Your business probably prioritizes email for customer communications. But 89% of consumers want to message their favorite brands. As more of your customers expect your brand to offer messaging and SMS services, it’s time to consider taking the leap.
We know it’s hard to decide whether your team should adopt a new channel. That’s why we thought we’d make it easier for you.
Read on to discover the pros and cons of both channels—and decide which will work best for your business.
Pros and Cons of Email for Business
Business emails have come a long way since professionals started sending them in the late 1990s. Today, people send 74 trillion emails each day, making email the most popular form of communications overall. However, that doesn’t mean that email is the best option for every situation.
Pro: Emails allow businesses to send more in-depth messages. While MMS does have the capability of handling long messages, they are not appropriate for business texting. Emails, however, are expected to be lengthy, especially when a team member is addressing complex customer service or support questions.
Pro: Aesthetically pleasing emails can add appeal to content. With today’s HTML technology, nearly any business can create beautiful emails to sell products to their target audiences. Though they sometimes feature images or GIFs, SMS messages are generally plain.
Pro: With email, it’s easier for customers to keep a paper trail. Emails are easy to print and file or download and store on computers. While text messages can be downloaded and stored with appropriate business text messaging software, customers, who wouldn’t have access to those services, may be more comfortable receiving messages they can print and collect.
Con: Email are often left unopened and unread. Because email is so popular, the average person receives a lot of emails each day and often skips reading those that don’t catch his or her eye. This is why email has a low average open rate of 20%, according to Gartner. Even those emails that are opened are often not responded to; on average, emails have a response rate of 6%. When recipients do respond, it takes around 90 minutes.
Con: Your target may not even receive your message. The average person has an inbox with savvy technology that can catch any kind of advertising email that comes through. This makes it possible that your message won’t even reach your target.
Pros and Cons of Business Texting
Text messaging for business use has grown more and more common, and with good reason. SMS is one of the quickest, most reliable ways to reach customers.
Pro: Text messaging has high engagement rates. Ninety-eight percent of text messages are opened, and 45% are responded to. Not only that, but the average text will be responded to within 90 seconds. These excellent engagement rates lead companies to use business text messaging to provide fast customer service or support solutions and deliver important notifications.
Pro: Consumers actively prefer text messaging to email communications. There is no need for businesses to guess whether consumers prefer email or text messages; they have expressed a strong preference for texting in many situations. In one survey, 52% of respondents said they would prefer texting customer support instead of their current form of communication. In another, respondents said they would prefer texting over email for appointment reminders, prescription refills, and fraud and service outage notifications.
Pro: Recipients are primed to receive your messages. Consumers must intentionally sign up for text message communications according to federal regulations. When marketing or customer service team members reach out to their targets, they are often ready and willing to read those messages.
Con: Unlike emails, texts must be brief. Customers simply aren’t interested in reading long text messages, so texts must be short. Any in-depth customer service conversations, especially those that involve upset customers, are often better conducted over email or even phone.
Con: Too many business text messages can feel intrusive. If businesses send too many marketing texts in addition to vital communications like notifications and customer service replies, consumers can get frustrated and ask to be removed from texting lists. Companies that successfully use business text messaging will focus on providing value, pushing marketing campaigns selectively—but with great success.
Balancing Email and Texting Messaging for Business Use
While some businesses choose one method or the other, savvy companies take advantage of both email and text messaging.
Because email conveys nuanced messages well, it can be used for in-depth customer service conversations that require lengthy explanations and attachments. Email also works well for marketing campaigns selling clothing or other products that rely on attractive designs to make sales.
Text messaging is best used for messages that need to reach a customer—and fast. Items like delivery notifications, order updates, and short customer service conversations should be conducted over SMS.
Interested in learning more about text messaging for business use? Check out our blog.