Email Marketing vs SMS vs Social Media - Things to Know

Biz Advisory
Insider Insights
Marketing & Branding

29 Jul 2022 • Bacaan 3 minit

There can be no doubt that email marketing is an essential platform for any digital marketer looking to cement and grow their brand with their audience. But email marketing is not the only avenue available to businesses looking to make an impact. The common question that comes back then is: how do I choose which platform I want to go with?


Good question! It is important to recognise the strengths and weaknesses of the various digital platforms available to you and your market before you make a decision on where to funnel your marketing Ringgit. Being able to identify the traits that differentiate each of these avenues can help you to make a more informed decision with your budget, carving out the best possible balance you can get without losing out. Let’s get into it.


SMS Marketing VS Email Marketing


This form of marketing has seen a resurgence in popularity, especially when pandemic protocols grew tighter. The National Security Council uses it to great effect, with almost daily messages providing updates and reminders to Malaysians to follow safe distancing measures. Love it or hate it, SMS is still relevant today for its ability to reach subscribers quickly and cater to that segment of consumers that do not possess a smartphone and do not read emails. 


SMS Marketing comes with the following unique factors:


  • Short and Sweet: With an SMS, you won’t be beating around the bush. Constraints by character limits, you want to make sure that your messaging is punchy and straight to the point. Cut out all the fluff and go with what you want to say.

  • Lack of Customisation: The caveat to this, of course, is that your messages will lack any other features. That means no videos, graphics or logos; brands looking to capitalise on striking fonts and eye-catching visuals will want to look elsewhere. Email marketing campaigns on the other hand allow you to create stunning templates for your marketing purposes. Services like Enginemailer even come with pre-made templates to suit a variety of needs!

  • Great open rates: SMS marketing enjoys the highest open rates among its competitors, skipping the need for consumers to check their email apps and going straight into phone SMS notifications. SMS open rates can reach as high as 98%, while email marketing open rates generally average around 20-30%.

  • Costly: The cost of an SMS campaign is typically much higher than an email marketing campaign, meaning a much lower Return on Investment (ROI). Marketers working with lower budgets may want to think twice if they’re looking to reach a wide audience. On average, for every one SMS sent, you can send out 20 emails. Email marketing still has the highest ROI compared to any other digital marketing platform, providing an impressive 4,400% ROI!


social media marketing


Social Media Marketing VS Email Marketing


The darling of consumers; social media is hip, trendy and very much connected to the pulse of the now. At least if you know where to look. Spanning a number of different platforms with more cropping up by the day, venturing into social media is a daunting task even for experienced marketers. But with the risks come rewards:


  • Viral Content: Even casual users will be familiar with the phrase ‘viral marketing. These are the posts that get picked up by their intended audiences, and get shared widely through their respective communities and friend groups. Strong messages, delivered with the perfect punch to the right group of people will help brands reach this pinnacle of marketing, helping to establish strong brand recognition for the duration that their content continues to be popular. And while you can do the same with an email campaign, social media platforms are better structured for the immediate sharing of content.

  • Getting Cancelled: Going viral does not necessarily have to be a good thing. Plenty of brands have found themselves on the wrong end of a debate, with audiences calling them out for reasons ranging from insensitivity and tone-deafness to bad practices from the brand name and even the industry in general. With social media forming two-way conversations between you and your customers, you should be prepared to be able to react if your messaging goes wrong. Being cancelled can have serious consequences for a company ill-prepared to deal with the fallout. 

  • Different Platforms, Different Requirements: Social media platforms are not built equal. A beautiful poster crafted for Facebook may not work when ported directly into Twitter or Instagram. Your audiences on the Lowyat forum may not resonate with the same message as well as those on Reddit. When crafting a campaign, you will need to consider your demographics and tailor content to suit them.

    While you will need to segment your audience even for email marketing, your biggest concern when crafting a campaign will be making sure it is mobile-friendly. Whether sent out to students or working adults, your campaigns will look great as long as they fit on the audience’s screen.

  • Low Reach: No matter how well-crafted that campaign message is, it will likely never reach as many customers as you would have compared to SMS or email marketing. In most cases, owning a social media account requires users to own an email address. That is to say, your audience on social media will likely already have access to email, but not all email users will be on the same social media platforms as your brand.

    In addition, while social media is a great tool for generating awareness, brands will need to find ways of capturing the data of their consumers for future campaigns. Running ads on social media can be costly, and doing it for extended periods to continue attempting to reach out to the same group of users is not ideal.

    On the flip side, once you have the data of those consumers, swapping to a lower-cost platform like email marketing will allow you to reach out to your audience and have better control of your message. This rings especially true when social platforms have a penchant for going down for long periods of time without warning, losing businesses' potential revenue from consumers unable to access their platforms.

    And don’t be too quick to trust those numbers you see on your social media dashboard; the numbers have been shown to have been deceiving on several occasions. Email marketing tools are well equipped to deliver accurate results to inform you of user behaviour, helping you better decide your next action and to segment them into the appropriate channels.


engine mailer


Every platform has its pros and cons, and you will find that certain forms of marketing work better on one as opposed to the other. Always take into consideration the needs of your brand and your marketing goals for your campaigns when deciding how to spread your marketing budget. Whether you decide to diversify your efforts into multiple platforms or focus them on one will depend on the answers you find.


If you’re looking for an email marketing tool that provides you with all you need to get started, look no further than Enginemailer. Our easy-to-use tools will have you creating a range of fun and unique emails that are sure to wow your audience and keep them hooked for life. Sign up for our Free Forever plan today and send up to 10,000 emails a month.


This article was contributed by Enginemailer

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