There are some archrivals that have established themselves as a natural part of our world view. You have Batman vs The Joker, Pepsi vs Coca-Cola and SMS vs Email. Their animosity is a part of the natural order - or is it?
SMS and Email are often pinned against each other and there you are, standing in the middle and having to choose. But why choose when you can have your cake and eat it too?
Each of the communication channels has their advantages and disadvantages. So instead of thinking "SMS vs Email", why not think "SMS and Email"!
The advantages of SMS
SMS is one of the most effective communication channels that you can use. Most of us have our phones glued to the palm of our hands at all times. You can almost guarantee that your message will be noticed. It´s especially useful if you want to send time sensitive messages, because almost all messages are being read within 15 minutes. Your SMS won´t have to compete with other distractions. Receiving an SMS is often perceived as something personal, especially is you include your customers first name in the message.
If you’re good at segmenting your customers into subgroups, your message will be perceived as more tailored and relevant for the recipient. In addition, SMS has a high delivery rate. That means that your message will almost certainly be delivered because we so rarely change our phone number. Most of us have only one phone number, and the chance of cancelling a mobile plan is miniscule.
Here is a little fun fact for you: SMS is actually more environmentally friendly than Email. Yes, you read that right! SMS has a lower impact on the environment because it has a lower emission of CO2 compared to email. For every gram of CO2 emitted by SMS, Email has an emission of 286 grams.
The advantages of Email
Mail is one of the most widespread channels for communication and is particularly used by businesses. With Email you can influence the visual presentation of your message. You have the creative freedom to choose the type of visual elements you want your customers to see. From pictures and gifs to different color themes, you can influence your customers to think or feel a certain way. (LINKER TIL "Appeal to Emotions")
With Email you can write longer and more descriptive text for your campaigns. When it comes to pricing, most of the basic features are available for free. You can however pay different services like Mailchimp and get access to their more advanced plans. These include features like scheduling, pre-built templates, and A/B testing.
The disadvantages of SMS
Even though we live and breathe SMS, we have to acknowledge that there are some disadvantages to it. The obvious elephant in the room is the character limitation in an SMS. The moment you exceed 160 characters, your message will be counted ad two SMS. Your recipients won´t notice a difference, but we unfortunately can´t say the same thing for your wallet.
Speaking of wallet. Unless you want to send out SMS messages from your private phone number to thousands of customers, you´ll have to pay a few cents per SMS. Yes, it is an expense but in return you will get access to a professional platform with features like your company name as the sender, unlimited contact lists and much more!
Another potential disadvantage with SMS is that it requires more creativity when brainstorming text ideas than with email. You´ll have to get your point across while keeping it short and sweet. On top of that you should ideally manage to elicit an emotional response for optimal results. This requires that you spend some time and brain capacity on planning good SMS campaigns that capture your audience´s attention.
The disadvantages of Email
Even though it´s cheaper to send Email, it´s not necessarily profitable for your company. Well yes, you´re not paying anything directly to send the Email but it´s safe to assume that you spend time and resources on planning, writing, and sending the Email. These are resources you should take into consideration when evaluating the return on investment (ROI) of your marketing campaigns. The numbers show that only 18% of all Emails get opened, and if you´re lucky you´ll have a click-through-rate (CTR) of approximately 5%.
E-mail also tends to get flagged by spam filters. If your email is poorly designed or if you use an extensive amount of punctuation, your Email will most likely never get past the inbox spam filters. On top of that you´ll have to be prepared to do some manual work from time to time. You´ll have to go through your E-mail lists to make sure that all the addresses you´re sending to is in use and functional.
Why Choose When You Can Use Both?
Now that you have an overview over the good and the bad with both SMS and Email, you can use this information to your advantage. Instead of choosing one and missing out on the other, you can optimize your communication strategy to include SMS and Email in a way that elevates your message. SMS is highly efficient when you need to convey a time limited offer, while Email is excellent for sending newsletters and other information-based messages. Do yourself a favor and use the communication channels you have available in a way that gives you the desired outcome.