ContentsText Messaging Service 1: Mobile Text AlertsText Messaging Service 2: SlickTextText Messaging Service 3: SimpleTextingText Messaging Service 4: EZ TextingText Messaging Service 5: TextedlyText Messaging Service 6: TrumpiaText Messaging Service 7: TextMagicText Messaging Service 8: TwilioText Messaging Service 9: TatangoText Messaging Service 10: AvochatoText Messaging Service 11: AttentiveText Messaging Service 12: TextMarksText Messaging Service 13: PodiumText Messaging Service 14: DialMyCallsSo How Do You Choose a Text Messaging Service?Easy to Get StartedEasy to UseEasy to Reach Customer SupportFeatures You May NEED in a Text Messaging ServiceFeatures You May WANT in a Text Messaging ServicePricing Considerations When Choosing a Text Messaging ServiceHow Do You Know How Many Messages You Need?Annual vs. MonthlyCost for Extra MessagesGet 50 Messages Free to Try Out a Text Messaging Service
So you’ve decided to look into a text messaging service.
After all, everyone texts these days. It’s the surest way to get messages right in front of people’s eyes - whether that’s marketing content, updates, or any other notices.
Because people don’t ignore their text messages like they do emails.
In fact, texts have a reported read rate of up to 98%, which is unthinkable.
So why not use a text messaging service for your business?
But here’s the problem: there are so many texting platforms out there.
How do you choose one?
Here we’ve listed some of the best text messaging services to look into as we come into the end of 2022 and into 2023 and beyond.
Then we’ll get into how you choose which service is right for your company.
Our service is Mobile Text Alerts.
It’s a simple name for an easy-to-use platform.
Here are some of the pros and cons.
SlickText calls themselves “the trusted leader in text marketing.”
They are one of the top names among the text messaging service industry.
How do they actually fare as a texting platform?
“The Only All-In-One Text Messaging Service.”
Here are some pros and cons to help you decide if that’s true.
EZ Texting is another well-known name in the text messaging service sphere.
Let’s go over their pros, cons, and pricing.
Textedly claims to be “the easiest way to instantly send 10 or 100,000 bulk SMS and MMS mobile text messages.”
Does it live up to that standard?
Trumpia is a text messaging service that’s built for scaling.
Its tagline is “Simple for your first project, advanced for the next.”
Here’s the info.
Does TextMagic have “the magic”?
Let’s take a look.
Twilio is not an out-of-the-box solution, but rather provides an API so you can send your text messages programmatically.
What are the pros and cons of this?
Tatango calls itself “America’s #1 SMS Software for Fundraising.”
So it sets itself up as a text messaging service geared toward political and non-profit campaigns.
Avochato is one of the fresher faces on the market.
What does that mean for its pros and cons?
Attentive is a brand that seeks to be “the most comprehensive text message marketing solution,” geared toward e-commerce businesses.
Here are the pros and cons.
TextMarks is a lesser known player in the text messaging service industry.
What can you expect with this platform?
Podium is a professional-level texting platform, particularly catering to local businesses.
Here’s what to expect.
DialMyCalls is a multi-purpose platform enabling phone calls, text messages, and emails.
Is that a winning combo?
That list is a lot to sort through.
So how in the world do you choose?
Well, if you read that list front to back, you’d notice a few common pros to look for:
On top of that, you’ll want to make sure the platform has the features you need to accomplish what you’re trying to accomplish.
And, of course, the price has to be right. Right?
Most texting platforms will allow you to have some kind of free trial.
If not, that may be a red flag.
Check out the onboarding process for the platform you’re looking into.
Is it easy to figure out how to add contacts? How to send a message? How to do other things you’re wanting to accomplish?
Do they offer a live demo so you can get a personal walkthrough if you want?
With some texting platforms, you can be ready to go in 5 minutes flat - something like that is what you’re looking for.
The above listed platforms that seemed the easiest to get started include:
Going along with “easy to get started,” you want a platform that’s easy overall.
Something that’s user-friendly.
Something that doesn’t leave you scrambling and scratching your head.
After all, it shouldn’t be complicated to do something simple like send a text message.
If you’ll have multiple people managing your account, this is particularly important. There will be varying degrees of tech-savviness, so you’ll want to look for something that the non-tech-savvy user can pick up without a lot of difficulty.
Find something that you enjoy using. Find something that’s sleek and intuitive.
There are a lot of texting platforms out there, so you don’t have to settle.
The above listed platforms that appeared the easiest to use include:
We’ve all experienced the frustration of being put on hold a million different times during a customer service interaction.
A simple question that should take 5 minutes to answer can end up taking an hour or more.
You don’t want negative customer service interactions with your texting platform.
So you want a texting platform that makes getting in touch with support a snap.
The above listed platforms that appeared to make it the easiest contact support include:
When it comes to a text messaging service, there are some features that will be offered almost across the board.
Many, if not most, users will want to use these features at some point as they go about their texting efforts.
If the platform you’re looking at is lacking any of the following features, that’s something to take note of:
In addition to the list of features above, many text messaging services will offer a variety of other features you may want to take advantage of.
Some of these may or may not be useful to you, depending on how you’re planning to use your texting services. So you’ll just need to decide which ones are important to help reach your specific messaging goals.
(If you need any help figuring out which features you need or how to go about reaching your goals, you can get a free consultation with an expert to get some clarity.)
A 2-way messaging inbox would be important if you’re wanting to be able to easily manage individual conversations with your recipients.
From a messaging inbox, you’ll be able to see people’s individual responses to your messages and can quickly reply back as needed.
Automatically generated QR codes give you a way to get more people to opt in to your text messages.
You can share the QR code with your customers - whether that’s through email, social media, physical mail, or at your physical location. Your customers can then scan the code to sign up for your text list.
“Message templates” refers to having the ability to create a pre-made message ahead of time that you can easily send out whenever you need to.
This would be ideal for situations in which you might have to send out the same message multiple times and don’t want to have to type it out every time.
Or it could be important if you’re anticipating emergency situations, so that you can save precious time by having a message all ready to go if the need arises.
Tracking success on texting campaigns can sometimes be difficult, because there’s not really a way to tell whether a recipient has actually opened the message.
Link tracking can help. It allows you to insert a trackable link within your texting campaign, and then track which of your specific recipients click the link.
This will give you better insight into the success of your texting campaigns so that you can make better informed decisions for future campaigns.
“Smart replies” refers to automated messages that are triggered by specific words people text in.
For example, you can set it up so that if people text in the word “Hours,” they automatically receive a text back including your office hours.
The uses for this are almost limitless. But the major benefit is that it saves both you and your customers hassle by creating automated flows to preemptively answer questions people may have about your business.
If you’re a developer, you already know what API is.
In case you don’t, it allows users to connect services to each other via coding.
So through API, you can connect and integrate with other services, such as a CRM, or other processes you already use.
This means you can save hassle and create a more seamless experience for yourself and for your customers.
For those who aren’t developers or aren’t in a situation in which a developer can set things up for them, you can still look for a text messaging service that offers ways to integrate with other services that you use.
Although the integration options won’t be as flexible as programming through API, you can still get some of the same hassle-saving benefits.
A web sign-up form allows you to have yet another way to get as many subscribers for your texts as you can.
This will be a customizable online form you can provide to people, and all they need to is follow the link and fill out the form to sign up.
One benefits of this method is that it’s easier than some other opt-in methods to collect more information from your subscriber - such as their name and email address.
If you’re a marketer, you already know what it means to have a “drip” campaign - it’s a series of messages “dripped” out automatically over a period of time.
Typically we think of these campaigns in terms of emails. But some text messaging services allow you to do this with your SMS as well.
This type of automation saves you time since you can go about your texting campaigns hands-free, without having to micro-manage it.
Mobile survey questions allow you to ask your customers or employees questions and get their answers automatically tallied for you.
This can be helpful for collecting opinions or getting RSVPs for events, so that you can be more informed about what your subscribers want.
Now that we’ve gone over platform features to look for, we come to the all-important question of…
How does pricing for text messaging services work? What’s a “good” price? What pricing factors do you need to consider?
When it comes to text messaging services, there are 3 main types of pricing structures:
We’ll go over each.
In this model, you will pay a monthly or annual subscription fee which allows you to send a certain number of text messages per month.
Often, unused messages will roll over for at least 1 month.
With this structure, there’s typically no limit to how many contacts you can have in your account. However, do keep in mind that whenever you send a message, each recipient counts as at least one message.
For example, if you send a message to 500 recipients, that would count as 500 messages.
Starting prices for messaging-based subscriptions range from $19 per month to $549 per month.
One other thing to keep in mind with these types of subscriptions is that there’s typically a lower price if you’re paying annually vs. paying month-to-month.
So if you’re confident you want to go with a particular service, you can spring for the annual subscription to save some cash. But go with a month-to-month plan if you’re not sure so that you have the flexibility to cancel if you change your mind.
Some benefits of this pricing model include:
Some cons of this pricing model include:
The services listed above that follow this messaging-based subscription model include:
With a “pay as you go” model, you primarily pay for the messages you need, although sometimes there is a minimum monthly fee or additional fees required.
There aren’t typically limits to contacts or users, and your messages are limited to however many credits you purchase.
You can top up as needed, or in some cases you can be invoiced after the fact.
Starting prices for “pay as you go” plans are $.01 per message to $.07 per message.
Some benefits of this pricing model include:
Some cons of this pricing model include:
The services listed above that follow this pay as you go model include:
User- or contact-based subscription models will allow you a certain number of users or contacts in your account.
These types of plans are either used in conjunction with a “pay as you go” structure as far as messages you can send, or they include an allotted number of messages.
Starting prices for user- or contact-based subscriptions range from $6.74 per month (in conjunction with “pay as you go”) to $249 per month.
Some benefits of this pricing model include:
Some cons of this pricing model include:
The services listed above that follow this user- or contact-based subscription model include:
To select which plan and pricing model will work best for you, think about how many messages you might be sending.
(But don’t worry - if you’re not sure about any of this, many text messaging services will allow you to start small and upgrade your subscription later on.)
You’ll want to keep a few things in mind when thinking about how many messages you’ll need:
This is the most important question to ask, because as mentioned previously, each recipient for your message will typically count as at least 1 message.
That means, for example, if you’re texting 500 people, you’ll use at least 500 message credits when you send them a text.
So if you anticipate having a small text list, you can go with a lower-messaging plan. The more people you anticipate having on your list, the higher the plan you’ll need.
Once you’ve determined an approximate number of people you may have on your text list, the next step is to figure out how many times you’ll be messaging them on a monthly basis.
For example, if you’ll have 1,000 recipients and you’ll be sending them 1-2 messages per month, you’ll probably need a plan that allows at least 2,000 messaging credits per month.
Another factor to consider is the length of your messages.
This is a point of consideration because text messages can technically only be 160 characters. Once you reach that point, your message will still send out but will typically count as 2 or more messages per recipient.
So if you’re sending a longer message to 2,000 recipients, it may actually use up 4,000 messaging credits.
One solution is to keep your messages short so that you don’t have to worry about it, but if your messages need to be long, this is something to keep in mind.
One final element to consider when thinking about how many messages you need in your plan is how often you’ll be sending picture messages (otherwise known as MMS).
Because picture messages use up more credits per message than “regular” texts.
For example, if you were to send an MMS to 5,000 recipients, it may actually use up 15,000 messaging credits.
So you’re wanting to send picture messages, you’ll want to know how many credits your texting platform charges per MMS. And you’ll want to think about how often you want to send MMS as opposed to “regular” SMS.
We’ve already discussed a bit about annual and monthly plans.
But it bears summarizing the difference.
Annual plans typically give a lower rate but either require an upfront payment or a year commitment.
So the benefit is that if you are planning on using it for a full year, you’ll save money. (And a side bonus is that your price will generally be locked in for a year in case the text messaging service ends up raising prices.)
The negative is that you’ve given your money upfront (or have committed to a year of payments), so if you change your mind or have a bad experience, you may not be able to get your money back.
Monthly plans allow you to pay month-to-month without any type of commitment.
The tradeoff is that the rate will be higher than if you purchased an annual plan.
So you get more flexibility in potentially canceling or downgrading your plan, but you’ll have a greater cost in the long run.
So what should you do?
We’d generally recommend starting out with a monthly plan and then switching to an annual plan after a few months if you find the service is a good fit.
One final pricing item to consider is the cost to purchase extra messages outside of your regular allotment.
In other words, what do you do when you run out of messages and need to purchase more?
You’ll typically have 2 options when this happens:
In case you ever need to purchase additional credits, you’ll want to take note of how much it costs to make additional purchases with whatever platform you’re considering.
That way, you’re not caught off guard if the situation comes up.
That’s a lot of info we just threw at you!
When it comes down to it, the best thing to do is try a text messaging service out for yourself so you can feel confident in an informed choice.
Get 50 free messages with Mobile Text Alerts so you can see how it works and you can start really reaching the people you’re wanting to reach.
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