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Email Marketing vs. Text Message Marketing: Which One Is Right for You?

What are the differences between using email vs. text messaging for your marketing campaigns? Learn which channel is right for your business.

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You’ve heard the whispers across the Internet. 

Email marketing is dead. Long live the text message.

“Wait a minute,” you say. “If email marketing is dead, why is my inbox as full of offers as ever? Why isn’t the whole world texting?”

As much as we love SMS, we’ll be the first to tell you that email marketing is still alive and well and the go-to for many brands.

The thing that a lot of marketing content won’t tell you is that the “right” marketing method for you and your business is based on what your individual business needs. 

That is to say, there’s no perfect way to market to your people.

So, how do you choose which two-way communication tool is right for your business? We’ll take a deeper look at both email marketing and SMS marketing to help you decide.

Comparing Email and SMS Marketing

Anytime you launch a new marketing initiative, your first step is to stop and identify the ultimate goal. 

If you’re a nonprofit, are you trying to solicit donations? As a retailer, are you announcing a new clothing line or a Black Friday sale? 

Along with the purpose of your marketing strategy, you have several points to consider as you choose between email and text marketing, including:

  • How often you plan to send messages to your customers
  • How much you have to say in each message
  • Whether your marketing message is time sensitive

Whatever you choose, the main idea behind your marketing method is to reach your contacts quickly, efficiently, and in a way that inspires them to take action.

When to Use Email Marketing

As a rule of thumb, emails are great when your information isn’t time sensitive or crucial. Why? Well, in 2021, the average open rate for an email was 18%. 

Alongside the relatively low open rates, emails take longer to be seen than texts. On average, it takes 90 minutes for someone to respond to an email (versus 90 seconds for a text message). 

Email campaigns are also better suited for times when you have lots to say. 

An email can contain an entire newsletter, State of the Union-style address for your business, or other detailed information your customers need.

Texts, on the other hand, are generally limited to 160 characters, or 1600 if you’re using MMS.

When to Use Text Marketing 

We talk a lot about text marketing here (obviously), but why do we love it so much, and what is it good for?

Well, first of all, texts are a sure way to make sure your messages get across. SMS open rates remain around 98%, with 60% of consumers reporting that they reply to a text within 1-2 minutes.

This makes SMS a perfect format for short-and-sweet updates you want customers to read right away.

Texts are especially useful for:

Text messaging is also best when you want your contacts to take fast action, like clicking on links to sign up for programs or take advantage of sales.

Plus, with strict character limits, your campaigns will always be concise and to-the-point.

That’s a quick rundown on what each method does best, but what about quantity?

Volume: Email Blasts vs. Text Blasts

The more your audience hears your message, the more likely they are to remember it. 

That’s why you might find yourself singing the Stanly Steemer jingle in the shower.

However, if there’s one real, significant difference between email and SMS marketing campaigns, it’s in the volume and frequency of the messages you send.

As we’ve mentioned, the difference between email and text open rates is major. An estimated 74 trillion emails are sent every year as opposed to only around 8 trillion text messages. 

This means you’ll often have to send email campaigns a few (dozen) times before they get the attention you want. 

Text messages work a little differently, mostly because they send directly to your customers’ text inboxes. 

This makes SMS a more personal form of communication, given that people only give out their phone number to trusted brands and family or friends.

All that means for your text initiatives is that you can be a little more selective with what you send and how often you send it.

It all depends on your brand. A church might choose to send daily devotionals to its contacts, while a retailer might only send out one text per week to announce discounts or promotions.

This isn’t to say that higher-volume campaigns don’t work with text message marketing. You just have to strike a balance between getting the point across and overwhelming your contacts with messages.

The Perfect Pair: Email and SMS Together

We’re not here to talk down on email marketing. In fact, we believe text marketing couldn’t be what it is today if email hadn’t paved the way.

Still, no marketing method works in every situation. This is why we suggest a healthy mix of both email and text marketing.

If you use an email marketing service like Constant Contact or MailChimp, it’s now easier than ever to merge email and SMS marketing tools together with SimpleTexting’s integrations

You can plug SimpleTexting into 1,000+ apps including Salesforce, Facebook, Google Forms, and Shopify. 

That way, if a customer misses an email announcing the details of your summer sale, you can send a follow-up text days later with more information on specific discounts.

The Final Word on Email Marketing vs. Text Marketing

Businesses are as diverse as the people who run them. 

A company that sends a weekly newsletter might want to send it through email, while a different retailer might prefer texting for receipts and order notifications.

The good news is, you don’t actually have to choose. Combine your marketing methods and customize them to meet your needs.

Ready to try text message marketing for yourself? Try out SimpleTexting for 14 days, totally free.

Meghan Tocci
Meghan Tocci

Meghan Tocci is a content strategist at SimpleTexting. When she’s not writing about SaaS, she’s trying to teach her puppy Lou how to code. So far, not so good.

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