Goodbye Email, Hello Rich Media Messaging

“Give us your email address and we’ll give you great deals.” These seductive words charm millions of customers every day eager to get a good deal from their favorite retailer.

Unfortunately, soon after signing up for these deals, the emails often hit the junk mail folder, never to be seen by the intended recipient.

With Millennial preferences changing, perhaps it is time to evaluate our digital marketing strategies. Instead of replicating the wheel by sending the same kinds of email messages to mobile devices, we should get a little smarter about how we are direct marketing.

email vs. mobile messaging

Goodbye, Email!

Did you know the average consumer receives 416 commercial emails per month? In fact, more than 35% of consumers have admitted that frequency was the deciding factor for unsubscribing from a brand’s email. Consumers are worn out from receiving swarms of daily emails from brands whose programs they’ve opted into just for a one-time deal.

For those still subscribed, the result is an average open rate of 19.7% – right from the start, this limits your opportunity for customer reach and engagement.

With any marketing strategy, it is important to focus on customer habits. Receiving deals via email worked in the past — today, however, Millennials would rather use their mobile phones and search for a favorite retailer’s deal through other means (website, third-party deal sites, social media, etc.) instead of going back through hordes of emails to find a particular coupon.

They are a group that wants to control the engagement they have with a brand as well as have the ability to respond at their leisure. Like a number of other consumers, Millennials view email with a lesser sense of urgency than text messages. Typically, it takes 6.4 hours — sometimes a whole day — for subscribers to check an email. Text messages, on the other hand, boast a 90% open rate within the first 3 minutes.

Hello Rich Media Messaging

As customers appreciate deals, mobile messaging is a more effective solution to deliver value and savings due to its immediate response. Mobile is the most personal touch point in which brands can really establish a worthwhile connection with their attentive audiences, especially Millennials.

As the most active group in mobile, Millennials have a 14% higher mobile usage over other demographics. Ninety-five percent of this audience texts regularly, with 18-29 year olds receiving an average of 87.7 text messages a day.

Millennials view their mobile device as an extension of themselves which they can never be without, at the risk of feeling “naked.” It connects them to everything as well as blurs the lines of being online and offline. A number of marketers have already begun to shift their efforts to include mobile as they understand this group will be the “tastemakers and trendsetters” for the future of nearly all marketing communications.

Marketers currently executing email campaigns can easily transition and adapt their content to fit within a mobile messaging campaign. With platforms like Rich Media Messaging (RMM), brands can even deliver branded and personalized experiences to customers as it allows for the delivery of rich content such as video, image and long text to virtually any device. In addition, content is delivered directly within a message eliminating the need of a data plan and web clicks to view content.

The benefits that brands can reap with mobile messaging include: higher open and redemption rates, mobile device penetration, reduced spam potential as well as an easier and more appealing, opt-in process for Millennials who prefer permission-based text messages over emails from brands. All that said, it’s important that marketers be careful to avoid irritating consumers, as their tolerance for unwanted messages is likely to be low or non-existent when it comes on their mobile devices.

The following chart presents a side by side comparison of email and RMM:

RMM vs. email image 2

The Bottom Line

Mobile messaging has the potential to change our direct marketing communication model. It is a unique technology that has been adopted on a widespread basis for personal use, but marketers have not traditionally embraced text messaging yet, due to its limitations.

With new innovations like Rich Media Messaging being further developed, branded and engaging experiences are now possible, which can garner response rates of 35%. With its ability to reach more customers on a personal level and leverage natural customer mobile behaviors on our handsets, we need to rethink our relationships with evolving customers.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.

Related Topics: Channel: Mobile Marketing | Mobile Marketing | Mobile Marketing Column


About The Author: is the President, CEO and Co-Founder of Iris Mobile. Widely recognized as one of foremost mobile technologist and visionary experts on MMS and rich media messaging, Cezar is actively participating in defining the next generation mobile marketing and advertising.

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  • Mark Lincoln

    This came up at an automotive conference (NADA) earlier this year. Worth looking into, but this definitely rings true: “it’s important that marketers be careful to avoid irritating consumers, as their tolerance for unwanted messages is likely to be low or non-existent when it comes on their mobile devices.”

    Quick question – can you explain more about the ‘Works on all devices’ row in that table? Looks like it’s suggesting that email only works on smart phones? What other devices don’t have email?

  • Kristin Snody Olson

    Totally agree millennials are more responsive to mobile vs email. I am curious about boomers and seniors. I’m not sure which direction to take with this segment of the market. Opinions appreciated.


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