A: It depends on the brand and the products and services you’re offering. People used to say that email would die because of all the new channels emerging, like social media and mobile apps. But email is actually still quite convenient because it's an inbox that we can get all of their offers and all of our communications through, but we can largely shut it down and walk away from it for a while. That’s harder to do with SMS messaging or mobile app push notifications.
If a brand is texting you nonstop, it can get even more annoying or lead to even further fatigue than email ever could — because chances are if you get a text message, you check it. Companies need to ensure that they’re respecting the way that consumers interact. So email serves its purpose in the journey, and then mobile also serves its purpose in the journey. And messaging apps or social messaging apps serve their purpose in the journey.
In the United States, we're pretty mobile first at this point, but we're also still very email centric. The purposes of each of those channels varies from country to country, so brands need to know their market, know their customers, and understand the trends. Speaking from the U.S. consumer standpoint, email messaging tends to be promotional, while SMS messages or push notifications are used for necessary or urgent communications.
For example, a company you bought from online might send you an email to let you know that your package is on the way and will arrive in the next few days, then send a text when the package has been delivered. The email contains helpful information, but it doesn’t need to be acted on immediately, unlike the text. A utility company might send someone a monthly email with their billing information, but a text message if there is an emergency or outage. They don’t want to send an email, because the consumer might not want to or be able to check their email at that moment.
All of these channels are important to the customer journey and the customer experience, and they all serve their purpose and can live harmoniously when used correctly.