Text Messaging Beats Email
I’ll start this post by saying that I’m not against email marketing. In fact, Permisio has bulk email marketing functionality too. Even though text messaging beats email 4:1, when you compare the percentage of messages that actually are opened and read. I believe that you should use every communication method available until you discover what channel (method) your customer prefers. Chances are that they are using more than one channel, and your marketing should adapt to this reality.
Nearly all marketers are using email to reach out to their customers. Email marketing is a fantastic way to communicate. It’s cheap and easy. However, it’s primary strength is also its primary weakness. Because it’s cheap and easy, everybody is doing it. Take a look at your own inbox. How many marketing emails did you receive this week? What percentage of them are from companies that you actually subscribed to? Did you receive many messages that are just unsolicited spam? Either way, most of us get way too much email. So much that we can’t possibly digest it all. If your marketing messages are buried amongst so many others, how do you stand out?
Take a look at the stats from Mailchimp, one of the more popular email marketing providers.
The stats show that on average, less than 25% of all marketing emails actually get opened. Less than 5% result in a click through to a company’s website. As a marketer, knowing that 3/4 of your messages are invisible, and more than 95% of them do not result in a customer reaction, is somewhat depressing.
Text messages, on the other hand, enjoy a 98% open-and-read rate within three minutes. There is no single marketing channel that even comes close. Text messaging’s primary strength – if you send it they will see it – makes it seem like a no-brainer to use text messaging in your marketing mix.
Which would you rather have, 1,000 marketing emails that never get opened, or 100 text messages that are practically guaranteed to be seen?
Text Message Marketing Requires Verifiable Permission
However, text messaging is a restricted channel. By that, I mean that it is absolutely, positively, permission-based, opt-in only, with steep penalties for violation. Besides the legal ramifications, people can be very selective about who they allow to send them text messages. The challenge for marketers is to earn permission to use the channel and get your target market to opt-in. Odds are that your text message subscriber list will be much smaller than your email list. That’s actually a good thing. A short list of people that actually want to hear what you have to say, is worth far more than a massive email list full of subscribers that are only passively engaged.
If you have a strong relationship with your customers, you can earn opt-in status. Then, if you treat that status as the privilege that it is, you can use text messaging to not only promote your business but to strengthen your current email marketing practices. For example, sending a text message alerting customers to the email message you sent a few days ago and did not generate the response you hoped for, might increase your engagement rate. Text this: “Hi Susan, just a note to remind you to check your email for details about our massive inventory closeout sale that ends on Saturday. As a member of Nancy’s VIP Club, you can take an additional 10% off sale prices. Just show this message to the cashier when you check out.” Note: this long text would have to be sent as MMS (Multimedia Message Service) format, which allows 500 characters and an image, which works better anyway.
My suggestion is that you use both email and text messaging in your marketing. They can work together to increase the chances that your marketing communications actually find an audience. .
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