Despite the growing number of new communications channels (social media platforms, messengers, mobile messaging apps), the old school classics reign supreme: email and text.

New apps have all the shiny bells and whistles, so why do customers prefer vintage channels like email and SMS? Good question. To learn more about consumer communication preferences, Twilio surveyed 2,500 consumers of various backgrounds—and the results surprised just about all of us.

Download the full report here, or read this quick and simple summary.

Here’s a highlight of the findings:

  • 83% of respondents said email was the preferred method of communications between them and businesses
  • Texts are 2.5x more preferred than email when receiving urgent communications from businesses
  • 34% of consumers make a purchase as a result of businesses communicating with them in their preferred way
  • 7 in 10 consumers penalize a business for communicating with them in unpreferred ways
  • 94% of consumers reported they’re annoyed by the current communications they receive from businesses

SMS + Email = Powerful Engagement Duo

Alone, SMS is a quick and simple way businesses can send short, timely messages to recipients. Email, on the other hand, is great for longer messages and for keeping an account of security messages. Together, the two create seamless customer engagement experiences that are scalable, reliable, and oh-so effective.

Email and SMS aren’t substitutes for each other, though—they’re complements. Each has its own unique use cases and audiences. If you want to stay relevant with your customers, you’ll need to send messages where your customers want to receive them: and that’s via text and email.

However, consumers don’t want too much of a good thing. Our full consumer engagement report shows most consumers only want to receive promotional messages from a business about once a week. But millennials prefer more frequent promotional messages than baby boomers, so make sure you’re targeting your demographics correctly. Afternoons are the preferred time to receive messages, while evenings are the least popular hours of the day.

These might seem like minor details, but any small improvement in your open and click-through-rates can lead to huge results.

We explore the relationship between email and SMS and all the associated opportunities more in our guide Using SMS and Email to Engage Your Customers. Get your copy now so you can take advantage of the most powerful customer engagement duo.

And if you want to learn more about how consumers prefer to be engaged, download the Consumer Engagement Best Practices for 2020 report.



Jesse Sumrak
Jesse Sumrak is a Content Marketing Associate at Twilio SendGrid focused on writing killer content and producing captivating webinars. A writing zealot by day and an ultramarathon runner by night (and early-early morning), you can usually find Jesse preparing for the apocalypse on a precipitous peak somewhere in the Rocky Mountains.