Using text messaging services (SMS) is a great technique to stay in touch with your clientele. Order confirmations, booking reminders, special offers, and updates are all better served by text message than email since people really read them. You can’t just pull out your phone and start texting random people because you own a business, right? Sending a text message to a consumer can be done manually, or the entire process can be automated based on data from your booking calendar, marketing list, or another app that you’ve integrated with your SMS marketing app. The best part is that your clients may simply reply to your texts.
What are the qualities of a good texting app?
Which do you prefer: receiving an SMS or an email? Open rates for text messages are much greater than those for emails, and the facts don’t lie. Customers can respond quickly and easily via texting services. Smartphone messaging apps are quick, simple, and convenient, making them ideal for usage in everyday situations, but email is, to be frank, generally terrible. There are many SMS marketing platforms to choose from because SMS marketing is a multibillion-dollar industry. On the other hand, most of them aren’t practical for modest enterprises.
Smaller businesses trying to keep a more personal connection with their clients won’t find much use in these apps, as they are geared more toward large corporations, political campaigns, and other organizations sending thousands of SMS messages every day as part of a marketing effort. In a similar manner, many so-called “apps” are really just API services that programmers may use to include SMS capabilities into their own projects, instead of being a program that anybody can join up for and begin utilizing immediately.
In order to narrow the field of available SMS apps, I established the following five requirements:
Intuitive for the average user.
One should not have to use the services of a specialized marketing firm in order to set up an SMS app for their business. You don’t need to know a lot of technical stuff to use many of the fantastic apps that are available; they just connect to your existing infrastructure. Some of the apps, particularly the API offerings, weren’t intuitive enough to suggest. All of my recommendations are simple to get started with, however, you may need to consult the documentation or support team first. If you want to send and receive messages from any of the apps on the list, you can do so using a corresponding web app. Many of them also let you use your email client or a mobile app to send and receive text messages.
Allows for two-way communication with clients.
You won’t find here any marketing SMS apps that offer one-touch delivery of a hundred thousand messages. All of these programs are geared toward helping local enterprises have more personal interactions with their clientele. As a result, having a means of two-way contact was crucial for acceptance, much like texting a friend. Many of them still have the ability to schedule texts, collect survey data, and automate replies.
Compatible with a variety of third-party programs, so you can set up timed reminders for things like reservations.
Compatibility with third-party programs and services was essential. This allows you to do things like have your online ordering service immediately notify consumers when their order is ready for pickup or has been processed, and then follow up with a satisfaction survey.
Small businesses can afford it because there are no minimum order quantities.
Pricing is an important consideration when it comes to communicating with customers via SMS. I insisted that the listed SMS providers all have reasonable rates for startups and small businesses. This meant there would be no need for expensive minimum orders or monthly fees. All services are instead either pay-as-you-go or part of low-volume, low-cost monthly contracts.
Flexibility to expand to meet demand.
It’s not ideal to be stuck in a plan that won’t allow you to expand your marketing efforts in time for the holidays. All of these solutions also needed to make it easy to increase the size of your SMS marketing campaigns without incurring extortionate fees or being forced to upgrade to a more expensive plan.
Top 8 texting programs for companies of all sizes
- Quickly set up your SMS service using TextMagic.
- Easy-to-use SMS marketing campaigns, powered by SimpleTexting.
- Advanced marketing and contact information collection with SlickText.
- SMS marketing using Sakari
- Salestext for regional and local companies using short message service
- EZ texting provides marketing Tools for the Layperson
- Use Twilio to create a one-of-a-kind SMS marketing campaign
- AI enhanced sms marketing and automated tasks by Cloud Contact AI
It’s important to shop around when looking for a company that supplies text message marketing services. Some services charge for each message sent, however the vast majority bill on a monthly basis, with each plan covering a different range of messages and keywords. It’s possible to get a free plan, but it has very few features and isn’t worth it.
It depends on the service provider whether or not there will be additional fees for adding users, keywords, numbers, and features. You should try to compile a comprehensive list of your text marketing objectives before requesting price quotes from service providers.
To Help You Shop
Marketing using text messaging services: the good and the bad
As with any form of marketing, there are both upsides and downsides to employing text messages for your business. The personal and immediate aspect of texting services presents a double-edged sword. on the one hand, it’s a great way to get your message over to clients, but on the other, some people could find marketing texts intrusive or bothersome if you send them at the wrong times or too frequently.
- The conversion rates are typically substantially higher than those you would see with email.
- Text messages are frequently opened, read, and answered fast.
- Because of the low cost per contact, this marketing strategy is highly efficient.
- Texts can be altered and personalized to better suit individual consumers.
- In order to monitor and analyze user activity, the services provide a wide range of options.
- In order to get the most out of the services, there may be a slight learning curve.
- Building an extensive network of contacts takes time and effort.
- Constant time and energy are needed for a text message marketing campaign.
Message marketing services should do more than just deliver messages. They need to assist you in locating your desired demographics, interacting with them, and monitoring their reactions to your communications. Think about the following capabilities and decide which ones will be most beneficial to your company. Then, get bids from the companies you’ve narrowed down based on how well they meet your requirements.
Analysis and statistical reports: Your texting service platform’s ability to track responses and other analytics will illuminate the successes and failures of past and present campaigns, allowing you to learn from them and apply that knowledge to future endeavors.
Automation: If you need to send out the same text message on a regular basis—for example, as a reminder—automation options are available from the leading text message marketing providers.
Dealing with your contacts: Customers won’t receive your messages and your campaigns won’t be successful if your contact list is full of old numbers. The most effective text message marketing tools make it simple to integrate new contacts, import pre-existing lists, and verify that only valid phone numbers remain in the final database.
Customization: Increasing the success of your campaigns by tailoring each SMS message to the individual recipient. You should seek out service providers that let you personalize your communications with customers by using information like their full name, birthday, and ZIP code.
A method of advertising known as “drip”: Drip campaigns are conditionally triggered automated client journeys. When a consumer signs up for a subscription, for instance, they will receive a welcome text, and after they make their first purchase, they will get a thank-you text.
It’s crucial to show clients that you’re open to communication by making it easy for them to reply to your messages, thus we offer free incoming text messages at no cost to them. The finest providers don’t tack on extra fees whenever a customer replies to your texts.
Email marketing tools like MailChimp and Constant Contact are just two examples of software that can interact with most text message networks, allowing for easy syncing of data and functionalities.
A lot of effort can be saved by using premade templates for frequently sent messages. Search for a service that offers campaign templates you may utilize as starting points for your own initiatives. As an added bonus, it should let you make your own custom templates and store them for easy access.
By using MMS, you can send up to 1,600 characters of text in addition to images, videos, and audio snippets.
Depending on your mobile plan, your service provider should provide you the option to select numerous keywords to cater to a wider range of consumers’ interests. When signing up for a service, a user will be asked to select a keyword that they feel best describes the content they wish to receive.
It is possible to send preplanned SMS messages to specific groups of people on many different platforms. With scheduling, you can plan future campaigns and send them to clients at the most convenient times, even if you’re sending them out several weeks in advance.
A good service will make it simple to conduct surveys and polls to acquire information from its clientele. Find out how to include SMS polling into your company’s procedures.
With the text-to-landline capability, you may use your existing landline phone number for business texting and receiving without upgrading your voice plan.