Email vs. Text Message; the Battle for Marketing Supremacy


Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 3.30.15 PMEver since the Blackberry first captured our hearts and eyes, those of us old enough to remember the scroll wheel on the side, have been glued to these handheld computers we call Smartphones.  Like addicts, scrolling, waiting, checking, we jump at the opportunity to receive and respond instantly to the email from clients or colleagues; affirming for all that we are constantly connected.  Our constant connectivity has only encouraged the use of email marketing which floods our personal and professional inboxes to no end.  Around the same time as the Crackberry addiction took America by storm, another medium, Text Messaging, was also on the rise.  More personal, standard across devices and extremely efficient, Text Messaging would quickly become the most popular form of communication in the country and what was once only for FHA market segment now reaches teens and baby boomers alike; text is here to stay.  Which will win the battle for marketing supremacy as Email and Text square off?


Email, the veteran (used loosely) of the match up has numerous advantages as we know – it’s cost effective, efficient, drives traffic, easy to manage and can produce a substantial ROI if done correctly.  However, as they say, the devil’s in the details.  Today, 62% of all emails are opened from a mobile device and 95% of email are opened on only one device, so when they open it on their phone, their most likely not re-opening it on their PC later on.  Couple that with the fact that 70% of consumers delete emails immediately that don’t render well on a mobile device the picture becomes pretty clear; your emails better format for mobile or you’re going to lose your chance at making an impression with your consumer.


This of course is easier said than done.  Creating email blasts that format across all devices (not knowing where someone will open it) is still not as easy as one would think it would be by now.  In addition, you have a lot more screen sizes and device types to account for now than you did when it was just the Blackberry.

Text Messaging on the other hand is still relatively simple, confined to 160 characters, standard across devices and networks.  While there is a hard cost associated with each Text Message sent, the cost is low compared to other forms of marketing, especially when you take into account the effectiveness of this medium.


90% of all Text Messages are read within 3 minutes.  As another author put it “if this doesn’t make you want to start using text messaging in your business right now, I don’t know what will”.  Well perhaps this next stat will put you over the top, the open rate of text messages is 98% compared with 22% of Emails.  This head-to-head comparison does not bode well for Email in this match up.  Compare text message to Print and you’ll find mobile offers are redeemed 10X more frequently than print offers.  I know I know, who dragged print into this?

So who prevails in the battle for marketing supremacy?  A valid and well supported argument can be made for both.  What it those arguments will really come down to is the strategy behind how each is used.  Each can provide substantial ROI and drive direct traffic to your brand and assets.  What’s your strategy?