Email vs SMS vs WhatsApp: Which is Best for Marketing

In today’s world, consumers spend a significant amount of time on conversational platforms, which has created new business opportunities. This has allowed companies to have closer relationships with their customers at every stage of the customer journey, from pre-sales and marketing, to post-purchase support.

Brands can save on operational costs while enhancing customer engagement activities. Consumers desire seamless shopping experiences and marketers, especially those who are innovative, are utilizing conversational channels to connect with their customers and potential customers.

The objective of modern marketing is to enhance the customer experience across various channels such as email, SMS, and WhatsApp. Let’s delve deeper to better understand the pros and cons of top customer engagement channels in marketing.

Exploring Email Marketing

Email marketing differs from other social media channels due to different audience groups’ varying preferences and behaviors. According to statistics, around 74% of baby boomers, 72% of generation X, 64% of millennials, and 60% of zoomers prefer email as a source of information from brands. Hence, businesses must understand the age demographics of their customers and prioritize the channels that best suit them.

Here are some interesting statistics on email marketing:

1. More than 80% of people click on a welcome email from a brand, which generates 4 times more opens and 10 times more clicks than other emails.

2. Higher click and open rates are achieved when brands send out 5 newsletters per week.

3. The average email click rate is 1.3% and the bounce rate is around 10.1%.

Email marketing is an important aspect of a comprehensive marketing strategy for several reasons:

1. Reach a large audience: Email marketing allows businesses to reach a large audience quickly and easily. With a single email, businesses can communicate with thousands of customers, subscribers, and prospects.

2. Personalization: Email marketing allows businesses to personalize their messages to their target audience, making the messages more relevant and engaging. Personalized emails can lead to higher open and click-through rates.

3. Cost-effective: Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to reach a large audience. It is much less expensive than traditional advertising methods such as direct mail or print advertising.

4. Measurable results: Email marketing allows businesses to track the success of their campaigns with detailed reporting and analytics. This information can be used to improve future campaigns and ensure that the email marketing efforts are delivering the desired results.

5. Improved customer relationships: By sending regular, relevant, and personalized emails to customers, businesses can build and strengthen their relationships with their audience. This can lead to increased customer loyalty and repeat business.

6. Increased brand awareness: Regular email marketing campaigns can help to increase brand awareness and keep a business top-of-mind with its target audience.

Overall, email marketing is an important tool for businesses looking to reach their target audience, build relationships, and achieve their marketing goals.

The Significance of SMS Marketing

One of the major advantages of SMS (short message service) marketing is its global reach and the ability to send messages without the internet. This channel enables businesses to connect with customers worldwide, particularly in areas where data is limited or not free for consumers.

SMS marketing is an effective tool for improving open rates, clicks, and customer engagement. It is an excellent way to break through the noise and drive revenue.

SMS marketing is considered important for several reasons:

1. High open rate: SMS has a high open rate compared to other forms of marketing such as email or social media. According to studies, the open rate for SMS marketing is as high as 98%, which means that almost all text messages are read by the recipient.

2. Targeted audience: SMS marketing allows businesses to reach a targeted audience directly and effectively. By sending text messages to only those who have opted-in to receive them, businesses can ensure that their messages are received by individuals who are interested in their products or services.

3. Timely delivery: Text messages are typically delivered and read within seconds, making SMS marketing an excellent way to send timely and urgent messages.

4. Cost-effective: SMS marketing is relatively inexpensive compared to other forms of advertising. Additionally, businesses can reach a large number of people through SMS marketing at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising methods.

5. Increased engagement: SMS marketing can help businesses increase engagement with their customers. For example, businesses can use SMS marketing to send reminders, promotions, and other special offers, which can help to drive sales and increase customer loyalty.

Overall, SMS marketing is a valuable tool for businesses looking to reach their customers effectively, increase engagement, and drive sales.

The Importance of WhatsApp Marketing

WhatsApp is a relatively new customer engagement channel with three variations:

1. The WhatsApp app is used by over 2 billion people worldwide.

2. The WhatsApp Business app, aimed at small businesses.

3. The WhatsApp Business API, suitable for large businesses and integrating WhatsApp capabilities into their software.

4. WhatsApp supports rich media such as images, videos, and gifs, making it easier for businesses to engage customers with interactive and visually appealing content. With over 2 billion users globally, WhatsApp is a widely used messaging app that offers bigger opportunities for marketers to have 1-to-1 conversations with businesses and customers.

5. The adoption of this channel will continue to grow in countries like Indonesia, the United States, South America, and Europe.


In conclusion, the choice of customer engagement channels depends on a business’s goals and target audience. To reach maximum coverage, businesses should consider a combination of channels, using email for newsletters, SMS for urgent notifications, and WhatsApp for promotions. Understanding the benefits of each channel is crucial in determining which ones will best meet a company’s objectives.

Written by: Venus Marwani