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The unadulterated irony of SMS companies

Before I “launch” on SMS software companies, let me first start with a shocking compliment:

Few years back, one of my clients bit the SMS bug. And since his audience skewed older, I kept giving him pushback about the idea. Well, after a few months of back and forth, he convinced me and we signed up for SMS software.

And you know what?

I was proved completely wrong!

Not only was SMS a hit for us, but it’s led me to believe that SMS is more effective for older demographics than younger ones. And it makes sense too when you put a little thought into it, counterintuitive as it seems at first glance.

Now, take that with a grain of salt… because, as you’ll see, SMS ain’t everything it’s cracked out to be.

Lemme explain:

Yesterday, while I was scrolling through my emails, I spotted an email from no other than an SMS company.

Oh the irony…

Y’see, I’ve had a lot of experience being pitched by sales reps for various SMS companies. Every sales rep, and

most of the marketing SMS companies do to persuade someone to join their SMS platform, goes like this:

With SMS you get 90% (and higher) open rates. The click through rates are 37x higher than email’s click through rates. SMS generates thousands of times more ROI than email does. Yada yada yada.

Sure, some of these selling points are “true.” But they’re not accurate or honest, as the SMS company who uses email to land new customers proves.

It is true you get “higher” open rates with SMS—but this is because texts are different than emails. People are more likely to open texts than emails, but that doesn’t mean texts are the superior persuasion medium. In fact, email curb stomps SMS when it comes to persuading.

It’s also true you get “higher” click through rates. Again, this is mostly due to the nature of texts. Since most texts come from family and friends, unlike email, people are just more likely to open a link in a text compared to email. But SMS lists are also smaller than email lists, and they tend to have more qualified people (simply because it takes an extra step to fill out your phone number on a form vs just an email address). Not to mention that the best use case for SMS is during some kind of sale or promotion, which, when sent to an interested (and segmented) audience will boost the overall click through rate percentage.

As for revenue? Well, it depends on how SMS companies define ROI and how their software track sales. If SMS software is cheaper than email software, and a certain SMS campaign has the things I mentioned above (targeted & qualified list, during a promo or sale, fewer people on it than an email list, etc.), then, yes, it may *look* like it generates a higher ROI. And if they’re counting sales that aren’t actually theirs, then this only helps their case.

But if you don’t have those things… or you have a sophisticated product where you need to use more persuasion tricks in your copy… or you’re interested in creating a stronger bond with your audience… or if you need to send more messages overall (like during a time-sensitive promo), then email reigns supreme.

And you don’t even have to listen to me to understand this. You just gotta look at how these SMS companies try to land more customers:

If SMS was as good as they make it seem, don’t you think they’d use that over email?

Me too.

Actions speak louder than words (even technically “good” copy, as many of these SMS companies have).

Moral of the story?

Email ain’t dying because of SMS just like it didn’t when social media came out.

It’s still the #1 best way to grow your brand’s revenue.

Wanna test this out?

Grab a time here, we’ll hop on a call, and if’n we’re a good fit, I’ll prove to you why email is king.


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