Email and SMS marketing are still popular digital marketing strategies today, with almost 70% of user preferences compared to other channels. Do both of these techniques will help you grow your eCommerce store?
Let’s find out in this article, which compares the advantages and disadvantages of these approaches.
Emails are widely used to communicate with customers. Reaching people via email is one of the easiest forms of communication – for most people worldwide, email marketing is the channel of B2C communication. Apart from that, email marketing is a communication channel for many industries, including eCommerce, SaaS, and even the educational field.
Email marketing is versatile. There are dozens of emails to send: welcome emails, promotions, abandoned cart emails, and more. Therefore, this strategy presents a universal and convenient way to stay in touch with your customers and engage them.
SMS is also a prevalent form of communication with customers. Although it is an asynchronous medium, SMS offers a faster and sure-shot method of communication.
It may help you instantly inform customers about sales and promotions, send receipts, and more.
Email and SMS marketing: Critical metrics
To understand the difference between these approaches, let’s compare performance in mutual metrics:
It measures the probability of a message being opened. For this metric, the SMS has the edge over the Email owing to its short and crisp message. SMS has the added advantage that the recipient need not be connected to the Internet to receive and read the communication.
Average open rates for SMS are 98%, while for emails – only 20%.
A critical point to keep in mind: a high open-rate doesn’t mean the message was read, and the customer responded.
Click-through rate determines the ratio of customers who click on a specific hyperlink that is part of the received Email or SMS, compared to the total number of recipients.
Research shows that the CTR for SMS ranges from 14 to 36%, while for emails, it is between 7 to 9%.
This metric is about whether an SMS or an email has been successfully delivered to the customer or not. In the case of emails, they could be marked as Spam and sent to the respective folder, which may be ignored or ultimately deleted. Short text messages have lower risks of being tagged as sp. That’s why SMS has higher deliverability rates.
SMS VS Emails: Pros and Cons Comparison
Based on the metrics above, we can compare these two strategies and determine which one is a winner.
Email marketing is the cheaper option since it costs much less when compared to SMS. Bulk SMS rates are priced higher than sending bulk emails. Also, the longer the message, the more is the cost of sending multiple SMS messages.
Winner: Email marketing
A single email can convey more than an SMS message. Emails are more engaging. They can contain text, images, attachments, and hyperlinks, many of which are not feasible in an SMS message. Also, SMS suffers from a limitation in the number of words per message.
Winner: Email marketing
Email filters can prevent bulky and Spam mails from being delivered to the customer. SMS, however, is always delivered, and almost all delivered messages are read within 3 minutes, as per studies.
Winner: SMS marketing
Reading & responding
Response rate and CTR are higher in the case of SMS marketing. The probability of reading and responding to an email is lower.
Winner: SMS marketing
Overall, as you see, these two strategies have their own benefits and shortcomings. Ideally, your eCommerce store probably requires combining two of them (and even adding other strategies like SEO, content marketing, etc.).
If you have a limited budget and focus on engaging customers and marking them loyal in the long term, email marketing is your choice. In case you put informing customers about essential news and data exclusively, SMS marketing will help you.
When choosing the most suitable marketing approaches for your store, start with the goal you pursue and analyze the pros and cons. The combination of emails and SMS works best.
But if you want to engage your customers, choose emails. If your goal, informing your customers, SMS might be a good choice.
Dmytro Zaichenko is a Marketing Specialist at Coupler.io, a data integration service. It helps to integrate data from BigQuery, Trello, and other platforms to Google Sheets. Dmytro has 6+ years of experience in content making. Apart from writing, he’s passionate about networking and the NBA.