Email, SMS still consumers' preferred modes for business comms

Tuesday, 12 November, 2019

Email, SMS still consumers' preferred modes for business comms

Email and SMS are still the preferred methods of business communication for most consumers, according to a new study.

The study — released by cloud communications platform Twilio — explored how, when and where consumers want to be reached by businesses and how the context and urgency of those messages affects their preferred medium.

Of 2500 survey respondents from Australia, the UK, US and Germany, 83% said they prefer email when receiving communications from a business. This is despite also being able to access messages via phone, social media, messaging apps and companies’ mobile apps.

Texts were 2.5 times more popular than emails for urgent communications — such as a change of plans, delivery or arrival notifications or appointment reminders and confirmation.

Conversely, only 12% of consumers prefer receiving business communications from a company’s mobile app and although 70% of consumers curate their home screens, less than half say they put corporate mobile apps on their home screen, the study found.

Businesses that communicate via consumers’ preferred methods were rewarded by 75% of respondents, often through website visits, purchases and improved company perception. In fact, more than one-third of consumers said they’d made a purchase from a business that communicated with them in their preferred way.

Meanwhile, seven out of 10 consumers have penalised companies by unsubscribing from notifications or ceasing business with the company when they’ve failed to communicate in the right way.

Unsurprisingly, personalisation was a key issue, particularly for millennials and Gen Z, who wanted personalised content and a choice in the time of day they received messages. These generations are more likely to reward or penalise businesses based on their communication experiences.

In terms of frequency, most consumers preferred receiving promotional or sale-related messages once a week or more, with 39% of all respondents wanting to receive communications in the afternoon.

Along with personalisation, Twilio said the study’s key takeaways were to tailor messages to different channels depending on how consumers use them; consider a message’s urgency without abusing channels consumers prioritise for immediate needs and make it easier for consumers to control the frequency and channel they want to receive messages from.

Image credit: © na chiangmai

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