How do you know what kind of communication requires an email as opposed to a text? Sometimes it can be hard to distinguish the differences between the two communication channels, but it’s important to understand. What might be an effective text might not be a good email and vice versa. Texting tends to be high-priority, concise, fast and conversational whereas email tends to be low-priority and long-form.

Here are some of the key differences between texting and email.

Email vs texting when to use each communication channel why texting is better than email

Texting Pros and Cons

Benefits of Texting

  • It’s fast and high-priority. What’s quicker than sending a text? Your customers can quickly respond to texts. Unlike email, texting doesn’t require a formal greeting or signature – a simple “yes” or “no” will suffice. Soon, with the rollout of RCS, responses will be even faster – recipients won’t even need to type because they will be able to just click a button.

    Additionally, if someone realizes the conversation is better had via phone call, they don’t have to go digging through their contact list to find the number. They can simply navigate seamlessly from text to voice call without missing a beat.

  • It’s mobile and available without WiFi. Today’s adult consumers spend an average of 3 hours and 35 minutes per day on mobile devices, according to a 2018 study by eMarketer. Texting comes pre-built on mobile phones and, unlike email, is available even without a wifi connection, which makes texting a more accessible medium.
  • It gets read. Unlike emails, texts aren’t buried underneath spam. While email open rates are roughly 20 percent, text messages have an open rate of 98 percent. These statistics speak for themselves. Our email inboxes inundated with messages – we simply don’t have the time to read each one and sift through for important information.
  • It’s concise.Texting requires you to make your point with fewer characters. Contrary to what you might believe, being forced to communicate with limitations can actually make your messages clearer and more efficient. The best writers are often told to cut characters because important messages are best not diluted with fluff.
  • It’s timeless. We already know that most adults prefer texting over any other communication channel. But now we know that younger and younger generations are showing a preference for texting over any other communication channel. According to the Pew Research Center, 91 percent of teens with cell phones actively text.
  • It’s conversational. Texting feels more human and personal than email because of its conversational nature. You can quickly and easily exchange texts just like you talk. This format also opens the doors for humor, Emojis and other fun elements that don’t always arise in email.

Cons

  • It’s not meant for long-form communication. Texting never will replace email entirely as long as users continue to treat it as a conversational messaging channel. One of the things we’re proud of here at Zipwhip is protecting the integrity of the medium of texting. In other words, we want texting to remain conversational and convenient. We don’t aim to eliminate email all together. We’re just offering a different channel meant for different types of communication. Nobody wants to read a multi-paragraph text message – their eyes will glaze over, and they’ll move on to the next.

Email Pros and Cons

Benefits of Email

  • It’s long-form. When it comes to business communication, we sometimes have to relay complex information or write lengthy emails to make sure we’re covering all of our bases. Although there’s immense value in concise communication, sometimes long-form emails are unavoidable.
  • You can add attachments. Although you can always send screenshots or pictures of documents through text, it’s sometimes easier and more practical to send multi-page documents through email. It’s also sometime necessary to send attachments through emails, so recipients can save the documents directly on their computers or forward on to other people.
  • You can reach many people at once. Email mass marketing is commonplace in business communication. It’s an easy way to blast many people at once with the same message. We firmly believe texting should be reserved for conversations, not mass marketing. Email is the best vehicle for this type of communication.
  • Cons

    • It’s associated with spam. Along with mass email marketing comes the negative connotation of spam. Although certain regulations are in place to protect consumers from an inundation of spam, not all senders adhere. Most consumers are used to tuning out emails from brands or people they don’t know because they’ve been conditioned to assume they’re advertisements or junk. Given this, email has a much lower open rate than text messages.
    • It’s more formal. We often feel compelled to insert a formal greeting or signature when writing an email. Email, by nature, isn’t conducive to quick conversations. It’s often used to convey information rather than create dialogue. It also doesn’t foster back-and-forth banter the same way texting or phone calls do because it’s not as immediate. Unfortunately, this means you often lose that personal touch.
    • It often requires extra resources. When companies send emails – especially as marketing tools – they usually need to be branded and designed, which requires resources like designers and/or HTML coders. Although it provides an opportunity to tell a visual story, it also means it will take longer and cost more to get your message out.
Madeleine Wilson

Madeleine Wilson

Content Marketing Manager at Zipwhip
Madeleine Wilson is the content marketing manager for Zipwhip. Her experience in brand strategy, strong writing skills, and eye for design help drive traffic to the Zipwhip website. She loves telling the stories of how Zipwhip impacts businesses and consumers.
Madeleine Wilson