Text messages are a reliable, cheap, and efficient way for two-way communication. For small businesses, SMS marketing apps can come in handy for promoting products & services, sending appointment reminders, updates about business events, and much more.
If you want to communicate with only a few customers, manually messaging them works fine. But bulk SMS calls for the use of an SMS marketing tool. Here’s why:
- Free SMS services like Google Voice are meant for 1:1 conversations only. Using them for bulk messaging is likely to get you flagged as spam.
- SMS apps reduce tedious work and let you conveniently manage your text message marketing from a desktop.
- You can access insights about your text message marketing campaigns inside these apps and optimize them.
In this article, I’ll be sharing six of the top texting services for businesses. Let’s look at a few of their essential principles first.
Five Tenets Of Awesome Texting Services For Businesses
There are a number of SMS marketing companies available on the market. For small businesses, the following characteristics make great fits.
1. Easy to use – SMS apps shouldn’t just allow you to send your texts from the computer. Their user interface should be simple enough to integrate into your current workflow so that you can hit the ground running.
2. Affordable – Given that small businesses have limited budgets, it’s important that the tool comes at a pocket-friendly price without sacrificing important features and functionalities. It should let you personalize your text messages and have a smooth two-way communication.
3. Secure and Reliable – Text marketing is vulnerable to viruses, malware, and other SMS spam. But top text messaging services for businesses take the privacy and security of the data shared with them seriously. They leverage robust security protocols to safeguard information.
4. Excellent customer service – If you get stuck with a feature in the software and want to troubleshoot, then customer service should be available to address your questions.
5. Integrate with other apps – Who doesn’t want to increase the productivity of their business? With digital marketing taking the omnichannel route, it’s important to get an SMS API with the app. It lets your developers customize and connect the app with other tools you’re using in your business.
Six Best SMS Marketing Companies
Now it’s time to look at the six best SMS companies on our list, the first one shouldn’t be a surprise.
The first texting service for businesses that we recommend is JookSMS. We’re a bit biased here, but if you want a no-frills, affordable SMS app for getting started with sending promotional messages quickly and cheaply, then we fit the bill. You can import your contact list from your existing database or enter contact details manually.
Among other features, you can schedule messages, create different groups of contacts, and connect your platform with our API. The texting service also integrates with Vtiger, Zoho, Salesforce, and Zapier.
1. The site has a fairly easy to use dashboard with the core functionalities of sending promotional text messages to your customers. You can get started within minutes of registering for a free trial.
2. The robust text messaging features come at a cheap price. Coupled with responsive customer support (you’ll be talking to actual humans!), it’s a great choice for small business owners who are interested in experimenting with SMS as a marketing channel.
For MMS, tracking links, drip campaigns, and advanced SMS marketing, you’ll need to look at the higher-priced alternatives of JookSMS.
Another affordable SMS marketing software that’s easy to get started with is TextMagic. You can get acquainted with its dashboard fairly quickly and send your first message from the ‘Compose’ tab within minutes.
It offers contact management tools to build your lists, a message scheduler, templates for recurring messages, integration with various apps, and even iOS & Android apps for quickly sending and receiving texts. The company offers a number of tools for verifying phone numbers, carrier lookup, calculating length of SMS, and more for free that you can check out.
TextMagic Price: Completely pay as you go pricing starting at $0.04 per text. It’s a 100% prepaid service. Credits you purchase never expire and you’re not bound by any other contracts or commitments.
1. You can send and receive text messages as emails right in your inbox. This means that your email application can integrate with TextMagic and your entire team can perform text marketing from that email.
2. If multiple people from your staff are handling SMS campaigns, then you can create sub-accounts and distribute your SMS credits among team members.
3. Even dedicated virtual numbers cost you $4/month and the text messages are pay as you go, so the texting service is cost-effective and offers great value.
1. While you can send text messages up to 918 characters and 700+ networks in 190+ countries worldwide, the pricing can quickly get costly.
2. For advanced marketing campaigns, the tool’s features cut short. But it does what it’s meant to do and does it well.
Another easy to use text messaging service worth considering is Mobiniti. It’s especially useful for small business owners who want to resell a mobile marketing platform. As an SMS marketing platform itself, it’s powerful and the dashboard is user-friendly.
You can launch drip campaigns, schedule messages, and leverage keywords and flyers/QR codes to drive opt ins. You can also design coupons and integrate them with mobile wallets, allowing redemptions in Apple iOS Passbook & Google Wallet.
Price: They offer a pay as you go plan with no monthly fees and one keyword. The starter plan, though, is more fitting as it comes with four keywords and it costs $49/month.
1. The white-label software platform offers a one-time wholesale price, which then lets you keep 100% of the profits.
2. They have responsive customer support, so you can expect troubleshooting for your problems and a willingness to adapt to your business needs wherever possible.
3. An array of advanced features including a retargeting pixel to serve customized ads to anyone that clicked on links in your SMS, branded short domains to get total control over your content and increase CTR, and click-thru filtering of your lists to send messages only to contacts with a specific CTR.
1. While the dashboard is intuitive, the tool is overloaded with features. So it can overwhelm even an advanced SMS marketer.
2. The service isn’t the most affordable for a budget-friendly small business owner. Cheaper options are available in the market.
This SMS marketing service on our list is an intuitive, feature-rich platform with a powerful text message automation. It comes with marketing tools to grow your subscribers list, SMS drip campaigns, scheduled & recurring text messages, and much more. The company also offers a free mobile application to manage your campaigns on the go.
Price: The monthly basic plan starts at $29/month for 500 texts/month. There are nine plans available depending on text message credits that you require every month.
1. There are numerous little tools on the platform that make it unique. A few of them are – getting people to opt in by clicking a link, built in link shortening and tracking in your message, SMS surveys, unique coupon codes for each subscriber, and self-cleaning of your subscriber lists to remove dead numbers.
2. The company has built a fantastic reputation for their robust customer support. They even offer one-on-one training from their in-house experts to businesses starting their ‘the step up plan’ ($49/month). Their personalized customer service starts right with the first onboarding email:
The service is expensive and they offer average value for their features.
Another user-friendly SMS marketing software that offers shortcode messaging and integrations with tools like Mailchimp and Zapier is SimpleTexting. You can navigate to ‘Campaigns’ from the main screen and choose ‘New campaign’ to send your first promotional message.
For building your lists, you can head over to the ‘Keywords’ tab and can even trigger autoresponders to welcome your new subscribers. It also offers mobile apps to manage SMS campaigns on the go.
SimpleTexting Pricing: The company offers 500 credits (equivalent to 500 SMS) for $25/month. And 4.5 ¢ per additional credit. You also get a free number, unlimited keywords, and rollover credits on the monthly plans.
1. SimpleTexting has in-built apps for running dedicated marketing campaigns like polls, text-2-vote, birthday texts, and more.
2. The customer support is responsive and helpful in troubleshooting any problems that you face with the tool.
3. It contains beautiful visuals and grids depicting the growth of your subscribers, the effectiveness of the keywords you’re using, campaigns report, track links, CTR, and more.
1. The application of credits can get tricky and mislead you to overuse your plan. As per their pricing page, they charge 3 credits for a MMS (only available in the US) and 2 credits for an extended message that allows up to 304 characters. Incoming messages with attached media are considered MMS and are charged with 1 credit each as well.
While the analytics page shows detailed ‘billing stats’ showing how you’re sending credits, you should discuss your requirements with the customer service to choose an appropriate plan.
2. While the service is reasonably priced for its features, you can buy a robust chatbot tool for the same price (comes with SMS and MMS functionality). Although it is more complicated to leverage chatbots and their advanced sales and marketing functionalities, you’re missing out on the value they offer at comparable prices. The opportunity cost is high!
6. EZ Texting
The last business SMS tool on our list comes with a free iOS mobile app. It offers groups to segment your contacts and launch targeted marketing campaigns. Other contact management tools include sign-up forms, SMS polls, message scheduling, and comprehensive analytics & reporting.
Its advanced features include: setting up drip campaigns, recurring messages (like personalized reminders), text forwarding, and more. You can also integrate it with various other marketing platforms.
EZ Texting Pricing: Their monthly plan starts at a steep cost of $39/month. It comes with 1000 credits and 1 custom keyword. Additional credit costs 4.5 cents and an extra keyword costs $25/month.
1. EZ Chat lets you have a personalized, one-to-one conversation with your customers using a standard 10-digit mobile number.
2. Barring Alaskan and Hawaiian area codes, EZ Texting Voice is an asset for direct marketing. It lets you record a voice message and conduct thousands of calls quickly. You can even leave voicemails.
1. The text messaging service has a variety of cool features, but it is too expensive for small businesses. If you require more than one keyword, then the price of the service shoots up to $75/month.
2. With numerous advanced features, the dashboard could overwhelm and confuse new users. To add to the woes, EZTexting is notorious for its poor customer service.
Bonus: Twilio, An SMS API App For Developers
Do you want a blank canvas to create an application or service that integrates text marketing functionalities? Look no further than the brilliant programmable SMS API – Twilio. You don’t necessarily need to be a developer to start building using this tool. Its welcome screen (as shown below) asks a few questions to customize your experience.
Get started with a Twilio phone number, an account SID and authentication token, and integrate Twilio with Zoho, HubSpot, Zapier, or Google Sheets. After connecting your accounts, you can receive and send messages from your email through a Zapier integration.
Price: Dedicated phone numbers cost $1/month. Additionally its pricing is complex at $0.0075/message – for both messages sent and received. There’s also an additional carrier fee.
1. Twilio Studio is a drag and drop builder for creating and modifying flows. You can choose from their pre-made templates including SMS Surveys, SMS Autoresponder, SMS Chatbot, and the like, or can opt to create from scratch.
2. If you can do the work for setting up Twilio (or get it done in your team), then it can actually become more affordable than other SMS services on our list.
1. You’re charged even for incoming messages, which is not the case with other business texting services on our list.
2. Unless you know your way through coding and are good with software, using the app is going to be a pain.
Which SMS Service Suits Your Business Needs?
If you want to get started with business text messaging quickly at an affordable price and responsive customer service, then JookSMS is a great fit. Mind you, we’re not ones to serve “extras”, so our dashboard is straightforward. There’s no learning curve and you’ll have sent your first message to your customers within minutes.
For a more premium SMS service with advanced features, an expensive tool like SlickText is a decent choice. But if you want to build messaging functionalities into an application that you’re building, then Twilio is the way to go.
What features do you want to see in a business texting service for your small business? And which of the SMS apps did you like the best? Get in touch with us for any clarification on JookSMS price and features. Or just set up a free demo with one of our experts and let us show you around JookSMS!