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    Email Vs SMS Marketing: Which Is More Effective?

    Email Vs SMS Marketing

    Written By Jason Rowse - Digital Marketing Expert

    Updated: 09/06/2021

    Two popular ways to send marketing messages to leads and customers are email and SMS. Both are electronic messages, but one is aimed at email inboxes versus mobile phones. Still, is one better than the other?

    The following article will outline the merits and drawbacks of email marketing and bulk SMS marketing. We compared five aspects of both channels to discover which delivers better results. 

    Benefits Of Email Marketing 

    Did you know 269 billion emails are sent every day? Moreover, 40% of marketers agree that it’s the best channel because it’s easy to get started among other advantages. Take a look at its top benefits. 

    • This cost-effective medium routinely delivers an ROI of 4400%  
    • You can reach a global audience of hundreds and thousands of people at once because 3.9 billion people use it   
    • Marketers can segment and personalize email to target contacts with precision  
    • It’s easy to measure and track your analytics from one place 
    • Tools like A/B testing can help you find the best content that resonates with readers 

    Drawbacks Of Email Marketing 

    Slate predicted the death of email in 2007 as did Sheryl Sandberg in 2017. It did not disappear then, but is it fading now? Uncover its challenges below.

    • Given 50% of electronic messages are considered spam, many are often deleted by users without being read
    • The average CTR is a little over 4% for this channel, meaning the majority of users take no action at all 
    • Too many promotional messages often annoy users and force them to unsubscribe or mark your address as spam
    • Messages are opened via different devices, meaning certain users might notice glitchy graphics, misaligned text, and other discrepancies

    Benefits Of SMS Marketing 

    Text or short message service (SMS) is a mobile communication channel that nine out of ten people actively use to keep in touch with brands. 

    Explore a few of its best advantages below. 

    • With 5 billion people using SMS and 50% of online traffic coming from mobile devices, marketing texts reach the largest audience via this option
    • The immediacy of SMS makes it a good option for generating OTPs for delivery, transactions, and so forth
    • Mobile device users open text messages before any other channel 
    • It works without internet to that you can stay connected with the audience at all times  
    • Text messages record a 45% response rate as opposed to 6% of emails 
    • Customers prefer SMS over electronic-mail for appointment reminders, prescription-refills, and service outage notifications 

    Drawbacks of SMS Marketing

    There are many ways this type of marketing can fall short. Here are some of its pitfalls: 

    • As opposed to email, you can’t send long-form content via SMS. Total characters are typically limited to 160, and any excess will be broken into multiple messages
    • Only 54% of customers opt for branded communication via SMS. This is unlike the extensive consumer adoption of emails from brands
    • CTIA is the authorized body that oversees bulk messaging. It restricts specific content and products that might be legal in one locale but illegal in the eyes of the authority
    • In case you were generating email leads until now, growing a list of relevant mobile subscribers might take a long time 

    Email VS SMS: Feature Comparison 

    When it comes to the results you can accomplish with both the marketing mediums, which is better? The following comparison of five major areas will help you determine the more appropriate marketing channel. 

    1. Open Rate 

    The open rate, or total percentage of users who open your messages, affects all the other metrics. 

    Emails have an open rate of 20% with users taking an average time of 90 minutes to open them. By comparison, SMS has a 98% open rate where users take an average of 90 seconds to open messages. The trick is to use both the channels simultaneously because a reminder text is proven to increase the electronic mail open rate by 20%. 

    2. Deliverability

    Typically, text lists are smaller than email lists because it demands exclusive opt-in. According to recently compiled stats, millennials receive 67 texts per day compared to 120 emails over the same period. 

    Therefore, text contacts should strictly include engaged customers who anticipate information. With half of all electronic messages marked spam, marketers must work harder to captivate users via electronic mail. On the flip side, merely 3% of text messages are labeled spam. 

    3. Customization 

    While SMS leads in other categories, email triumphs in terms of customization. For example, marketers can attach promotional links, pictures, and videos using this channel. Design options with fonts, colors, and 3D effects in electronic mail also improve brand recognition. Moreover, you can grow the open rates by 50% if you customize the subject line alone. 

    4. Cost 

    When it comes to return on investment, you can expect email to outperform every other marketing channel. Thanks to ROI Of $44 for every $1 spent, over 80% of businesses depend on this medium for acquiring new customers and retaining old ones.

    On top of it, email offers a medium to build strong relationships with long-form content, unlike text messages. 

    5. Click-Through Rate 

    The click-through-rate of a campaign measures the volume of users who click on the link you shared in the message. The CTA button in the email or a persuasive sentence in the text message makes or breaks your CTR. 

    Text marketing generates a CTR of 20%, seriously outpacing email’s comparable CTR of 4%. Because an email is likely longer than the 160 SMS character limit, the CTA might get lost. 

    Bottom Line 

    Emails produce high ROI, low costs, and great features but don’t often get opened, read, or even delivered. On the contrary, text messages record a high rate of response. Side-to-side, email wins for customization and cost, but SMS leads the pack in terms of open rate, CTR, and deliverability.