business messaging blog
Mobile marketing strategies: email vs. text
Scott Navratil

Today, more than half of Americans have a smartphone. Of those, nearly all of them are checking their email exclusively on their mobile device as opposed to their computer. It’s safe to say that email marketing can now fall under the category of mobile marketing. For businesses thinking about which marketing channels to use, there’s an ongoing debate of email vs. texting. Here’s a closer look at the two channels, their advantages, and their disadvantages.

Email marketing

Before email, snail mail was about the only way for businesses to stay in touch with their loyal customers. The two major problems with snail mail are cost and time. The cost of printing written correspondence whether it’s a newsletter, catalog, or something else can add up quickly. Then there’s the cost of postage itself. Then there’s the delay in time between the mail being sent and the mail being received. Email fixed these problems and drastically changed the world of marketing. Businesses can send an email to thousands without spending a penny and they are in the recipients’ inboxes immediately.

Email marketing is not without its downside, however. Emails have an average open rate of 20% and a click through rate of about 5 %. In other words, if you send out a thousand emails, only 200 will be opened and only 50 recipients will actually click on the embedded link to go the business’s website. Also, customers tired of junk emails regularly choose to opt out of receiving a brand’s emails.

Text message marketing

With the advent of cell phones, the marketing world was changed once again. Like emails, text message marketing allows brands to contact customers immediately. But unlike email, text message marketing boasts of a 99% open rate (most occurring within a few minutes) and 30% click through rates. The opt out rate is close to 0%. Unlike email marketing, text message marketing isn’t free, though it is very close. Plan on spending a few cents per text message you send.

Which should you choose?

It all comes down to the age old question, email marketing or text message marketing? The answer, “why not both.” Email marketing is free; there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be doing it. Text message marketing is dirt cheap and much more effective than email marketing; there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be doing it either.

It turns out that email marketing and text message marketing make a great team. You can use both channels to advertise each other. Many of your text message opt-ins will come from customers who already receive your emails and vice versa. Just keep in mind that because many of your customers will be receiving your emails and texts, try not to overdo it or your marketing efforts will begin to seem like spam.


Chantel Fullilove

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