SMS Marketing Statistics

SMS Marketing VS Email Marketing

There are four key SMS marketing statistics when comparing SMS to email marketing.

  1. Did you know 90% of all emails are spam? Compare that to only 1% of text messages.
  2. Did you know that only 34% of people use their mobile phones to email? Compare that to 72% of people who use text messaging on their mobile phones.
  3. Did you know that only 22% of all emails are opened? Compare that to 98% of text messages.
  4. Did you know the average person receives 1,216 emails per month? Compare that to only 178 text messages.

These four points are highlighted below in the following infographics. Can you now see why SMS marketing has one of the highest returns when it comes to your business’s marketing dollars?

Infographic comparing the text message spam to email spam

Infogrpahic comparing text message usage to email on the mobile phone usage

Infographic comparing text message open rates to email open rates

Infographic comparing the amount of text messages received to emails received


Open Rates

When customers are looking at pricing for SMS marketing, they often compare it to the price of email marketing. From a quick glance, SMS marketing can cost almost 3 times as much per message as email marketing. When you compare SMS open rates to email open rates, it’s a very different story. If you are a restaurant, the average email marketing open rate is 26.17%, compared to 98% for SMS marketing. Below you will find a graph representing the SMS open rates V.S. Email open rates.



As you can imagine, the difference between SMS open rates and email open rates have a significant impact on the cost. Not the cost per message sent, but the cost per message opened. If you really think about it, doesn’t it make sense for a restaurant to compare SMS marketing costs to email marketing costs on the messages that are actually opened by their customers, rather than the messages sent? Below you will find a graph representing not only the cost between sent messages but more importantly the cost per opened messages. As you can see, with regards to cost per opened message, SMS marketing takes the win when compared to email marketing.

Sources: Email marketing pricing taken from Mailchimp’s pay-as-you-go plan of 2,000 credits. Industry benchmarks are taken from Mailchimp.

Redemption Rates

Here at Tatango we always get asked how SMS marketing compares to email marketing, and more specifically how SMS marketing redemption rates compare to email marketing redemption rates. We have some good news, as a recent Forrester report was able to shed a little light on the topic. The report cited that Jack-in-the-Box SMS marketing redemption rates were 3-4 times higher than that of their email marketing redemption rates.

Why are SMS marketing redemption rates so higher when compared to email marketing redemption rates? Let me explain…

First, do your customers open your promotions. The average retail open rate for email marketing is only 22.54%, where the average open rate for SMS marketing is 99%. That means right off the bat, your SMS marketing promotion is 4 times more likely to be seen by your customers when compared to your email marketing promotion.

Second, is that email marketing only has a 2.95% click-through rate for retailers. The average retail SMS marketing click-through rate is 36%.

When you combine the high open rates & click-through rates of SMS marketing, you can start to see why SMS marketing for brands like Jack-in-the-Box has a 3-4 times higher redemption rate than their email marketing efforts.

Oh, did we also mention that 90% of all text messages are read within 3 minutes of being received on the mobile phone? Yea, email doesn’t even stand a chance when it comes to SMS marketing redemption rates.


What Do Customers Prefer?

Email marketing vs. text message marketing, one of the most debated mobile marketing topics. Nowadays though, a brand can’t just communicate with customers through one channel, which makes the whole email vs. text message debate irrelevant in my opinion.

So how does a brand determine which on which marketing channels to communicate with customers? It’s actually pretty simple. Check out the chart below, which was created by MessageSystems, from a survey that they and Google administered to 500 consumers in the United States.

Email Marketing vs Text Marketing - Statistics

As you’ll see in the chart, customers want to be communicated to via email marketing, text message marketing, snail mail, social media, and even in-app push messages. My advice if you’re trying to figure out which marketing channels to focus on, start at the top with the most preferred channels, then work your way down to the other marketing channels as your marketing budget permits.

What you never want to do is work your way up through the different types of marketing channels. It makes no sense to build an app, then start sending in-app push messages if only 3.38% of your customers want you to contact them through that channel.

Interested in how email marketing redemption rates compare to text message marketing redemption rates? Check out this blog post.

Survey conducted by Google Consumer Surveys during September 11-14, 2014. The full results of their survey can be found here.

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