The past year has catapulted consumers from all demographics into the digital realm. Out of necessity, more and more people rely on digital channels to connect with their friends and family, manage their finances, book and organise social events, and interact with their service providers.
When it comes to communicating with brands, 42% of consumers choose digital channels over physical. Of those who prefer digital, 36% cited speed as the key driver, and 51% found digital communication to be more convenient.
The same isn’t true for all industries. When it comes to services providers like utility companies, banks, and insurers, consumer preferences differ. 42% prefer to receive financial service bills by post, and 37% prefer physical letters about their utility bills.
It would be unrealistic to expect customers to switch entirely to digital overnight, and brands need to ensure the change is seamless. A letter about changes to energy tariffs wouldn’t look the same as a marketing email promoting additional services. Just because they’re both served on digital platforms doesn’t mean the experience should be the same.
The problem with letters
From an environmental standpoint, letters leave a substantially higher carbon footprint than digital communications. A 10-gram letter made from recycled paper that will be recycled when received has an estimation of 140 grams of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e); a regular email is estimated to have around 4 grams of CO2e (when you add an attachment to it, the carbon emissions can go up to 50 grams). Nonetheless, compare that to the 0.014 grams of CO2e from SMS; that’s 10,000 SMS for one letter or 285 SMS for one email.
Letters could be detrimental to your customer experience too. Research shows that 75% of customers attribute response time to the most influential factor in establishing good customer service. Letters take up to 3 days to reach your customers and rely on telephone, email, or postal response. SMS benefits from an average response time of just 90 seconds, an open rate of 95%, and it’s delivered instantly.
So what are your options?
If you’re looking to reduce cost, save time and improve traceability of customer communication by digitising letters, there are two key ways SMS can help.
Option one: mass messaging, general information, and important updates.
Suppose you’re contacting your customers to update them on important business information, universal changes to their accounts, or let them know of upcoming offers. In that case, you can send a PDF embedded in your SMS as a link. Upload your document to our intuitive and user-friendly platform, studio, and you’re ready to send.
Sending generic letters as digital PDF documents can save administrative tasks and reduce cost by eliminating the need for paper, printing, envelopes, and postage. You can also track how many of your SMS messages were delivered and see who opened your PDF, which is impossible to track with traditional letters.
Whether you’re already using SMS and want to go beyond the 140 character limit, or you’re interested in implementing SMS into your communication strategy for the first time – sending PDFs via Studio couldn’t be easier.
Option two: personalised, customer-centric communication in an instant
Some communication relies on personalisation. Information is specific to each customer, and getting details right is key to building trust, reassuring your customer their data is safe and providing an exceptional customer experience. Mobile letters work in a similar way to an embedded PDF, the customer receives a text to let them know they have a document waiting for them, but they offer advanced features such as ID verification, personalisation, and full traceability over which letters have been opened.
Mobile letters are fully automated, so again save a significant amount of time in admin work. When integrated with your existing systems, unique fields are populated automatically, removing the risk of human error. They’re also more secure than paper letters, which can be delivered to the wrong address or opened by anyone. ID verification allows you to ask your customers a series of security questions to ensure they’re the intended recipient before granting access to the document.
Many sectors can feel the benefits of mobile letters, from utility providers sending contract information, bills, or interruption notifications to healthcare organisations sending appointment confirmations, delivering test results, or updating your patients on critical information. Mobile Letters are part of our unique Mobile Journeys product, tailored to your business to provide a first-class customer experience in whichever industry you’re part of.
If you are looking to improve or enhance your business communications, cut costs and improve efficiency using SMS or Mobile Letters, we can help. Contact our team on 0808 503 3490 or at [email protected] for more information.