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When to use Text messaging vs. Email?

The world of digital marketing is seeing many changes over the past two decades, and business marketing has fundamentally been transformed. While several modes are popular for marketing, the most known and preferred remain SMS and emails. However, both function differently and may not be suitable for all kinds of marketing, as they derive varied benefits based on the context. This article will highlight some of the differences and help you understand when the two tools can help you maximise your business potential.

What is SMS?

SMS, which stands for Short Messaging Service, has been a feature in mobile phones since they were created. Being one of the earliest features, it is inbuilt and requires no internet. This makes it most accessible and convenient for the population. Since it has been around for as long as mobile phones, people of all age groups are comfortable with their functioning and still prefer using it due to its ease of access.

  • Requires no internet access
  • No installation
  • Accessible to users of all kinds of mobile phones
  • Cheapest and Quickest mode of communication

What are Emails?

Emails, or electronic mails, are one of the oldest modes of communication that use the internet. An alternative to SMS that allows one to write longer texts, emails are traditionally considered the main mode of contact due to their commonplace nature and ability to replicate physical letters in a digital format. Emails have become very popular as a marketing strategy and are highly opted because of the word limit that they offer. However, they are also not as easily accessible as SMS and end up in the spam bin more often than not. The email software sometimes automatically detects marketing messages as spam and immediately shifts them to an unknown folder that does not appear on the receiver’s main screen at all.

  • Can deliver longer content
  • Provides more options and scope to customise content
  • More Space available to include other media and graphics
  • While both have their benefits for particular situations, both also have drawbacks that make them complementary to each other. Listed below are some ways you can take advantage of the two for your business in the right ways.

    1. Use SMS for urgent updates

    SMS has much higher opening rates than emails, which means there is a higher likelihood of SMS messages being viewed than emails, which may end up as spam or get dismissed entirely. Since they are most read, it is best to use them to convey instant updates like sales, limited offers or urgent notifications regarding the store or services. Since these require instant action, a customer may be interested in following up and interacting further with your brand after reading them. You may include a link with such messages so they can immediately continue to your site and buy or consult your services further.

    2. Emails can be used for Long-form texts

    Due to the word limit on SMS, it isn’t easy to convey elaborate messages regarding the brand. With a 160-character limit, one can only send short messages without any context, hoping the receiver understands the intent and takes action accordingly. However, with emails, one can write long texts with added graphics and images to make the brand stand out. Emails do not take any storage space, so one can add as many embellishments as they like and still be able to send them conveniently via the internet. Brands can use this by sending out newsletters, customer support updates, or business communication like contract details or other documentation.

    3. Use SMS if you’re looking to save expenses

    SMS does not need any prior instalments in the local device, nor does it depend on the internet to be transferred. It is an inbuilt feature that uses the telecom network to reach other devices. This makes it the cheapest mode of communication alongside phone calls, and phone calls are not as preferable to customers. Since phone calls require sustained communication for a message to be conveyed, SMS has the upper hand. It doesn’t demand much time from the customer and does the job of communicating your brand’s ideas all within 160 characters while barely using any money.

    Small businesses can significantly benefit from SMS marketing. Since it is cost-effective, it can be a profitable option to expand the company, and a function like sending SMS in bulk can allow you to reach new customers outside of your existing clientele at no high costs.

    SMS and emails clearly have several benefits, and this article barely scratches the surface. While aiming to master the marketing game, it is helpful to realise that different methods have varied advantages. Using them according to your needs while planning strategically can boost your brand’s profits in the long run and help in building a sustained clientele.

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