Email and SMS marketing are two popular channels that can help businesses communicate with their customers. Because they serve a similar purpose, businesses want to know which channel is the best. In truth, one channel isn’t better than the other. It all depends on what your business needs are and then looking at which marketing channel better fulfills those needs.
Email vs. SMS marketing: Statistics
To get a better understanding of what marketing channel is best for your business, let’s break down some basics. To start, let’s review some of the hard data that directly compare email and SMS marketing.
Email vs. SMS marketing: Pros and cons
While the data may lean in favor of business texting, each channel has its set of pros and cons.
Pros of SMS marketing
- High open and response rates
- Quick response time
- More conversational
Cons of SMS marketing
- Stricter regulations
- Doesn’t allow formatting personalization
- Low character limit (160 per text)
- Faster response expectations
Pros of email marketing
- Allows formatting personalization
- Longer character limit (10,000 for Gmail)
- Allows multiple multimedia attachments
- Easily search your inboxes
Cons of email marketing
- More than half of emails are considered spam
- Low open and response rates
- Not ideal for quick back-and-forth communication
Email vs. SMS marketing: Use cases
Ultimately, what matters when choosing between email and SMS marketing is determining what your use case is. While email and SMS can serve similar marketing purposes, there is a stark difference in how your customers will respond to the delivery of each medium.
SMS is more instant and intrusive than email. Sending messages on SMS signals to your customers that they need to act on the message immediately. Email, on the other hand, is less intrusive and is better for browsing.
SMS marketing use cases
Despite the stricter regulations, more businesses are turning toward using SMS for marketing purposes because of how accessible it is for their target audience. Texting is the most popular communication channel. It allows businesses to have rapid back-and-forth conversations with customers, which helps companies develop more meaningful relationships with their customers.
If your business is looking for instantaneous interaction with its contacts, consider using SMS to:
- Send promotional messages and coupons with simple text messages
- Share quick updates or announcements in a short blurb
- Share links to complete an action on the spot or fill out a time-sensitive document
- Send photos to promote a sale or event (one MMS file per text)
Email marketing use cases
Unlike SMS, email allows for personalization with different formatting, fonts, graphics, and HTML. It’s much better for time-consuming content or things that require more thought. From a visual perspective, emails can be more appealing and can also present content in a more organized fashion.
Businesses use email marketing to commonly:
- Send promotional messages and coupons with custom HTML and graphics
- Share a newsletter spread with images and links to multiple pieces of content
- Send quarterly, semi-annual, or annual in-depth updates to your customers
- Send contracts or important documents in a safe and organized way
- Send abandoned cart messages
The bottom line: Both work depending on your needs
So, which one is better, email or SMS marketing? It all depends on what fits your company’s needs. For most businesses, it’s not even a matter of which one as email and SMS marketing can be used interchangeably or together to reach a larger audience. Both are great platforms that allow businesses to talk to their customers in a personalized way.