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Chatbots vs Email Marketing in 2019

Jan 18, 2019

It is no secret that chatbots are on the rise. In recent years, changes in customer habits have seen AI influenced communication tools grow rapidly. Facebook Messenger alone currently has over 300,000 active chatbots.

Email marketing is still a favourite amongst marketers and has been around since the internet began. This marketing method is estimated to have over 3.8 billion users by early this year.

Are Chatbots > Email?

Chatbots are a great, affordable and easy way to create a conversation with your audience. Around 40% of millennials interact with chatbots daily, a stark difference to the 55% of 56–67 year-old's who won’t even use mobile devices to access emails. Understanding the online behaviour of your target audience is vital when deciding on marketing channels.

With smartphones and social media becoming part of everyday life, it is no wonder that chatbots have a click-through rate ranging from 15%-60%. To put this into context, email marketing has an average click-through rate of about 4%.

Chatbot click-through rates could be so high as they deliver a personalised experience. This helps to build trust and allows marketers to gain useful insights and data from customers whilst they interact with the chatbot. This then allows marketers to better target these customers with future offers.

So, goodbye email?

Not quite. In 2018 we saw a growth in social media mistrust, especially after the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the rise of fake-news. Plus email allows more content freedom.

Chatbots have word counts and character limits, but email allows you to write long-form, curated content that tells a story. Storytelling allows customers to get to know your brand in a personal way. It promotes what you’re up to and what's going on in your company. This method allows brands to show real-life benefits and features to customers.

81% of customers now check email on smartphones. In 70% of cases, if an email doesn't display correctly, customers will delete the email within 3 seconds. Optimising your emails for mobile is crucial to the success of any email campaign you send in 2019.

The issue with email is that so many people associate email marketing with spam messages. Plus, 79% of marketing emails don't actually get to the customers' inbox. That means one in every five emails sent either gets filtered as spam or blocked entirely.

Hello Chatbots

Chatbots are, on the whole, spam free.

They are usually user-initiated ensuring chatbot users are engaged and attentive. This is reflected in high chatbot notification open rates which are on average 70-80%. This promises 2-3 times better open rates than email.

Chatbots transform the customer experience. They allow you to help customers, 24/7, no matter where they are or what device they use. It is user-friendly and allows the customer to get the information they need quickly and easily. Not only does this help with customer satisfaction but it will also encourage loyalty and trust.


With ever-evolving technology and new trends in mobile marketing, email will not disappear anytime soon. However, chatbots allow brands to have a direct conversation with their customer.

By 2020, eight in ten companies intend to talk to their customers via Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or another form of social messaging. The best way to stay ahead of the curve with chatbots is to get involved as soon as possible.

If you’re interested in finding out more about our Smart Mobile Marketing® approach, get in touch today!

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