SMS Marketing Versus Email – 5 Advantages of SMS
There is nothing new about the discussion on the comparative benefits of SMS Marketing versus email. It is a debate that has gone on for decades, and no doubt will continue to do so. Ultimately, the answer to the question of which one is the better channel depends on the objectives of your campaign and the associated return on investment (ROI). It is worth bearing in mind that SMS marketing and email do not necessarily have to be considered as an either/or choice – there is no reason not to use both, provided you have an understanding of their inherent differences and use these to your advantage in each medium. To help give a clearer understanding, let’s take a closer look at some of the key differences between email and SMS Marketing, and when the latter may be an effective choice.
1. SMS is almost always read
Here’s a question for you – how many times has someone asked whether you received their email and you have replied “err…no, let me just check my spam box…”? Now then, how many times have you given the same response when asked if you received an SMS message? In fact, it is fairly rarely you’ll even be asked the second question unless you’ve inadvertently forgotten to reply to a message when you should have. Even if you did, the chances are that you still read it right away when it was first sent.
According to research by the Direct Marketing Association, 90% of SMS messages will be read within 3 minutes, whilst 98% will be read by the end of the day. The remaining small percentage still have a high chance of being read.
In comparison, Smart Insights reports that as at April 2018, the average open rate for emails is just below 25%. It is hard to gain insight into how quickly emails are opened, however, research indicates that many emails are opened from 3 hours to even a few days after receipt, if at all.
With this in mind, if you want to be totally sure that your marketing is received and read by all recipients within a specific time window, then SMS Marketing may well be the best choice.
2. SMS Marketing has a higher click-through rate
If the objective of your campaign is a response rather than reach, then SMS Marketing may well be a good choice. In 2017, 54% of opted-in SMS users were “active” in the sense that they responded to SMS messages from businesses, with around one-quarter clicking on a web-link, and around 25% forwarding a business text. An impressive 27% of opt-ins purchased a good or service as a direct result of receiving a text, either prompting the user to go in-store, use an alternative device to complete the purchase, or via their mobile device.
In contrast, email click-through rates currently average just 1-3% – a vast difference. This is not to say that email is not effective as a marketing channel, it simply doesn’t create the same impetus to engage that SMS Marketing. This is partly because users are very selective about who they choose to share their mobile number – effectively, any company using SMS Marketing has been filtered in advance. On the other hand, email addresses are relatively freely given without further thought but as a consequence, there are many more unwanted or irrelevant communications.
3. SMS Marketing doesn’t require internet/wifi
One advantage SMS Marketing has not just over email but also over almost every other instant messaging channel is that it relies on mobile signal alone – there is no need to have internet connectivity, or even functionality, in order to receive SMS communications. If you are aiming to provide information to people who are on the move, outdoors or otherwise unlikely to be within the range of either their computer or an internet connection, then SMS Marketing may well be the right choice. Bear in mind that although 80% of mobile phones now in use in the UK are smartphones, an SMS message can be received on any handset, regardless of the technology.
As a result, SMS Marketing can also be a good choice if you have a demographic that is likely to be less smartphone or internet ‘Savvy’.
4. SMS is highly personal
Although most email communications these days are made to appear personalised, it is reasonable to say that a large majority of recipients do not believe in this ‘personal touch’, instead of seeing emails as a form of generic, mass marketing that is run by non-human bots. If mass marketing for brand exposure is the strategy, then using email makes perfect sense. If, on the other hand, your aim is to build a deeper, more personal relationship with the customer, then SMS Marketing is a wise choice.
As explained in point two above, people tend to give much more thought to who is allowed to contact them via their mobile number, meaning that they have already made a conscious decision to connect with your brand before they even hear from you. By allowing you to send SMS communications, they have effectively allowed you to enter into their zone of known contacts – and this establishes a very personal relationship.
5. Short and sweet
We live in a world where people are blasted with information from every angle and in every form – and yet we have less time than ever to consume it. Even with the best of intentions, it would be hard to justify sitting down at a computer and reading through every email in our inbox from start to finish. On the other hand, there is a very high likelihood that we have read every message on our phone in its entirety. This can in part be attributed to the fact that an SMS is limited to a maximum of 459 characters. This offers enough space to get the message across effectively, but challenges marketers to be concise, succinct and to the point. In a noisy, crowded market space, this could be exactly what is needed to get the right results.
To get started with SMS Marketing now, contact the award-winning experts at Fastsms today on 0800 954 5305 and we’ll get your account set up and ready to go in seconds. We also offer exceptional customer support to help you get started with confidence.
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