When you’re putting together a marketing plan for your business, you want to know exactly what strategy will reward you with the best bang for your buck, or return on investment (ROI). Since you’re here, you’re likely interested in the goliath that is the email marketing sector, or you’re curious about the up and coming idea of text marketing. Regardless, you want to find what will work best for your business, and we’ve already done the research for you!
When comparing email marketing to text marketing, you must know that they’re two separate entities and can both be rewarding and beneficial to your overall marketing plan. Using them in conjunction with one another can create a marketing plan that is both informative and interactive. Everyone’s business plan is different to an extent, so understanding how both email and text marketing can help your business grow their footprint in your respective niche is essential to choosing the right option for you.
Here’s everything you need to know about the two.
What is email marketing?
Email marketing has been around since 1978 when a man named Gary Thuerk sent an email campaign to 400 people that resulted in over $13 million in sales. This was before the internet was around for the public to use, so direct marketing was done the traditional way of sending mail directly to someone’s home in hopes that they would enjoy your product enough to send a letter back with interest in your business. The true rise of email marketing began in the 1990’s with AOL becoming the main email service provider to the masses. Email marketing as a whole is very simple. You gather a list of email addresses, whether it be through purchases of your product, subscriptions to your email list, or opt-ins to obtain free products. This list of consumers will be the recipients of your email marketing campaign where you try to either sell a product, warm a prospect that is unsure of your product, or just inform someone about services you offer. It’s widely accepted as one of the best forms of direct to consumer marketing and has been very successful for businesses all across the world.
What is text marketing?
In simplest terms, text, or SMS, marketing is a way that businesses send out communications to their customers via targeted opt-in text messages sent to their phone. Marketing content can include anything from,
- weekly specials,
- tips or
- general company alerts.
It is arguably the fastest method of communication from business to consumer and is rapidly becoming the biggest way that businesses choose to share information. Because we have become a world that is within constant reach of our phones and use them for nearly everything, text messaging is the new normal when it comes to sharing information and building relationships.
From dating apps to grocery pickup orders and breaking news via social media we have everything we need at our fingertips. Businesses are taking advantage of this all-in-one ideology by marketing to their customers in the most customer-centric way. Just like email marketing, text marketing is an opt-in requirement for all customers. They must opt in, or subscribe, to start receiving messages and can opt out, or unsubscribe, at any point.
How are they comparable?
When comparing text and email marketing, there are 5 key elements that businesses generally review to determine whether one or both methods should be included in their marketing plan.
- Open Rate
In a world where we have everything at all fingertips, and are often found multitasking through various forms of technology, the biggest uphill climb marketers have to face is grabbing the attention of the consumer on a consistent basis. A large determining factor in whether to choose text or email marketing marketing lies in the idea of open rate. How quickly and how often are your business’ correspondence being viewed and opened? According to research, 98% of text message campaigns are opened, while only 20% of emails are. This is a huge difference and can play a big role in overall conversion. Another aspect is the reply factor. A text message is typically responded to within 90 seconds as compared to 90 minutes with email. If you are looking for analytical backing, open rate is proof that text marketing is effective.
- Click-through rate (CTR)
CTR refers to the action a customer takes when receiving a message with a call to action, or CTA. The rate fully depends on how well the CTA is written within the message and how much it drives the customer to want to click it to see more. Simply, this rate is determined by how often you send a link, via email or text, versus how often it is clicked on by the customer. In both instances, the customer must open your message and click on a link that takes them to another location based on the content provided. Opening the message does not turn over a positive CTR. On average, CTR for email marketing is about 4%, while text hovers a bit higher around 10%. Remember that crafting a compelling CTA can be a bit more challenging based on the limitation in character count.
Some statistics show that almost half of all emails get delivered right to a customer’s spam folder. Direct access to the marketing content you are trying to provide is key to positive conversion rates. Because consumers opt into text message notifications, you have a more direct audience of people who already want to hear from you. With email, it’s a bit more challenging because your target audience and recipient base is, most likely, broader and less warm than the latter. Another aspect to take note of is the amount of emails versus texts received by a standard consumer. Generally, a person will receive a lot less text messages, making it more likely for them to catch their interest versus an inbox full of advertising. Depending on your target audience though, you may find that you receive a higher ROI in email marketing or vice versa. Take time to know your ideal client base and cater to their needs.
When it comes to creativity and the ability to customize your messages, email marketing takes the cake. With email marketing you can include things as simple as your logo and custom signature to higher end items like embedded images, moving graphics, hyperlinks and videos. Email marketing allows you to use visuals to speak to the consumer before they even begin to read the words. With texts, messages cannot include too many entities or they feel overwhelming and spammy. Keep it simple when it comes to creativity on the text marketing side of things.
There are different variables to consider when comparing pricing and ROI with email and text marketing. Generally speaking, email marketing is the most price effective way to send non-urgent messages to a large scale audience. Depending on who and where you send the text message marketing ads to, the price can be relatively comparable, not costing more than standard email marketing. Examples of ways that cost could be increased would be sending out-of-country texts or creating elaborately designed email marketing campaigns that would be a larger hit to your total overhead. When comparing apples to apples though, costs between the two are matched up nicely.
What type of marketing is most effective?
Realistically, for most businesses, the ideal marketing option is a mix of both email and text campaigns. Both options are investments for your business, so try them out and determine which ones bring in the most ROI and highest conversion rates. When using both, consider the email marketing side to be the way to build strong relationships with your current and potential customers while increasing your brand footprint across your respective niche. Use text marketing as a way to share quick and easy updates with your current customers and invite them to take action on your specific campaign.