email v SMS in marketing.
I am often asked which one a business should use to get maximum benefit in marketing.
As a result and having used both they have very different roles and should not really be compared as a tool.
While both are a contact medium and probably go to a similar customer they serve radically different purposes.
First of all, let’s look at some differences
Email can be used in a lot of ways and many different purposes.
In the olden days, a couple of years back, emails were for computers and SMS for mobile phones.
Not anymore. Most phone users now have an email address linked to the mobile plus the recent increase
In SMS to email has broken the mould. Both can be used the same way.
emails can be a single send or automated in a series to tell a story.
The main difference is in the message. The email can be long and involved with pictures but the humble SMS can only be around 160 character messages.
That changes the playing field quite a lot.
cost of email v SMS
Emails can be virtually free other than some sort of background plan that you send from.
Whereas SMS are usually charged per message. This gives an entirely different cost structure to your marketing.
The benefit of email v SMS
Therefore the main benefit from my point of view is in customer reaction.
Generally, an email may sit around waiting time to be responded to as there is no urgency. Open rates are relatively low
depending on things like headlines, calls to action etc. In a broadcast, open rates can be down in single figures with a high rate of about 50%. So much is wasted.
Open rates in SMS is very high, above 80% generally. The best part is that the response is generally instant.
Hence yes, I will do this, no I won’t, delete the message and move on.
A customer of mine sent 130 SMS messages to past clients that had not booked for a long time.
It was in a health club style operation where memberships went for a period of time. Value about $500.
Especially relevant was that the result was 30 bookings within the hour.
In conclusion, choose your vehicle depending on what you want to achieve. I always recommend in any marketing plan that you analyse the financial impact v Cost. Did it get me business, how much and at what cost.
Remember to include set up and wages cost as time is money.
Send 1000 SMS at say $200 and get a 15 % response rate V 1000 emails at almost zero cost for a 1% return.
You do the Math on this depending on what you are selling.
Both these products should be used regularly in your marketing practice.
Peter Hanley is the owner of Verdi messaging and provides support and training on both items.
Especially relevant is that you have good information at hand and furthermore conform to local laws