90% of business leads would rather receive a text message than a phone call. Is text messaging part of your digital marketing strategy?
Email remains one of the best tools for digital marketers to reach their intended audience. But if text messaging isn’t part of your digital marketing strategy, it should be.
If you are a B2B digital marketer, here are a couple of relevant stats:
- According to Harris Interactive, 64% of consumers are likely to perceive a company contacting them by text in a positive light.
- And, 98% of adults aged 18 to 29 in the US own a device capable of receiving a text message.
And thanks to smartphones and tablets, use of text messaging and email is at an all time high.
Often you are forced to choose between email and text messaging for how you’ll communicate with your customers. When in reality you should use both.
Let’s take a closer look at the differences between email and text messaging.
Email vs Text Messaging
The table below highlights some of the differences between email and text messaging:
|160 characters 1
1. Messages larger than 160 characters will be broken into multiple messages of 153 characters each.
2. Text messages can include media, such as a photo, but not rich markup.
Email the good and the bad
Email is the most accepted and widely used form of digital communication. It’s also a technology that people love to hate.
Numerous startups have been created in the last 10 years with the explicit goal of eliminating email. And, email has been called the cockroach of the Internet – it just won’t die.
Nor should it, email is tried and true and is the de facto of business communication.
Pros for email marketing
- Just about everyone has an email address
- You can send rich content with images, videos and more
- You can send large messages. From 10 – 50 GB
- You can send one message to multiple recipients
- You can reply later when its convenient for you
- And, it provides a historical record of communication
- Practically free
Cons for email marketing
- Just about everyone has an email address
- Delay between send/receive
- Abuse is rampant from spammers sending unwanted email
Text messaging the good and the bad
While email may be the most widely used form of digital communication, text messaging is quickly catching up.
Although not as desirable for business communication, text messaging and instant messaging apps are becoming more common place for intra-workplace communication. And, customers have become more receptive to receiving text messages for communication from businesses they work with.
Pros for text message marketing
- Almost everyone has a mobile phone
- You can communicate immediately
Message are shorter
Cons for text message marketing
- Intrusive and requires more immediate attention than an email
- Message are shorter
- Some cost involved per-message
- No historical record (as compared to email)
Use both email and text messaging
Email and text messaging work well together: email’s strengths are where text messaging has weaknesses, and vice versa.
As shown in the table, text messaging has high open rates (around 90%), while email open rates are lower (about 20%).
Email is better for larger content and volume, but text messaging is more impactful.
Choose the appropriate channel
Digital marketers should employ both text messaging and email in their campaigns.
Text messages are useful for immediate action, like webinar reminders, service updates, offers, surveys, and confirmations. However, use text messages sparingly to avoid being blocked due to overuse.
For frequent and informative communication, email is better suited. This includes newsletters, non-urgent notifications, and inquiries.
When deciding between the two, consider demographics: younger people tend to respond better to text messages.
But, before you use text messaging…
Hopefully you are now eagerly starting to think about a text messaging campaign. Here are some helpful tips to consider before you start:
Honor opt-in and opt-out in your text messaging campaign
Before you send messages to a customer, they must opt-in. If consumers don’t opt-in you risk violating the Telephone Communication Protection Act (TCPA) or the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Likewise, you need to ensure it’s easy for customers to opt-out. It’s common to support a STOP command to opt-out of a text messaging campaign.
The bottom line is both email and text messaging should be part of your digital marketing campaigns. Choose the right medium for the audience and the message and you’ll increase your open and clicks.