SMS Marketing vs Email Marketing: Which Channel is Best For Marketing?

Email marketing and SMS marketing are two effective marketing methods known for producing desired marketing results.

However, due to budget constraints, time, campaign, and other factors, marketers need to choose which channel offers the most results.

In this case, the SMS marketing vs Email marketing conversations needs a clear winner to help you decide which channel to focus on.

While we can’t decide for you, we can share various points that help you make a decision on which channel is most effective for your campaign.

Let’s get started.

What is SMS Marketing?

SMS marketing also known as text message marketing is a type of marketing that involves sharing promotional messages with your target audience through text messaging or SMS (Short Message Service).

It’s a direct line of communication that lets companies quickly connect with customers through their mobile devices.

SMS marketing is attractive compared to other kinds of marketing communication because of its high open rates and quick sending nature.

Benefits of SMS Marketing

Businesses may efficiently and rapidly connect with their target audience through this direct communication route.

Here are a few important features of SMS marketing:

1. High open rates

Compared to other marketing communication channels like email, SMS messages have substantially greater open rates. According to statistics, on average, over 95% of SMS messages are opened and read within the first 3 minutes of delivery, which makes SMS a useful tool for brand awareness.

2. Instant delivery

SMS messages have quick delivery, which guarantees that your audience receives your marketing messages almost immediately. This immediate delivery system makes SMS marketing appropriate for time-sensitive promotions, flash deals, event reminders, and urgent notifications.

3. Caters to everyone

Due to the widespread use of mobile phones, SMS marketing allows companies to connect with a large number of people, including those who might not have access to other digital channels like email. This inclusivity increases engagement and conversions.

4. Personalization

SMS marketing can create a connection with clients through personalized communications, which leads to more understanding and increases interaction.

5. Cost-effectiveness

When considering traditional advertising channels like print, radio, or television, SMS marketing may prove to be a more economical approach. Bulk SMS messaging can be sent for comparatively cheaper amounts and businesses can earn a good return on investment (ROI) by using the appropriate targeting and messaging.

What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is a digital marketing strategy that involves sending promotional emails to a targeted audience. 

Businesses and organizations can use it as an effective tool to engage with their audience, develop leads, advertise goods and services, and forge relationships.

With email marketing, having a robust email list is important because it guarantees that the proper people are receiving the messages.

Benefits of Email Marketing?

The following are the main benefits of email marketing:

1. Personalized communications

Email marketing enables companies to target particular audience segments with tailored communications according to their demographics, past purchases, interests, or behavior. Higher relevance and engagement result from this focused strategy, which increases conversion rates.

2. Automation

Businesses can set up automatic email campaigns that are triggered by particular actions or events, such as new subscriber sign-ups, abandoned carts, or birthdays, thanks to email marketing platforms’ automation tools. Marketers may save time and effort by automating the process of providing timely and appropriate information.

3. The ability to scale

Email marketing is adaptable to different audience sizes and can work with both small and large subscriber lists and contact databases. Because of its scalability, it may be used by companies of various sizes, from start-ups to large corporations.

4. Brand awareness and loyalty

Businesses may strengthen their brand identity, inform their audience about their goods and services, and maintain client awareness by sending out engaging emails regularly.

5. Integration

Email marketing is compatible with social media, content marketing, and e-commerce platforms, among other marketing channels and platforms. Businesses can develop unified, multi-channel marketing strategies that optimize reach and impact by tying email efforts to other marketing campaigns.

To learn more about email marketing, check out: Email Marketing 101: How to Write Great Emails to Sell Out Your Product

What are the Pros and Cons of SMS Marketing vs Email Marketing?


SMS MarketingEmail Marketing
High open ratesWide reach regardless of geographical location.
Instant deliveryCost-effective
Personalized and direct communicationFacilitates audience segmentation thereby enabling targeted messages.
Cost-effectiveAutomation and scalability
Inclusivity with a diverse range of audiences.Integration


SMS MarketingEmail Marketing
Limited message lengthSeveral factors can impact email deliverability.
Some recipients may perceive unsolicited text messages as intrusive or spammyWhen promotional emails flood inboxes, it causes clutter and causes recipients to pay less attention.
Unlike other marketing channels, opting out of SMS marketing can be more difficult, thereby leading to frustration.Sending too many emails or unrelated information might cause subscribers to opt out of receiving future emails.
SMS marketing is subject to strict regulations, such as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which can lead to legal complications if not followed correctly.Email marketing is guided by some laws including GDPR in Europe and the CAN-SPAM Act in the United States, hence you must comply with these results.
While SMS messages often have high open rates, engagement levels can vary leading to unpredictable results.Technical difficulties.

SEE: The Ultimate Email Marketing Checklist Guide For 2024

SMS Marketing vs Email Marketing: Metrics to Consider

There are several factors to consider when comparing SMS marketing to email marketing to determine which is more productive. Here are a few important metrics to think about:

1. Open rate

The percentage of receivers who read the email or SMS message is shown by this metric. Ideally, you want to go for which marketing channel is likely to get a higher open rate.

2. Click-through rate (CTR)

The percentage of receivers that click on an email or SMS link is measured by CTR. This indicator shows how much interest and engagement the message content has generated. For SMS marketing, this is very well limited as not everyone receives your message on a smartphone.

3. Conversion rate

After receiving an SMS or email, the percentage of receivers who execute the intended action is measured by the conversion rate. It could be completing a form, buying something, or subscribing to a newsletter. This indicator shows how well the campaign drove the intended results.

4. Response rate

The percentage of recipients who reply to an email or SMS directly is measured by response rate. It offers information about the degree of interaction and engagement that the message caused.

5. Delivery rate

The percentage of SMS or email messages that are successfully delivered to their intended recipients is measured by the delivery rate. It shows how successful the messaging platform is and aids in locating any prospective or delivery-related concerns.

6. Cost per acquisition

This metric calculates the price paid to send out text or email marketing campaigns to get a new customer. It helps compare the return on investment of each channel and offers insights into how cost-effective it is.

7. Mobile engagement

Metrics like the average time spent on a message and the percentage of messages read on mobile devices can give marketers using SMS marketing important information about mobile engagement.

8. Subscriber growth

The rate at which new users are added to an email or SMS marketing list is measured by subscriber growth. It assists in evaluating the efficacy of client acquisition and retention efforts.

9. Results of A/B Testing

Based on the aforementioned KPIs, marketers can evaluate the effectiveness of SMS and email campaigns and determine which performs better by running A/B testing with various messaging tactics, subject lines, or content variants.

SMS Marketing vs Email Marketing: Comparison

Here are the differences between SMS and Email Marketing:

1. Channel of communication

The channel of communication is one of the differences between SMS marketing and Email marketing. SMS marketing sends brief messages straight to mobile devices using text messaging as the main method of contact.

On the flip side, email marketing uses email as a medium for communication, sending messages to recipients’ inboxes that usually include multimedia and more in-depth material.

2. Message length

SMS marketing messages are limited to 160 characters, thus messages must be brief and direct. On the other hand, email marketing enables more in-depth messaging by supporting longer-form material, such as text, photos, links, and multimedia components.

3. Cost

SMS marketing may be cost-effective depending on the number of mobile numbers and messages sent. Email marketing on the other hand is usually less expensive, especially when done in large quantities. 

With some email systems, you can get free tiers if you’re running a small business, and even paid plans can send thousands of emails for a comparatively low cost.

4. Open rate

SMS marketing outperforms email marketing when it comes to open rates. While emails have an average open rate of 20%, SMS has a higher open rate of 98%. More so, text messages are opened on average in about 90 seconds, as opposed to emails, which can take up to 90 minutes! Because of this, sending SMS messages to your customers is the quickest method to get them to read your message immediately.

5. Click-through rate

Now, because SMS messages are brief, readers can read them quickly, and as a result, click-through rates are excellent at 30%. On the other hand, most individuals find marketing emails to be excessively lengthy; just 1.7% of recipients click on the links in them.

6. Rates of engagement and reaction

SMS usually has higher engagement rates because of its direct and instantaneous nature. Response rates to text messages are usually higher because replying to one is so simple. 

Conversely, email marketing can provide more detailed content, photos, and creative freedom, all of which over time may lead to a deeper level of engagement.

7. Reach of Audience

Because recipients of SMS marketing must own a mobile phone that receives SMS messages, its reach is more constrained than that of email marketing. 

Reaching audiences that might not often have access to email or who would rather communicate via mobile devices, however, can be successful with it.

Since nearly everyone has an email address, email marketing offers a wider audience and is therefore appropriate for a more varied and sizable audience. 

8. Customization and Focusing:

SMS marketing has limited customization options. On the other hand, email marketing offers a plethora of customization choices, letting advertisers divide their target audience into groups according to characteristics like behavior, demographics, past purchases, and preferences. This makes communications more specialized and focused.

SEE: Best Email Marketing Strategies for Digital Creators to Boost Sales

SMS Marketing vs Email Marketing: Which Channel is the Best for Marketing?

The argument between SMS and email marketing has been going on for years when it comes to marketing. 

Since each channel has distinct advantages and disadvantages of its own, it is difficult for marketers to favor one over the other.

SMS marketing provides a quicker and more direct means of connecting with clients than email marketing, but email marketing allows for more personalized and detailed messaging.

When choosing between the two, audience engagement is a crucial factor to take into account. Research indicates that SMS messages have a considerably greater open rate than emails, underscoring the potential of this medium to successfully grab customers’ attention. 

Email marketing, on the other hand, is perfect for promoting goods or services that need to have a stronger visual appeal since it permits greater creativity in both design and content.

In conclusion, the question of whether SMS marketing or email marketing is better for your company cannot be answered in a generalized way. In the end, everything comes down to your budget, goals, and target audience. 

You may get the most out of both SMS and email interactions by knowing the distinct advantages of each channel and incorporating them thoughtfully into your marketing strategies.


When it comes to connecting and interacting with target audiences, email, and SMS marketing each offer benefits and drawbacks. SMS marketing gives immediacy and high open rates, whereas email marketing offers a more comprehensive and customizable approach. 

Your particular objectives and preferences ultimately determine the most effective marketing channel. A comprehensive marketing strategy can benefit from using both media to increase reach and effectiveness.