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Email vs SMS—What Marketing Channel is Best?

By Karen Barrera on July, 3 2018
Karen Barrera

Karen has a unique ability to see through the fog and be direct. She's our go-to when you need a reality check and has the cred to boot. We consider her an office ninja...nobody knows how exactly she gets it all done. Plus, she has an awesome treat drawer and an infectious laugh.

Digital marketing goes far beyond online ads, website optimization and content marketing. As mobile becomes a bigger and bigger part of the equation, many clinics are left pondering one increasingly relevant question: What's a more effective channel—email or text (SMS)?

Email as a Go-To Marketing Channel

Despite the social media boom of the last decade, email marketing is still going strong. When it comes to receiving communication from businesses, it's the preferred method for nearly three-quarters of U.S. consumers, according to PR Newswire. Experts say email communication still has a place in our social-media-driven world because it provides the opportunity to deliver unique and customized content directly to your target audience.

When creating e-newsletters, the goal is to keep the information relevant, concise and personal. It's obviously a great medium for promoting in-clinic offers and events, but more than that, it's simply a way to stay connected with your patients. Use it to share helpful content focusing on topics they care about.

A Closer Look at SMS Marketing

MarketingProfs reports that consumers are much more likely to open a text message than an email—only about 20 percent of emails actually get opened, while 98 percent of texts get read. What's more, 95 percent of all text messages are read within just three minutes of receiving it.

The key takeaway here is that we like to text, and we're also way more likely to open and respond to a text than we are an email. Be that as it may, it actually represents a highly underrated, and underused, marketing tool. According to the experts at Salesforce, SMS marketing comes with a lot of perks, including the ability to send alerts about upcoming promotions, share information about in-clinic events and more.

Before you start blasting your patients with text messages, the first step is to get permission from your patients to do so. From there, be mindful of frequency so that you don't inadvertently annoy them. And, of course, be sure that what you're sending is actually valuable.

At the end of the day, an effective medical marketing strategy doesn't rely on one sole tactic. Instead, it's a customized, multilayered approach that gets the best results. In other words, mastering both email and SMS marketing, and then integrating them into your overarching digital marketing plan is key. Ren Scott Creative can help you with that – we offer up a suite of services to get the job done.

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