see the largest number of purchases from this channel.

Not really a winner: Email

While email generated a 3% conversion rate, email generated 42% less estimated visits compared to Facebook messenger and 72% less estimated visits compared SMS marketing.  Good thing this is a free channel.

Last Place on conversion rate, 2nd place for purchases: Facebook messenger

Even with the 1% conversion rate, Facebook messenger generated enough visits for our hypothetical French macaroon store to drive an estimated 11 conversions/purchases compared to email.


Based on a very hypothetical average order value (AOV) of $150, we expect to see SMS generating the most revenue at $9,357 and 62 purchases or 5.7x the revenue of Facebook messenger marketing and 49.4x the revenue from email.

Since each channel produces revenue, it’s important to maximize revenue based on the benchmarks (and eventually your own data).

  1. Send SMS marketing to all customers that have opted in

While SMS does have a cost per send depending on format (SMS vs. MMS).  Factor in cost when comparing estimated revenue per channel.

In my French Macaroon example, sending SMS to 7,000 opt-ins (50k customers x 14% opt-in) would only cost $600 for 21,500 credits (SMS = 1 credit, MMS =3 credits).  I’m still ahead with $9,357 - $600 = $8,757 or roughly 15x ROI.

2. Send email and Facebook messages to customers who prefer these channels.

Some customers will simply prefer other channels.  Rather than sending the same promo or campaign across all channels, use customer engagement data to send email or Facebook messages on the channel each customer prefers.  If your older demographics don’t respond to Facebook messages or SMS, continue leveraging email.

Check back next week for a media planning worksheet.  Input benchmarks or your own data to prioritize your digital channels.

To get the best SMS results for your Shopify store, try add Postscript to your store today.

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