Email Marketing

Email Marketing Versus SMS Marketing: Which One Has Maximum Impact?

It's a dilemma for marketers!


Hafsa Channa


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As businesses strive to make the most impact with their digital marketing strategies, they are often faced with a dilemma of which path to take– email or SMS marketing.

Both offer huge potential in raising brand awareness and attracting and converting customers, but how can you decide which is best for your business? 

In this blog post, we will explore the different elements of both SMS and email marketing to help you determine which marketing strategy is going to be better for your organization. Read on to find out who will win in the ongoing debate: Email Marketing Versus SMS Marketing.

Also Read: The Ultimate Marketing Showdown: Direct Mail Versus Email Marketing

Before delving into the complex details of how email and SMS marketing work, let's look at exactly what is included in these services.

email marketing

What is email marketing?

Email marketing is a form of digital communication used to reach and engage potential customers. Businesses can send out promotional offers, deals, discounts, updates, and other announcements through email.

Email marketing aims to drive sales and increase customer loyalty while keeping costs low. It helps to nurture leads and raise brand awareness. While you may send prospects a few cold emails, businesses generally need consent from their contacts before sending emails. This is called asking prospects to "opt-in".

Recommended for You: Klaviyo vs Mailchimp: Which Email Marketing Platform is Best for You?

SMS marketing

What is SMS marketing?

SMS marketing, also known as text marketing, is a powerful yet discreet method for companies to reach out to their target audience. Text messages pop up on a prospect's phone. While many prospects may look at these messages, there isn't much room for customization here nor can the messages be long.

One crucial aspect of text message marketing campaigns is the opt-in policy, which mandates that potential customers must actively consent to receive notifications from a business. If you have ever purchased from a store, they usually ask for your phone number and by providing it, you are actively allowing them to send you SMS messages.

Some companies also explicitly ask you—depending on the laws of the place you are in.

This prerequisite ensures that contacts receiving promotional messages have a genuine interest in the brand, bolstering the likelihood of conversions and customer loyalty.

Advantages and disadvantages of email marketing

First, let's discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the ever-popular, email marketing.


Here are seven reasons email marketing should be part of your business strategy.

email marketing is cost effective

1. Cost-effective

Email marketing costs much less than other promotional channels. You don’t have to invest in costly print materials or advertising campaigns - you can create an email marketing campaign that gets delivered directly to your customer list at no additional cost. 

For example, let's say you run an online clothing store and want to promote a sale on your website. You could create an email marketing campaign announcing the sale to your customer list.

By sending out this email campaign, you not only reach many potential customers but also significantly save by using email marketing as compared to print materials or conventional advertising campaigns. 

email marketing is permission based

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2. Permission-based

With email marketing, your list will only consist of people who have actively chosen to receive communications from you. This means you can ensure that every communication sent out is highly relevant and targeted to the right person.

According to data on the significance of permission, 43% of email users mark emails as spam when unsure about the message's source and sender. That doesn't mean you can't send cold emails as part of your marketing strategy. However, if you are going to incessantly email someone, it is a good idea for them to be on your list.

email marketing enables flexible designs

3. Flexible design

You can send plain text emails, include graphics, or even attach files if needed - making it easy to customize messages based on each customer segment or user's needs. Businesses can use different fonts, colors, and formatting options to align with their brand identity and create a consistent user experience across various devices and email clients.

For example, a fitness studio can make use of flexible design in its email marketing strategy. They can send personalized emails to different customer segments, such as beginners or experienced athletes, and include videos that clearly show the ambiance, and workout mode, and give potential customers a clear CTA.

They can also segment and target.

For beginners, they can include motivational graphics, links to introductory classes, and attachments with workout guides. Experienced athletes can receive emails with performance-driven content, showcasing advanced training programs and videos of expert techniques.

email marketing enables personalized and customized messages

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4. Scalable and personalized messages

 Email marketing makes it easy to scale your efforts up or down depending on how many contacts are in your list - while also allowing you to personalize messages based on customer segments or individual users for maximum impact.

For example, a nonprofit organization can send personalized messages in email campaigns to maximize donations. They can send tailored messages to different donor segments, highlighting specific projects or causes that align with each donor's interests.

Research by Aberdeen Group found that personalized email messages improve click-through rates by an average of 14% and conversions by 11%. 

shareable content

5. Shareable content increases conversions and sales

When done strategically, recipients can easily share emails, increasing brand awareness, conversions, and sales. According to Campaign Monitor research, emails containing social sharing buttons experience a significant 158% increase in their click-through rates.

For example, a home decor retailer can enhance their email marketing efforts by incorporating shareable content such as captivating room transformations, engaging do-it-yourself (DIY) projects, and insightful design tips.

By integrating social sharing buttons, recipients have the convenience of easily sharing these emails with their contacts, which can result in increased brand exposure, more website traffic, and improved conversion rates.

email marketing allows measurable results and benchmarking capabilities

6. Measurable results and benchmarking capabilities

With email marketing platforms like GoCustomer and Klaviyo, you can track analytics such as open rate, click rate, unsubscribes, bounce rate, etc., which allows you to measure the success of each campaign against industry standards.

This helps you get more value from each campaign by understanding what works best for different segments of your audience. You can then improve, optimize, and get even better results in your next campaign.

email marketing allows real time advertising

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7. Real-time marketing

By utilizing real-time data such as weather patterns, current events, customer behavior, etc., marketers are able to create messages tailored specifically toward their audience's interests at any given moment in time.

Research by Salesforce shows that 76% of customers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations at every interaction.

For example, when it comes to real-time marketing, a sports retailer can optimize their email campaigns by providing offers and recommendations that align with ongoing sporting events.

During a major tournament or game, they can send targeted emails showcasing products related to the participating teams or notable players.

There are many advantages of email marketing, but there are some cons.


These are two red flags you need to look out for.

1. Spam filters

Email marketing often faces the challenge of spam filters, which significantly hinders the deliverability of marketing messages. These filters can cause well-crafted emails to be mistakenly marked as spam, decreasing the visibility and reach of marketing campaigns.

According to Statista, the percentage of spam emails globally has gone up from 46% in 2021 to almost 49% in 2022. Landing in spam filters also hampers your sender reputation.

Always opt for an email warmup service before using your domain to send a large number of emails.

2. Flagged messaging

Excessive email marketing can lead to negative consequences, such as flagged messaging and potential domain blacklisting. If email service providers identify a high volume of unsolicited messages, they may permanently block the sender's domain, putting an end to their email marketing campaigns.

Now that we have covered email marketing, let's go over what SMS marketing is all about.

Also Read: Closing Deals from Inbox to In-Person: The 2024 Realtor’s Guide to Email Marketing

Advantages and disadvantages of SMS marketing

Let's dive into what makes SMS marketing a great promotional method and what text marketing may not be best for.


Here are the reasons SMS marketing campaigns are the way to go.

SMS marketing has a high open rate

1. Boost your open rate

The open rate on SMS marketing messages is generally much higher than other forms of communication, such as emails. Research shows that almost 98% of SMS messages are opened within five minutes of being received.

This means that if you have something important or urgent to communicate with your customers, they’re almost guaranteed to read it quickly. You can never be sure if your message will be delivered or even noticed with email.

SMS marketing is cost-effective

2. Cost-effective

Another advantage of SMS marketing is its affordability compared with other forms of advertising and promotion. While some traditional marketing methods can be quite costly, sending out bulk text messages is relatively cheap and easy. Tools like Klaviyo make it even simpler to manage and track your campaigns.

The costs associated with printing, distribution, and airtime are eliminated in SMS marketing. Additionally, since your customers have opted in to receive these messages, you know they're interested in what you say. So, there's no need to spend money trying to get people interested in your business through other channels.

For example, in today's competitive market, small restaurants can go for SMS marketing. Unlike traditional marketing methods like print ads or direct mail, SMS campaigns allow restaurants to send promotions and offers directly to their customers' mobile devices and instantly get in touch.

If they are having happy hour that evening, they can easily send an SMS in the afternoon.

SMS marketing allows you to interact on the go

3. Interact on the go

According to Statista, smartphone users worldwide are expected to reach 7.3 billion in 2023. By using SMS marketing to reach out directly to potential customers who are likely already using their phones regularly, you can ensure they get all the updates they need while on the go.

Plus, since all devices come with a built-in messaging function, there’s no need for additional software or downloads – making it incredibly easy for customers to engage with your business via text message.

SMS marketing helps you reach a wide demographic

4. Reach a wide demographic

One great thing about SMS marketing is its ability to reach a wide range of demographics - from younger generations who are used to communicating via text message to older generations, who may not be as tech-savvy but still appreciate convenience when it comes to staying informed about new products or services from businesses like yours!

Since everyone has access to a mobile phone these days - you can ensure no potential customer is left out!

For instance, let's say you're a restaurant owner who wants to advertise your new menu launch. You can use SMS marketing to send out a text message to your subscriber base to notify them about the new dishes added to your menu - and you are likely to reach all of them.

Additional Resources: Unveiling Top 10 MailerLite Alternatives for Enhanced Email Marketing in 2024


All is not flowery with an SMS campaign. Here are a few reasons this marketing method may not fit the bill.

1. Restrictions on text message length

Limits on text message length make creating effective text marketing campaigns challenging. You can send targeted messages in 160 characters and you can't say much in that. These restrictions restrict the ability to convey detailed and fact-rich information through this marketing channel.

2. Diminish brand credibility

Excessive or disorganized SMS messaging can decrease consumer confidence, prompting potential subscribers to disengage. In addition, sending text messages at inappropriate times, such as during late-night hours when individuals are asleep, can further aggravate potential clients and diminish brand credibility.

You must obtain consent and adhere to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) regulations to send a text message. Unsolicited SMS marketing is prohibited. Commercial messages must ensure a higher quality of communication and user experience.

Now, let's compare our two communication channels.

Who takes the crown?

Ultimately, there is no precise answer to which marketing tool is the most successful. Both email marketing and SMS marketing have their benefits and drawbacks. Depending on your business goals and individual needs, one could emerge as the ideal solution for your needs.

All in all, it’s important to research both tools carefully to develop a strategy tailored to meet your objectives. If done well, either option can be successful in helping to promote your product or service.

Check Out: 10 Email Marketing Blogs Every Marketer Should Follow in 2024

Bottom line

At GoCustomer, we understand how important a persuasive email marketing process is and have developed the perfect solution that helps you optimize every aspect of your email campaigns.

Our comprehensive platform provides you with cutting-edge tools, invaluable support, and guidance from experienced email marketing experts so that you get the most out of your email campaigns.

With GoCustomer's help, you can unlock the potential of your business through effective optimization and drive better engagements from customers.

An image to showcase the email warmup feature

Reach more customers with your cold emails

Table of Contents

    In a nutshell

    SMS messages are usually viewed more than all email messages, but email marketing has a higher impact due to the ability to provide more information, customize and personalize to a higher extent, and they are non-intrusive.
    You should use a mix of both SMS and email marketing in your marketing strategy as the use of each of these mediums is important for maximum reach. Which one is better varies from business to business and the type of information you are trying to impart. It also depends on your target audience.
    You should use SMS marketing when you want to send a quick message in bulk with minimal information. For example, announcing a sale, announcing the deal of the day, or offering a quick discount. You can easily reach people on the go. SMS messages are great for industries such as the FMCG industry, cinemas, and fast food chains.
    Email marketers should choose email marketing because of its flexibility, ease of use, design capabilities, and because you can personalize your message based on customer preferences and/or actions. Also, email content can be shared for maximum conversions.
    Email marketing allows businesses to reach a large audience instantly, providing a cost-effective way to promote products or services. It enables targeted communication, personalized messages, and automated campaigns. It fosters customer engagement, builds brand loyalty, and offers measurable results through analytics. Overall, email marketing is a powerful tool for effective and efficient marketing strategies.
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