Email is the most popular brand communications channel worldwide, and SMS is second among consumers, according to the 2022 Global Messaging Engagement Report, a study by Twilio SendGrid.
Of consumers polled, 18% choose email as one of the top three channels they engage with most often. Indeed, 77% refresh their inboxes at least once a day, and 31% check their emails between two and five times a day to ensure they don’t miss discounts from brands or critical messages.
SMS is second, chosen by 14% across the globe — with one exception. German consumers are reluctant to share their phone numbers, and prefer text only in cases of two-factor authentication, account security, or shipping notifications.
Email is the least popular choice in Germany, with social coming in first. But email leads in the U.S., U.K., Brazil, France and Japan.
In the U.S., most generations see email as the most engaging channel. Boomers are way more likely to prefer it, with 27% placing email first and 18% in second place. But Gen Z favors social media, with email second, the only generation to put things in that order.
Sender reputation is the primary factor for 46% when they are deciding to open an email and second is content, followed by the offer. Subject lines are seen as somewhat influential. But 21% like to see their name used in a subject line.
Excessive frequency is deplored worldwide, with 52% saying they would unsubscribe over it.
In addition, U.S. consumers will unsubscribe due to irrelevance (24%), unknown brand (23%), grammatical/spelling errors (20%), poor design (13%), poor design (12%) unpersonalized content (12%) and emojis (10%),
In contrast, the biggest turnoff in Japan is unfamiliarity, with 28% saying they will unsubscribe for this reason. In Germany, 26% will unsubscribe due to grammatical/spelling errors.
U.K. consumers of all ages also widely prefer email, and think SMS should be reserved for personal use. But they get turned off by overly frequent emails, and over-personalization also bothers them. Boomers are least likely to unsubscribe.
One drawback to SMS among consumers is that individual texts are easily forgotten and get lost in the mix.
Twilio SendGrid surveyed 800 consumers apiece from Brazil, France, Germany, Japan, the U.K., and the U.S. In addition, the firm recruited 20 participants from each country for a qualitative study.