The battle between text message and email marketing has raged for the better part of the 21st century. While email was once considered the best way to engage customers and prospects, a number of recent developments has swayed the trend in favor of SMS marketing.

According to an email marketing metrics report released by the online publication Mailer Mailer, the email open rate has declined significantly in recent years. While the percentage of recipients that responded or clicked on a call to action in a marketing email stood as high as 14 percent in 2007, that number has dropped to around 11 percent today. Studies show that several email recipients will delete said messages without opening them.

Meanwhile, SMS users continue to open and respond to text messages, and the number of recipients is growing due to the rapid adoption of mobile technology. As previously reported in this blog and supported in an article in the New York Times, text messages have an open rate of 97 percent.

Texting is becoming an increasingly reliable source for generating an instant response as well. According to an article in the Business 2 Community blog, 90 percent of text messages are read within the first three minutes of being received. This is in stark contrast to email, as a 2011 study conducted by customer management firm ICMI revealed that 39 percent of recipients read emails within the first 24 hours versus  9 percent that did so immediately.

While sending messages via SMS will increase the likelihood of it being read, it is vital for businesses to remember that content quality is still the most important factor. A 2011 article from the online publication Vibes suggests that regardless of which channel is used to distribute messages, it's vital to "create relevant, timely and engaging content."

Businesses sending messages via SMS will want to ensure that their content will engage recipients. Swift SMS Gateway can provide companies with the tools needed to develop and send messages that will be read and that will evoke a response.