How many calls and emails have you ignored vs text messages?


Think about your own life and the sheer quantity of stuff that comes your way. It's a necessity to ignore large chunks of it, causing us to miss things we do actually care about. Now think about how many times you do that with text messages. Not many, maybe none.

In this article:

  • We're inundated with calls and emails Go
  • How many text messages have you not read? Go
  • Text messages are opt-in, opt-out Go
  • Many people just don't want to talk on the phone Go
  • Phone calls require a good environment for talking Go
  • Delight customers by supporting text messages Go

We're inundated with calls and emails

Unfortunately, we all get spam phone calls and junk email. Many of the calls don't seem to even have a point and worse, some are scams trying to get information out of you. It makes us not want to answer any number we don't personally recognize or have a contact saved for. Then we have to deal with voicemails of automated messages that are worthless.

Our email providers do a pretty good job of separating spam and junk from the rest, but still we have way too much to consider in our inboxes. How did we get on all of these lists for products and services I didn't sign up for and don't care about? If we don't send an email first, then get a response, it's unlikely that we ever bother reading the other emails. Email has basically lost our trust from the sheer quantity that we have to deal with.

On top of the quantity, emails from businesses often have images and custom styling, which oftentimes makes the content of the message hard to consume. There's no standard for how emails come through, so there's cognitive overhead every time you need to look at one of those.

Then there's texting. Good old simple texting. You may get a lot of texts, but it's nothing compared to how many emails you get and the effort of dealing with them is much less than both calls and emails.

How many text messages have you not read?

We all ignore calls and emails. We also don't just ignore them by not emailing or calling back, we don't even read or listen to them in the first place. This happens all the time.

Now think about how many times you have got a text message and didn't even open and read it? Is it zero? We're guessing it is. When the message pops up on your phone, or you are looking at your message list, you at least see the first few words of it to know what the gist is to know if you care to respond or not. The point, though, is that you read it in the first place.

Now go back to your position in your organization or business. Wouldn't that kind of connection to a customer or contact be highly valuable and desired? Yes! When you need to communicate with someone, this is the most effective way to do it.

Text messages are opt-in, opt-out

Given how effective texting is, please do not fall into temptation and contribute to spam. It is illegal to not first gain consent from people, but this is a good thing. We do not want to ruin the sanctity of this communication channel! The reason it works well is because it hasn't fallen into the same traps as other traditional communication methods.

When your contact opts-in to texting, either by signing something or engaging you via text message, you know that this is a preferred method of communication for them and you can rely on it as a delivery method. It's easy for them to respond and also you, especially when you are equipped with tools like Rather Text.

People can also opt-out with common keywords like STOP at any time. You as the business may not want them to choose that because they won't get your messages anymore, but again, this is something that is a good thing because it keeps the consumer's trust in text messaging. Opting out of emails is annoying or sometimes impossible if the sender feels like being illegal. It's also good that people can opt out because that usually happens for the bulk message use case (think text marketing where you send a promo out to everyone who has signed up for it). When those people opt out, you can still have them in your list and try to send the promo to them, but they will block it on their side and you won't have to manage their promo communications.

Many people just don't want to talk on the phone

We've talked about how calls and emails are a problem due to quantity, quality, and relevance, but there's another topic about how people, especially millennials and younger, don't even want to talk on the phone at all. When their friends call them, they ignore the call and then text them to see what's up. They care about the communication, but they despise the communication channel.

Phone calls require a good environment for talking

Even if the person doesn't mind phone calls and would otherwise be happy to take the call, circumstances dictate when you can talk on the phone.

  • It takes a dedicated time from the start until the finish, so you have to bank on having enough time to handle it then and there
  • The environment you're in could be loud, making it hard to hear
  • The content of the call may require privacy, but you may not be alone

These are things that don't exist with carrying a text message conversation. They can still happen in quick succession (even if not as real-time as a phone call), but there's flexibility to allow time between messages as needed.

There's tradeoffs. Let's not pretend that text messaging is always the perfect method for communication. There's a strong difference between talking with something and communicating in writing, so there's definitely times where calls make more sense. That said, you're probably better off starting with a text message and then jumping into a call when you feel it is needed and agreed on by the other party.

Delight customers by supporting text messages

Most businesses just don't support text messaging at all. If they do, it's likely in the form of sending promotional messages to large lists of potential customers, which may not even allow responses and if they do, they don't really land back in anyone's lap from the sending organization.

If your organization supports receiving texts from your contacts and promotes that as an option for them, you have the chance to delight them with the surprise since most businesses don't support this at all. It's a differentiator that your contacts will notice and appreciate.

As a business, your customers are everything. You want to align with their needs as much as possible and embracing text message is a great step in that direction, let alone the actual effectiveness of the communication that comes with it.


If you want to have meaningful conversations that people participate in with your business, you should consider sending and receiving text messages in addition to calls and emails. You're more likely to get responses and make sure the content you're trying to get out to people is actually seen.