Email and phone calls have long been at the center of every business messaging strategy.
They’re not new tools. But they’re reliable and some of the most widely adopted forms of communication in the world.
So businesses and organizations are turning to SMS text communication to keep connected to their contacts, customers, clients, employees, and teammates.
In this article, I cover the benefits and advantages of text messaging including:
By the end, you’ll know the advantages and benefits of SMS text messaging vs email, voice, and other messaging platforms.
Read on for more.
The purpose of texting is to send quick personal, family, social, and business messages. People often prefer text messaging because message recipients aren’t required to respond immediately. Texts also allow businesses and organizations to get people's attention and send time-sensitive messages. Text messages feel personal, relevant, and timely.
Texting from your personal phone or from a business text messaging software is fast.
However, if you’re texting as a business, using your personal phone for work isn’t the best. The texting application on your personal phone comes with limited features. It can only manage a few one-way and two-way text message conversations at any given time.
An SMS inbox helps you filter and route inbound and outbound text messages to the right people. Think of it as a shared or private email inbox, but faster because it’s built around texting.
Email is the standard for business messaging and communication. It’s easy to compose an email and personalize it.
But texting is just as quick and isn’t as formal as an email. Texts give you a chance to loosen a few buttons–they’re more conversational and relaxed.
Text message software also comes with features like templates, tags, media, and links. This makes it easy to personalize text messages in friendly and useful ways.
You can save a text message as a reusable template with business texting software like MessageDesk. This template can include personalization tags that auto-insert a recipient's first name into every text.
Texting allows you to talk to more people in less time.
All you need to do is upload a contact list, create groups, attach a text message template, and hit send.
Email deliverability is a tricky thing. Email providers like Gmail actively monitor for spam messages. This means many marketing emails never get read.
Plus, the average person receives over 120 emails per day. This leaves a small window of opportunity for messages to get read.
But everyone has a smartphone or cell phone with an internet connection that’s capable of receiving texts. Text messages go straight to your contact’s mobile phone. This is texting’s advantage over email.
Business texting platforms like MessageDesk make this verification process easy. All you have to do is submit a form with business or organization information.
The average person receives dozens of emails every day. But only 17% of people have zero unread emails. Whereas 74% of people have zero unread text messages.
By comparison, text messages almost always get read immediately. 98% of texts are read in under 1 minute. Plus, average response times are much quicker than email too.
So text messaging allows you to be one of the 10 text conversations your contacts receive each day. This means your messages are almost 10x more likely to get a response.
This matters because business communication revolves around reply rates. With texting, you can manage more engaging conversations at once and get more replies.
Just like email, you can automate text messages too.
Scheduling text messages for things like appointments and payment reminders is the first step. But you can set up text message autoresponders as well.
Autoresponders are text messages that send automatically. They’re triggered when someone texts a keyword like, “SCHEDULE”, “HELP”, “BOOKING”, or “PRICING” to your SMS phone number.
Texting services like MessageDesk even allow you to chain these text messages together for multiple responses.
This eliminates manual phone calls, voicemails, and emails. It also keeps you from having to answer the same questions over and over again.
Struggling to reach contacts, customers, and clients through email and voice? Too many appointments no showing? Having cash-flow problems?
Text messaging makes it possible to schedule appointment reminders, payment reminders, and other messages in advance.
You can reduce your no-shows and accounts receivable in several ways:
Using all of these options can reduce your accounts receivable and appointment no-shows.
Texting makes it easy to follow up with someone after they’ve had a great interaction with your business or organization.
Anyone can send NPS surveys and CSAT polls in a text. All you have to do is send a text message with a link to a Google Form. You can also use a tool like Survey Monkey.
With texting, it’s also easier to send more timely messages with links that ask for a review.
Catch a person at the right time and they’re more likely to leave positive feedback. All you need to do is include a link to your Google review page in your automated text messages.
The difference between email and text comes down to engagement and response rates.
Emails get about a 20% open rate and about a 6% response rate. Texts have a near 98% open rate and a 45% response rate.
Plus, only 17% of people have zero unread emails. Whereas 74% of people have zero unread text messages.
|✅ Text messaging is universal||🚫 Texts rely on carrier networks for delivery||✅ Email is universal||🚫 Higher spam message rates|
|✅ Everyone has a phone number||🚫 Texts are limited to 160-300+ characters||✅ Everyone has an email address||🚫 Low open and response rates|
|✅ Texts are great for quickly sharing images and media||🚫 High-volume text messaging requires carrier verification||✅ Email is great for sharing files and including attachments||🚫 Email spam spreads malware through website links and email attachments|
|✅ Text messaging is nearly instant||🚫 Text marketing allows you to share images but file size is limited||✅ Email marketing is more visual and in-depth||🚫 Email marketing is fast, but isn’t as instant as text messaging|
|✅ It’s easy to track text messages||🚫 Contacts need to opt-in to receiving messages||✅ It’s easy to track email messages||🚫 Contacts need to opt-in to receiving messages|
Email is actually the most widely adopted form of digital communication in the world.
Personalized email marketing campaigns allow businesses and organizations to nurture customers, deliver engaging content, and personalize messages.
But as a marketing channel, email often suffers from low engagement rates.
|Open Rate||Response Rate||Spam Rate|
|Text message marketing||98%||45%||3%|
In fact, the average person will send 25% more texts than emails. That’s an average of at least 15 texts vs 12 emails per day.
The average person also receives far more email marketing vs SMS marketing. Many emails go unread and even get deleted without ever being opened.
So it’s no wonder then that email also has lower engagement rates. We’re talking about 20% open rates and only 6% average response rates. And that’s on a good day.
Compare that to text messaging. Text messages have up to a 98% open rate and around a 45% response rate. In fact, 74% of customers will even respond to a text from a business within an hour vs 41% for email.
Customers are also much more likely to mark advertising emails as spam. So when it comes to receiving emails, some audiences may never even have the chance to see your message.
What are the cons of texting compared to email marketing?
A big difference between text and email is that email marketing gives you more space to tell a more visual story.
Sure, you can text images and gifs using MMS. But you can’t style your text messages in the same way that you can with an email.
Text messages also have a character limit. This character limit may vary based on your messaging provider, but texts are meant to be brief. They require you to get to the point faster than email.
These are the pros and cons of texting.
So email works great for long, in-depth customer communications. Whereas text message marketing is best for short messages, calls to action, and immediate engagement.
This makes SMS vs email great for delivery notifications, appointment reminders, out-of-office messages, and more. Texts can quickly encourage customers to take actions like, “schedule an appointment”, “pay invoice” and “redeem offer”.
In the end, a well-rounded messaging strategy will take advantage of SMS and email marketing. You need both. They each serve a complementary purpose.
Phone calls are obviously the tried and true standby when it comes to customer communication. They used to be the only way to get an instant response.
But communication preferences are changing, and telephone culture is declining.
Some 76% of consumers recently reported that they don’t like talking to businesses on the phone.
What if you’re calling from an unknown number? 1 in 4 consumers won't even listen to your voicemail. People just don’t pick up the phone.
They want conversations to occur quietly, in their own time, and at their convenience. This is why people prefer texting vs talking. Texting is less obtrusive and more discrete.
|✅ Text messaging is universal||🚫 Texts rely on carrier networks for delivery||✅ Phone calls are universal||🚫 Susceptible to poor network connections and loud ambient noise|
|✅ Everyone has a phone number||🚫 Not as personable as a phone call||✅ Everyone owns a cell phone||🚫 People are hesitant to answer the phone|
|✅ You can schedule and automate text messages||🚫 Automated messaging can sound stale if it isn’t well written||✅ Gets you undivided attention from your audience once they answer||🚫 Can only complete one phone call at a time|
|✅ Text messaging is nearly instant||🚫 Text marketing allows you to share images but file size is limited||✅ A faster way to find solutions to complex problems and issues||🚫 Fewer automation opportunities|
|✅ It’s easy to track text message responses||🚫 Contacts need to opt-in to receive messages||✅ Improves personal engagement with your audience||🚫 Lower response and engagement rates|
Phone calls aren’t going away - we’ll always need them. Phone calls also used to be the only way to get an instant response and build an emotional connection with customers.
But calling and texting are both instant. The advantage of texting is that it's 7 times more likely to get a response.
This is partly because 76% of consumers aren’t answering the phone due to a massive rise in spam robocalls.
Plus, texting is also more efficient than calling.
Telephone calls aren’t a scalable way to engage customers. You can only complete them one at a time. Advanced VoIP telephone systems and autodialers can make calling at scale more efficient.
But it’s still not as fast as texting. Texting makes it much easier to reach more people with the same message faster.
So what are the benefits of telephone communication? Why would someone call instead of text?
It’s hard to quantify, but a human voice can make a big difference when it comes to building a connection.
Talking on the phone can sometimes make or break a sale, close a deal, keep a customer, or secure a donation. There’s just nothing more human than a personal phone call.
This is the make-or-break difference between calling vs texting.
Calling is also sometimes a better medium for finding faster solutions to complex problems. When a customer is describing a problem, it's sometimes faster to call.
Chat and messengers like WhatsApp, WeChat, and Facebook Messenger offer another way to reach audiences.
These conversational messaging tools include:
They’re all free, easy to use, and made for instant messaging that tends to feel more personal than formal.
Like texting, the messages on these platforms get sent and received instantly in real time.
But they have some drawbacks.
For users to send and receive messages they need to have the app installed on their phones.
All of the messaging takes place on the app’s dedicated network. These networks are separate from the cellular networks you’d use to send SMS messages.
This is where SMS has the advantage. Everyone has a phone number and nearly every mobile phone comes equipped with a built-in, native text messaging app.
As a business or organization, this means SMS gives you access to a much wider audience. Social messaging apps are limited by the fact that each person in the conversation has to have the app.
So if a contact hasn’t downloaded the app, and isn’t logged in, they’ll never receive your message.
|Texting||Chat, Messengers, WhatsApp|
|✅ Text messaging is universal||🚫 Text marketing allows you to share images but you’re limited to a single file||✅ Chat and messengers are instant||🚫 You need to have the app and be logged in to receive any communications|
|✅ Everyone has a phone number||🚫 Texts are limited to 160-300+ characters||✅ Chat apps offer unlimited texting without character limitations||🚫 Messengers be overrun with spam messages|
|✅ You can schedule and automate text messages||🚫 Text messaging costs per message||✅ Chat messages are free, as long as you have access to the internet||🚫 If you don’t have access to the internet, you won’t reliably receive communications|
|✅ Text messaging is nearly instant||🚫 Contacts need to opt-in to receive messages||✅ Chat apps are conversational and can open up two-way communication||🚫 Chats be perceived as intrusive for business purposes|
Text messages don’t replace email or voice - they complement these channels. Text messaging fills in the gaps left in your engagement strategy.
Everyone has different communication preferences. Some messaging tools just do a better job of reaching different people, at the right time, and in the right way.
This is why I advocate for text messaging as a complementary way to reach your contacts and customers.
Ready to start texting your contacts and customers? MessageDesk is here to help with smarter, simpler business text messaging.
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