How to Choose an SMS Marketing Platform


By Jake Meador | 25 Aug 2020





There are a number of factors to consider once you have decided to invest in an SMS marketing platform. In this post, we’ll walk you through five of the most common questions to ask as you are making a purchase decision.

Question 1: Cost? 💸

The obvious place to begin is how much you intend to spend. You can break down messaging costs in a couple of ways.

First, you could look at the monthly cost for a set amount of messages. Most SMS companies sell tiered plans with escalating amounts of messages for each plan. So one way of approaching the cost question is simply to look at the monthly or annual cost and decide which one is right for you.


That said, it’s helpful to also look at your cost per message. This is especially important if you plan on sending a large volume of messages. If you have two competitors you’re considering, both charging $30/month but one offers more messages, then your monthly cost will be the same but your cost per message would be lower with one of the competitors. So always look at the monthly cost as well as the cost per message, which you can calculate by simply dividing the monthly cost by the number of messages you receive.


Question 2: Keywords? 🔑

In SMS marketing “keywords” refer to the words your users can use to text in to your number and be added to your subscriber list.


If you want to be able to segment your subscriber list, meaning you break out your entire list into smaller sub-groups, then having multiple keywords available can be helpful.


That being said, in most cases you will not need a large volume of keywords because there are other methods that you can use for adding people to your subscriber list.


Question 3: Importing Contacts? 📥

In order to text message your list, you actually need to have a list of contacts built. One way of building your list is with keywords, as we already explained. But there are other methods as well. Sometimes you can use an online form to add people to your list. So your subscriber would visit a page in their web browser and fill out a form on the page and be added to your list that way.


In other cases, you can simply take a spreadsheet that contains all your subscribers and upload that into your SMS marketing platform. NOTE: If you want to upload your contacts in this way, you will need to have permission from every person on the list to send them text messages, otherwise you will be out of compliance with anti-spam regulations.


Having a variety of options for growing your list is important. So before signing up with any SMS marketing platform, make sure that they support your preferred method for adding contacts to your list.


Question 4: App? 📱

If you want to be able to use your SMS marketing platform on your phone, you will need an app version of the marketing platform. You may or may not need an app depending on your particular case. 


If you’re an HR director at a large company, you likely will do all your communicating from a desk and will be able to use your desktop machine to send texts. 


But if you are a smaller enterprise or a larger enterprise with some sort of unique work arrangement, then you’ll be needing an app so you can use the marketing platform from your phone.


Question 5: Other features? 😎

Mass texting is a fairly straightforward task—type out your message, send it to your list. But what other features does the marketing platform provide?


Can you schedule messages ahead of time? Track clicks on the message? Send out mobile surveys?


You may or may not need all those features for your anticipated uses. But it is important to be aware of exactly how you plan to use an SMS marketing platform before making a purchasing decision.


Conclusion ⭐

There are many different SMS marketing platforms you might choose to use as part of your more general marketing strategy. In order to make an informed purchase, you will need to have a good handle on what you want to do with SMS marketing and on what your various software options actually are. Toward that end, we created a chart that shows a full comparison of various SMS marketing platforms:


If you would like to get started with Mobile Text Alerts, you can sign up for a free 14-day trial today.