SMS vs Email. How do they compare?

SMS vs Email. How do they compare?

We often get questions about SMS versus email when it comes to marketing. It’s a great question—since they’re similar in many ways.

To get a grasp on the email marketing landscape, we turned to Mailchimp’s Email Benchmarks (as of June 2020). If you have time, take a look at it and compare it with your own.

Next, we had a look at our own stats. Our platform sends millions of SMS messages per month, and we compiled the data for your viewing pleasure.

CTR Open Rate Reach Time Opt-outs Complaints CPS
SMS 9.97% 98% 3 mins 2.21% 0.21% 1.6¢-7.9¢*
Email 2.62% 21.33% 47 mins 0.28% 0.37% 1¢-3¢*

Elements of Control: In order to accurately compare email and SMS pricing, the above CPS price is from a prepaid pricing model.

  1. SMS CPS: Pricing varies depending on country (eg. US: 1.6¢-4.9¢; AU: 4.9¢-7.9¢; UK: 1.9p-2.5p; SG: 4.9¢)
  2. Email CPS: Pricing based on MailChimp’s publicly listed pay-per-use pricing structure

If you take the statistics above at face value, it looks like you should stop email marketing and use SMS instead. But there are many other factors that you should consider—like your return on investment and your marketing goals.

Both SMS and email have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. You may find that SMS is better for reminders, coupons, and 2FA messages—anything that is quick. On the other hand, emails are better for product launches and visual and educational content.

We believe that both email and SMS are complementary services and that you should have both as part of your marketing stack, and the fact that many of our customers use our Email to SMS service adds to that narrative.

Additional Statistics

Here are some additional stats we found that you may find interesting:

  • It can take up to 90 minutes for someone to respond to an email; and 90 seconds to respond to a text message (HubSpot)
  • Only 12% of Facebook posts and 29% of Twitter posts get read (Digital Marketing Magazine)
  • 75% of people prefer offers sent via SMS instead of mobile app notifications or internet ads (Digital Marketing Magazine)
  • Humans have an 8-second attention span, 1-second less than a goldfish (Burst SMS)
  • SMS messages have a response rate of 45%; emails have 6% (Marketing Profs)
If you’re not already a Burst SMS customer, give our online SMS service a try with our 14-day trial. No obligations and no credit card required.