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email and sms marketing

David Pickard, CEO of Phonexa, and Sevada Markosyan, Sevada Markosyan CEO at Zero Parallel, and Profitise, join this episode of the Affiliate Nerd Out. They reveal insider tips on enhancing workflows, automating processes, and excelling in customer acquisition in the affiliate marketing industry. The CEOs discuss the growing dominance of call leads over websites in sectors like solar, debt relief, and insurance, citing higher conversion rates and lower fraud rates. The conversation extends to the finance realm, emphasizing the impact of call leads in debt relief, regulatory compliance, lead nurturing, phone number validation, and the utility of Interactive Voice Response for consumer convenience. Get insights for effective marketing and consumer engagement.

The ins and outs of mastering multi-channel marketing can seem daunting at first, but focusing your efforts strategically is key. While email remains the staple of any marketer's toolkit, SMS is one of the fastest-growing channels for connecting with customers—particularly valuable in a world where attention spans are short.

In a recent discussion with industry experts Dave Pickard and Sevada Markosyan, we gained valuable insights into the landscape of email and SMS marketing.

The evolving landscape of email and SMS marketing.

The landscape of email and SMS marketing has evolved dynamically, adapting to changing consumer behaviors and technological advancements. Email marketing has shifted towards personalized, targeted content, leveraging AI for:

  1. Personalization and automation: Email marketing embraces AI for segmentation and personalized content delivery.
  2. Mobile-centric shift: SMS marketing gains prominence, catering to on-the-go consumers and leveraging mobile device prevalence.
  3. Privacy compliance: Stringent regulations like General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) compel marketers to prioritize consent and data protection.
  4. User-centric strategies: Marketers focus on creating engaging, valuable content to enhance customer relationships.
  5. Multimedia integration: Email and SMS campaigns incorporate multimedia and interactive elements for a richer user experience.
  6. Time-sensitive communication: SMS messages are used for quick, time-sensitive promotions, appointment reminders, and personalized offers.

As discussed by industry experts Sevada Markosyan and Dave Pickard. In the realm of debt relief, call leads are taking precedence, recognizing the need for personalized communication in a complex product space. Regulatory challenges, especially in the UK with GDPR enforcement, underscore the necessity for stringent compliance measures, emphasizing the role of trust-building in consumer relationships.

The conversation then shifts to the concept of call leads, a term that might seem foreign to some. In an increasingly mobile world, call leads are becoming more valuable than websites, especially in industries like solar, debt relief, and insurance. The CEOs explain why call leads yield higher conversion rates, better contact rates, and lower fraud rates compared to traditional web leads. This shift towards call leads is creating opportunities for affiliates to earn bigger payouts and offers a more cost-effective alternative to pitching a website.

The impact of call leads in the finance sector.

Email and SMS Marketing

Hopping into the influence of call leads within the finance sector, particularly in the debt relief industry, the discourse sheds light on the intricacies of conveying complex products through web leads.

Debt relief complexity: Navigating the intricacies of debt relief products in the finance sector proves challenging through web leads, necessitating more personalized communication strategies.

Consumer misinterpretation: Despite robust marketing, consumers often misinterpret debt relief programs as loans, highlighting the necessity for clearer communication channels.

Advantages of call leads: Call leads offer distinct benefits, allowing consumers to engage with live agents who can address concerns, explain processes, and rectify misconceptions before lead processing.

Higher buyer payouts: Notably, debt buyers display a preference for high-quality calls, translating into substantially higher payouts compared to web leads—affiliates potentially earning $80 to $100 or more for calls versus $30 to $50 for web leads.

Industry growth: The finance sector, especially in debt relief, anticipates significant growth driven by the escalating credit card debt in the United States.

Affiliate opportunity: Affiliates strategically focusing on call leads in the finance sector, particularly debt relief, can harness opportunities stemming from industry growth and the increasing reliance on personalized communication channels.

Regulatory considerations: Affiliates venturing into SMS marketing must prioritize regulatory aspects, such as GDPR compliance, ensuring consent and maintaining ethical marketing practices.

FCC ruling impact: The Federal Communications Commission's ruling on robo texting and calling underscores the need for individual consumer consent for each buyer, potentially redirecting the industry towards more personalized and compliant marketing strategies.

SMS marketing monopoly: With forthcoming changes, affiliates armed with direct consent for SMS marketing stand to gain a unique advantage, potentially monopolizing high-quality, consent-driven campaigns.

Deeper validation processes: While less critical for call leads, validation tools, especially for phone numbers, play a pivotal role in ensuring lead quality for web leads. Thorough validation contributes to more accurate data, enhancing overall campaign effectiveness.

It becomes evident that call leads emerge as a more direct and efficient communication channel, emphasizing the symbiosis of effective marketing and regulatory adherence, notably with the FCC ruling on robo-texting and calling.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruling, SMS marketing strategies, and the implementation of click-to-call in the industry.

Sevada Markosyan outlined the Federal Communications Commission‘s recent ruling, emphasizing its significance for lead generators. The ruling proposes a single-seller rule for robo-texting and robo-calling, requiring explicit consent from consumers for each individual buyer.

I think, sms, especially going into next year, if you have consent to SMS a consumer, you're sitting on gold, because there's going to be a lot of SMSers that currently are doing this that are going to need to change their model because they don't have direct consent from the consumer. 

The discussion highlighted the challenges this poses for lead generators who may not know the buyer beforehand. While the rule is aimed at reducing robocalls, it may limit options for consumers and impact lead generators. The rule is expected to go to Congress on December 13, with further details anticipated in January or February.

A shift from web leads to calls.

The conversation emphasized a potential shift from web leads to calls due to the FCC ruling. Driving consumers to a call, where consent is easier to manage, may become a preferred strategy. SMS marketing with direct consent was identified as a valuable asset, potentially creating a monopoly for those who can execute it properly.

Click-to-call SMS marketing.

Transitioning to click-to-call SMS marketing, Dave Pickard explained the concept as a call-to-action delivered via SMS, pre-qualifying consumers and pushing them down the sales cycle. The discussion highlighted the importance of phone number validation and tools like those offered by Phonexa to ensure data accuracy.

Enhancing data accuracy with Phonexa.

email and sms marketing

Phonexa is an astute and comprehensive platform that provides businesses with the tools they need to enhance their marketing strategies. It offers a wide array of services including lead tracking, call tracking, email and SMS marketing, click tracking, and even a cloud phone system. Furthermore, it integrates with over 100 different marketing technology platforms, thereby offering flexibility and adaptability to your unique needs. Its security measures are robust, ensuring that your data is safe and secure. Users have praised its intuitive interface, detailed reporting capabilities, and exceptional customer service. Hence, if you're seeking a platform to manage your leads, calls, clicks, and revenue effectively, Phonexa might be the smart choice you've been searching for.

GDPR compliance.

Addressing affiliate managers‘ concerns about GDPR compliance, the speakers stressed the importance of a thorough vetting process for affiliates. Compliance checks include reviewing material disclosures, privacy policies, and terms of use. Additionally, tools and tracking systems are vital for auditing and ensuring affiliates adhere to agreed-upon methods.

Getting started with Zero Parallel and Profitise.

email and sms marketing

For those interested in integrating SMS and call leads into their strategy, Dave and Sevada advised reaching out to their platforms, Zero Parallel or Profitise. Signing up as an affiliate and going through the onboarding process can provide the necessary guidance, whether you're a newcomer or an industry giant.

The rest of the episode.

The episode concludes with an exploration of the benefits and strategies for implementing phone number validation in lead generation campaigns. This tool, coupled with obtaining direct consumer consent for SMS campaigns, can optimize call performance and enhance the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. The CEOs highlight the importance of phone number validation, especially for web leads, and how their respective companies offer tools to validate not only phone numbers but also emails and third-party databases.

email and sms marketing

Wrap it up, Dustin.

Throughout the episode, the overarching theme is clear: successful affiliate marketing requires a blend of innovative strategies, effective tools, and a deep understanding of industry trends. Whether you're a seasoned affiliate marketer or a newbie, this episode is a treasure trove of insights and strategies to help you stay ahead of the game.

In the competitive world of affiliate marketing, staying informed and adaptable is key. With insights from industry leaders like David Pickard and Sevada Markosyan, you can navigate the complexities of the industry and unlock the full potential of your marketing strategies.

Affiliate manager consultant

Dustin Howes


Dustin Howes is a partnership nerd spreading the good word about performance marketing. He is the chief coach at and is dedicated to helping companies grow their performance marketing channels. He also provides affiliate manager training and private consultations, helping companies find the right solution for their budget.

Find out more about Dustin here.

Episode timestamp.

0:27Dustin emphasizes “Affiliate Nerd Out,” spotlighting email and SMS marketing.
1:53Dave's affiliate journey focuses on credit, financial services, email, and SMS marketing.
2:53Sev notes lead gen growth, diversifying into verticals with email and SMS marketing.
4:18Dave explains Phonexa's role, attribution in industries, emphasizing email, and SMS marketing.
6:57Sev highlights Zero Parallel's lead gen success, especially in short-term loans, email, and SMS marketing.
8:51Education on call leads, spotlighting email and SMS marketing strategies.
10:58Sev emphasizes call leads' benefits, higher contact rates, and fraud prevention, incorporating email and SMS marketing.
14:11Call leads benefit verticals like solar, debt relief, and insurance, emphasizing email and SMS marketing.
16:46Dave underscores call leads' advantages, targeting consumers deeper in the cycle, integrating email and SMS marketing.
20:05Sev showcases finance's call lead success, focusing on debt relief, email, and SMS marketing.
23:11Dave discusses regulatory solutions, lead nurturing, and click-to-call strategies, emphasizing email and SMS marketing.
25:10FCC ruling impacts lead generation, especially in email and SMS marketing.
29:46FCC's single-seller consent rule explained, affecting email and SMS marketing.
30:58Click-to-Call and SMS marketing significance amid email and SMS marketing changes.
32:34Defining Click-to-Call via SMS, focusing on email and SMS marketing.
34:11SMS campaigns gain value with direct consent, impacting email and SMS marketing.
38:27Rigorous affiliate vetting for GDPR compliance in email and SMS marketing.
42:22Affiliate managers sign up for guidance in changing email and SMS marketing.