Texting versus Email?
With the introduction of ‘smart phones’ our cell phones have become more powerful, the distinction between texting and email is becoming less apparent; however, major differences still remain.
Texts are delivered instantly to your cell phone which most of us have with us at all times. Not as many are checking email as are checking for text messages. Text messages have more of a sense of urgency, whereas email tends to be seen as information that can be responded to at a later date. With cell phone numbers typically more private than email addresses, a text message also represents a more personal connection. The percentages of emails which get opened are 22%, with a whopping 98% of text messages which get opened and read.
However; 44% will open an email sent to a mobile device. This shows that the engagement of text tends to be much higher compared to that of email messages.
These figures are general figures that do not take into account the filtering of junk mail and spam messages that never get seen because of specific key words that are in the body of the message. If the sender is legitimate with a proper subject line and ‘From Address’ the emails read by cell phone number goes much higher to over 75%.
The benefits of being able to receive a text message anywhere also apply to the sending part of the process — a text can be sent from any location that has a data connection, and it is not necessary for an email server to get up and running. Most smartphones now come with built-in email clients, but texting remains much simpler to do, and is the only option if you’re using an older ‘dumb’ phone.
Virus attachments, malware and malicious links are other problems with email that don’t exist to the same extent on text messages, making it a more secure platform as well. Spam messages have definitely diluted the impact of email. Many e-Mail messages get diverted or filtered to a junk mailbox as well.
Know your audience
In many situations, the immediacy and simplicity of a text message makes using the medium preferable to sending an email. But the advantages of sending more verbose messages, adding graphics, and links to other information are more favorable to email. Text messages are almost always typed out on a cell phone keypad; emails are usually composed on a full-sized keyboard. This can work to the advantage of texting, encouraging briefer messages that get straight to the point.
Leonard M. Moeller, President
American Telephony, Inc.