SMS vs. Email: Which is More Effective?

Ally Feiam By Ally Feiam | 02 Sep 2019

When it comes to capturing the attention of customers, it’s important to stay fresh and relevant. However, with so many players in the game, how can a retailer stay ahead of the pack and deliver great CX, and is SMS the new way to get it?

Creating a deep and exciting customer experience is an overly important factor for all retailers. As desktop usage for online shoppers decreases, optimising mobile shopping is becoming prevalent.

MessageMedia has launched Mobile Landing Pages, a new service that ‘creates a deeper customer experience through extending SMS messages to a personal landing page’. It also allows businesses the ability to measure conversion and success.

The new platform helps brands build personalised and trackable mobile customer journeys, from SMS to landing pages to conversion. The beauty behind this service is that it doesn’t require web developers. “Businesses can then easily deploy unique landing pages to hundreds of thousands of customers at once, removing the complexity of development teams and digital
analysts,” said a spokesperson for MessageMedia.

“As Australia’s leading business messaging partner, we have been enabling personal and scalable SMS communication for nearly 20 years. Today, Mobile Landing Pages makes it easy for anyone to send visually rich SMS experiences to their customers and measure interaction in minutes,” explained Ken Johnstone, the Chief Product Officer at MessageMedia.

Is SMS Better than Email?

According to research, SMS messages are opened within 90 seconds of the customer receiving them and have a 90 per cent open rate, most of the time. This platform is an ideal way for brands to exorcise a new marketing strategy and reach a whole new audience. It’s especially helpful for those who may be finding they’re at a dead-end with email newsletters and eDMs.

“When compared to email’s open rate of 20 per cent, the benefits to businesses looking to have engaging conversations are clear,” explained Tara Salmon, MessageMedia’s CMO. “Mobile Landing Pages puts a new level of messaging sophistication into the hands of everyday businesses. a luxury car brand, and an early adopter of Mobile Landing Pages, saw a 29 per cent click-through rate on a recent campaign.”

How Can Retailers Use This?

According to MessageMedia, there’s a myriad of ways that a brand can use SMS and Mobile Landing Pages to increase revenue and engage in positive CX. “Those using the service can now look forward to tracking the success of SMS campaigns through link previews and the actions of customers, as well as adapting the templated landing pages to match their own branding,” said MessageMedia. “With Mobile Landing Pages, you can now see whether people are viewing your message and who is clicking on the links, allowing you to segment customers and gauge which calls-to-action have performed the best.”

MessageMedia’s Mobile Landing Page service. Source: provided

Emails often get marked as spam, thus collecting virtual dust within consumer’s inboxes and going to waste. While SMS also sometimes get left unread, it’s far less likely that they’re going to a spam folder or getting deleted haphazardly.

What to Include in an SMS Marketing Campaign

SMS is quite different from email. Starting out, SMS has to be short, concise and easy to read. Here are some easy ways to grab a customer’s attention via SMS:

Short & Punchy: People are busy and don’t have time to read something long-winded – a punchy SMS is far more effective. Using a CTA (call to action) is essential for SMS marketing. You can’t have an SMS calling out for someone to attend a sale without a link to the online store – it just doesn’t work.

Short Links: Using short links in SMS is an easy way to create an uplift in clickthrough rates (CTR) – customers are more likely to click on something that’s short and snappy. To go even further, branded links achieve an even higher CTR than those that aren’t. For example, tell your customers ‘Buy Now!’ or ‘Check it out here:’ to spark their interests and click the link.

Personalisation: Emails are easy to personalise, but sometimes retailers forget to do the same with their SMS marketing. Greeting the customer by their first name via SMS is eye-catching and far more effective than an SMS that read: ‘Quick! Sale ends now…’

Of course, there are pros and cons when it comes to both email and SMS marketing. The former offers a far lower open rate and deliverability, but it does provide customizability and access to personalise the product to its reader. The latter, on the other hand, has a much better rating when it comes to opens and deliverability scale. It does, however, cost a lot more than email and has less flexibility for customisation. This leaves retailers with a tough decision: which do you choose? The short answer is, you have to do both.

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