Should Your Business Use Email or SMS Marketing?

Email and SMS marketing work very well as complementary marketing channels. However, many businesses have to choose just one or the other due to restrictive marketing budgets. Before you choose whether or not you should use email or SMS marketing to reach your potential customers, it’s important to understand what makes them powerful marketing tools.

How Effective is Each Approach?

Both email and text message marketing campaigns can be effective uses of your marketing budget. Email marketing has been around since email became a commonly used form of communication in the mid 1990s. As with many fast-changing technological media, email has significantly transformed since its debut over 20 years ago. One change to this communication tool is a decrease in its value as a marketing channel. As email spam has become more and more common, some of the efficacy of email marketing has begun to wane.
Because SMS marketing is highly regulated, there is less potential for spam messages than with email. As a result, text messaging is generally a more trusted means of communication. This trust factor increases the likelihood that recipients will actually read and respond to the marketing messages they receive.

Open Rates Compared

One reason that text message marketing is more effective than email marketing is the vast difference in the average open rate. Approximately 98 to 99 percent of text messages are opened by recipients. This is compared to only 22 percent of emails that are open and read.


Text messages have a much higher open rate than email.

Additionally, according to data from MobileSquared, 90 percent of incoming SMS messages are read within just 3 minutes. This high open rate and quick receipt of messages can lead to a positive response from your customers.

Click Rates and Other Signals of Action

When comparing two marketing channels for their effectiveness, it’s also important to consider how well they inspire customers to take action. Only around 3 to 4 percent of users take action on email in the form of clicking on the provided link, according to recent data from Mailchimp. However, the click through rate for text messages is 19 percent.

The difference is even greater for offer redemption. Coupon redemption through email is typically around 1 percent. Alternatively, text message coupon redemption rates can be as high as 30 percent and continually beat out redemption rates for offers distributed through other channels, especially for local businesses and restaurants.

How is SMS Marketing More Beneficial for Businesses?

SMS marketing is more beneficial than email marketing for businesses because it has a greater impact on your potential customers. Because spam text messages are few and far between, users tend to open and read every text they receive. This increases the chances that they will take action, which can improve your overall bottom line.

SMS marketing can be more effective than email, but you still need to be smart about your business’ mobile program. Be careful about the timing and frequency of messages to avoid overwhelming your customers. Additionally, you should be clear and concise about what you send, including being up front in your terms and conditions about your planned usage of the medium. Effective planning can help you build a successful text message marketing campaign for your business. To learn more about how SMS marketing can benefit your business, check out this FireText blog post.

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