Reducing your carbon footprint with SMS (without compromising on the customer experience)

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In 2015, the carbon dioxide level officially passed the 400 ppm level of what is known as the “carbon threshold”. Climate scientists call that the “point of no return”, where we’ll probably never see the CO2 level drop below 400 ppm in our lifetime, and climate change is irreversible (source). 

Since then we’ve seen sea levels rise substantially faster, ice lost from the Antarctic ice sheet increase at least six-fold, heat waves resulting in numerous new temperature records, massive widespread fires in many countries and nonrenewable tropical rainforest (source), and a record season of early bushfires here in Australia right under our noses. 

While some scientists believe that there is no climate emergency, and some politicians have suggested that it is ok to increase greenhouse emissions as there’s no direct link between that and the severity of bushfires (source); we, as individuals, have to make our own choice as to what to believe and whether we are going to make an effort in reducing our carbon footprint and help fight climate change. The only catch here is, there is only one earth, and if we bet on the wrong bet, there’s nowhere else to go.

Luckily, with today’s technology there are some quick and easy wins. Changing your communication channel from paper based to electronic based, for instance, can reduce a significant amount of carbon emissions. 

Comparing carbon emission between letter, email and SMS

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 normal 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 1 letter; or 285 SMS for 1 email (source). 

For those of you who like the idea of using SMS to replace letters or email for communications, but are concerned about the visual and character limitations or the lack of formality, take a look at our SMS Landing Pages or Mobile Letters product. 

SMS Landing Pages – fully branded and visually appealing messages

An SMS Landing Page is basically a web page that’s designed with mobile users in mind. It contains all the appealing visual elements any web page has, so things like images, brand colours, logo and call-to-action buttons; with one unique element – personalised content – images to text to even the call-to-action buttons can be tailored to each individual recipient to create the best personal experience. 

But surely websites have carbon footprint too, you might ask. Yes they do. Now it is a little bit complicated when calculating the carbon footprint of a website as it differs from the size of the website, how data is transferred, the data center, telecom networks and end user’s device involved when accessing the website. Thankfully there’s a website carbon calculator that takes into account many considerations to give a pretty good estimation of how much carbon footprint is produced every time someone visits a website. 

An example of the carbon footprint of an SMS Landing Page created as appointment reminder

In order to get a rough idea, we’ve run the above SMS Landing Page with the website carbon calculator to see its carbon footprint. 

This is a pretty standard appointment reminder message, with a company logo, two images, 3 call-to-action buttons and a reasonable amount of text. It turns out that 0.17 grams of CO2 will be produced every time someone visits this SMS Landing Page. Adding in the 0.014 CO2e from the text message, this message still produce 22 times less CO2 than an email, without having to compensate on any visual elements or personalisation. And because it is delivered via SMS, it gets to enjoy the 94% open rate (compared to the 32.4% open rate of email) too.

Mobile Letters – maintaining the formality of paper based documents

Sometimes the formality of a paper based document is difficult to replace by SMS or email, especially for important documentation like contracts. Our new product Mobile Letters are designed to address this issue. 

Deliver mobile letter via SMS to maintain formality

With Mobile Letters, providers can send the letters as an embedded URL link via SMS. When their customers received the SMS and click the link, they will be directed to a web page to verify their identity. Security questions can be used for identity verification to ensure privacy and data security; or you can have recipients complete their personal data that becomes part of the letter. Once this process is completed, they will be able to download the letter as a pdf document to their device. 

Not only do Mobile Letters help save the environment, providers can also save costs and resources that are needed for any postal communications. There are also added benefits to have the process fully automated, and every step of the process tracked to analyse engagement rate or to consider if other actions should be taken.  

Get in touch now at 1300 764 946 or email us at sales@esendex.com.au if you’d like to do business communication in a more sustainable way, with less carbon footprint without compromising on quality.    

Author Avatar
Crystal Lam

I'm the Marketing Manager at Esendex Australia, with a background in journalism. I'm passionate about storytelling and the ever-changing world of emerging technologies.