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Text Message Marketing vs Email Marketing

Text Message Marketing vs Email Marketing

In our increasingly data-saturated world, we have more channels than ever to send and receive information and messages. That means marketing has a great challenge and opportunity in discovering the right channel to reach the right audience at the right time. Looking at text message marketing vs email marketing, which are two popular ways to communicate, can help us decide which of these channels to use and when.

Difference Between Email Marketing and SMS Marketing

When comparing email marketing vs text message marketing, it’s important to understand the differences. Obviously, the mode of delivery is different, but another key differentiator is length of message. While you’re limited to about 160 characters in a standard text message, most emails can be much longer. Depending on the message you need to communicate, one or the other may be more suited to a particular campaign.

Email marketing vs text marketing comparisons also need to look at results. What are the click-through and open rates of each? How many prospects can you convert to customers using an SMS vs email marketing campaign? What’s an acceptable frequency and how easily are they each delivered? What are the costs of each method of outreach?

Text Message Marketing vs Email Marketing (Video)

After comparing the differences between email vs text marketing, you can make a better decision on which channel works best for your next marketing effort.

Open Rate

Examining the open rate of both emails and text messages can help you determine what percentage of your target audience you are actually reaching when comparing email marketing html vs plain text. According to Gartner, up to 98% of all text messages are opened while only 20% of email messages are opened. Email as a marketing medium has become quite popular, which means your target audience may simply receive too many emails to open them all.

Open Rates - SMS Marketing Guide

SMS marketing, however, is still not as saturated in comparison, which means you have a better chance of capturing your recipient’s attention. That’s one important difference between email marketing and sms marketing.


When comparing text vs email marketing, businesses should also consider the deliverability of the message. Email, in general, may generate more deliverability obstacles such as bounced emails and those that are immediately forwarded to the recipient’s spam folder.

Some internet service providers may throttle, or limit the number of emails being delivered, which can interfere with getting your message to your target audience in a timely fashion.

SMS messages, however, face many fewer deliverability issues when comparing email vs text marketing. The most common are changed phone numbers, spam filters or gerry SMS routes. Those SMS campaigns that require opt-in action from recipients may be less affected by these issues.

Click-Through Rate

Another factor to consider when comparing email marketing html vs plain text campaign is the click-through rate. This rate measures how frequently recipients click on a link that’s included in your text message or email to further engage in a relationship.

Click-through Rates - SMS Marketing Guide

According to, the click-through rate for text messages is about 36% while the click-through rate for email is only about 6%. This means that it is much more likely that  your target audience will engage  with your organization through an SMS marketing vs email marketing campaign.


No one likes to be bombarded with marketing messages from a company too frequently, but most customers and prospects do appreciate staying abreast of new offerings, time-bound specials or discounts, or important developments. It’s important to consider frequency when comparing email marketing vs text message marketing.

An advantage of understanding the difference between text message marketing vs email marketing is that you can use the channel that most effectively delivers a particular message. For example, if your business is offering a special that’s only good for three days, sending a targeted text message may be the best channel. The message is short and can be sent at a reasonable frequency to keep the deal top-of-mind for customers.

Response Rate

Although opening messages and clicking to retrieve more information are important measurements when comparing text vs email marketing programs, the real measure of success is response rates and conversions.

According to a study by RetailDive, “SMS produces engagement rates six to eight times higher” than email campaigns in comparing email marketing vs text marketing. This included marketing programs that required redemption, building brand awareness, and collecting data.

Part of the reason for the higher response rate when comparing sms marketing vs email marketing may be related to the fact that SMS marketing programs frequently require the consent of the recipient. That means your audience wants to receive communication through the SMS channel, which makes getting a response much more likely.


When comparing the cost of text message marketing vs email marketing, there may not seem to be a huge difference as both channels are relatively inexpensive to use. Perhaps the main cost difference is in the production of the content itself. SMS messages are usually short and sweet so it can take much less time to craft a concise 160-character reminder or offer. Email campaigns, especially ones that require images and design, can cost more to create.

Challenges of Email

One of the biggest challenges of email marketing is how to break through the clutter and noise. According to TechJury, the average number of emails each person receives every day is about 200. That’s a lot for any individual to get through, and if you’re trying to reach particularly busy individuals, the chances of getting noticed are very slim.

It’s clear why open rates, click-through rates, and response rates are so low for email campaigns. There is simply too much information coming through that medium. Add to those challenges the issue of bouncing emails, spam redirects, and ISP limits, and many marketers can find email campaigns less successful than SMS campaigns.

Advantages of SMS Marketing

The advantages of SMS marketing, on the other hand, are many. Since it is not an overly saturated channel, it’s much easier to get noticed through a text message. According to TechJury, about three-fourths of consumers appreciate communications from companies after they have opted in to receive them.

Open Rates - SMS Marketing Guide

As a result, the  open rates, click-through rates, and response rates are much higher for text message marketing vs email marketing campaigns, which means greater engagement, increased customer loyalty, and increased profits in the long run.

If you’re ready to launch an effective SMS campaign, sign up for a free DialMyCalls account and start a trial today. After considering sms vs email marketing, reap the benefits of a successful text message marketing campaign quickly and cost effectively.

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