The average person receives over a thousand emails every month. To be exact: 1,216. That's a lot of emails to be opened, read and consumed over a 30 day month and far too many to offer any real value. If you're being sent more than one email per hour, the chances are you're sick and tired of being contacted on such a frequent basis.
On the other hand, text messages aren't quite as prevalent - the average person receives 178 text messages a month - but the crucial statistic is this:
98 per cent of texts get read compared to only 22 per cent.
Before the seconds were even out, SMS has delivered a knockout blow to email. The vast majority of text messages are opened and read and no longer can companies ignore the impact of mobile messaging and marketing.
That's not to say that email marketing doesn't have its benefits. A graphic-laden email message is more appealing to the eye than a text message but it's the actual content in each that matters. This is where SMS outshines email; the nature of text messaging means marketers have to be short, clear and concise. Instead of having subscribers read through reams of content that might not always be relevant, SMS ensures messages get to the point quickly.
As well as being short, SMS messaging is very fast. It offers almost instant deliverability, allowing marketers to put their message into subscribers' phones in seconds. Figures cited by SimplyCast claim the average time for all mobile carriers and SMS services is less than seven seconds from sent to received.
The prevalence of smartphones enables users to consume content in a number of different channels - apps, mobile sites, ads in mobile browsers to name but a few - but 41 per cent of the population still use basic mobile phones. As these phones don't have the capabilities of smartphones, businesses are automatically limiting their target market if they are using smartphone-centric marketing channels. Maybe that's their goal. In which case, fair enough. For others who want to target a range of audiences, SMS is your best bet.
Opting in and out of SMS is a simple process. While email marketers tend to include an 'unsubscribe' link somewhere in their messaging, there is no guarantee you will actually be removed from a mailing list. How many times have you tried to unsubscribe from a company's mailing list only to continue receiving their messages? With SMS, it is easy to opt-in and opt-out as the only personal information required is a mobile number.
Furthermore SMS messaging isn't just useful for informing users about voucher codes and offer. It's easy to send a quick industry update, shipping notification or confirmation message to a user, making it a hugely flexible medium. Email messaging has the same benefits but not everyone checks their emails on a regular basis. For getting a message across instantly, there's no better platform than text messaging.
Clearly, mobile messaging is an effective medium but email, print and television still take up a significant, disproportional amount of ad spend. For instance, app analytics firm Flurry recently found people spend 23 per cent of their on mobile device - second only to TV at 40 per cent. However mobile only gets one per cent of ad spend whereas
TV captures 43 per cent. Why is this?
Regardless, the figures surrounding SMS messaging cannot be denied. The majority of consumers (72 per cent) use out phones while away from home and on-the-go; who is going to have the time to read a detailed email while on the move? That's where SMS comes into its own.
For my money, SMS marketing is still the best channel for eliciting an instant response from a user. If you're looking to reach a large audience directly instantly (a base comprising six billion active mobile phones globally), you should be using bulk SMS messaging as a marketing tactic over email marketing. If the battle between bulk SMS and email was a boxing fight then someone ring the bell; this match is over!
By Ashley Curtis, writer and journalist writing for Text Local.
GDPR Summit Series is a global series of GDPR events which will help marketers to prepare to meet the requirements of the GDPR ahead of May 2018 and beyond. Further information and conference details are available at http://www.gdprsummit.london/
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