Email marketing and short message service or SMS marketing are two of the most effective lead generation strategies in the digital age. The question is, which approach is more suitable for your business? After all, not every company is the same – what works for one may not work for another.
To determine which strategy will support your company objectives in less time and less money, you need to consider factors such as cost, click-through rate (CTR), conversion rate, level of engagement, open rate and return on investment (ROI).
In this blog post, we will shed light on the SMS marketing vs. email marketing debate. We’ll define each strategy and show you how they work, their pros and cons, when to use them and whether you should hire the services of email marketing companies or SMS marketing agencies.
What Is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is where you send emails to everyone on your email list. The people on your list are those who opted into it. You would send emails to help current and potential customers become aware of your new products, services, discounts and special offers. Think of it as a direct way to communicate with your customers where you have their permission to send them promotional information.
The Pros and Cons of Email Marketing
There are approximately 125 billion emails sent every single day. Email marketing is an essential part of any business, and it’s best used for delivering more detailed information. Its ROI is also a lot better than many marketing channels, and it’s quite versatile. In fact, you can use an email campaign for product updates, subscriptions and promotions.
Email Marketing Pros
Here are reasons to use email marketing:
It is cost-effective.
If you’re sending messages that aren’t urgent or time-sensitive and you’re sending them to many people, then email marketing is a clear winner. Marketing managers usually spend 20 percent of their budget on email marketing, a great way to improve brand awareness at scale.
Emails can be personalized.
Emails can be crafted to reflect your brand’s personality. Any reputable email marketing agency expert will tell you that this feature allows you to connect with your audience, helping boost the email marketing conversion rate.
It’s a versatile tool.
You can use emails to provide detailed product information, make short announcements, send reminders, welcome new customers, touch base with leads or just say hi to your audience personally.
It appeals to user habits and intent.
Around 44 percent of users make it a habit to check their emails at least once a day. When people open emails, they usually do it with a particular intent, such as looking for updates, product information, customer service and others. This is one of the primary reasons why email marketing is important.
It directs people to your website.
Emails are a great way to drive traffic to your website. You can use targeted email marketing services to increase the number of site visitors looking for your products or services. Using targeted traffic boosts email marketing ROI.
Email Marketing Cons
There are many reasons why email marketing is important to your overarching marketing goal. But there are also downsides:
A saturated market makes it challenging to grab the audience’s attention.
On average, we all receive around 121 emails each day. If you have to sort through those emails daily, it’s easy to throw everything into the spam folder. However, you can hire an email marketing expert to craft headlines and content to improve your open rate.
Emails can be prevented from getting into inboxes.
Email servers now have powerful filters. If your email looks too spammy, it may be prevented from reaching your receiver’s inbox. Experts from email marketing companies can help you craft emails that have a better chance of getting into your audience’s inbox.
People can easily delete emails or unsubscribe.
Faulty graphics, poorly crafted headlines, unreadable texts and blocked images can make people want to delete your emails or unsubscribe from your list. Working with an email marketing expert can help you avoid this pitfall.
What Is SMS Marketing?
SMS marketing refers to brand communication using text messages. Like in email marketing, you use SMS to tell your audience about promotions, campaigns, updates, news and more through SMS.
Both SMS and email marketing solicit your audience’s permission before sending any promotional information. Two primary laws protect consumers from unsolicited SMS: the CAN-SPAM Act and the Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). All good SMS marketing examples follow these rules and guidelines.
Both SMS and email marketing are owned channels. This means you have complete control over who receives your emails or text messages. In addition, it means you control the type of user experience your customers will receive.
You can send the following SMS marketing examples:
1. Promotional SMS: These are SMSes intended to increase brand awareness, promote products or services and increase sales.
2. Transactional SMS: These are texts containing information your customers need, such as delivery updates, product specs and order information.
Other SMS marketing examples may include text messages that just sync up with your potential customers. But, again, you’re not particularly sending promotional messages, but you’re just keeping in touch with your target market.
Pros and Cons of SMS Marketing
In the discussion of SMS marketing vs. email marketing, SMS has the advantage of immediately grabbing the recipient’s attention. Your phone alerts you when you receive a text, holding your full and undivided attention right then and there. This is why the SMS open rate is higher than the email marketing open rate.
This sense of urgency created by that alert is both a pro and a con for SMS marketing. On the one hand, it can prompt your customers to take immediate action about your promotion. But, on the other hand, when sent at the wrong time, these texts can turn off users, who will either ignore them or delete them.
Let’s go over the specific pros and cons of SMS marketing.
SMS Marketing Pros
Here are the advantages of SMS marketing:
Your customers don’t need internet.
It’s interesting to note that 15 percent of Americans today have little or no internet access. So you’re looking at 52.5 million people you can only reach through text messages. So it’s a huge market outside the reach of any email campaign.
It has a higher response rate.
Text messages get read within three minutes on average. Compared to social media, email or even phone calls, that’s a response rate of up to 209 percent.
It has high engagement levels.
Like emails, SMS is a marketing channel with higher engagement levels than other lead generation strategies. On top of that, higher engagement levels mean the SMS open rate is higher.
SMS Marketing Cons
Here are the disadvantages of SMS marketing:
It suffers from limited content space.
You only have 160 characters to work with. However, it takes a lot of creativity to deliver powerful messages that way. Hiring experts from SMS marketing agencies can help you craft compelling copy that moves people to take action.
The cost of running an SMS campaign is higher than that of an email campaign. However, you can reduce costs by working with seasoned SMS marketing agencies to optimize the process.
It can reduce customer trust.
Sending unsolicited text messages or SMS with poor structure reduces customer trust. It can cause them to opt out, as well. When you send text messages at night or other inappropriate times, it may also annoy customers.
SMS and Email Marketing: What Is the Difference?
SMS marketing vs. email marketing – which one is better? Consider the following:
(usually sent to thousands of recipients)
Average response rate
One of the first things marketers notice is the email marketing ROI, which is higher than that of SMS marketing. It’s an indication that the email marketing conversion rate is also higher. These are figures that email marketing companies will point out to you. However, the lower email marketing open rate proves the case for SMS marketing. Text messages also have a much higher CTR and a better response rate.
The Solution: Omnichannel Marketing
Omnichannel marketing is using several marketing channels to improve your bottom line. However, your business has unique needs, and it’s highly recommended that you find that balance between SMS and email marketing to achieve better results. By developing a marketing strategy that uses both in tandem, you have a better chance of capturing your audience’s attention.
When should you use SMS marketing? It should be used to answer customer questions, ask for reviews, promote one of your products and get signups for your programs. Monitoring its use helps you stay within your marketing budget.
If your business is in the following sectors, then you will benefit more from using SMS marketing:
|• Retail |
• Hotels and restaurants
• Real estate
• Travel and tourism
• Recruiting agencies
• Nonprofit organizations
|• Insurance agencies |
• Medical services
• Schools and universities
On the other hand, email marketing is better suited to promoting multiple products due to its relatively lower cost. You can use it for company updates, newsletters and multiple marketing emails. If your business is in the following industries, you’ll get the most out of email marketing campaigns:
|• Software development |
• Social networks
• Restaurants, food, venues
|• Religious organizations |
• Real estate
• Public relations
• Professional services
|• Photo/video |
• Non-profit organizations
Working With a Seasoned Email Marketing Agency
Finding that balance between SMS and email marketing will be difficult, especially if you haven’t seen a lot of success from either channel. That is why working with a seasoned SMS and email marketing expert will benefit your business.
Thrive Internet Marketing Agency is an SMS and email marketing agency with over 15 years of experience. Our experts provide targeted email marketing services and industry-specific SMS marketing to empower businesses of all sizes from various industries.
Are you looking to improve your SMS and email marketing conversion rate? Our team can help you create an omnichannel marketing strategy based on your desired outcome, budget and goals. Call us today for a free consultation.