Email Marketing vs SMS Marketing

Email Marketing vs SMS Marketing

Email marketing vs SMS

Email marketing has been around for a very long time now and majority of businesses have capitalized on it for their marketing. It probably started around late 1978 and has been gracing the industry to date.

Meanwhile, there has been a rise of SMS or text message marketing over the last few years.

With the massive usage of mobile phones worldwide, SMS marketing has really taken off at very high pace especially in places like the UK.

This is because almost everyone who owns a phone checks their SMS messages without fail.

Despite being all great platforms for doing marketing for businesses business owners find rather too hard to pick the right given the different stereotypes around each of them.

Well, keep reading to help you make an informed decision.

Quick overview of both marketing platforms.

Email marketing is a branch of digital marketing where promotion or marketing is done by sending commercial messages through emails.

On the other hand, SMS marketing is a mobile device marketing strategy of sending out commercial messages through the short message service (SMS).

Email marketing vs SMS marketing 

Just like the saying goes “What works for others may not always work for you.”

In other words, I simply can’t decide for you because I don’t know your business and audience.

Rather, what I can do is guide you to making an informed decision basing on the following comparisons of both email and SMS marketing:


It’s no brainer to choose email marketing in the cost category simply because it is way cheap than SMS. An average email marketing service provider charges $4 for 1000 email sent monthly.

On the other hand, SMS messages cost relatively more than emails. The cost of SMS varies from one country to another.

In some countries you are charged for sending and receiving messages, which can easily lead to unsubscription of your audience while in others, the length of messages is charged differently.

All these charges ultimately make SMS as being costly compared to the cost effect emails.

Customization of messages

Email marketing is the still a winner here because it offers with a drag and drop editor as HTML editor for customizing your emails to according to your Audience.

It also offers you the freedom to add in hyperlinks, images, videos and the copy and pasting way more than SMS.

Open Rates

Almost all of freak out when you send out a private message on social message and the recipient doesn’t open it to read. I totally get it. Lol

Similarly, no business wishes their emails and messages are ignored unopened.

However, email marketing has quite a low open rate of about 20% or less compared to the unreal 98% open rate of SMS.

A report from Twilio says that nine out of ten text messages are opened within the first 3 minutes which shows how effective SMS can be if done effectively to the right audience.

Delivery rate.

This is quite self-explanatory because we have email addresses and mobile phones and have at least an insight of delivery process.

A study shows that about 50% percent of email sent daily end up in the promotions or spam folder. In short email marketing has quite a very low delivery rate.

It should be noted that mainly the commercial or promotional emails end up in spam because email providers like google and Microsoft are trying to improve the user experiences.

SMS has almost perfect delivery rate unless there are technical issues that arise.


ROI stands for Return on Investment which refers to the ratio of gain from an investment to its relative cost.

There is no any digital marketing channel that has a better ROI than email marketing. That’s it period.

It boasts a whooping ROI of 138% percent that is doubling any of the other digital marketing channels.

Pros and Cons of using Email marketing


  • Email marketing campaigns are very cheap and affordable for any business.
  • It has a very return on investment
  • It’s very easy to build a brand and trust with email marketing through provision of valuable content consistently to your audience.
  • Customization and personalizing of emails and messages.


  • Building a solid email list takes time
  • Emails especially promotional emails easily end up in spam folder.
  • It has a very low open rate.

Pros and Cons of SMS


  • Very high open rates which can easily lead to conversions in a short
  • It’s a very fast method of promotion because of the speed of delivery.
  • SMS has a very small response time.


  • Long messages are not ideal as they easily overwhelm customers.
  • Growing your subscribers list takes time.


Integrate your marketing with both of them.

They are all great marketing strategies and platforms for anyone and therefore recommend leverages them both.

Like I mentioned earlier, each of them has advantages & cons attached to it so, for anyone with the budget should definitely consider incorporating email marketing together with SMS.

Related posts:

Email marketing ultimate beginner guide

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