[Guide] Choosing an Enterprise Platform to Scale Your Email and SMS Marketing

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SMS Marketing
Published on
Feb 1, 2024
Written by
Kayla Ellman
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Look for these seven key features and capabilities when assessing and choosing a vendor.

Large-scale organizations need a marketing platform that can handle their complex and ever-growing needs. That's where the concept of an “enterprise-grade” marketing platform comes into play.

Simply put, an enterprise marketing platform offers a range of sophisticated features and capabilities that enable you to run your email and SMS marketing program effectively and drive measurable results. Think: advanced analytics, automation, personalization, compliance, integrations, and multi-channel orchestration.

Whether you’ve been feeling like your current provider is lacking in certain areas, or you want to validate that all of your bases are covered when it comes to features and support, this guide is for you. 

We commissioned a Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study from Forrester Consulting to measure the revenue and growth brands see with Attentive SMS. Learn more about how they evaluated us. 

7 features and capabilities that define an enterprise marketing platform  

Choosing the right platform isn't just a matter of preference. It can make a significant difference in your ability to reach and engage your target audience, maximize revenue, and stay ahead of your competition.

Want to jump right in? Download the checklist:

1. Scalability and reliability

An enterprise platform should be able to scale with you as your company grows and your marketing needs evolve. And one key factor in scalability is reliability. If a platform can’t consistently handle large volumes of data, messages, and interactions without compromising speed or performance, it won't be able to meet your marketing needs effectively. 

Attentive customers sent over 32 billion text messages in 2023, according to our internal data, including more than 2.2 billion messages during Cyber Week. We’ve invested in building a robust infrastructure to make sure your text messages always reach your subscribers. Every message sent and received on our platform flows through the Attentive Delivery Network (ADN), which handles billions of messages every month, and we’re active with over 80 carriers across the globe.

I’ve never been concerned with deliverability with Attentive because of the relationships that they have with the carriers. We’ve never had any issues.

- Senior Director of Retention and CRM, Retail, The Total Economic Impact™ of Attentive report

That means more of your messages will reach your customers' devices, ensuring that your marketing efforts aren't wasted. In fact, according to a recent study we commissioned by Forrester, our SMS deliverability rates are five percentage points higher than legacy vendors. Not to mention our 99%+ email delivery rates.

That matters because your platform's ability to deliver your messages ultimately impacts your marketing program’s performance. You need to be able to trust that your messages are going to be delivered, no matter how big your customer list is, and even during high traffic periods. 

2. Advanced targeting and segmentation

When you have a large customer base, you need a platform that can accurately identify and target your ideal audience with highly relevant content, especially now that third-party cookies are officially on the way out

It’s not enough to simply reach a wide range of individuals. You need to make sure your messages resonate with each and every one of them, because that’s what today’s consumers expect: content that’s tailored to their specific needs, preferences, and interests. By choosing an enterprise marketing platform with a strong identity solution, you can do exactly that, every time you send a message.

Attentive’s identity solution recognizes more of your website visitors, capturing valuable activity data in the process. Because we have such a large identified SMS subscriber base, we’re able to identity 20% more on-site email subscribers with refreshed cookies from SMS clicks. Essentially, our customers can plug into the largest database of marketing SMS numbers and recipients of any vendor.

Attentive Consumer Passport GIF

Those insights come together with the rest of the zero and first-party data you collect (through email, SMS, and integrations) in the Attentive Consumer Passport, to create detailed consumer profiles. Over time, you build a complete picture of every customer directly within our platform: their preferred channels, recent activity, favorite products, the devices they use to shop, and more. 

Whether you prefer using pre-built segment templates or creating your own, our segmentation options provide the flexibility and precision needed to get the right content to the right people. This level of personalization allows you to create deeper connections with your audience, capturing their attention and keeping them engaged. And that increased engagement leads to higher conversion rates and more revenue—all stemming from better identification. 

Case in point: Better subscriber identification and conversion with Attentive SMS delivers $19.6 million to $27.7 million in additional revenue for our customers. And on the Attentive Email side, identifying more of your on-site browsers leads to a 70% increase in triggered email sends, which means more chances for your content to drive conversions. 

In research done in partnership with Forrester, we found that brands experienced a 100% increase in automated emails sent, due to Attentive Email’s enhanced subscriber identification. We also saw that email marketers can gain 35% of time back annually with Attentive Email’s easy to use platform, built-in integrations, and automation features

3. Comprehensive analytics and reporting

An enterprise-grade marketing platform should enable you to measure the impact of your marketing efforts, track key metrics, and make data-driven decisions. That means you need to prioritize choosing one with comprehensive analytics and reporting capabilities. Ideally, these tools will be built directly into the UI, so you won't have to bounce back and forth between screens to access the information you need.

GIF showing Attentive's custom analytics and reporting UI

With an enterprise platform like Attentive, you can access detailed insights and metrics within the same interface you use to create and send emails and text messages. You don't have to rely on external tools or pull manual data to analyze the success of a campaign, measure your marketing program's overall performance, or track trends over time.

Our analytics and reporting tools are designed to be user-friendly and customizable. You can generate pre-built reports or create your own to focus on the metrics that matter the most to your business. All this allows you to refine your messaging strategies with A/B testing, improve customer engagement, and ultimately drive better results across email and SMS.

4. AI-powered automation and personalization

AI is a game-changer when it comes to expanding your team's capacity and harnessing the full potential of your data. And when AI is integrated into your marketing platform, it takes your marketing automation to the next level.

At the most basic level, AI tools accelerate both productivity and creativity, taking the guesswork out of planning, segmenting, and scheduling messages. But enterprise-level brands working with massive amounts of data also need AI tools that can process and analyze an ever-growing pool of information (e.g., subscribers, campaigns, and data points). 

Our AI-powered features are like super-powered marketing assistants, trained on a foundation of anonymized insights: over 2 trillion data points from 78+ billion messages sent across 70+ verticals. That includes the volume and type of messages sent, e-commerce data, CTRs, CVRs, attributable revenue, and product information, ranging from small businesses to enterprise brands. 

All these insights enable Attentive AI™ to help with tasks like copywriting by generating ideas and suggestions for you, analyzing tons of data for more accurate segmentation, and predicting the most relevant content and optimal send times for every audience. And it's always learning and improving to generate increasingly relevant content and predictions. 

Not only do our tools streamline your workflows, but they also enable you to deliver highly personalized experiences on a larger scale, even if you have millions of subscribers. Just ask the marketing team at Hot Topic. They've used almost every tool we have, from our copy assistant and Automated Campaigns to AI Audiences, to segment and target their customers more intelligently. They're also early adopters of a new Attentive AI feature that allows you to personalize every message for each subscriber.

Being able to achieve this level of personalization with Attentive AI ultimately leads to increased site traffic, long-lasting customer relationships, and more revenue. 

5. Expert compliance and security

Compliance is important for all companies using email and SMS marketing, no matter their size or industry. Adhering to the specific rules and regulations for each channel is in the best interest of both the company and its customers

But compliance becomes even more critical for enterprise organizations with more complex operations, stricter demands, and larger customer bases. The right level platform will have built-in guardrails, in-house experts, and any other tools you need to protect your brand from potential risks (like hefty fines or legal penalties). 

Attentive is tight on the rules of how many messages someone can receive if they’re in a journey currently, so all those things together have made us very confident that we’re not doing anything that we shouldn’t be doing in terms of overcommunicating or incorrectly communicating with our subscribers.

- Director of Digital CRM, Retail, The Total Economic Impact™ of Attentive report

Our commitment to compliance goes beyond having the necessary safeguards in place. We provide a wealth of resources to help you stay on top of and in accordance with the latest requirements for SMS and email. Whether it's guidance on best practices, educational materials, or handling potential claims. 

We're also always evolving our platform and tools to meet industry standards, backed by our in-house legal team. Our Litigator Defender for TCPA, for example, automatically removes phone numbers known to be associated with SMS demands or lawsuits from our customers' subscriber lists, helping them stay ahead of professional plaintiffs. It also listens for signals that subscribers may be unhappy and reminds them how to opt out.

On top of that, Attentive's CEO, Amit Jhawar, is on the board of the CTIA, the wireless communications industry group that regularly interacts with lawmakers and the FCC. We're the only marketing company with a seat on the board because we're a leader in the space and ahead of the competition when it comes to innovation in compliance. 

6. Unified marketing and tech stack integrations

Enterprise companies typically handle vast amounts of customer data from a CDP, e-commerce, loyalty programs, and more. Any time you add another tool to the mix, it should play nicely with your entire tech stack, so you can easily coordinate your marketing efforts across them. 

We offer over 100 pre-built integrations that seamlessly plug into our platform—including Salesforce, Bazaarvoice, Movable Ink, and Narvar—to help you make the most of the data you collect. If we don't have an integration for a specific software or platform, you can use our flexible APIs to create a custom integration, and you’ll have the support of our team to get it up and running quickly. 

Uncommon Goods, for example, doesn't have a standalone loyalty provider, so they built a custom 'Perks' API with Attentive. Our platform essentially acts as the brand's loyalty provider, which allows them to segment subscribers based on their membership status and encourage Perks program sign-ups. 

Attentive Magic Composer GIF

With Attentive, you can also combine your email and SMS marketing onto one platform. By unifying your data and leveraging the strengths of each channel, you can create a more comprehensive and effective marketing strategy. 

Since migrating to Attentive Email, Blenders Eyewear has seen a significant jump in their email performance, including a 136% increase in open rates and a 60% rise in revenue from their browse abandonment journeys. The ability to orchestrate a multi-channel messaging strategy on one platform also helped boost their already high-performing SMS program, including a 52% increase in total revenue. 

7. International reach 

Whether you already have a global presence or are looking to expand internationally, an enterprise platform can support your efforts to reach and engage audiences around the world.

Our platform supports multiple languages, making it easy to send targeted messages to customers in 20+ countries across the Americas, Europe, and the APAC region. 

But international reach isn't just about delivering messages in multiple languages and to multiple regions. It's also about understanding the nuances and preferences of your customers in each local market. Our team of experts can help ensure that your marketing efforts are culturally relevant and resonate with your audience, no matter where they are. 

We also provide region-specific compliance tools and guidance around ACMA's Spam Act, the GDPR, the TCPA, and more to help you navigate the legal and regulatory landscape in different countries. 

Partnering with Attentive has helped Claire’s expand their SMS reach into the UK, France, and Ireland. We provided them with guidance around legal disclosures and messaging terms tailored to each country's requirements. And now, it's simple for them to manage every region’s program in one platform. 

Want to learn more about what Attentive can do for you? Request a demo today. 

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