The Potential of SMS Marketing Vs Push Notification Marketing: Which is better ?

July 25, 2023 Julio Romero

Reading time about 8min


Which is Better: SMS Marketing or Push Notification Marketing?

Winback Team on Jun 25, 2021 8:35:50 AM

When it comes to eCommerce, utilizing high-performing advertising options is key to getting the sales that you want and expect. There are dozens of marketing options available today, but only a handful of them work well with minimal testing while delivering high returns.

In this article, we’ll look at two of the best marketing methods of today: SMS Marketing and Push Notification Ads.

We shall compare these two side-by-side to determine which one will work best for your business goals. Whether you are a tech-savvy business owner or someone who prefers to stick with tried-and-true marketing strategies, you’ll find something relevant here. Knowing the differences, similarities, and effectiveness of these marketing methods can help you make more informed decisions. Plus, you’ll learn the advantages and pitfalls of each one, which are crucial to your success.

What is SMS Marketing?

SMS Marketing is the process of sending targeted text messages to promote, educate, or provide consumers with information about a company’s offers. It’s a form of marketing that business owners and entrepreneurs often overlook. SMS is the acronym of short message service, and it has become a popular digital marketing strategy because of the ease with which text messages can be delivered.

Intuitively, you may think that this marketing technique is outdated and ineffective. You couldn’t be more wrong! SMS Marketing can increase customer engagement, drive traffic to your site or store, and provide you with valuable data about what works best for customers. Just imagine how many customers you could connect with if they were given a daily text message that offers them exclusive discounts, deals, and coupons just for being on your list!

According to CTIA, fifty-seven percent of people aged 18 to 29 use their mobile phones for messaging. In addition, it’s estimated that over two billion text messages are sent and received every day in the United States alone, making SMS Marketing a great way to reach consumers or re-engage with loyal customers who have checked out from your website.

Check out this complete guide to learn more about the ins and outs of SMS Marketing.

Advantages of SMS Marketing

  • Engagement

Inbound SMS Marketing allows you to share your offers and specials with the customers who gave their contact information. This is great for businesses with many other products or services lined up as they can cross-sell or promote to audiences that have already engaged with their company.

  • Reachability

Since messages don’t require internet or data access, consumers will still be able to receive and read your messages even if they’re in an area without service.

  • One-on-one marketing

You can segment your customers based on how they engaged with your website or if they purchased anything from you in the past. This helps you create a tailor-made promotion per customer segment. This means the offers can be customized to your customers’ needs or interests.

  • Personalization

With inbound messages, you can include personalized content such as the customer’s name or city to make it feel more personal and human-to-human. It is essential to note that with SMS Marketing, the customer feels like you are reaching out to them personally. Although you have to convince them to sign up, it will be easier for you to create a relationship with them once they do so.

  • Cost-Effectiveness

SMS Marketing is inexpensive, easy to set up and maintain. In addition, many providers provide SMS marketing as part of an overall marketing package for a low monthly fee which makes it affordable for most businesses.

Here in WinBack, Shopify owners can test the service out for 14 days before committing to any plan.

Compared to other marketing methods like email or social media advertising, it’s much less expensive.

  • Direct the User to your Website

Whether it’s the link to your landing page or an offer with a call-to-action, you can send it out right away to your potential customer. The immediacy of SMS Marketing makes this an attractive option to many businesses who want the ability to reach their target audience at any time without having to set up a campaign schedule in advance.

The Pitfalls of SMS Marketing

  • Content Limitation

When sending an SMS marketing campaign, you are limited to 160 characters. This is much shorter than an email or any other form of content sent out using a phone.

Sure, you can add more per message, but doing so will increase the message count (160 characters per message).

If you would like to include images in your message, you would have to switch to MMS, which is more expensive than regular SMS messages. Also, the look and format vary per device.

  • Lack of Metric monitoring

You can’t see exactly who is receiving your message and if they are opening it. This can make it challenging to target a specific audience with SMS marketing campaigns, leading to wasted campaign time and money. However, if you incorporate a link, you may see how many people click on your message. This allows you to see the click rates based on the number of messages you sent, but you will not see the open rates like in email marketing.

  • Spam

To avoid being marked as spam and ensuring that messages are received by those you’re sending them to, SMS marketing campaigns need the recipient’s permission before sending it out.

What is Push Notification Advertising?

Push notification advertising is the newest way to advertise on mobile devices. This is done by sending messages directly from the company’s website or app. In addition, you or through a third-party provider, which will send notifications to your device (called push).

This type of campaign will often occur after the recipient has “allowed” a website or app to send him push notifications, which is called a subscription.

Push messages are those that appear on your device when someone engages with your post in your social media account, or when you receive an email, or when your phone tells you that an update is available.

The difference with push ads is that it is an ad — the advertiser pays a publisher who has a list of push notification subscribers to send ads on behalf of his business. Push notifications nudge the customer to visit an app or website, and because of that, they’re also highly effective.

Advantages of Push Notification Advertisement

  • Re-engaging customers

Push notifications can be used to re-engage customers who have already downloaded your app or visited your website. These messages are great for reminding people about exclusive deals, limited offers, new features in an existing application.

  • Images accepted

Push notifications can contain images, so you are not limited to just using text. You can include images and GIFs with your messages, making them more appealing than simple texts or numbers on the screen.

  • No cell service? No problem

Push notifications can be sent even if a customer is not connected to the cell network. If your customers are connected to WiFi, you are all set.

  • Metrics can be monitored

With this type of marketing, you can measure the number of devices receiving your message and how long they spent on it. This is a great way to find out which messages are getting through and which ones need more work.

The Pitfalls of Push Notifications Marketing

  • Requires Subscription

To send push notifications to your customer’s device, they must first agree to receive such. So even if you have your customer’s details, even their phone number, you won’t be able to send them a message unless they opt-in.

  • Screen-time Competition

When you send a push notification, there is always a chance that your message is just one of the many that the customer receives. Aside from the typical push notifications sent out by all the apps on the user’s device, there are also all the other messages sent by other businesses. On the contrary, there are only a handful of businesses sending text messages because many underestimate this marketing technique.

  • Push Frequency

The chance that the customer will get annoyed with your push notifications also increases when you send too many at a time. You have to find the sweet spot between how many messages you can send per day, per week, or per month, which means you would have to go through trial and error. However, you might end up losing subscribers in the process.

SMS Marketing vs Push Notification Marketing

To know which marketing tool is best for your business, you should first know your audience and the aim of your campaign. The major difference lies in the customer base. While SMS targets customers on all networks, push notifications are available only to customers who have subscribed.

Use SMS marketing in these scenarios:

1. You want to keep customers engaged with your brand and interested in the latest offerings. This is an excellent way to drive more people into stores or click on an ad, as they’ll already be familiar with who you are when they visit your site. It’s also a great way to promote special offers that might not make it onto social media feeds.

2. If your message is short, you can use SMS marketing to link directly to the product and send it without any other involvement.

3. If you want to send a message with urgency and set an expiration date, SMS marketing can help carry your message.

Example of Successful SMS marketing campaigns:

  • Sports Fans

Major League Soccer used the technology to promote their games in 2012. As a result, they saw an increase in game attendance by 27% over previous years, with more than 200K people using text messaging for information about tickets or parking rates.

They also eventually used this marketing campaign to engage audiences and sports fans during the game, using polls and raffles.

  • Election Polls

SMS campaigns have been successful in politics too. For example, text messaging was used in the 2008 presidential election when Barack Obama and John McCain competed for votes. In 2007, 2.9 million people in the US received a text message regarding the selection of Joe Biden as Obama’s Vice Presidential running mate.

SMS marketing offers an additional way to reach out to customers with promotions that get them back into your store or drive up sales.

Use Push notifications in these scenarios:

1. To announce an event or promotion that’s coming up (think Black Friday deals). Notifications work well if your goal is a one-time sale because they’re a great way to communicate with customers in real-time.

2. Your message is not urgent, and you want to give customers a heads-up. Push notifications are the perfect way to send alerts (think reminders) and get people back into your app or website quickly before they start scrolling through their phone’s feed for other things.

3. You have a bigger budget that allows you to pay for push notification ads from those who have a more extensive subscriber base, like with ad networks such as RichAds, Mobidea Zeropark, and more. For this, though, you would need to learn a whole lot more about media buying, creating campaigns, and optimizing them to get the most out of your ad spend.

Example of Successful Push Notification Campaigns:

Please write this phrase with the words “SMS Marketing Vs Push Notification Marketing” included

When it comes to push notification ads, audiences respond well to big brands but not as much with lesser-known ones.

A Few Takeaways

SMS Marketing Vs Push Notification Marketing: Engage your audience effectively! Whether your customers are Baby Boomers, Millennials, or Gen Z, everyone has a smartphone. However, not all opt for push notifications, making SMS marketing a reliable choice for reaching your target audience. Especially when you have a vast customer base and aim to promptly communicate urgent deals or promotions, SMS marketing stands out in terms of delivery and cost-effectiveness.

On the other hand, push notification marketing provides excellent reach to your audience while they’re on their smartphones. Yet, for those just starting or not ready to invest in larger subscriber lists, SMS marketing emerges as an excellent, quick option for customer engagement. Discover the best strategy for your business today!


The world of SMS marketing and push notification advertising are two different beasts. Which is better for your business? It’s hard to say without knowing the specifics of what you’re trying to accomplish.

Once you decide about which advertising route you want to take, it’s time to get started! So if you’re looking for a low-cost way of reaching your customers with marketing messages that they’ll read, give SMS marketing a try. In case you have the luxury of a big budget, it’s OK to try push notifications.

The choice of which marketing strategy to take should depend on your budget and the purpose of your marketing campaign. If you want to grow your business without spending a lot of money, there’s no better way than using SMS marketing. This type of advertising is very cost-effective and can be used for both lead generation and customer retention. It also has the added benefit of reaching customers who are not currently on your website or app.

Contact our team at to learn more about how we can help you reach the audiences who matter most and get them on board with your brand today.

Topics: SMS Marketing, Push Notification Marketing