Email Marketing vs. Push Notifications: The Pros and Cons

The digital age has given marketers a wealth of opportunities to engage with potential customers. The problem is, there may be too many options. Most companies can’t make use of every available channel. They need to identify which are most effective for their goals.

Email and push notifications are still two of the most popular ways for marketers to reach customers. Thanks to the “rich push” feature in a recent iOS update, which allows marketers to incorporate images and GIFs, push notifications are growing in popularity. However, email still remains the most popular method of building customer engagement.

Neither option is inherently better than the other. To determine which is right for your needs, it’s important to assess certain crucial factors.

Why Email Marketing Works

Email marketing has remained popular among marketers because, when used correctly, it’s still very effective. Marketers like using email to reach customers because it’s a very versatile channel.

Through an email campaign, you can alert customers to new product releases, offer discounts, learn about your customers through surveys, and more. Plus, with an email verifier to improve inbox and open rates, regularly scheduled emails allow you to reach more customers on a consistent basis.

Although there are plenty of other emails competing for a customer’s attention, when they’re browsing their inbox, there usually aren’t ads, videos, or other types of content to distract them. Your email therefore has less competition from other advertisers than, say, Facebook or Google.

Perhaps most importantly, email tends to be cost-effective. On average, email marketing delivers an ROI of $38 for every $1 spent. Users who have subscribed to a mailing list generally won’t opt out unless you stop delivering quality content, or spam their inboxes with constant messages.

The Advantages of Push Notifications

While email marketing is still more common than push notification marketing strategies, there are some clear benefits to using push notifications – benefits that emails can’t offer. Because push notifications are delivered straight to a customer’s device, they give marketers the chance to reach their audience in a more personal and direct manner.

That said, push notifications don’t linger in a customer’s inbox, where they can check them later. It’s important to send them at a time when users are likely to check their devices.

Although the notification will remain until they unlock their phone or tablet, customers may dismiss them if they’re just checking their phone to respond to a message or call. On top of that, push notifications can’t deliver as much information as email, so they need to be planned out carefully for maximum effect.

However, push notifications do tend to have a high average open rate, and they’re more affordable than email campaigns most of the time.

While push notifications are useful when it comes to announcing sales or new products, marketers often find they’re particularly effective as a means of re-engaging users who have not been active with a company for some time.

Making a Choice

You shouldn’t assume that one of these options is strictly better than the other. Different companies benefit from different marketing strategies.

If you don’t have an app through which to send push notifications, you’ll stick with email. On the other hand, if you do have an app, the smartest thing you can do is invest in push notification and email marketing campaigns for a short period of time. Through constant monitoring, you can see which delivers a higher level of engagement and greater ROI.

If you have the funds to keep both going, you should. Otherwise, simply choose whichever channel helps you reach and engage with customers most often and is the most profitable.


About the author

Nick Harley is the Senior Content Specialist for NeverBounce, the leading real-time email verification and cleaning service. With a background in journalism, public relations, and social media, Harley is interested in helping organizations and brands understand the importance of storytelling and the channels where those stories are delivered.

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