Businesses are trying to reach out to more and more customers through digital marketing. Due to the easy usage and effectiveness, email and SMS marketing are becoming popular channels of marketing. But, how does SMS marketing work? What is bulk email marketing? Both channels allow businesses to communicate brand information or offers to a large number of people within a short time span. But, deciding which channel to use can be a tough decision to make. By reading this Email marketing vs SMS marketing blog, you will be able to understand their differences and will be able to decide which channel is suitable for your marketing strategy.

In email marketing, commercial messages are sent to the target audience via emails. The target audience generally consists of prospects or existing customers. But then, how does SMS marketing work? SMS marketing is the process of sending promotional or transactional messages via text messages to the target audience. Even though both channels are similar in the sense that they allow mass marketing, here is how they are different:

SMS marketing strategies

1. Open Rate

The average open rate of bulk email marketing for a company is 20%. The open rates depend on industry to industry. Emails related to the beauty industry have a 17% open rate while those related to sports have an average open rate of 23%. Compared to emails, SMS has an open rate of 98%. Out of the SMSes opened, approximately 90% are read within the first 3 minutes of the message being received. Though, with both the channels, it is important to remember not to send too many emails or messages to customers. If you wish to know the best ways to do local marketing in a low budget, read our blog: BEST WAYS TO DO LOCAL MARKETING IN A LOW BUDGET.

Email marketing strategies

2. Response Rate

Emails have a lesser average response rate as compared to SMSes. When it comes to Email marketing vs SMS marketing, the former has a response rate of 6% while the latter has a 45% response rate. To enhance the response rates of both channels, send targeted personalized messages, and use a precise call to action. But, it is first important to understand how does SMS marketing work in order to do effective marketing.

3. Frequency

For bulk email marketing, the frequency at which marketers send promotional messages needs to be at least 2 to 3 times a week. Even though, the open rate might decrease, the response rate increases with the number of emails you send out. Keep in mind not to send too many emails as customers might unsubscribe. For emails, the best way to find the optimum frequency is to experiment with small groups and find out which works better. In SMS marketing, sending one or two messages every week seems to do the trick. Any higher, and customers start unsubscribing from SMS lists. When deciding the frequency for Email marketing vs SMS marketing, less works better for SMSes and vice versa for emails.

Working your way through the digital marketing agency maze value of money

4. Cost

When doing bulk email marketing for companies, tools like MailChimp allow you to send emails to a few hundred subscribers for free each month. If you opt for paid plans, the cost is generally $0.3 to $0.5 per email sent. Though, the rates might vary according to the email marketing tool you use. For SMSes, the cost is similar to the cost incurred in email marketing. Read about a cost-effective strategy for bulk SMS and email marketing, in our blog: BULK SMS AND EMAIL MARKETING: A COST-EFFECTIVE STRATEGY.

5. Click-Through Rate

The average click-through rate for email is 6 or 7%. SMS, on the other hand, has a CTR of approximately 36%. To increase CTRs, use call to actions, offer incentives and personalize the messages that are sent out.

Investment of time and effort

6. ROI

When it comes to Email marketing vs SMS marketing, the statistics show that SMS marketing is quite effective. But, most businesses agree that email marketing brings a better ROI. The fact remains, that even though SMSes have a better click-through rate, the results of both strategies depend on incentives, timing, and the value provided to the recipients. Know the secret behind good publicity, in our blog: THE SECRET BEHIND GOOD PUBLICITY TO MEET SALES GOALS.

The statistics show that SMS marketing is a quick and effective way to communicate with the target audience. But, the top choice of most businesses for communication is through emails. Choosing which channel to use depends on the target audience and a business’s goals. Knowing how both email and SMS marketing work, and their pros and cons, will help you choose a better channel for your business. It’s also crucial to not rely on just one method. Usually, a strategy that uses both emails and SMSes provides better results.


Uni Square Concepts is an advertising agency located in New Delhi, India. By initiating The Uni Square Blog, we aim to provide a comprehensive portal where readers can educate themselves about the various aspects of advertising and marketing. The articles and blogs are written by our professional team of content writers, under the guidance of senior leaders of Uni Square Concepts including its CEO, Uday Sonthalia.