When to choose between SMS and Email marketing?

When to choose between SMS and Email marketing?

When to choose between SMS and Email marketing?
SMS vs Email

Mobile phones has become people’s everyday gadget SMS marketing has been increasingly used nowadays as it is cost effective, reliable and efficient in delivering results that makes it one of the top methods that reach out to customers directly with promotional offers, updates and follow up messages. Up to 77% of the customers generate a positive perception of the company that offers SMS as the communication channel. 

Email marketing on the other hand is preferred by many companies due to its ability in sending mass messages in one go and has been one of the methods used to reach customers for decades. 

Since certain messages are best to deliver in the form of electronic emails and other kinds of marketing messages are better to be sent via SMS. Therefore, both the email and SMS marketing are needed to function simultaneously in order to deliver a seamless communication experience to the customers.

Next, we will look into the differences of both the email and SMS marketing to provide a better insight and also to maximize the return of investment. Let’s find out which and when is the best to use! 

Differences of SMS and Email marketing

  1. Response rate 

Email has an average of 90 minutes response time from the customers while SMS has an average of 90 seconds for the customers to respond.  

2. Open rate 

SMS has an open rate that is high up to 98% and email has only 20%. 

3. Cost 

Although cost varies as it is provider dependent, SMS is actually more cost effective to promote your products or services when it comes to a large number of customers. For instance, Textedly offers to send 1000 messages at $29 per month and goes up from there to suit any business’s needs. 

The cost for email marketing varies significantly as it has more factors to be taken into account such as list size, sending frequency, additional features and provider. The cost for using email marketing can range from a few dollars per month to several thousands per month depending on how good or advanced the platform you want it to be. 

If you are looking for cost effectiveness with consistent and fruitful returns, SMS is indeed a solid bet. 

4. Click rate 

Almost 29% of the recipients click on the link provided in the mobile text while only 2.5% of the recipients click through the emails.

5. Frequency 

An office worker received on average 121 emails per day. Email has indeed become an overly saturated marketing channel. On the other hand, less companies use SMS marketing which gives out one advantage which is higher chances to stand out among the customer’s inboxes. 

6. Deliverability 

Marketing emails are generally sent to a larger list of customers on a regular basis. It increased the likelihood of recipients marking them as spam. However, SMS marketing requires consent from customers, so the sending list will only include those who wish to engage with the business or hear from you. That ends up only less than 3% of the SMS messages are considered spam. 

When to use email marketing?

Email marketing

Email offers companies more room of customisation and creative freedom, thus allowing feature imagery, calls to action (CTAs) and graphics. It is the best marketing platform if the sharing information is long and not time sensitive. 

Recommended uses for email marketing:

  • Visual products announcement 
  • Educational content 
  • Newsletter 
  • Publicity updates or press release 
  • Back to back campaigns that covers technical information 

Almost 269 billion emails are sent out daily and half of them are considered as spam. Many people will just delete the considered spam emails before reading them. However, it is undeniable that email still works to some extent and has a clear place in the marketing strategy. 

When to use SMS marketing?

SMS marketing

It is definitely the best communication channel to use when the messages are time sensitive and require immediate action. 

Recommended uses for SMS marketing: 

  • Personal alerts 
  • Purchase confirmations 
  • Urgent notifications and updates 
  • Limited product offers and discounts 
  • Appointment reminders
  • Information that needed two way communication 

Pros of SMS marketing:

  1. Simple and accurate 

SMS recommended to use 160 characters in the messages sent, forcing you to condense the messages with only the most vital piece of information. Customers generally appreciate the brevity. 

2. High open rate 

SMS offers a 98% open rate and almost guarantees that your customers will see your messages. 

3. No WiFi required 

SMS are sent through mobile network connection, which customers can receive the messages without an active internet connection. 

4. Immediate 

SMS marketing allows companies to deliver key messages straight to the customers. 

5. Casual and conversational 

SMS allow you to send messages with crucial information in a personal way without crossing inappropriate boundaries. 

How to use SMS and email marketing in a perfect balance

Email and SMS marketing both have their up and down sides. They function best as complementary channels. 

Always keep in mind that SMS is best for urgent or time sensitive messages and messages that need 2 ways communication. Email on the other hand is best for long content that requires rich media or can be read at a later date. 

Here’s some of the methods to use SMS and email marketing together:

  • Send order confirmation receipt or invoice via email and follow up with customers via SMS for tracking updates. 
  • Use email to inform customers about the launching of the latest products. Later on, use SMS to announce flash or limited sale on the new product. 
  • Send out SMS to encourage customers to subscribe to your email list for a weekly newsletter. 


  • Do not overwhelm customers with your marketing messages 
  • Keep SMS messages at 1-2 texts per week 
  • Reflect your email frequency depending on your company’s needs 
  • Generally, 1 to 2 bulk emails per week is ideal for most businesses. 

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