October 10, 2023
Lauren Platero

SMS Marketing vs Email Marketing: 11 Key Differences

SMS marketing vs email marketing is a common debate when drafting a restaurant business plan. After all, the restaurant industry is full of intense competition. To thrive and unlock all the growth opportunities available to eateries, it’s vital that you speak directly to your ideal customer profile

In this article, we’re going to outline the details regarding SMS marketing vs email marketing in the restaurant space. What makes them unique from one another? Which features are the same across the board? We’ll answer everything from A to Z. By the end, you’ll have a much clearer idea whether an SMS or email marketing strategy will best suit your business.

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SMS Marketing vs Email Marketing: 11 Key Differences 

Making the decision to grow a restaurant email list or text marketing database will do wonders for your business. But which route should you choose? Below, you’ll learn about all the distinct differences about restaurant email marketing and SMS promotions. 

This list should serve as a guide, allowing you to pick whether to draft extensive email communications or SMS restaurant marketing samples. Now, read on for all there is to know!

1. SMS Marketing Is Strictly Geared for Mobile Devices

For obvious reasons, text marketing is suitable for mobile devices only. Though this might seem limiting, it’s actually ideal for direct marketing initiatives. Just think about how frequently people are checking their phones. For the longest time, emails were the most direct form of communication. But due to the mainstream use of smartphones, SMS messages might take this spot.

2. Email Marketing Exists On Desktop and Mobile Devices 

Emails are a bit more diverse than texts, as they can be designed for both desktop and mobile interfaces. This allows marketing professionals to be much more creative in their designs, copy, and visual elements. There are so many restaurant email campaign ideas to implement. Luckily, email campaign builders can allow for endless design concepts.

3. SMS Marketing Copy Is More Straightforward and Brief

SMS campaigns need to be straightforward and short. For one, they’re sent right to a person’s mobile device. You need to make sure that no matter what they’re doing, they can promptly read your message. Plus, text marketing platforms typically have a limited character count. So even if you wanted to send a bit longer of a message, there’s a good chance that it’s not doable.

4. Email Marketing Campaigns Include More Multimedia Elements  

It’s totally acceptable for email campaigns to be lengthier than text advertisements. With this in mind, they often contain various forms of media. Still photography videos, and gifs are just a few examples. Plus, it’s common to use templates, color palettes, and varying fonts. In fact, the more visually appealing, the better.

5. SMS Campaigns Often Have a Direct Call to Action (CTA)

Text campaigns have to be short and sweet. With a limited number of characters, SMS marketing is direct and to the point. Therefore, the CTA is front and center. Maybe you’re suggesting that customers should order tonight’s dinner via delivery. Or, perhaps you’re showcasing other restaurant marketing efforts like promo codes. Regardless, recipients will know right away.  

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6. Email Campaigns Include Links to Multiple Outlets

Email alerts often have links to more than just the CTA. For instance, while you might be redirecting the reader to an app download page, there may also be clickable links to the eCommerce site. Or, there may also be hyperlinked icons to the business’ social media pages. Is the social media ROI a metric you’re tracking regularly? If so, your email campaigns may be where a portion of engagement is coming from.

7. SMS Marketing Campaigns Have Higher Open Rates

People tend to open text messages much quicker than emails. Plus, they are rarely left ignored. Not only do SMS marketing campaigns have higher open rates, but they also have higher click-through rates (CTR). While emails only have a CTR of about 4 percent, texts have an average of 19 percent.

8. Email Marketing Initiatives Can Be the Less Expensive Option

It might be hard to believe that the more elaborate form of marketing can cost more money. However, this is likely due to the fact that SMS campaigns are so much more direct with higher click-through rates. After all, you get what you pay for! As a business owner or manager, you’re well aware of the many operating expenses associated with a restaurant business. So, check to see if SMS marketing vs email marketing will affect your restaurant marketing budget differently.

9. SMS Campaigns Are Better for Time-Sensitive Alerts 

Not everyone is at a computer to check their emails. Consequently, some people might not see an email alert in time for discounts, promotions, and other time-sensitive matters. However, it’s safe to say that everyone always has their phone with them. With this in mind, SMS marketing for restaurants is better during a time crunch. Whether your business is offering last minute dinner deals or after-hours promotions, you’ll likely capture more sales by sending a text instead of an email.

10. Email Marketing Strategies Must Abide By the CAN-SPAM Act

To conduct email marketing efforts, a business must obtain consent from the consumers. There are legislative acts and restrictions in place to protect people against unsolicited communications. To avoid legal issues, restaurants must be mindful of limitations in their jurisdiction. If not, fines and other consequences can hinder restaurant success. More importantly, it'll diminish any growth from the marketing efforts.

11. SMS Marketing Efforts Must Abide By the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)

Similarly to how businesses need to acquire consent for email marketing, the same rules apply for SMS marketing, too. They’re just under different acts, of course. In the United States, business owners must abide by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). This act protects people against unsolicited messages. Plus, it puts a limit on the number of automated messages businesses can send to their audience.

Revolution Ordering offers email and SMS features to hospitality businesses. Book a demo today to learn all about our integrations!

SMS vs Email Marketing: The Similarities 

When comparing SMS marketing vs email marketing, you’ll notice that they share a lot in common. Combining restaurant SMS marketing ideas and email marketing efforts would be the best of both worlds. Some o the most popular similarities include the following:

  • Customizable messaging and imagery 
  • The business owns the email and SMS lists 
  • SMS and email lists are cost-effective to build 
  • Texts and emails reach the target audience directly 
  • SMS and email platforms run on a monthly subscription basis
  • The ability to schedule texts and emails in advance 

Frequently Asked Questions About SMS Marketing vs Email Marketing 

As you can see, SMS marketing vs email marketing is pretty similar but with a few distinct differences. Want to learn more about them both? Check out the FAQ section below!

Which Is Better, SMS Marketing or Email Marketing?

Whether SMS or email marketing is better completely depends on a business’ needs and preferences. However, email marketing is better for communications that need to be more elaborate. Meanwhile, SMS marketing is better for time-sensitive topics.

What Are the Disadvantages of SMS Marketing? 

Some of the disadvantages of SMS marketing are as follows:

  • Limited number of characters
  • A lack of visual elements 
  • Just one call-to-action 
  • More expensive than email marketing

What Is the Success Rate of SMS Marketing?

SMS marketing has a very high success rate, with a click-through rate (CTR) of roughly 19 percent. This figure is much higher than email marketing, which only has an average CTR of about 4 percent. As you can see, SMS marketing is the way to go for quick and direct marketing efforts. 

Is SMS Effective for Marketing? 

Yes, SMS marketing is extremely effective. It boasts a CTR of about 19 percent. Plus, it’s one of the most direct ways that a business can reach its target audience.

Is SMS Marketing the Future? 

It’s safe to say that SMS marketing might be the future of B2C communications. As people are constantly on the go living busy lifestyles, it’s vital that businesses are as direct as humanly possible. With text marketing efforts, they can do just that, any day, and at any time.

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The Battle Between SMS Marketing vs Email Marketing Continues 

SMS marketing vs email marketing both offer hospitality businesses significant advantages. They are controlled and owned by the business, entail a great amount of personalization, and speak directly to the consumers. Oh, and they're cost-effective! When it comes to marketing, there’s really nothing else you can ask for.