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SMS Marketing vs Email Marketing: Which is Better for Your Brand?

Based on statistics, SMS marketing and email marketing are two very effective digital marketing channels. So, let’s start this article by looking at some of these statistics.

In light of these statistics, it is no wonder that both are preferred channels by digital marketers. However, it is also normal to get confused about the channel that will be best for your business considering the uniqueness of each channel. Hence, the question; SMS marketing vs email marketing; which is better for my brand?

If this is a question you have, don’t worry, we will be addressing that below. In this article, we will look at SMS marketing vs email marketing to help you make an informed decision and to get the best return out of your marketing efforts.

So, we will be discussing each of these marketing channels, what they have to offer you as well as their disadvantages.


Email Marketing

If you are a digital marketer, you must have heard of email marketing considering it has been one of the popular means of sending mass messages and marketing materials for many years. And based on the statistics above, it has also been one of the most effective channels. Plus, with the help of email automation platforms, email marketing became even more reliable and easy to execute as marketers could customise and segment campaigns, which resulted in higher conversions.

Having said that, what are the advantage and disadvantages of email marketing?

email marketing

Advantages of Email Marketing

Appeals to Customers

The number of daily email users already shows that many people don’t mind being sent emails. And besides that, email marketing is permission-based marketing, so you can only send emails to people who have permitted you to send emails to them. What this implies is that not only does email work because it is already a habit for most to get and open their emails, customers already expect emails from brands they provide their info to. 


Email marketing is one of the cheapest marketing channels you can find. Most of the marketing automation platforms offer a free version for small businesses with a fewer number of contacts. And even the paid versions are cost-effective considering the benefits. Plus, based on the stat above, you get an averagely $36 for every $1 spent, which is a great ROI. 

Long-Form Content

Email is also great because it allows you to send long-form content. Most of the marketing channels are limited in the type of content you can put out. Of course, in putting out long-form content, you also have to consider the attention span of people. However, whatever the case, email allows you to send longer content if the need calls for it. 


Disadvantages of Email Marketing

Lower CTR

Compared to SMS marketing, email marketing records a lower CTR (Click Through Rate). Texts have an up to 30.5X higher CTR than email. This is largely due to the fact that many people receive multiple emails every day from different brands. So, emails can be lost in the number of emails in their inbox. And this consequently affects the CTR and open rate of emails. 


It is very easy for emails to be flagged as spam if customers begin to feel disturbed by them. And customers can easily feel overwhelmed by the number of emails they get. Of course, you can try to combat that by minimising the number of emails you send. But there is really no easy way to tell even after following what’s recommended. And, this can limit the effectiveness of email campaigns. 

Filtered Emails

Some email service providers like Gmail filter emails into different categories. If your email is filtered to the “Promotions” category, for instance, it can be easily ignored. This ultimately reduces the visibility of said email. 


SMS Marketing

With an increasing number of people owning mobile phones; the number as of 2021 is over 7 billion, it is no surprise that SMS marketing is becoming more popular. Although not as widely used as emails, the fact that getting a text message is pretty easy is gradually making it appealing to both customers and brands alike. 

SMS marketing

Advantages of SMS Marketing

High Open Rate

SMS has a 98% open rate compared to email marketing. This is because text messages easily attract our attention. Once we get an SMS notification, we usually immediately want to check it. That helps with the high open rate that text messages enjoy, unlike emails that many people can easily ignore. 

High Engagement

Based on the point above, SMS also enjoys high engagement as people tend to respond to text messages faster than they do email marketing. Considering they are likely to open their text message once they get it, they are also likely to respond. 

Works Without the Internet

Another advantage SMS marketing enjoys is that it works without the internet. So, you can reach subscribers whether or not they are connected to the internet. 


Disadvantages of SMS Marketing

Limited Characters

Text messaging marketing is very limited. Most text messages support between 150-160 characters, so there is a limit to the kind of content you can send through SMS. 

Inspires Distrust

There are still a lot of people who are yet to trust SMS marketing due to the number of fraudulent messages they have received. So, many people are unlikely to subscribe to text messages marketing and for those who do, many easily unsubscribe as well. 


Text messages are charged per text and sometimes, regional charges apply. So, these charges could discourage customers from replying to messages. The high cost could also affect your ROI because you will be investing more in your SMS campaigns.


SMS Marketing vs Email Marketing

So, to address the question; SMS marketing vs email marketing: which is better for your brand? Well, there is no straight answer to this. From what we have above, it is clear that they both have their benefits and disadvantages. When making a decision, it might be best to consider the marketing objective as well as the budget. However, we would suggest combining both channels from time to time so as to enjoy the benefit from both and offset one limitation with the other. 


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