Email And SMS Marketing: Which One Do You Need To Be Successful?

Email And SMS Marketing

Emails ensure personalized promotional messages to your subscribers, but so does SMS! Email marketing is time-saving, so is SMS marketing! So does that mean email and SMS marketing have benefits that are same? Let’s find out.

The idea has always been to reach as many people as you can! Maximum engagement, encourage interaction and finally convert leads to customers.

So which of them does it better? Email marketing or SMS marketing?

Email marketing and SMS marketing are useful marketing tools that you have been reading about for some time.

However, when you compare both of them, you will learn how useful, similar, and at the same time how different they are.

This article will help you understand how email marketing and SMS marketing can be a tag-team. At the same time, you’ll realize the areas where you can use email marketing and challenges that SMS marketing can resolve.

We’ll look into various parameters and see how these two marketing tools fit in those. Simultaneously, we’ll also understand how capable are these two tactics in those areas.

Email and SMS marketing

Your strategies need immediacy, clarity, and useful tools. It’s true that both, email marketing and SMS marketing, offer the said three solutions.

But can they offer more? Or is there any important parameter that only one of them cater and the other one fail?

Let’s find out.

“Who got here first?”

Just for your information: The first email was sent in the year 1971.

And it was the year 1978 when the first email marketing blast was sent.

The first SMS sent was in the year 1992.

And in the year 2003, the first commercial SMS service was launched.

Now you know (if you didn’t) that email marketing got here first!

But does that matter anyway? Does that mean the former is the most effective?

The answer is NO!

Both email and SMS marketing evolved, fought and survived the test of time.

Both email and SMS marketing are efficient in today’s scenario. It’s the nature of the business that can decide which tool is the best.

“Older the better?”

Email and SMS marketing are both useful when it comes to taking your brand/product to a broad audience.

Surely, emails have stood their ground like a champion, but over the time SMS also gained popularity as a marketing tool.

In the year 2007, the total number of users who were using SMS services reached 2.4 billion. (source: ez texting).

Today, the rising popularity of SMS, amidst other chatting apps, only proves that SMS marketing is here to stay.

Therefore, you cannot conclude that just because email marketing have withstood the test of time, it’s better than SMS marketing!

“Which of them will ensure that my message is delivered and read by all my subscribers.”

Okay, it’s true that 98% of SMS get read within 120 seconds, and over a period of 24-hours, the rate nears to 100%.

The high readability is one of its many benefits of SMS marketing, making it an effective marketing tool.

But don’t jump to conclusions now, hear us out.

Although emails have a lesser rate, you can’t be sure that only text messages will make your subscribers engage with you!

The secret to maximum engagement is and always has been the content.

An irrelevant text message can bring you zero engagement, despite the high read rate. At the same time, an email can get you the desired attention, in spite of having low read rate.

SMS are personal and can only reach your inbox, and there is no spam folder. Whereas, emails are usually received more in volume and sometimes end up in the spam folder. That explains the read rate.

However, consumers are always looking for something that benefits them. Whether you send them via SMS or an email, they will engage.

In simpler terms, the information or offer in your SMS or email would ultimately interest the receiver.

“Emails don’t have a character limit, so emails offer enough room for good content?”

No, not necessarily.

Emails don’t have a character limit, but an SMS has.

A drawback? Not really.

Does that restrict one to shrink the message, which could have been better with more words?

Here’s an example:

Promotional text message

Uber, one of the leading online cab services, sent the SMS.

You can see that the restriction of characters didn’t stop them from creating a crisp message. It says everything a user needs to know!

Therefore, it’s not the character limit that can stop you from getting the message heard and responded.

The character limit can be an advantage as it will make you write a message that’s to-the-point and time-saving.

Even though emails offer room for much more characters than SMS, it’s not smart to send a painfully long email.

Emails that have an effective subject line gets the readers attention in the first place. Therefore, you should know how to write a great subject line and there is a character limit for writing the subject line.

“Since SMS are short we can send multiple SMS in the same day! And emails?”

It’s true that the brief and short nature of an SMS is easy to read and respond.

But not always. Remember, it’s the message that counts in the end.

There’s no rule that you can’t send multiple emails on the same day. If the email is relevant and offers value, you can send emails numerous times.

Subscribers will be more interested in “what’s-in-it-for-me” rather than the frequency.

Here’s an example:

Promotional emails on same day


You need both!

According to global messaging, smartphone users will be more than 2.5 billion by the end of 2018. That’s one-third of the population of the world.

61% of emails are opened on mobile phones/smartphones. (Source: Adestra, July 2017)

And, text messaging or SMS is a prominent feature of mobile phones.

The mobile usage has also increased exponentially over the years. Both email and SMS marketing has gone mobile!

Therefore, when you aim at maximum engagement from your users, you will have to consider both.

The opportunity is huge and to make the most of it. You will have to work with both email and SMS marketing.

There will be areas where email marketing will come out as a winner and certain situations where SMS marketing will dominate.

There are important factors like your users’ demographics, buying habits/history, and preferences. You need to understand and analyze these factors and choose between email and SMS marketing.

There you have it!

Either way, your users will be checking phones regularly! Therefore the level of engagement is expected to be higher on mobile platforms.

Therefore, both email marketing and SMS marketing can get you the desired attention, provided you do them right!

The idea is to offer your subscribers an offer, information or service that is relevant and worth the time.

You can’t rely on one single marketing tool. You need both email and SMS marketing.

When you observe closely, you’ll see that almost all successful campaigns use both email and SMS marketing.

Tell us what do you think about using email and SMS marketing together?

Do you think there are more differences/similarities between email and SMS marketing? Share with us!

Anirban Dey

Anirban switched his career from the pharma industry to digital marketing, banking on his ability to find marketing insights from everything around him. Currently, he writes in-depth articles on digital marketing and content marketing for Way2Online, passing on his knowledge and expertise to marketers. He likes to spend his leisure surrounded by comics, movies, and novels.

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