KUALA LUMPUR: Interactive messages delivered via SMS or chat apps are 44 times more effective than email in prompting people to take action during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Australian communications workflow platform, Whispir.

In a statement, Whispir said it examined more than 120 million communication interactions from a cross section of its global enterprise customers who are using the communications workflow platform during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The study revealed first-time response rates of between 72 per cent and 88 per cent to an interactive message when using SMS with mobile web-apps, compared with 15 per cent open rates and less than two per cent response rate over a 24-hour period when the contact is by email alone.

Whispir chief executive officer, Jeromy Wells said although the email is useful for non-immediate but essential information delivered daily, the data showed that in a crisis, most people delay viewing email messages, putting themselves at risk during time-sensitive events such as mass lockdowns, evacuations or updated procedures or protocols.

“Email should not be the sole channel for communicating in a crisis because we are not conditioned to use email for immediate activity. 

“Interactive mobile web-apps delivered via SMS, Messenger and WhatsApp are far more likely to get people to act because we use those channels for personal messaging — so we immediately place extra importance and priority on them,” he said.

Wells said for organisations with teams spread over multiple geographic zones, a combination of voice, SMS and mobile web apps messages to deliver interactive content and escalate action have been far more effective in prompting action compared with email or internal collaboration tools alone.

He said as the Covid-19 pandemic disrupts businesses, Whispir’s research shows the need for communications processes to be agile with the ability to send real-time communications to people at the right time and in the most effective channel as conditions evolve. – Bernama