HomeResourcesSMS marketing vs. email marketing: who wins the battle for effectiveness?

SMS marketing vs. email marketing: who wins the battle for effectiveness?

4th May 2021 - 4 mins


By Andy Gilhooley

, Product Marketing Manager

Mobile has created an ‘always on’ marketing landscape, leaving SMS and email marketing tussling for our attention.

Both channels enable businesses to send out timely information and exclusive offers at mass – but are they as similar as they seem and which is more deserving of your time and money?

Let’s start by taking a look at our friend the open rate

The average open rate sits between 28% and 33% according to data from Hubspot. The same data suggests open rates gradually increase with the amount of campaigns sent out.
The average open rate of a text message sits at about 99%, with 97% of messages being read within 15 minutes of delivery.
It’s clear SMS has the personal touch and that receiving one from a brand feels similar to receiving one from a friend or family member.
But for this reason it’s important to remember to not bombard the customer with message after message.

What frequency?

The chance of emails sitting unread and unnoticed is high, so the more you send the more chance you have of one being opened eventually.
Research has shown that email marketing finds better response and engagement rates when sending up to 30 campaigns a month.
Less is more and text message marketing is all about exclusivity. Most successful users send between 4-6 campaigns a month, as opposed to email marketing which requires much more to get results.

What about those all-important click throughs?

The click through rates between email and SMS are very different, email marketing tends to generate a rate of between 6-7%.
Whereas SMS generates rates around the dizzying heights of 36%. In this plugged in, ‘always on’ marketing landscape, levels of engagement on any mobile platform are far higher than they are with non-mobile marketing platforms and are only growing.
Women reading email on phone

So, which should you choose?

While SMS may seem like it provides more bang for your buck, your target audience should play a role in your decision.
If you’re targeting the younger, tech-savvy generation then SMS is a viable option. However if you are targeting people like your Nan, then email is likely to work better.
Above all, it’s important to remember not to rely on a single method – the most successful campaigns are multi-channel and utilise touchpoints in online and offline marketing. Find out more about how to use email in your multi-channel campaign.
RedEye’s marketing automation platform, allows you to build one-off or single send campaigns as well as multi-channel campaigns which include SMS in the critical stages of your marketing automation strategy.
Discover our SMS marketing services today and find out more about our email tool for powerful ROI.

About the author

Andy Gilhooley
Andy Gilhooley Product Marketing Manager
Andy is our Product Marketing Manager and has been in the industry for over 20 years. There is nothing Andy doesn’t know about email and multichannel campaigns. He currently sits on the Email Council at the DMA.

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