Comparing these two marketing platforms really highlights just how quickly paradigms can shift in business. After all, email marketing isn’t what we’d call traditional, especially when compared to many other types of marketing. But to really understand some of the pitfalls of email marketing we have to take a look at how it started.
The early days of the internet resembled the wild west in a lot of ways. It was filled with opportunity and promise. But it was also lacking in regulations and oversight. And it is due to this lack of regulation that a lot of people took advantage of the reach that emails provided them. This resulted in email accounts being bombarded with everything from scams, spam and just a deluge of unwanted messages. Email has come a long, long way since then. For one thing, it is far more regulated now, email filtering technology is more sophisticated and marketers, thanks to the Can-SPAM Act of 2003, generally follow a guideline of best practices.
Email regulations go a long way in clearing people’s inboxes of spam but that doesn’t mean space still isn’t at a premium. So even if your messages make it through the account’s spam filter, it will be slotted alongside messages from a variety of other businesses. This isn’t even to mention all of the messages they’re receiving from social media accounts, friends and family or their job. On top of this, some email providers have begun automatically sorting marketing messages into lower priority subfolders. At its heart email marketing is a number’s game where you struggle to stand out in a forest of thousands. This is just one of the reasons SMS marketing offers such a compelling opportunity for modern merchants.
That isn’t to say that SMS or text message marketing has nothing in common with email marketing. In fact, they’re similar in many ways. For one, you should follow many of the same guidelines when constructing your SMS marketing campaign.
One way that SMS marketing differs is that it has a greater sense of immediacy to it. There are simply less layers of separation between you and your customer than with email marketing. Cell phones have become ubiquitous with everyday life. They now function as web browsers, communication devices, gaming systems, alarm clocks and much more. What all of this means is that if you send your customer a text there’s a very good chance they’re going to read it seconds after receiving it. That’s access that no other form of marketing can provide.
This post isn’t meant to completely decry email as a marketing tool. On the contrary, when combined with a campaign featuring SMS marketing it can become a valuable means of increasing interaction and engagement with your customer base. Adopting new tools and using older ones in new ways can help your business stay one step ahead!