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March 8 2019

SMS vs email: what’s the future?

How often do you return to your email inbox after just one day out of the office to dozens of new messages, many of which are irrelevant and uninvited? Keeping on top of the growing mountain of unopened emails has become a job in itself, as we try not to miss anything important in the mass of spam.

Cue the short message service – SMS.

Since the meteoric rise in the popularity of mobile phones - nearly 5 billion of the world’s population now own one - SMS messaging forms an intrinsic part of a mobile marketing plan and strategy for many businesses and brands. Key to this is that SMS functionality is built into all mobile phone devices with no third party app required - and the message always appears prominently on the screen, making it virtually impossible to ignore.

Text messages have come a long way since the very first one was sent in the UK in 1992, which simply read “Merry Christmas”. As mobile phones have grown in popularity, so has texting - with more than 15.2 million texts sent per minute, an increase of 334 per cent just since 2016 [source: Domo]. There’s something about receiving a text message that prompts us to read it straight away. They have a far higher open rate (98%) compared to email (20%) and the response rate is also significantly higher – 45% compared to just 6% [source: Gartner].  And speed is of the essence: while many emails go unopened, a whopping 95% of all texts are read within three minutes. Since you can pretty much guarantee most people keep their phone close to hand at all times, SMS is now an essential marketing tool that all types of organisations can enjoy using.

Sending SMS messages online has become particularly effective for reaching younger audiences. It’s important to remember that as milliennials mature and enter the workplace, they have not grown up using email. Instead they want quick, fast communications via their phone, not clunky, formal interactions using a laptop or keyboard. And unlike lengthy emails, SMS messages are restricted to a word limit, leaving room only for important, relevant content.

Whether SMS eventually replaces email is yet to be seen, but either way, it has grown to become a core part of the way we interact with each other and it’s clear that this technology is here to stay.  Find out how we can help reach your target audience quickly and securely at an affordable price.

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