Emails marketing sent and received on a laptop

Email marketing has witnessed quite a journey since Gary Thuerk sent the first mass emails back in 1978 that resulted in sales worth $13 million. Over the years, email marketing has been widely accepted as a cost-effective direct marketing channel to reach out to customers. 

However, marketers in the present day realize email marketing messages are not as effective as they used to be. As customers get flooded with spam messages, a majority of the emails remain unread in the spam folder or the trash. With businesses being unable to connect with their target audience due to the email marketing disadvantages we are going to cover in this article, text marketing is quickly proving itself as a way to reliably complement existing marketing strategies.     

3 Drawbacks of Email Marketing

The statistics related to email marketing have shown a clear shift as subscribers get more accustomed to solicited and unsolicited emails in their inboxes. Even if they do not unsubscribe immediately, recipients get used to ignoring emails that are not relevant. 

The following are three prominent drawbacks of email marketing that create a communication gap between your business and your target audience:    

Low Open Rate

Though the open rates of emails differ by industry, on average only about 5-15% of emails get opened; the rest either get stuck in the spam folder or just simply do not appeal to the user. This could be due to a lack of personalization, irrelevant marketing information, or a campaign frequency that feels too aggressive.

Out of the limited number of opened emails, an average of only 7.8% get clicks, which shows the poor rate of audience engagement characteristic of email marketing. This significantly impacts your marketing efforts and your attempts to connect with your customers. 

Design Compatibility Issues

At least 50% of opened emails are viewed on smartphones. Yet, not all of them are readable on mobile platforms. Emails full of HTML images or those built on templates not optimized for mobile devices prevent recipients from properly seeing the messages on their phones. Worst of all, such emails can cause subscribers to delete them within three seconds of receiving them. 

With this big split in how your messages are seen, it can be hard to know which format to prioritize. This significant drawback of email marketing can cause your recipients to quickly unsubscribe.

Spam Filters

It is estimated that 45.3% of total email traffic across the globe is spam. Around 14.5 billion spam email messages get distributed every day. This huge number of undesirable email messages in circulation each day can cause the spam filters in many email servers to accidentally block messages the recipient might actually want to receive. This is simply another potential barrier to reaching your customers that is caused by relying on email as your marketing platform. 

The CAN-SPAM Act makes it risky for companies to use email marketing, as they must pay heavy penalties if the email marketing messages are not found to be complying with the law.

You can address these shortcomings of email marketing with text marketing or SMS marketing, which provides a quick, reliable, and cost-effective way to connect with your customers.    

Email Marketing Disadvantages vs. SMS Marketing Advantages

Unlike email marketing, SMS marketing offers instant visibility of your marketing message to the target audience. Though subscribers commonly read both email and text marketing messages on their phones, they interact more quickly and more often with text messages, which is reflected in the SMS marketing statistics we see. 

Here are a few major benefits of SMS marketing to outweigh the known email marketing disadvantages:

Higher Open Rates and Read Rates

Compared to the poor open rate of email marketing messages of about 5-15%, the open rate of text messages is as high as 98%. Around 95% of text messages are read within the first 3 minutes.

Effective Tracking 

While the performance of email marketing campaigns can be tracked by parameters such as open rate, click-through rate (CTR), bounce rate, and others, the effectiveness of text marketing campaigns can be tracked through third-party integrated systems such as CRMs. This gives you more visibility of your sales funnel. 

Increased Engagement

SMS marketing has a six times higher engagement rate than email marketing with an average response time of only 90 seconds. The CTR of text messages is also higher, at an average of 9.18%. Leveraging these high-engagement metrics with high-quality, engaging marketing content can lead to a very high return on investment (ROI)

With such advantages, marketers find text marketing to be an effective way to reach out to their audience. But this does not mean that the days of email marketing are over. While text marketing is a quicker and more reliable way to get marketing messages seen by customers, email marketing provides a level of detail that text marketing cannot accomplish within the typical limit of 160 characters.      

Complementing Email Marketing with the Strengths of SMS Marketing

SMS marketing can be best described as a cost-effective and direct marketing method to support your overall marketing strategy. However, to see these benefits requires that you have the right SMS delivery platform. 

Some of the key features to look for in an SMS delivery platform are:


Personalization is the key to strike the right chord with your audience, and text marketing helps you achieve that more effectively than email marketing. With an auto-response feature, you can send real-time replies to your customers and quickly provide them the information they desire; thus, helping you convert recipients into loyal customers.    


Want to take the pulse of your audience to help inform your marketing strategy? Surveys are a great way to understand your subscribers’ responses and what they are looking for. The right SMS marketing platform will provide surveys right within the message as opposed to linking out to other websites. Linking out is a surefire way to stifle engagement with your audience and lose valuable responses. 

User Groups

Similar to audience segmentation in email marketing, user groups in text marketing helps you create marketing messages intended for specific audience demographics, thus providing your audience with the curated content that’s right for them. 

Incoming Message Dashboard

With an SMS marketing platform, you can organize the full breadth messages you send to the subscribers to initiate one-on-one conversations. Organization is one of the keys to a stress-free and successful campaign.

Full Audit Trail

Text messages also come under the purview of the CAN-SPAM Act and as a marketer, you’ll really want to keep tabs on all text messages sent and received to be sure you comply with legal obligations. The right SMS marketing platform will automatically do this for you to help keep you compliant and free from liability. 

Last but not the least, a text marketing platform needs to be cost-effective. The low cost of email campaigns was a big draw for marketers in the first place and serves as a benchmark for the cost of bulk text messages. There is no reason you need to spend all of your marketing budget to send effective text messages to your audience. 

With the right SMS marketing platform, you can seamlessly and effectively connect with your audience in real-time at a price you can afford.

In light of these email marketing disadvantages, NorthText’s user-friendly and affordable SMS marketing platform helps you create text messages with all these mentioned features to complement your overall marketing efforts. For quick and easy answers to any questions you have, contact us by phone or text at (312) 869-9070.