Text vs. email is another long-standing debate where opinions are weighed in heavily beyond their common traits. But unlike other marketing debates where either party comes in on equal terms, perhaps this showdown looks more like a rout than a dogfight.

As mentioned, there are similarities between these two: in current times, both take advantage of a demographic that views information on their smartphones. Both aim to attract customers to act immediately despite an obvious challenge of trying to convey a message in a minimal window. They’re quick and concise, and most of all, are readily available means of marketing. Both also take advantage of mobile technologies such as QR codes and near-field communications (both protocols can still make use of either marketing formats).

SMS Marketing: Initiative, Speed, Response

The buck stops here, however, and the text vs. email war becomes more obvious. If we look at text message marketing, there are obvious advantages. For instance, SMS is viewed far more often than emails. Studies have shown that 72% of mobile phone owners use SMS more often than emailers. Reading text messages are faster, too, a whopping 98% of texts are read compared to 22% of emails on devices – clearly a bigger edge, as SMS features have been used for more than a decade compared to email on mobile (which, unfortunately, could fill up your inboxes with thousands of spam messages). Finally, the response that comes from text is immediate – with the help of a protocol for keyword responses from SMS senders, getting a response from a consumer is more immediate.

Email Marketing: Visual Appeal, Brand Awareness, Dynamic Content

On the other (but no so far) end of the spectrum, email marketing has a greater amount of variation because it is more visual. Emails can be designed to appeal to consumers immediately, and it shows – around 75% of consumers prefer that their favorite brands to be received via their inbox. While receiving promotions via SMS is faster, it doesn’t change the fact that it looks like a wall of text. Email promotions feature graphics and large buttons that redirect a user to company websites or promo pages. Also, when viewing it from an email marketer’s perspective, content is always key. While we do read SMS far more frequently, there is this sense of relevant information to come into our SMS inboxes, and like anything that looks nonsensical to a consumer, gets deleted just as fast as it is read and availed. This makes the text vs. email discussion more interesting because it always comes down to the content that needs to get out there.

In the perspective of any business, however, is that for the most part, both forms of marketing should still be used together. By virtue of the user base that are dependent on mobile devices, what’s more important is that the consumer gets the message, and with both formats catering mobile phones, there is a higher guarantee that your demographic will receive your promotions compared to just using one. So until one of these messaging systems are rendered obsolete, then the marketing battle of text vs. email will not be as critical in years to come (although marketing gods may be smiling at SMS more at the moment).

Email Marketing vs. SMS Marketing