SMS vs App Push Notifications

Is your brand sending special offers to customers? If so, you most likely have different channels in which you’re sending out those offers. They might include email marketing, direct mail, social media, SMS marketing messages and possibly in-app push notifications.

There are so many to choose from, how do you pick? And which one will deliver the best results? Consumers all want to be communicated differently so it’s quite difficult to just choose one and most brands don’t have a bottomless marketing budget to use ALL. That makes is necessary to narrow down your channels and focus on delivering valuable content and offers to your customers to keep them coming.

We always recommend on focusing on the channels which are most desired by the customers of course, as they’ll always be the most successful.

If so, you have a bunch of different channels in which you can use to send those special offers. A few of the channels you can send special offers to customers is through email marketing, text message marketing, direct mail, social media, and even through in-app push notifications. So many choices, which one do you pick?

To be honest, nowadays brands have to utilize all available marketing channels to reach their customers, as you can see in the chart below, consumers all want to be communicated to differently. Ok, but we understand that many brands don’t have an unlimited marketing budget, therefore it’s a necessity to only select a couple marketing channels to focus on. In this case, we recommend focusing first on the marketing channels that customers most prefer.

Based on the chart shown below, which was created from the results of a consumer survey done by, the majority of customers that want brands to send them offers, want those offers to be sent via email (25% of respondents). That’s quite surprising as the open rate of email these days is extremely low compared to others, but, maybe that’s why – they’re worried they’ll receive spammy un-valuable offers and want to be able to easily ignore you and your offers.

Second to email, customers want to receive offers from brands via text message marketing. 9.03% of respondents said they’d like to receive SMS messages.

In-App Push Notifications VS Text Message Notifications

So what percentage of customers want to receive in-app push notifications for special offers from brands? Only 3.38% of all respondents. That’s 1/3 of the amount of customers that want to receive special offers via text message.

In-app push notifications are ,unfortunately, at the bottom of the list. I will say that I personally feel a little annoyed when my iPhone screen has little red dots all over it from app notifications and I typically turn them all off. The level of engagement with push notifications is also much lower than with SMS or any of the others.

Now, what industry you are in can play a very large role in the use of push notifications. A recent report from Kahuna shows push notification engagement varies greatly by industry- utility and financial services apps seeing the highest performance, and retail and social experiencing the worst. Here’s the data:


Their data also shows that around 60% of all app users opt out of push notifications. That’s a lot of customers opting out of your notifications right from the get go.

If your brand has a limited marketing budget for sending special offers such as coupons to customers, we recommend starting at the most preferred communication method by customers (email marketing), then working your way down the list based on customer preference. Unfortunately for in-app push notifications, that’s at the bottom of that list.

When you compare open and engagement rates of Email vs SMS, you’ll find SMS is going to be your clear winner in terms of driving traffic and business and being the most cost effective option. We mentioned some of this information in another article we wrote, which can be found here: SMS vs Email

One other thing that might surprise many of you is, not everyone has a smartphone. Really! Many people have held onto their older basic devices and some even still purchase new devices that are simple and basic and don’t have the ability to use Apps, or receive email for that matter. Just remember, SMS works on ALL phones!

Ready to find out more how iZigg can help you implement a killer SMS strategy? Reach out to one of our mobile marketing experts to get started!

This survey was conducted through Google Consumer Surveys from September 11-14, 2014 and polled 500 US adult internet users. The full results of the survey can be found here.[/fusion_text][/fullwidth]

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