Email Vs. Text Marketing: Which Channel to Choose for Lead Generation
Email marketing has been around for a couple of decades, earlier than text messaging was even created. But did email marketing become better through its history than SMS marketing? We’ll find that out in this article.
The advantage of one over another in terms of lead generation is not absolute. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. There are five factors to consider for email and SMS marketing comparison.
1. Open Rate
Email is convenient to use and it’s free. This makes it useful for work, studies, promotions and etc. The multifunctionality seems like an advantage, yet it is not here. The reason is that people use multiple email accounts and they don’t pay attention to every message they receive there. Moreover, when they receive too many promotional messages, most of them end up in the spam.
Compared to email, people only have one channel to receive an SMS with. They don’t receive tons of text messages daily, so they pay more attention to their text messages. Besides, people prefer text messages for more personal communication.
Because of these reasons, text messages have higher open rates than emails. In fact, text messages have around 98% open rates, whereas email has about 20-40%. This corresponds with their ability to generate leads too, which gives an obvious edge to SMS marketing in this category.
2. Response Rate
Generally, email response rates depend on the database and content of the message. Cheaper databases have more random emails, so most messages either don’t reach anyone or end up in the spam folder. Regarding the content, private offers or other similar promotional messages tend to get higher response rates.
SMS response rates don’t depend on anything but the content. People prefer to receive special offers through SMS. Therefore, text messages that offer something special are more likely to get responded.
The actual numbers for email and SMS response rates are respectively around 6% and 45%. Moreover, most text messages are opened within 90 seconds after being received. This increases the chances for lead generation by text messaging, giving yet another point to SMS marketing.
Sending an email is obviously free, so it should’ve gotten an advantage here immediately. However, it is not as simple as that. Companies need bots to send automatic messages, sort them out and obtain statistics. Lead generation would be totally ineffective without those tools.
SMS marketing cost is mostly the price of each message. Providers usually offer the rest of sorting out and sending automatic text messages. Typically, the prices are different for each country and cell phone mobile carrier.
SMS marketing can cost companies from $20 up to $80 per 1000 messages. On the other hand, the price for email marketing bots start from $9 and can reach to $1000 monthly. Considering that most companies choose cheaper packages and they still help them generate leads, email wins this category.
4. Click-Through Rate (CTR)
Click through rate measures the ratio of clicks on the links that a promotional message contains. It is one of the most precise measures to understand the number of generated leads. Email CTR depends on the nature of the email campaign and its call-to-action degree. Usually, personal offers and discount messages get higher CTR.
SMS CTR is also affected by the type of the campaign. The issue here is that people reading emails obviously have an internet connection. Whereas text message receivers may not have one when they receive an SMS, which can affect the click-through rate.
Regarding the percentages, text messages have 19% CTR as compared to emails, which have only 3.2%. The main reason for such a difference is that text messages are shorter and people prefer receiving them over emails. Higher CTR means that SMS has a higher chance to generate leads, so it wins in this category.
Personalization is essential for marketers because it makes customers feel special. Emails do a great job here allowing marketers to use various visuals to make their messages more appealing. Although it has a character limit, no reasonable message can ever pass that limit. This creates more room to get creative and personalize messages for customers.
Text messages also allow marketers to personalize offers and promotions. Most SMS providers have built-in templates for personalized offers. However, marketers are bound within 160 characters and can’t pass that limit.
Since email has much more space to use text and visuals, it is more practical for personalization than text messages. Thus, this gives an edge to email here, making the overall score 3:2, meaning that text message marketing is still better for lead generation. Indeed, it is more effective with a slightly higher price.
Azat Eloyan is a digital marketer and mobile marketing enthusiast. With over 5 years’ experience in content marketing and SEO, he believes that valuable and informative content is the key. He currently is working as a marketing specialist at SendSMS which is providing SMS marketing service globally.