For businesses, the most dominant method to reach audiences and send mass messages in the late 90s and early 2000’s was email. However, in the following years, the use of phone increased exponentially and today, SMS is rapidly becoming the most efficient way to connect with users and customers all around the world. We all know that SMS stands for short messaging service, and more popularly known as a text message in the US and UK. Businesses today effectively use SMS to communicate with their prospects and customers directly on their mobile phones with real-time notifications, alerts, new promotions, exclusive discounts, time-sensitive updates and reminders.

According to research, 90 percent of all texts are opened within the first 180 seconds of being received, making it a smart opportunity for brands to capture attention. While SMS and email are both effective ways to communicate with customers, there are certain messages that are suitable for SMS and email. Email is an excellent medium for sending long and detailed messages that can include images and attachments, which can be saved for a later date. SMS on the other hand, is the perfect communication tool for brief, concise and timely information such as alerts, reminders and promotions. SMS and Email are also complementary channels if used correctly to enhance the overall customer communication experience.

SMS vs Email: what’s the most effective approach?

There is no single antidote when it comes to integrating you marketing and digital campaigns, but many communication strategies can be even more effective when email is used to complement an email and vice versa. For example, you can send a customer an appoint confirmation reminder/receipt via email and then follow up with an SMS reminder before or on the day of the appointment. In many cases, businesses also integrate with SMS API to send messages from their system which can be their website or software application. The same way, they can connect their email system with a mass texting service to execute Email-to-SMS.

Overall, when we look at businesses today, there is a customer centric approach to operations which means that businesses are channeling the trends of consumers and adapting accordingly. Today’s trends simply suggest that people are far more likely to read and respond to a SMS as compared to an email. Plus, most users are engaged on their cellphones most of the time, and with the likelihood of spam messages close to none, SMS is perceived to be authentic.

Many companies are aware that most if not all information is time sensitive in the modern age and consumers are accustomed to quick information. So, when deciding between email and SMS message, SMS is a must have with email playing back up to the SMS. 

Since SMS is the way to go today, here are some of the best practices you need to look at before you get into it;

  • Get Consent

Like email, it is vital that you get the consent or permission to send messages to your customers using SMS. Consent is usually earned by different opt-in methods such as users signing up on your website, at events, or filling out a form. This is mostly the case of marketing messages as transactional messages are often the responses to an action. For instance, you are most likely to receive an OTP or email verification once you register for a service. Most businesses let you know that they can send you messages in their terms and agreement so that is another way of getting consent.

  • Ensure deliverability

It does not matter where you are sending your messages to however, you need to comply with state or regulations along with best practices, policies, features and timing. By choosing a reliable SMS API, you can send messages instantly and engage in two-way communication as well as long as it is supported in that country.

  • Keep it simple

The point of a SMS is to keep the information as short as possible. So, try to use clear calls-to-action and keywords to send relevant and concise text messages to your customers.