Email reigns as the most popular marketing channel, followed by social and SMS, according to the results from Message Systems’ Marketing Channel and Engagement Benchmark Survey, announced Aug. 21 at the company’s Interact 2012 conference. The messaging technology solutions provider revealed that 97% of survey respondents leveraged email as the top channel for marketing campaigns, with social media second at 70%, according to the survey release.
“Email is not going the way of the dinosaur any time soon,” says Carrie Scott, director of product and direct marketing at Message Systems. “Historically, it’s been the only way they’ve [businesses] communicated with customers.”
Though marketers have claimed that email engagement is declining, according to Message Systems’ results, 63% of respondents said that email provides the strongest ROI, crushing the 10% that listed social. Additional benefits include low cost, accessibility, and capability to deliver a more detailed message than on social media or through SMS, Scott says.
“Email has still proven to be a great way to start the dialogue,” Scott says.
Social media was the second most popular channel, with 64% of survey respondents stating that they added social media channels this past year. Respondents added these channels to enhance customer engagement, according to Message Systems’ release. Among social media platforms, Scott says that Facebook and Twitter are the most popular and are “a force to be reckoned with” due to the prominent display of consumer dissatisfaction and negative feedback about brands.
“People take to Twitter to complain about [issues] and the results are almost instantaneous,” says Scott. “The social grid has taken rise not just among people and consumers, but in the way it leverages the way with the business to take notice.”
Scott doesn’t think that social media will steal the crown away from email anytime soon.
“It’s still new,” Scott says. “Email marketing has been around for a very long time. People are so accustomed to doing business in that channel. It’s going to take more time to make that shift to that channel.”
SMS wins the bronze with only 22% of companies planning on investing in SMS messaging, compared to 44% and 40% of businesses that intend to invest in social media and email respectively. Scott hypothesizes that the undersized figures around SMS investments are a result of the consumer’s desire for privacy and the personal nature of SMS messages.
“Consumers today are not as forthcoming at relinquishing their [mobile] phone number,” Scott says. “It’s generally personal, unless of course, you have asked for it.”
Message Systems surveyed those listed in its prospect database and received more than 100 responses, including responses from senior level marketing and email professionals, Scott says.
This was Message Systems’ first survey. The company intends to release the full report in the upcoming months.