Text message marketing companies offer small businesses another marketing channel to reach customers. While text message marketing might not immediately jump to mind when small businesses think of ways to reach customers, there's certainly value in reaching customers on their phones through SMS marketing.
According to Pew Research Center, 92% of adult Americans have a cellphone capable of receiving text messages. Chances are, your customers use cellphones. With the amount of content available on smartphones today, people spend hours per day using their mobile devices. Nielsen research shows that the average U.S. adult spends nearly four hours using their smartphone, computer or tablet. As time spent on phones continues to increase, it's no surprise that businesses are looking to implement an occasional text message campaign.
While the sheer increase in people using phones is a positive for the text message marketing industry, it brings its own challenges. As people spend more and more time viewing content, they also become selective about what they're using. Mobile phone users are inundated with feeds, popups and various notifications. Texting a customer about your business may either get lost in a person's notifications, or it may turn them off to your business if the text is unsolicited or unrelated to their wants and needs.
That's where text message marketing services become valuable. If you're going to use a text message marketing service, you want to select the best solution for your business. There are dozens of quality solutions on the market, and a few stand out above the rest, especially for small businesses looking to please subscribers.
Best Overall: EZ Texting
Key Features: Analytics, contact management, advanced tools like drip campaigns and a user-friendly dashboard.
EZ Texting stands out among its peers for a variety of reasons, including fair pricing and a fantastic selection of tools. The company offers eight different pricing plans, which makes it a company that can provide affordable services to businesses of all sizes. The pricing flexibility and variability is one of EZ Texting's best perks. The cheapest plan starts at $0.05 per message and $25 per keyword, and the other plans offer monthly rates, with the most expensive plan costing $2,000 a month.
A user-friendly interface and an assortment of features also make EZ Texting our selection for the best overall text message marketing solution for businesses. It's an intuitive user interface that won't take long to learn, which is an important consideration when deciding on a text message marketing service.
Customization aspects are also a positive, as it's easy to make your recipients feel special by easily sending them personalized messages. EZ Texting makes text message marketing feel more like a genuine interaction than other companies.
Easiest to Use: SlickText
Key Features: Nine different pricing plans, a detailed assortment of features and thorough videos explaining how to use the platform.
Small businesses don't want to spend weeks learning how to operate their text message marketing service. With SlickText, businesses can quickly go from having little to no experience with text message marketing to being quite adept. The user interface is intuitive, but it's the detailed explanations on the platform that stand out the most.
The company's website includes videos explaining how to create an account, how to reserve a keyword and how to set up autoreply. These explanations are detailed enough for even the most inexperienced text messaging marketers to understand. They're also readily available if you forget how a function works. Additionally, SlickText does a good job of being available to help answer your questions. You can reach a company representative via their toll-free phone number, email or live chat.
Best Pricing Options: SimpleTexting
Key Features: Eight different pricing tiers, analytics, autoresponders and templates.
SimpleTexting offers a variety of quality product features, but the pricing plan is what makes the company an enticing option for small businesses. The company offers extremely flexible pricing, which is advantageous for businesses of all sizes. SimpleTexting won't charge you an unreasonable amount of money for a service you may use sparingly, as the pricing is determined through a credit system.
A standard SMS text message costs one credit, while an MMS message costs three credits. The least expensive plan costs $25 per month and gives businesses 500 credits. The most expensive plan offers 50,000 credits for the price of $625 per month. Additional charges for going over your monthly credit limit apply, and those vary by plan.
The wide range of pricing options makes SimpleTexting a good option for businesses of varying sizes.
What to Expect in 2019
Expect continued growth for text message marketing, but it's important to understand where the service falls in line with your other marketing channels. Some customers feel more comfortable with email marketing or social media marketing. Those forms of marketing require a potential customer to go somewhere – either to their email inbox or a social media platform. Text messages show up without the customer navigating anywhere, which can be both beneficial and harmful for businesses.
Your business should monitor regulations governing text message marketing and ensure that you only send messages once you receive opt-in approval. With the number of people using their phones in 2019, it's not a stretch to think that text message marketing will continue to increase in popularity, but it still needs to be done properly, and legally, to be effective.
Companies like Ralph Lauren are learning the hard way that poorly run text message marketing campaigns can lead to legal trouble. The company recently wrapped up a dispute for sending a customer 188 texts. The customer claims he consented to six texts per month, but the company would routinely send more messages than he opted into receiving on a monthly basis. He also said that the company failed to send opt-out messages for roughly 80% of the texts they sent. The key takeaway is to have, and follow, specific agreements with a customer. It's one thing to receive an opt-in confirmation for a few messages, it's another to send dozens of texts without the customer's consent.
Companies that provide personalized and genuine text messages are likely to experience success with the marketing channel in coming years. The most successful businesses will also follow legal restrictions regarding text message marketing.
To determine the top text message marketing solutions in 2019, we spent dozens of hours researching the options. Here is an explanation of our selection process.
Locating the Best Services
We started with over 20 reputable companies offering text message marketing services. We found these companies based on detailed internet research and online customer reviews.
Choosing the Best Services
We eliminated vendors that lacked key features that make up the best text message marketing solutions. These features included drip campaigns, automation, customization and many more. We also eliminated companies with old websites or user dashboards that we believed would be overly confusing for businesses, especially smaller firms. We looked for businesses that could deliver effective text campaigns for businesses in different industries.
Researching Each Service
Once we narrowed our list down, we took a deep dive into the features, customer reviews and pricing of each service. It was imperative that the platform's interface was user friendly and that the service offered flexible pricing so that small business can take advantage of text message marketing.
We signed up for free trials and contacted a few of the top companies on our list, posing as small business owners. This gave us a more authentic feel for the customer service teams of each business.
Analyzing Each Service
Upon analyzing each business's offerings, we selected EZ Texting, SlickText and SimpleTexting as the best text messaging services available to small businesses. We analyzed key features, pricing and customer service when making our best pick selections.
Full List of Services
The following services are some of the best text message marketing solutions available in 2019.
Avochato - Avochato is a comprehensive text message marketing service that offers a variety of tools to help businesses send successful text message campaigns. https://www.avochato.com
Cheapest Texting - Cheapest Texting lets you get the word out about your business to clients, customers and others via SMS messages. The company offers four pricing plans, including its Starter plan that allows you to test out the service for 14 days (sending up to 100 messages) free of charge. https://www.cheapesttexting.com
EZ Texting - EZ Texting is an excellent service to help you control your text message marketing campaigns. Its many tools and resources are easy to find and use in the software's dashboard. It's our choice for best text message marketing service overall – it has flexible packages, an easy-to-use dashboard and a variety of advanced tools. https://www.eztexting.com
Gleantap - Features of Gleantap's text message marketing services include automated text campaigns, autoreplies, personalized messages, link tracking and more. https://gleantap.com
Heymarket - Heymarket is a mobile and web-based application designed to help businesses create and carry out marketing campaigns through SMS and MMS (iOS and Android) and Facebook Messenger. Each subscription includes a shared inbox (text and Facebook); templates; integration with G Suite, Facebook, and Slack; and website widgets that text-enable your business's website. It offers a 15-day free trial. https://www.heymarket.com
Mobile Text Alerts - Mobile Text Alerts allows your business to craft and deliver text messages in as little as 30 seconds. The control panel used to manage subscribers is reasonably user friendly. The variety of pricing plans is one of the best perks of using this service. The company offers over seven different plans. https://mobile-text-alerts.com
Mobiniti - Mobiniti is a text message marketing service to help you build two-way communication with your customers with a simple and affordable platform. http://www.mobiniti.com
Mozeo - Mozeo is a good choice for businesses that need basic text message marketing capabilities for a low price on an easy-to-use platform. https://www.mozeo.com/services-pricing.php
ProTexting - ProTexting lets you run automated campaigns and send multimedia SMS messages to connect with customers. https://www.protexting.com
SimpleTexting - SimpleTexting is a straightforward SMS service that connects you to your customers. It offers helpful tools, an easy-to-use dashboard and flexible plans. https://simpletexting.com
SlickText - SlickText offers multiple options for your text message marketing campaigns. It establishes two-way communication with your consumers and offers packages to meet the needs of small business owners. https://www.slicktext.com
SUMOTEXT - SUMOTEXT is a top text message marketing service that performs well in many types of campaigns. http://sumotext.com
Text Magic - TextMagic is a bulk SMS text message marketing service. Pricing varies substantially based on which country the texts are being sent in. https://www.textmagic.com
Textedly - Textedly offers text messages services with an assortment of features like scheduled messages, mass group texting, built-in link sharing and automatic text replies. Pricing varies depending on the package you select, but the starter package provides a free, 14-day trial. https://www.textedly.com
Trumpia - Trumpia is an SMS marketing and mass text messaging service. With Trumpia, you can send messages by SMS, MMS, email, social media and voice through one convenient platform. https://trumpia.com
TXT 180 - TXT180 is a straightforward SMS marketing platform with good texting service. https://www.txt180.com
Wire2Air - Wire2Air lets you add unlimited contacts and groups in its online texting platform. http://wire2air.com/sms_messaging.asp