SMS vs email messaging in e-commerce marketing: which communications are more effective?

SMS vs email messaging in e-commerce marketing: which communications are more effective?

Every day, consumers see thousands of commercial ads on TV, social media, and billboards. According to G2 statistics, over 70% of users believe that SMS messaging is a more effective communication channel. 

But there is still no unequivocal answer as to which is better: SMS or email messaging? In this article, we will talk about the differences between SMS and email messaging, and consider the advantages and disadvantages of both channels.

SMS messaging for business: features

Bulk SMS messaging is one of the main marketing tools. Do you remember the last time you received a short email reminding you to pay for the Internet? Or a promotional offer from your favorite store? These are all part of the marketing messaging that companies implement to connect with you.

Research says the average person spends about five hours a day on their phone. During this time, a large amount of information runs in front of his eyes. 

But just think about it: the open rate of SMS messaging is 98%! That is, the user opens and reads almost every SMS, which means that your information reaches the addressee!

Benefits of sending SMS messages

One of the fears of any business is to drain the budget into questionable marketing strategies. SMS messaging is a payback tool that offers many possibilities: 

  1. A text message is sent instantly, and if the recipient is not in a no-coverage zone, the SMS will reach 100%. Decision Telecom guarantees the delivery of messages even when roaming.
  2. In most cases, SMS messaging requires the consent of the customer. This means that the business receives a "warm" audience - prepared for purchases.
  3. According to statistics, 90% of messages are read by users within 3 minutes after receiving an email.
  4. To read SMS, you do not need to have Internet access. 
  5. SMS messaging shows a higher level of engagement over 36% of users click on the short active link in SMS. 
  6. Consumers do not like to waste time, so a 2-3-sentence advertising message is more attractive to read. 
  7. Only 3% of SMS messages are considered spam. There are global network operators who can monitor and control all text messages sent. 

With over 5 billion mobile users worldwide, this channel provides global reach.

Disadvantages of SMS Marketing

Some disadvantages of SMS messaging are their text and media features, namely: 

  1. Limitation of volume. A marketer or copywriter needs to work hard to fit a message into a few hundred characters and encourage the client to take action.
  2. Lack of visualization complicates the perception of the letter. In addition to the text, the SMS message contains only the sender's alpha name, a link to the site, and contacts. 

Some marketers cite the cost as one of the main disadvantages of SMS messaging. However, given that email messaging includes not only sending letters, but also preparing for them (design, graphics, text, development), and the SMS conversion is much higher, this tool is more profitable from a financial point of view.

Why does email marketing attract business owners?

According to Radicati Group, there are 4.1 billion registered email addresses in the world. On the one hand, this allows email messaging to remain more alive than all the living ones. 

However, on the other hand, active Internet users prefer to check their mail no more than twice a day. Most often, recipients view emails selectively, based on the addressee or subject. As a result, out of a huge number of incoming messages, some are sent to spam, some are sent to the trash, and only 20-30% of emails are opened by users.

Despite such data, email messaging is popular with many companies. What makes this channel attractive for business owners? 

Benefits of email messaging

Marketers have more control over email messaging and can more effectively reach their target audience. More email marketing has such advantages: 

  1. Emails are perceived by users as a more solid way of communication. 
  2. There is no limit on the number of characters in the text. 
  3. You can add pictures, animations, videos, and action buttons to email messaging that attract the attention of customers. 
  4. The opportunity to unsubscribe offered in each message demonstrates respect for the opinion of subscribers and thereby increases their loyalty. 
  5. Automated data collection and analysis are available thanks to integration with Google Analytics.

According to the Direct Marketing Association, email messaging generates $40 for every $1 invested.

Disadvantages of email marketing

But there are more than just pleasant benefits. It is important to understand what difficulties a business can face if its marketing strategy is based on email messagings.

  1. 85% of emails end up in spam. Email service providers have filters that automatically put suspicious content in the appropriate folder.
  2. Email messaging has a lower CTR and conversion rate.
  3. You need internet access to read emails. 
  4. The peculiarities of some visual elements make it difficult to view an email on a smartphone. 

These disadvantages may not completely outweigh the benefits of email marketing. Email messaging remains a good advertising tool for generating leads.

SMS vs email messaging: which channel to choose?

Comparing SMS and Email Marketing

Assessment parameter 

Sending SMS messages


Opening speed


Average - 30 days.

Click-through rate (CTR)




Less than 3% of SMS messages are considered spam

Nearly 85% of all email traffic ends up in spam


It usually takes the user 90 seconds to reply to a text message.

It usually takes the recipient 90 minutes to reply to an email.


6.6 billion people in the world have a smartphone

4.1 billion people in the world have email

Text volume


No limit

The speed of obtaining information

In 90% of cases, the message is read in the first 3 minutes

It can take up to 2 days from the moment you send an email to it being read.


Small standard text messages 

Endless possibilities for visualizing content

Analysis capability

For delivery information, follow the link

The complete delivery report in integration with Google Analytics

In conclusion

SMS and email messaging are effective marketing strategy tools that will not lose popularity in the next decade. They are actively introduced by large and small businesses to promote products and services. 

Most marketers advise using SMS and email messaging in pairs to increase the effectiveness of an advertising campaign. For example, information about new deliveries in the store can be sent via email messaging, and service notifications via SMS. 

Whether you're new to text messaging marketing or looking to move to a new platform, Decision Telecom has you covered. The company provides simple, reliable, and flexible business SMS solutions that can already be integrated into your marketing strategy. Sign up today to try the service for free!

SMS messaging is considered a smarter investment in marketing resources. Even if your primary communication channel is email, SMS is a great way to build brand awareness and build long-term customer relationships.

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