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The best alternative to email marketing

Email marketing can be effective. But that doesn’t mean you should focus all your attention on it. There’s an alternative that can deliver even better results.

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As marketers, we spend a ton of time and resources on email marketing.

The problem is that it’s easy to go through the motions and ignore that it might not be working like it used to.

We’re not saying that email marketing is dead, but it’s also not the same revenue-generating machine it used to be. 

According to data from Epsilon, email click-through rates dropped below the 3% mark (2.9%) for the first time in North America in 2019.

So, are we due for a large-scale move away from email? 

We don’t expect that. But we do expect a broader acknowledgment that email is often not the best way to reach people.

In other words, brands are seeking out alternatives to email marketing–alternatives like text message marketing. In this article we cover:

Why you need an alternative to email marketing

There are three main reasons why businesses should diversify their marketing efforts.

Channel preferences

It’s not controversial to say that cohorts of consumers communicate differently.

For example, millennials prefer texting over email, phone, and social media when communicating with brands.

The same is true of Gen Z: one study found 75% of American Gen Z prefer to talk with other people primarily via text message.

Since millennials and Gen Z represent 51% of the U.S. population, taking into consideration their communication preferences is a no-brainer.

Spam filters

People are overwhelmed with the number of emails they receive. (The average person receives 121 emails per day.)

What’s crazy is that over 50% of all this email traffic is spam. 

It’s why people have turned to spam filters en masse to screen out anything but the most important messages. And it means that legitimate email marketing campaigns are often relegated to the spam folder.

Email marketing is overused

People get emails from friends, family, co-workers, their boss, and the occasional wealthy benefactor. 

But what do they mostly get? Email marketing

The top reason customers unsubscribe from emails is that they get too many emails in general (26%). The more marketing emails people receive, the more desensitized they become. 

Why SMS marketing is the best alternative to email marketing

A lot of articles on email marketing alternatives focus on live chat, Google Ads, and social media.

While all of these marketing channels have their place in your strategy, you couldn’t substitute email marketing for social media ads and, for example, offer existing customers a discount on a new product. 

On the other hand, email marketing and SMS marketing share enough similarities that you can often send a text message instead of an email. They are also both:

  • Considered owned media channels (owned media refers to digital marketing channels that a company exercises complete control over)
  • Involve building and maintaining a list of subscribers
  • Automatable: SMS marketing automation works in a similar way to email marketing automation
  • Used to send promotions, information about product launches, promote competitions, nurture leads, and share new content

The difference between them is that one channel outperforms the other.

What makes SMS marketing such a powerful marketing medium?

If you’re wondering what makes SMS such a powerful marketing medium, 79% of adult smartphone users have their phones with them for 22 hours a day.

This leads to incredibly high open rates of 98%. (The average open rate for an email is 24.8%.)

This in turn means the conversion rate of SMS campaigns can be as high as 45%. One of our customers, Toroe Eyewear, achieved a 156x return on its text marketing channel.

It’s why Forrester Research predicts consumers will get more texts in 2021 than ever before as brands build more direct relationships with customers.

SMS marketing can also complement email marketing

While we love nothing more than preaching the benefits of texting, we’re the first to say that email and text marketing can be combined to achieve even better results.

Not only do the channels not compete with each other, but they actually work together to drive impressive results. 

Just ask the multi-location restaurant Blue Baker. They’ve used SMS and email to drive a 162% increase in coupon redemptions.

Getting started with SMS marketing

The best way to get started is to read our Ultimate SMS Marketing Guide. It covers everything from SMS marketing best practices to how to collect phone numbers for marketing purposes.

If you’re ready to dive straight in, we encourage you to sign-up for a 14-day free trial of SimpleTexting and see what all the hype is about.

If you have any questions you can email us at or text us at (888) 918-2847.

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Drew Wilkinson
Drew Wilkinson

Drew Wilkinson is the Head of Marketing at SimpleTexting. Drew has more than a decade of experience managing successful integrated marketing programs to build brands, raise awareness, and generate demand.

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