The Future of Owned Channels is SMS

by Cassandra Highbridge October 13th, 2021


This week’s episode of the Zero to a Million Podcast with Zach Rego features Ryan Smith, Head of Partnerships at Emotive. The recent privacy updates to iOS14 meant that brands and marketers needed more intuitive ways to know what customers really want.

This has led to the rise of SMS as the prime channel to engage with customers on a human-to-human level. Ryan provides suggestions of how brands can produce SMS lists but stresses that there is a need to be careful as blasting out one-way promos is simply outdated and can even ruin your brand image.

With the upcoming changes to iOS15, even email data will be harder to track. Moving forward, brands need even better ways to capture data which necessitates even more genuine interaction with customers, such as gaining opt-in to SMS updates.

You can connect with Ryan in the links below:


00:37 Ryan's career journey and entry with Emotive

02:36 Target customers at Privy and partnerships at Emotive

05:28 Noticing SMS for a more personalized customer experience

10:58 Merchant strategies to capture email and phone numbers

15:36 The rising priority of owned channels and engaging in human interactions

21:32 Relying on one channel alone is not advisable

25:52 Connect with Ryan


05:50 "How can I learn more about your interests? I want your birthday, your phone number... And what that is all essentially leading to is how can we create a more personalized and humanized experience for the customers at the end of the day?

06:38 "E-commerce is finally starting to be empowered... and any way that we can engage with them in a more human to human interaction is going to result in, well, obviously more sales, but more loyal customers."

08:13 "When you talk about like getting someone to give your phone number, there needs to be like a unique value proposition for that. Make sure that, hey, by opting-in to receive text messages from this specific brand, you're going to be on a VIP list."

11:05 "If you're coming into Emotive or another SMS provider and you're looking to get that list grown really quickly. Again, use that email list that you already have to send out an opt-in for SMS and say, hey, you know, we just rolled out SMS."

16:18 "Where the industry is definitely moving away from is just those typical one-way blast. We get a piece of mail, it started when you get a piece of mail in the mailbox that says, hey, here's a coupon code to go to Bed Bath & Beyond or whatever."

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