Email vs. SMS Marketing: Which Is Right For Your Business?

3 min read

In an age where consumers are bombarded with information from every which way, it can be difficult to choose the right channel for your next marketing campaign. After all, the most common goal for most e-commerce owners is to increase their ROI.

Let’s take a closer look at the benefits and disadvantages of two popular marketing channels: SMS marketing and email marketing.  

Important Statistics

The era of email is far from over. In fact, email remains a highly popular marketing stream, as 73% of marketers say it is their number one digital channel for ROI

As email continues to evolve to the ever-changing digital world, the estimated email usage of 2020 is expected to rise to 4.3 billion users.

However, SMS marketing is quickly becoming a lucrative channel. In fact, open rates are farmore impressive at 98%, compared to just 20% of email open rates. In addition, 75% of consumers report they’d be happy to receive a promotion or message via SMS.  

Challenges of Email Marketing vs SMS Marketing 

Email’s popularity can be seen as both a blessing and a curse. With 269 billion emails being sent per day (and nearly 50% of these being spam!) it’s no wonder that so many emails get deleted without ever being read. 

To help combat cluttered inboxes, providers such as Google and Microsoft are organizing emails in users’ inboxes by placing “important” emails in a primary tab and marketing emails in a separate tab. 

However, SMS marketing is not yet suffering from the same challenges presented above. With many brands dedicating time to solely email marketing, this can be the perfect opportunity to strategize new incentives and opportunities for your customers.

Benefits of Email Marketing 

n email can be as long - or short - as you want it to be and can include any number of images, GIFs, videos, and other interactive content

Before you go crazy, however, bear in mind that the average reader has an attention span of just eight seconds! 

Benefits of SMS Marketing 

With a 160-character limit, SMS marketing has to be concise and to the point. SMS presents the opportunity to remove pointless information and deliver only the content your customers need - such as links to discount codes, tickets, surveys, and attachments.

With consumers constantly glued to their phones, these messages can immediately help grab their attention with an alert. 

As seen in its impressive 98% open rate, this has proven to be an incredibly beneficial feature to any marketing campaign! 

When to Use SMS Marketing

  • Personal alerts such as notifications and account updates 
  • Deals, vouchers, or coupons
  • Easy access to important information to keep customers informed of any immediate updates 

Tools such as Privy can even help merchants recover missed sales from abandoned carts by sending an automated text message to anyone who didn’t complete checkout, includinga link that sends shoppers back to their loaded cartsthanks toShopify Cart Integration. Privy also sends triggered text messages when a shopper opts in to receive texts to confirm their sign up and delivery coupons.

Klaviyo is another great marketing tool that allows merchants to send personalized and targeted SMS from a single automation. You can use Klaviyo to announce a new product to your ideal audience, remind customers of their abandoned cart, or measure how much revenue a message generated.  

Combining your email and SMS marketing channels (like in Klaviyo) can be extremely valuable for both your ROI and retention levels

In fact, statistics show that sending a follow-up text to your customers after an initial email automation can increase your open rate by as much as 30%! 

Which is Right for You?

Bottom line: The most important thing to consider is what content your customers want, how they want to receive it, and how often they want to hear from you

Because not all businesses are created equally, there's no guarantee SMS marketing will improve sales, but it doesn't hurt to try.

Remember that as email and SMS marketing continue to evolve and grow, so might the ideal communication channelfor your business. 


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