SMS vs Email and Apps: Customer engagement infograph

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We all know that mobile phones are now the main form of communication. If you’re not reading this on your smartphone right now, it’s a safe bet that it’s within reach. In fact, 80 per cent of people check their smartphone within 15 minutes of waking up and overall, we spend more than four hours of our day glued to the mobile screen.

It’s a no-brainer that you should be interacting with your customers on the devices they’re already using regularly. But all mobile communications platforms aren’t created equal, and it can be difficult to weigh up which one is best suited for both your audience and your business objectives.

A tried and tested method: email

There are very few businesses that aren’t already using email to communicate with customers. Likewise, there aren’t many consumers who don’t have an email address. So, it makes sense to make email one of your communications tools – especially if you’re a B2B company – but it shouldn’t make up your whole strategy.

How many times have you opened an email only to think, I’ll come back to this later when I’ve got more time? And how often have you forgotten about that email entirely? When only around 20 per cent of emails are opened, and only 2 per cent of links are clicked, it’s obvious that people just aren’t engaging with their emails. If you’re looking for a two-way conversation with your customers, or to get across information that’s easily absorbed, it’s not your best option.

So, should you be using a mobile app?

When it comes to mobile, many businesses think they need to jump straight in the deep end and start building an app. But while apps are great for interactive experiences like gaming and social media, they don’t always make sense. What if you just need a way to send quick, timely updates to customers – like delivery or product stock notifications? Is it worth building a whole app for that? It’s also a crowded market. With over 3.5 million apps on Google Play alone, competition is fierce. And consumers are feeling the app fatigue – 90 per cent of all apps are only used once before they’re deleted.

One app to rule them all

There’s one platform that’s easily overlooked: SMS. Text messaging isn’t anything new, but it’s trusted and reliable. Best of all, it’s already built directly into your customers’ phones so they don’t need to download yet another app. With a text message, you can interact with people in a way that feels personal and 1:1, but fits easily into their day-to-day lives. You’re not interrupting them with a phone call or overwhelming them with too many choices. It’s quick to read and respond to, and very few people ever leave an SMS unread. Millennials check their phone up to 150 times a day, and half even check it in the middle of the night, so it’s unlikely they’ll miss your message.

Mobile communication doesn’t have to be complicated. When you want to say something quickly, or make it easy to respond, why wouldn’t you use the messaging platform your customers are already using every day? And as our devices get smarter, you can now even provide the functionality and interactivity of an app or email in the tried-and-trusted format of a text.

Check out our infographic (created in partnership with OpenMarket) to find out more about the best communications platforms for your business.

 

Published on: 14th June 2018

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