Email VS SMS

Email VS SMS: Which Channel To Choose For Lead Generation As A Small Business Owner

Email VS SMS

In today’s hypercompetitive business world, no modern business can function without lead generation. Most companies have a pipeline of qualified and unqualified leads who have shown interest in the product or service.

Lead generation is as much an art as a science because you need to combine several skills to generate the best sales leads for your business.

Since the competition for lead generation is immense, it is imperative that every small business needs to work on generating leads. Eventually, those leads turned into customers are what will get that “small business” title out of them and turn it into a “market leader.”

Nowadays, businesses have a wide choice from a handful of marketing channels for lead generation. The marketing channel choice can severely affect the quality and quantity of those leads.

Marketers have used email marketing, SMS marketing, and push notifications for lead generation in the past few years. These three are now the most commonly used channels for lead generation.

In this article, we will focus on and compare email marketing vs. SMS marketing because they are more relevant and affordable for small businesses. We will also compare both of these mediums with each other in terms of advantages and disadvantages.

Email Marketing For Small Business Lead Generation

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Email is one of the most popular lead generation channels. It has been around for more than two decades. Email communication as a method of marketing started in the mid-1990s with the advent of the Internet and has become the most widely used marketing medium over these years.

Today, it is still included in every company’s marketing strategy as a channel with the highest ROI (return on investment).Almost 300 billion emails are sent each day, and the number is expected to rise further as more first-time internet users start using email in developing countries.

Email messages are more practical since they allow you to include feature-rich multimedia items such as images, videos, animations, etc. along with catchy and attention-grabbing headlines. Besides, the email also gives room for more personalized and creative messages.

With all its advantages, email still doesn’t have a high reputation since many spammers have abused it continuously. This wave of spamming has led to a general mistrust of marketing and promotional emails among consumers. This, in turn, leads to lower opening rates and even lower click-through rates for email marketing.

Email is also more prevalent among older generations like millennials. Generations that come after them tend to avoid emails in favor of other communication methods such as social media messengers and SMS. On this note, here are some pros and cons of email for lead generation.


  • Gives a much broader room in terms of the content
  • Has advanced analytical tools to monitor the most critical statistical data
  • Is affordable to use for lead generation for small businesses


  • Has around 20% open rates, which is way lower than SMS
  • Recipients spam, block or delete over 50% of emails
  • Consumers have lost their trust in email and view any marketing email with suspicion


SMS Marketing For Small Business Lead Generation

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Although text messages have been around for decades, SMS marketing (otherwise known as text blast) is a relatively new mobile marketing channel. Text messages gained popularity with the rise of mobile phones. Moreover, SMS marketing is an even newer invention as marketers have only recently started using text messages for marketing.

SMS is an even better medium for lead generation than email, and several statistics prove this. According to the Daily Egg Marketing, almost 98% of text messages are read, or at least opened. This is nearly five times the 20% ratio for email messages.

Text messages have an edge in terms of response rates as well. The same study claims that 45% of text messages get a response from recipients, which is almost eight times more than the 6% response rate for email messages.

Text messages are extremely popular among millennials who hate the time it takes to reply to an email and use text messages as their preferred communication medium. Millennials are already the largest generation in the world, and most brands consider them the most critical demographic for their marketing target audience.

The volume of text messages sent for marketing is minuscule when compared with email. However, it is growing at an exponential rate with each passing year. SMS marketing is way better than email for lead generation if we consider the available statistics of response rates and open rates. Besides, a poll done by “Business2Community” asserts that 75% of people would prefer receiving offers through SMS rather than email. Here are some pros and cons of SMS marketing.


  • Users read and respond to text messages at a much faster rate. According to Forbes, 95% of SMS are read within 3 minutes, and readers respond to them in less than 90 seconds
  • SMS marketing has a much higher open and response rate as compared to email


  • SMS marketing is restricted in some countries.
  • The price may not be affordable if you plan to conduct campaigns outside your country


Final Thoughts

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SMS handily edges email for lead generation in almost all respects. More and more marketers are noticing this trend and prefer text marketing over email marketing for lead generation.

Nowadays, people use their phones on a 24/7 basis, and most people instantly pay attention to the incoming SMS.

Their phone reminds them of unread SMS via notifications, thus further boosting the effectiveness of text marketing.

SMS Marketing can replace your email marketing strategy with a more conventional approach to text communications. If you do not want to let email marketing go off, you can still use SMS marketing to complement it.

Consumers welcome such an approach too since they are open to multi-channel marketing, where they receive promotional information through different communication channels.

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