Text Messaging VS E-mail Marketing

I’ve long
predicted that text messaging is a transitional technology, rather than the
next "big thing." Since most teenagers use text messaging to communicate
with each other, rather than e-mail, I’m often asked if e-mail will die out.
The logic is that once these teens grow older, text messages will be their
preferred form of communication.

I don’t
think this is going to happen for a number of reasons, one of which surfaced in
the news this week. Here’s a rundown of why I think text-messaging will soon be
yesterday’s news.

1. The
lines between e-mail and text messaging will blur: Yahoo has just announced
that its e-mail subscribers will be able to send text messages from within its e-mail
system. This will blur the line between e-mail and text messaging, and will
increase the value of e-mail.

move also serves as a clever way to give users incentives to continue using
e-mail, when many teens and young adults are increasingly turning to text
messaging or IM in lieu of e-mail..
Ms. Wendy Davis of MediaPost wrote
last week.

2. Text
messaging is just text: Text messaging is limited – you can only send 160
characters (not words), and it’s plain text. You can’t send a complex message,
or an attachment, or a picture or video. And, there’s no formatting. Text
messages can’t be easily stored, forwarded or archived.

3. Text
Messaging Merely Got There First:  If getting e-mail on your phone was
really what everyone wanted in the first place, the reason it didn’t happen was
that the first generation of cell phones couldn’t support the technology
infrastructure needed. Thus, text messaging slipped in there quick and easy.
But things have changed. As any iPhone user will tell you, getting an e-mail is
now just as easy as getting a text message.

As the next
generation of phones gets into consumers’ hands, e-mail will come as a standard
feature. I believe that when this generation of teens can send an e-mail just
as quickly and easily as they can send a text message, they will do so. Then
when they get to college, e-mail is the lingua franca of the adult world, and
they will become part of it.

As a vendor to arts marketers, we are getting more and more inquiries about
whether we can provide a text messaging service. We can and we will inevitably
do more of it.

However, be
forewarned. The price of text messaging is about $.08 to $.10 per message, to
send AND the same cost to receive a reply. In a world in which most of our
clients pay half to one tenth that rate to send an e-mail and pay nothing
to get a response from a consumer, I think it’s a marketing method with a lot
sizzle, but not a lot of beef.

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4 responses to “Text Messaging VS E-mail Marketing

  1. Email and Text Messaging Are Different Types of Communication Tools

    In “Text Messaging VS E-mail Marketing,” Gene Carr, founder and president of Patron Technology, argues that “text messaging is a transitional technology” and will be replaced by email. [via Danciti] I think that Carr’s position is incorrect on most cou…

  2. Text messaging technology is available today that allows for including a “Reply-All” option with all multi-recipient messages. A single click by the recipient of such a message directs the reply to all the original recipients. Imagine how this changes the entire SMS usage model.
    Amazingly, neither Apple, Google or RIM have shown the slightest desire to include this technology in their products.
    Time for consumers to demand access to Smashtalk technology. http://www.smashtalk.net

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