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SMS vs. Email: Marketing Grudge Match

Adam Johnson, Ytel |  
SMS and email are two of the most commonly used channels for marketing campaigns in the modern landscape, but which is MORE effective? This post dives into a SMS vs. email comparison game to discover which channel does it best. The results may surprise you!

SMS and email are two of the most commonly used channels for marketing campaigns in the modern landscape, but which is MORE effective? This post dives into a SMS vs. email comparison game to discover which channel does it best.

Email is often considered the king of marketing communications channels -- with a return of roughly $40 for every $1 spent, it’s no wonder why.

But the rise of mobile devices is changing the game. Just over 62% of the world owns a mobile device, which we expect to continue to rise each year. In a recent SMS blog, we mentioned that roughly 91% of people carry their cell phones with them daily, even at work.

Recognizing this, marketers have been turning towards mobile solutions to improve campaign reach and engagement with intended audiences.

This is a classic grudge match: SMS vs email. Which channel works best for mobile users? Let's find out! 

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EMAIL PERKS

  • Cost per message  
  • Lead gen slow play
  • The luxury of more visual control
  • A longer length to experiment with 
  • Send more campaigns per month without annoying people

SMS PERKS

  • Better open rates and CTR
  • Lead generation quick play
  • Fewer messages reported as spam
  • Send quick announcements and offers 

On paper, SMS may appear to be the more effective channel, but that's not necessarily the case. It really depends on what you intend on sending, and at what frequency. 

One of the factors in email’s favor is cost. Sending SMS is more expensive, but email campaigns require more design considerations, namely visual additions and mobile optimizations. This pushes the actual investment in email higher than just the cost of creating and sending messages.

SMS has become the best channel for narrowcasting announcements and alerts, reminders, and offers. In fact, sending offers, promotions, and discounts via SMS yields great returns -- 50% of people make direct purchases from SMS marketing offers.

Yet email is still the best channel for sending out longer content blasts like newsletters. After all, 91% of people like receiving emails from businesses with which they interact, so they still want some kind of presence on the channel. 

Consider this: HubSpot says that open rates and CTR both increase with more emails sent.

Ultimately, SMS and email should be integral parts in your mobile marketing mix.

BLENDED CAMPAIGN TIPS 

Send out short blasts via email to get more subscribers, where you can deliver more content. When you want to offer a promotion, send an SMS marketing campaign to your distribution list! Then, test what content works best on each channel, by evaluating your open rates and clicks on email, and your response rate on SMS.

Voila! The perfect mashup of SMS & email. Everybody wins! 

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About The Author

Adam Johnson, Ytel

Adam is our Director of Sales and he hustles every day to build relationships with our valuable customers to ensure they're getting the experience and technology their businesses need in order to scale and grow.


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