Email vs SMS: How do they stack up?
- The key differences between email and SMS
- Which channel is best for you
You’ve been using email to reach out to your customers for as long as you can remember. It’s easy, it works, and it’s familiar. But is it the best way to connect, or is SMS text messaging a better solution
Email vs. SMS Messaging
|Cost||✅ Low. There may be costs associated with any software needed to send business emails, but there’s no cost-per-email.||✅ Varies. Depending on your provider your cost-per-message can vary. Additionally, the carriers are adding new fees to business text messaging channels.|
|Engagement||Low. Only about 20% of emails are opened, and it can take upwards of an hour for them to be opened.||✅ Very high. 98% of SMS are opened, often within the first 3 minutes of being received.|
|Message length||✅ Emails are perfect for long-form communications. There’s no functional limit on the length of an email, though keeping it brief and to the point is still recommended (no one wants to read a novel in their inbox).||SMS is limited to 160 characters for plain text messages and 70 for any messages that include unicode or emojis. Longer messages can be split into multiple text messages. That means you need to keep your messages short, to the point, and engaging!|
|Timely||No. Because of its lower engagement rates, email isn’t a good channel if you have timely messages that require immediate action. Most people don’t check their email every 10 minutes, so timely alerts and promotions can get lost.||✅ Yes. Thanks to higher engagement rates, SMS is perfect for sending time-sensitive messages to your customers and users. We always have our phones with us and SMS doesn’t require any special app to be installed on the phone, making it the perfect channel for timely alerts, promotions, and reminders.|
|Delivery insights||Many of your users may not be receiving your emails and you don’t have any idea.||✅ With Bandwidth SMS, you have peace of mind that your communications are being delivered to your end user.|
Which channel is best for you?
The answer is BOTH!
Adding SMS to your communications stack enables you to scale your communication strategy and reach your customers and users in the way that makes the most sense.
Need to send a longform message with lots of embedded media and maybe some attachments? Email is perfect.
Need to send an appointment reminder to prevent a no-show or let your customers know about a new promotion you’re running? SMS should be your go-to channel.