Should I Use Email Or SMS Marketing?

Using email and SMS marketing are both great methods for outreach, boosting sales and reaching customers. When choosing between the two, there are some important things to take into account. For example; what are your goals? What are you trying to achieve? How much investment are you planning to make? What is the content of the marketing campaign? With these in mind, let’s take a look at both methods.

What Is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is a strategy that sends emails to everyone, or segments of customers, who have opted in to be on your emailing list. 125 billion emails are sent every day; it’s an essential part of daily life for businesses and customers alike. 

Email marketing uses campaigns to reach current or potential customers, offering them information, deals or simply checking in. It offers a direct line of communication with customers, straight from your business into their inbox. 

Benefits Of Email Marketing

Cost Effective

Email marketing is an affordable way of reaching customers. Running an email campaign doesn’t have to break the bank, and is able to reach many people at an affordable cost.


Emails have space to be personal. Personalization platforms can ensure that personalization can be met at scale through creating audience segments based on behavioral profiles. Or individual personalization can be applied triggered by onsite actions. Simple personalization techniques can have all the difference when it comes to encouraging open rates, and boosting customer engagement.


A benefit with emails is that they can be offered in a range of modes. They can be short, long, informative, promotional, casual or formal. They can offer discounts or promotions, let customers know about new products, or encourage them to rectify their cart abandonment.


Email campaigns go hand in hand with analytics reports. Once you send email marketing campaigns out, you can follow how well they perform. This can then give you valuable insight into how best to run the next campaign; what’s working for your business and what isn’t.

Negatives Of Email Marketing


Marketing emails are a saturated market, we all know this from having too many unopened emails in our inbox right now. We receive 121 emails a day on average, which is far too many to allow them all to be engaged with. In order to make yours stand out and have a high open rate- you need to make it stand out. People have got wind of how well this can work, and all businesses want a piece of the benefits.


In order to stop people’s inboxes getting overloaded, in many cases promotional emails from businesses are being sent straight to spam folders. This means that the customers will never even see the emails being sent. 


Shoppers are easily at their liberty to unsubscribe from your email marketing campaigns. If they don’t find them to be engaging and interesting enough, they will opt out. This means that your content has to be super relevant to each individual. Personalization can help with this, which is important as retaining customers is less expensive and difficult then gaining new ones.

What Is SMS Marketing?

SMS marketing follows many of the same principles of email marketing; reaching customers with campaigns and relevant information. But rather than into their email inbox, these texts are delivered straight to their mobile devices. Since more and more of our lives are contained within our mobiles, and m-commerce is becoming more popular, SMS marketing just makes sense.

Benefits of SMS Marketing


Emails can get lost in a sea of other emails, but SMS messages will pop up on mobile devices as soon as they are sent. This allows for higher opportunity for greater levels of engagement. It has the capacity to grab attention in a way that emails don’t, and reduces such a large risk of getting lost. The market isn’t yet as saturated as the email market.

Higher Open Rate

Because of the way these SMS messages stand out, they often don’t get lost. This means that they have a higher open rate, meaning your messages will be seen more.

Higher Response Rate

Naturally, following on from both of these points. The response rate is higher since the open rate is higher. Using personalization is a great technique of ensuring that your text message is engaged with. Once it’s been found and opened, including personalized recommendations or offers is a great way of ensuring you secure a click-through. 

Negatives Of SMS Marketing

Limited Space

SMS messages are shorter than email messages, which means that you don’t have as much room for content. If you are working on a marketing campaign to share information, this will have to be condensed very precisely in SMS. The content must be engaging enough to ensure a click-through, but this involves good knowledge of how best to market. Using keywords and short codes can be a way of achieving this. 


SMS campaigns are in general more costly than email marketing campaigns. They involve more planning, understanding and technique than email campaigns. Plus they can be more time consuming on top of this.

High Risk Factor

When done well, SMS campaigns can have great benefits. On the other hand, if your customers feel as though you are bothering them by sending SMS messages to their inbox, this can have the opposite effect. This can reduce customer trust in your business, lower their customer satisfaction, and may discourage them from engaging with you in future.

So, Which Should You Choose?

Now we’ve seen the pros and the cons, you can make your decision based on what you are looking for from your campaign. For example, if you are trying to send out information about a new product that requires ample description; an email campaign might be the better option. 

If your goals are:

  • Wider audience reach
  • Affordability
  • In-depth content

Then email marketing might be what suits you best for this campaign.

If your goals are:

  • Immediate delivery
  • High open rates
  • Concise messages with CTA

Then SMS marketing might be a better fit for this campaign.

The important thing is to understand what you are trying to achieve, and what will help you get there best. 

Omnichannel Marketing

There is, of course, the option of omnichannel marketing. This means using both email and SMS marketing alongside one another to achieve optimal results. They don’t have to be used simultaneously, but having both in your repertoire means that when you need them, they are available to you.