Sales & Marketing Tech

Category Compare: Email Marketing vs. SMS Marketing Software

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In this report, we define and compare email marketing and SMS marketing software to help you decide which one suits your business needs.

Both email marketing software and SMS marketing software help automate communication with prospects and customers. And though these two are closely related categories, they are distinct in functionality. This report will identify the similarities and differences between the two software categories to help you understand which one is better suited to your needs.

What is email marketing software?

Email marketing software helps users leverage their email channel to deliver and optimize marketing messages, such as brand newsletters or contextually relevant, real-time, and personalized communications. These tools assist businesses in managing mailing lists and subscriptions and monitoring marketing campaigns to derive data-driven insights.

Email marketing software also helps send email surveys, run promotional campaigns, enhance brand awareness, and streamline customer relationship management (CRM) efforts.

What is SMS marketing software?

SMS marketing software, also known as text message marketing software, provides the tools needed to launch and support SMS marketing campaigns. This type of software helps marketers communicate with their customers and prospects via SMSs. It allows them to create and maintain contact lists, monitor each SMS campaign, schedule message delivery, analyze the response rate, and generate performance reports.

Using SMS text marketing software, businesses can create customized text messaging, advertise coupons or weekly specials, solicit user feedback, poll customers, and promote contests.

What do they have in common?

There are a few similarities between email marketing and SMS marketing software tools. Both enable marketers to communicate with their target audiences by running marketing campaigns, sending alerts/reminders, and distributing mass/customized messages. Contact management and reporting/analytics are two features, among many others, shared by these software tools.

Email marketing software features

SMS marketing software features

Which tool is right for you?

Both SMS and email marketing software tools have their advantages and disadvantages, but they work best in tandem.

If your marketing strategy primarily includes email channels to send long, content-rich messages and promotional emails with images, call-to-action (CTA) elements, and graphics, consider using an email marketing tool. On the other hand, if your marketing strategy includes content or messages that are time-sensitive and concise, and require immediate attention, SMS marketing software would make more sense.

If you’re an eCommerce business that needs to send order delivery messages or a banking firm that wants to send transaction updates to customers, we recommend SMS marketing software to handle all your customer communications.

Once you’ve decided which software to use, head to our email marketing software and SMS marketing software category pages where you can find a sortable list of products, software reviews from verified users, and comprehensive buyers guides.

If you wish to narrow down your search to only the most popular and highest-rated solutions, visit Capterra’s Shortlist reports for the top email marketing software and SMS marketing software tools—our reports are based on an analysis of thousands of user reviews.

3 top-rated email marketing and SMS marketing software

These three products, listed in alphabetical order, are among the top rated in both software categories.



162 reviews
Note: Reviews and ratings data in the product cards is as of Jan. 24, 2022. New reviews may have been added since the publication of this article, so the reviews data in this piece may not reflect current conditions.
The products in the category comparison images are examples to show a feature in context and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations by Capterra. They have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.


To be included in the top-rated list, the products must:

  1. Be listed under Capterra’s 2021 Shortlist reports for email marketing and SMS marketing software. Learn more about the Capterra Shortlist methodology here.
  2. Meet our software market definition for email marketing and SMS marketing software:
    • Email marketing: “Email marketing software automates email communication between a business and its prospects and customers. These systems manage mailing lists, monitor marketing campaign effectiveness, and increase email marketing efficiency. They can be used to strengthen brand recognition, announce new product launches, and promote services.”
    • SMS marketing: “SMS marketing (or text marketing) software is a bulk text message sharing tool. It allows businesses to send SMSs to customers, in addition to helping them create and maintain contact lists, schedule message delivery, analyze response rates, and generate reports.”

Looking for Email Marketing software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Email Marketing software solutions.

About the Author

Barkha Bali

Barkha Bali

Barkha Bali is a writer at Capterra, providing expert insights to help small businesses identify the right software for their needs by analyzing user reviews data for the highest rated products in relevant software categories. She has worked in finance, lifestyle, education, and medical. With expertise in marketing and content strategy, Barkha’s work has been featured in Medium and educational websites. When not working, she can be found re-watching “The Office” or “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”

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