Why your customers aren’t reading your emails

Businesses uses various methods of reaching customers, with email as one of the most common forms. But did you know that customers aren’t reading your emails? Find out why here.

Email is no longer the best way to communicate with customers – there is simply too much clutter to cut through. The best means of customer communication is SMS messaging. Not only is SMS more efficient and effective, but the arrival of rich communication services (RCS) will completely revolutionise business messaging.

What’s wrong with email?

1. Emails are too long

Email can be a great tool, but it also allows for long-winded communication. With no word limit or reason to remain brief, emails don’t require conciseness. Younger workers bring other platforms of communication to the workplace, such as texting and social media, that make information more readily available and consumable while on the go.

Workers today are often focusing on many different tasks at once. This means people simply do not have the time to read through lengthy emails; particularly when the email is not critical to the work at hand.

2. Low open rates and click-through rates

The open rate for any email campaign averages at around 22 percent. The average click-through rate – the number of recipients who have clicked through to one link in the email – is on the decline, currently sitting at four percent. That means most consumers are not finding email relevant enough to click on. It’s clear low open and click-through rates of emails prevent businesses from reaching all, or even most, of their customers.

3. Too many emails per day

In 2018, about 281 billion emails are sent and received worldwide every day. By 2022, this figure is expected to grow to 333 billion emails. For the average workers, this translates to over 120 emails a day. When receiving this number of emails, employees will read only the most important ones and ignore the non-crucial emails, leaving your business’s emails to sink quickly to the bottom of the inbox.

4. Email requires relevance and high volume for impact

You can’t send a single email to your customer list and expect it to have an impact. Email marketing requires both time and resources to sure it is highly relevant and consists of several pieces of contact to make a large impact on your target audience. It requires a balance between maximising audience interaction and accidentally spamming them. If you don’t email enough you risk a lack of brand awareness, but too many emails risks annoying your audience to the point they unsubscribe.

SMS still offers better engagement

Text messaging has remained largely unchanged since it first appeared, however, for many reasons it is still a highly effective means of communication.

1. Better open rates, higher response rates

Mobile phones are powerful tools for communication in the business world. The SMS open rate is close to 98 percent, a whopping 390 percent more compared to emails. Further, 90 percent of texts are read within three minutes of sending, and the SMS response rate is close to 45 percent, easily beating the email response rate of four percent.

2. Text messages get to the point

The way people consume information is changing and SMS for business suits this change. SMS messaging requires the sender to be concise and to the point, making the message easily consumable for busy customers. Businesses can make an impression, without cluttering your customer’s inbox.

3. SMS provides instant communication

SMS for business provides quick and simple communication. In a survey summarised by Forbes, 76 percent of respondents stated they are likely to read a message faster in an SMS message compared to an email. As mentioned, 90 percent of SMS messages are opened within three minutes, proving SMS messages to be timelier than emails.

4. It’s cheaper

Simply put, SMS messaging is cheaper than email marketing. Emails require creative work, such as layout design and content writing, which takes time and effort to complete. In comparison, the higher response rate of SMS messages compared to emails means you spend fewer resources for a better return on investment.

5. Personalised messaging

SMS messaging allows your business to tailor messages using specific information about your customers. By utilising existing data on customer demographics, buying patterns and geographic location, you can target an SMS campaign to the right target audience. This means you don’t waste time and resources reaching out to the incorrect customers, instead reaching out to those who are most interested.

RCS: The new frontier of SMS

Added to the success of SMS is the potential of rich communication services (RCS), which is the new frontier in SMS evolution. RCS takes traditional SMS and voice services and enhances this to an app-like experience, thereby improving the customer experience.

While RCS offers huge potential, there are simple enhancements that businesses can implement as soon as the technology is available. For example, customers who already receive SMS appointment reminders will be able to add their appointments to their own calendars. Or you can add an option within a text message to enable customers to call your business or view your location on a map.

These enhancements will be incredibly simple to roll out, with the only pre-requisite being the mobile numbers of your customers – data already held by your business. There are no changes to information management or data collection, and yet you can offer a better experience to your customers.

Moreover, RCS data doesn’t have size limits, enabling richer and more engaging content for your customers. Future capabilities include chatbots with artificial intelligence, photo sharing, and video calling – all capabilities that can be explored further down your business’s journey with RCS.


Emails struggle to cut through the clutter and frequently go unread. SMS for business offers concise, simple, and personalised communication with your audience. An increasing number of consumers are looking for organisations to simplify communication and believe SMS is the best way to do this.

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