Alpha Email: Channel Still Leads, But SMS Is Growing Faster

Email remains the top marketing channel, but SMS and web push notifications are growing at a faster pace, according to Email And SMS to the Rescue. New Ecommerce Report Shows Brands’ Love for the Channels, a study by Omnisend.  

Scheduled email campaigns increased by 42.3% YoY in 2022. But there was 62% growth in SMS and a whopping 290% in web push. 

Still, email dominated in terms of volume. Omnisend analyzed over 17 billion emails, 107 million SMS, and 207 million web push messages sent by its merchants in 2022. 

The average conversion rate was 0.8% and the click-to-conversion rate 6.34%. There was a 12% increase in campaign orders.

But results depended on the product category. The top conversion rates were achieved by these verticals:

  • Food & drink — 0.17% (more than double the average)
  • Hobbies & Leisure — 0.13%
  • Tobacco & cannabis — 0.11%
  • Health & wellness — 0.11%
  • Pet supplies — 0.09% 

In contrast, the worst conversions were seen by these industries (at least among the sectors included in this study): 

Travel — 0.07% 

Toys & games — 0.07% 

Fashion & apparel — 0.07%

Consumer electronics — 0.05% 

Home & Garden — 0.04%

Granted, these sectors experience “a lot of price comparison shopping, making it extremely sensitive to cost differences against competitors,” the study notes. 

How do your metrics compare to overall performance? The study documented these click-to-conversion rates: 

  • Tobacco & cannabis — 12.68%
  • Food & drink — 10.90%
  • Gifts — 10.47% 
  • Health & wellness — 10.39% 
  • Beauty & cosmetics — 9.39% 

And these are the top five in email click rates: 

  • Hobbies & leisure — 1.95% 
  • Books & literature — 1.90%
  • Food & drink — 1.55% 
  • Auto — 1.39% 
  • Arts & entertainment — 1.37% 

The takeaway from all this? 

“What we see when digging into performance by vertical is that consumers engage with email as part of their shopping and product discovery process,” says Greg Zakowicz, ecommerce marketing expert at Omnisend. 

Zakowicz adds that “products more specific to the individual, like Health & Wellness, have better engagement. Brands should tap into emotion, regardless of their vertical, and work to create a greater personal connection in their emails.”

The study makes a pitch for automated emails, defining them as follows: “Automated emails are triggered by user actions, such as joining your newsletter, making a purchase, or abandoning the cart before paying.” 

According to this report, automated emails perform better than email campaigns in every area, generating an 83.4% improvement in open rates, 341.1% increase in click rates, and 2,270% lift in conversion rates.

Moreover, automated emails generate over 31% of all email orders despite comprising only 1.8% of all email sends, the study continues. 

As for SMS, brands send 68% more messages on Black Friday and 89% more on Cyber Monday. The increase in sends throughout the year led to 23.8% more SMS orders in 2022.

And, marketers pulled 18.8% more orders YoY with push messages. 

The Omnisend blog post reporting on these metrics was written by Richard White.


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