Texting is driving email right off the road, according to Brian Pasch, CEO of PCG Consulting.
In the Wednesday episode of Auto Marketing Now on CBT Automotive Network, Pasch says he wants to “talk about stopping the insanity with our focus on email and moving to more real-time messaging with consumers.”
That’s enough to rattle any email professional. Is Pasch saying email has outlived its usefulness?
Precisely. “Everything we’re doing is forcing people to use an outdated, cumbersome communication channel” when they would rather use a different messaging platform, Pasch asserts.
Pasch goes on to ask viewers to “be real” for a moment.
“When was the last time you didn’t respond to someone’s text message if it needed a response?” he asks. “For most of us, whether I’m jumping on a plane or in between filming segments here at CBT, I’m looking at my text messaging. I’m not looking at my emails.”
Why is Pasch not scanning his emails? Because “it’s like a rat’s nest,” he says. “There’s so much distraction in there, and more importantly, I get hundreds of emails a day for different reasons and it’s a little overwhelming.”
That’s probably true for most of us. Like many people with only half an eye on equipment, I use my email inbox as a filing system, dating back ten years. I pay extra for the storage.
Many of my email contacts are people who send me substantive reports. If I have questions, I want a permanent record of the answers, which I’m not going to get from a text I read in an airport and then forget.
Professionals in many fields might say the same thing. But let’s give Pasch a fair hearing. He argues that prospects are “using texting as a way to jump off the email addiction and start real time conversations.”
He also asserts that “email delivery is hard. Most dealers are using shared servers, which means their server that they’re using is shared by other dealers, other companies.”
So what’s wrong with that?
“Those servers can get blacklisted for a day or two and then fixed,” he says. The reason why Conversica is so popular in automotive is because they have a super clean email server.” That means no links or graphics to trigger spam filters.
I’d counter that any good email service provider can help you with deliverability and prevent your emails from ending up in spam traps.
But there’s also a marketing issue. “Dealers get impatient and they’ll send out a 5,000 or 10,000 email blast to their database, get them in, get them in,” Pasch contends. “They don’t realize that they’ve just jeopardized all one-on-one communication with their most engaged customers.”
Here’s the question: What if Pasch is right?
I tended to dismiss the recent report from text firm EZTexting, saying that texting achieves six times the engagement levels of email.
The company’s internal metrics show the typical click-through rate on text blasts is 24.4%, whereas “industry standards” indicate that the click-through for email is 3.42%.
I still maintain that email is the superior marketing tool, given enhancements like AMP for Email an BIMI. Of course, most brands are not yet ready for either. And Pasch concedes that auto dealers “have not really embraced fully integrated texting to the scale I would like to see.”
Maybe he should get off this either-or kick. Let the channels move forward together.