Mass text messaging is quickly becoming the star communication channel, as the use of mobile phones increases. However, for decades, mass email has been a tried-and-true method to send messages and reach a mass audience. Is its time over?
Truth is, certain messages are best suited for each channel. Moreover, the right communication tool for your organization depends on your organization’s needs. So, how do you decide which two-way communication channel is right for your organization? We’ll take a look at both channels to help you decide.
Let’s compare mass email and mass text.
The greatest advantage of mass text (also known as bulk SMS messaging) is the biggest drawback of mass email, i.e., open rate density. With 98% open rates and 60% of people reporting that they respond to an SMS within 5 minutes of being received, mass texts are an incredibly effective channel to get timely information across to your contacts.
Another bright side is that you have 160 characters to pass information and express yourself to your audience. This makes mass texts perfect for concise-and-sweet updates you want your recipients to read immediately. The strict character limits are also beneficial as short, to-the-point messages have higher chances of getting a quick response from the audience.
Mass texts are especially useful for:
- Campaigns and announcements
- Sending surveys
- Sending time-sensitive information and real-time updates
- Appointment reminders
- Sending messages that prompt recipients to take fast action, like clicking on a link to learn more or sign up for a program.
Mass text messaging has a higher click-through rate which makes it helpful in bringing more people to your website and generating meaningful engagement. However, obtaining people’s phone numbers to build up your contact list and create a consistent database of text recipients can be a time-consuming and rock-climbing process.
This is because, unlike most other communication channels, you must get explicit permission to send people text messages to avoid violating the TCPA law.
Also, with mass texts, you cannot include pictures and graphic designs as part of your message. That means you cannot visually capture your audience with this communication channel.
Unlike mass text, mass email allows you to send images and attachments as part of the message and has no limit on how much text you can include. That makes it a great medium for sending richer and longer-form content such as newsletters, educational news, or updates and content that can be saved for a later date.
Since people tend to respond to graphics and visual stimuli, mass email can be a great way to capture your audience’s heart and attention and send a clear message with fewer words. Less is more. And as the old saying goes, a picture paints a thousand words. This couldn’t be truer. Listen to episode 14 of Messaging on a Mission, “Messaging Through Graphic Design,” with Kim Vanni, for insight on the role of graphic design in any messaging strategy.
Mass email also remains king when it comes to B2B communications. Little wonder why email is the go-to communication channel for organizations worldwide.
Mass emails are especially useful for:
Times when you have lots to say or need to include graphics and media as part of your message
- Sending appointment confirmations
- Newsletters to update people on the latest news or trends
- Information that isn’t crucial or time-sensitive and can be saved for future reference
- Announcement or detailed information your audience needs, such as the date, time, and location of your event
- Times when you need to reach multiple people at the same organization
Although mass emails are an excellent communication tool, one of their biggest pitfalls is that they tend to get into the spam folder. Many people receive plenty of emails daily that they don’t even see all of them, so often, emails go unnoticed, unopened, or straight to trash without being read. As a result, mass email messaging becomes a challenge as almost 66% of its traffic is considered spam, thus affecting its opening rate density.
Which Communication Channel Is Right for Your Brand?
When deciding between mass email or mass text, it is important to ask yourself the following questions:
- How time-sensitive is the message?
- Will the recipients need to access the message at a later date?
- Do you need to send longer-form content or rich media?
- Does the message require a fast action or response?
- Which channel does your audience prefer?
When determining your best messaging channel, urgency and archival are the main criteria to consider. Mass text is the more effective communication tool if your message is time-sensitive or requires urgent action. On the other hand, if you need to send rich media and longer content, or your recipient needs to save the message for a later date, mass email might be your best way to go.
Organizations are as diverse as the people who run them. A brand that sends weekly newsletters might want to do so via mass email, while a different company might prefer texting for sending notifications and announcements.
The good news is you don’t have to choose! You can incorporate both communication tools into your messaging strategy to reach people at every stage of their engagement lifecycle with your organization on the channel they prefer. By combining mass text with mass email and optimizing your massaging effort to meet your audience preferences, you create a seamless communication experience and demonstrate your dedication to empowering your audience and providing top-notch services.