Marketing in a digital landscape is an ever-evolving process. To keep pace with changing times, changing customers, and changing technologies, it’s important to know how to choose the right platform for your campaign. Instead of asking “Which is better?” as an absolute, re-frame the question to your specific campaign and ask, “Which is better—for this promotion?” The fact is, both email and text (SMS marketing) have a role in your comprehensive marketing strategy. Below, we’ll compare the strengths and benefits of text and email marketing. That way, you’ll be able to decide which platform is best suited to your message to get the most return on your investment.
SMS and Email Open Rates: Email Marketing Is Adapting
You probably already know that open rate on text marketing is around 98%, as opposed to 20% open rates with email marketing alone. That doesn’t mean that email is down for the count, though! While it’s true that there’s currently a surge in the popularity of text marketing, text marketing just isn’t right for every campaign. Email marketing is adapting to the always-changing online world, and it’s still an effective marketing channel—for the right promotion. And because email marketing is adapting to the new marketing landscape, it’s gaining strength. In fact, research shows there are over 3.7 billion global email users, 85% of whom use their mobile devices to check their email daily. That’s not an audience you want to dismiss—but it’s one you want to use wisely.
Benefits of Text and Email Campaigns
Because of the differences between email and text marketing, not every promotion will be suited to the same platform. In some cases, you’ll even want to adapt your message to include both email and text subscribers. Here are the strengths and benefits of each type of marketing, and how to know which to use each platform for your promotion.
SMS Text Marketing Benefits
- Most customers prefer text over emails or phone
- Nearly instant reach—95% of text messages are
read within 3 minutes of delivery
- Easier and faster to compose and deploy than an
- Higher open rates (95%+) on branded SMS text marketing
- Higher, faster response times on CTAs
- Lower cost, because there are no carrier fees or
data messaging rates
- No length constraints to your text, enabling you
to create a unique branded voice
- Greater ability to personalize your message
- Email subscriber lists are generally larger than
text marketing SMS subscriber lists
When to Use Email Marketing
Here are three email marketing example sample scenarios and why it’s the better platform for these types of communications.
In this sample scenario, let’s say you’re running a month-long sale during February, because according to your business analytics, that’s a month where your retail sales slow. Because the sale is ongoing throughout the month of February, you don’t want to repeatedly text your clients about the same sale. By choosing email marketing for this campaign, you can email weekly reminders of the sale, and even spotlight some of the products or services that you’re discounting, to catch customer interest.
Since loyalty programs are ongoing, they’re not the time-sensitive messaging you’d use with texts. Email marketing allows you to customize the message to the specific customer and provide a summary of their earned loyalty points. With email, you can build engagement by targeting the message to customers who haven’t enrolled in your loyalty program yet, or those who have points that are expiring.
Say your business is expanding to the unit next door, and you anticipate being under construction for a period. Email is a great medium to introduce expansion plans to customers, let them know what to expect while you’re under construction, and to alert them to any special instructions they’ll need to know in the interim.
When to Use Text Marketing
Here are three text message marketing example sample scenarios for communications that are better suited for text marketing.
Daily Flash Sales
After running your business analytics, you realize that Wednesdays are your slowest days of the week. To boost sales and increase bookings, you decide to send out a daily promo code for 20%. But the code is only valid for Wednesday’s appointments, appointments pre-booked on the Wednesday you send the code, or retail purchases made online or in-store on Wednesday. Because the promotion is time-sensitive, text is a better choice. After all, you don’t want your customers to open an email that contains a coupon that’s already expired!
Double Loyalty Points If You Book Today
Text messaging allows you to send a time-sensitive, text-exclusive offer to clients. Here, say you want to increase your pre-bookings and build engagement with your text subscribers. By sending a text-exclusive offer of doubled loyalty points for appointments pre-booked that day with the exclusive text code, you’ll fill more of your calendar, increase customer loyalty, build engagement, provide value, and incentivize other customers to opt-in to your text marketing.
In a previous sample scenario, your business is under construction for expansion. Today, the construction will be making your front parking lot inaccessible, but tomorrow, parking will be back to normal. Here, you’d use text marketing to filter all your customers that’ll be visiting during that time, to let them know about the situation and provide an alternate parking solution. Your message is time-sensitive, considerate of your customer’s needs, and there’s no need to worry customers who aren’t scheduled during that time—only send texts to customers directly affected.
Why choose one when you can use both? With Vagaro, email marketing and text marketing come together in one, easy-to-use system that gives you all the tools you need to market smart. You know what your audience is looking for—and we know how to deliver it. Get started with email and text marketing today!
Header Image and Infographics: Giorgio Trovato via Vagaro