Both SMS marketing and email marketing have essential roles in your overall marketing strategy. While each offers its own benefits, you will get the best results when combining SMS and email marketing.

Integrating text and email marketing doesn’t have to be challenging, especially if you choose a service or platform that offers both. Doing enough research on the benefits of combining these two channels can help you create more effective marketing campaigns. 

Email vs. SMS: Which to send

Most business owners find themselves choosing between text and email marketing. You don’t have to choose one over the other, but it’s still helpful to recognize which situation each channel is better for. 

As you consider the following, remember that there are also some benefits that both email and SMS marketing share. For example, both are scalable, shareable, and give you ways to be compliant with anti-spam and consumer protection acts. Both also allow for A/B testing, save time, can include marketing segmentation, and are environmentally friendly. 

Assuming you use a good service for your campaigns, you can also view analytics for either type of campaign, letting you fine-tune them. To make your campaigns easier, you can also find marketing templates for SMS or email.

When should I use email marketing?

If you are contemplating whether email marketing is right for a given campaign, consider the following pros and cons. 


High ROI

Email marketing comes with a high ROI and is incredibly cost-effective. In fact, email marketing is typically among the most affordable marketing channels you can use. To give you an idea of the ROI for email marketing, a recent Litmus report found that you will earn about $36 for each $1 spent, an ROI of 3,600%. By contrast, Google advertising has an ROI of just 200%. 

Customers expect emails

At the very least, people expect emails related to their purchases and a welcome email when they opt-in. In fact, recent email open rates indicate that more than 8 out of 10 customers open welcome emails.

But most people also expect their favorite companies to send them promotional emails occasionally. This, along with social media, is perhaps the most common way people learn about sales or offers. 

Endless automation potential

Email is perfect for automation. You can easily create entire email campaigns that are fully automated. From welcome emails to birthday messages to cart abandonment emails, the possibilities for campaigns are limitless.

These campaigns are not just automated; they are also easy to personalize with templates. For example, you can easily have your system input the customer’s name or the product they purchased. 


Lower click-through and open rates

Unfortunately, emails have lower click-through rates and open rates compared to text messages. This means that your message is less likely to come across. For reference, the average open rate for emails is just 20%.

Part of this comes from the amount of spam that most people receive in their inboxes. As such, your email may be automatically flagged by spam filters. Even if it isn’t, your recipient may consider it spam and either flag it as such or just delete it without reading. 

mobile phone

When should I use SMS marketing?

The following advantages and disadvantages should help you confirm when SMS marketing is the right decision. 


Customers will see it

SMS messages have an incredibly high open rate of 98%. In other words, 98% of your customers will see and likely read your text message. No other marketing channel delivers this high of an open rate.

Part of the reason for the high open rate is that people take their mobile phones everywhere. This means that they will know about your message nearly immediately. The high open rate of text messages can also result in higher response rates and improved click-through rates. 

People prefer texting

Perhaps the most significant advantage of SMS marketing is that this is the preferred communication method for most people. Studies have also found that most people prefer to text with businesses. They appreciate the stress-free nature of texts, the freedom to open and respond at any time, and the more personalized feel of texting compared to emails especially when businesses use SMS segmentation.


Potential to be intrusive

While SMS can be incredibly useful, you also have to be more careful with sending text messages to customers. For example, you do not want to send text messages outside of business hours, as this feels intrusive.

Size and multimedia limits

As mentioned, one of the perks of email is that there is no limit to the format or length of the email. By contrast, SMS messages can only be 160 characters long. That said, most SMS marketing services also offer MMS messages, which can be longer or divided into several messages and can include multimedia. 

However, there is still the caveat that not all multimedia will be supported on all mobile devices. 

The Benefits of using text and email marketing together

As mentioned, you don’t have to choose between text and email marketing. You will get the best results by using them together. Let your SMS marketing efforts complement the gaps in your email marketing and vice versa. 

1. Improve on the metrics that matter

Combining text and email marketing campaigns lets you improve on all of the metrics that matter the most. This comes from the fact that both types of marketing can come with solid analytics and reports, assuming you use a service that offers them.

In addition to the analytics, you can use both SMS and email marketing to encourage survey responses and reviews.

You can also play to the strengths of each method to improve your metrics once you know what you need to boost. For example, you can opt for SMS if you want a higher customer response rate and two-way communication. 

By contrast, email may make more sense if you want a high number of views for a particular image or video. Stick to marketing texts for time-sensitive messages but put any long messages in marketing emails. This lets you include detailed information without dividing the message into several parts. 

With email and SMS marketing, you can use one channel to boost subscribers for the other. For example, use text messaging to encourage people to become email subscribers or vice versa. Think of this as another way to get more leads or contact information for existing leads. 

Using both channels also lets you reach customers via their preferred method. That should boost sales and response rates by improving customer satisfaction. 

phone and laptop on table

2. Cross-channel marketing

Using both email and SMS marketing also lets you take advantage of cross-channel marketing. This refers to marketing across multiple channels with the idea that the more times potential customers see your brand, the further they will move along the sales funnel.

One example would be to prepare people for announcements via text before sending more details via email. This strategy provides you with extra touchpoints with customers. In turn, this can boost brand recognition and your relationship with customers.

Additionally, if you generate excitement for an upcoming email via text messages, people are more likely to open the email. This lets you take advantage of the open rate for texts to boost your email open rate. This is great for things like blog updates or monthly newsletters, as well as time-sensitive information like flash sales.  

To reap the full benefits of cross-channel marketing, you should combine your SMS and email marketing campaigns with other marketing channels. These include social media, SEO, and paid ads. 

3. Lower cart abandonment rate

Emails are commonly used to reduce cart abandonment rates, but you can also incorporate text messages into this strategy to get even better results. Most cart abandonment campaigns will automatically send emails a few hours, a few days, and about a week after customers leave the website.

However, the challenge with cart abandonment emails is the low open rate. If you incorporate SMS marketing into your strategy, you get to take advantage of its higher open rate to get your message across. 

4. Ensure compliance with anti-spam laws 

Both text and email marketing are permission-based, and businesses using these marketing channels must comply with specific regulations. US businesses, for instance, must comply with the rules of the CAN-SPAM Act when sending emails and text messages to customers. 

Choosing a reputable third-party service for email and SMS marketing ensures that your business complies with anti-spam laws. This protects your business from hefty fines.

Learn how to send and receive SMS messages

Learning how to utilize text and email marketing for businesses is pretty straightforward, but the exact steps will depend on the service that you use. 

Podium, for example, makes the process straightforward. The platform lets you set up your system in a few clicks and offers an SMS marketing guide. All you have to do is set up your templates and import your contact list. You can also set up an opt-in campaign with keywords if needed.

When sending SMS messages for your business, one important thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want to use your personal phone or number, leading to security and privacy concerns, both for you and your customers. 

Isaiah Rendorio
Isaiah Rendorio Product Marketing Manager, Campaigns

Isaiah Rendorio is the Product Marketing Manager for Podium Campaigns—helping local businesses tap into the power of SMS marketing to strengthen customer relationships, increase customer lifetime value, and drive more revenue.

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