After hours of testing and researching, I've short-listed the seven best small business texting services on the market, so you don't have to.
Small businesses need a way to talk to their customers that’s fast, reliable, easy to use, and flexible to their needs.
The data is clear: 54% of consumers want to get promotions through text, but only 11% of businesses send texts. That’s a gap you’re going to want to take advantage of, and the best way to do it is with a reliable business texting service.
Business texting services bring together the best of SMS marketing (and sometimes more) at an attractive price point and offer users plenty of help getting started.
But there are so many — which do you choose?
We’ve brought together the top seven business texting platforms on the market to give you an easy comparison so you can make an informed decision.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
For this list of the top business texting apps, I selected the ones that come up most often in my conversations with small business owners.
Though I’m partial to SimpleTexting, I can accurately write about our strengths and weaknesses and compare them to popular alternatives. I’ve tried and tested each platform firsthand, except for Attentive, which doesn’t have a trial or a simple way to see if it’s the best texting app out there. Instead, I had to rely on accounts of real customers who have used it.
As I tested the apps, I looked at how easy it is to import and manage contacts, send a text message campaign, have a two-way conversation in the inbox, and use more advanced features like segmentation and automation. This comparison list is a labor of love that’s filled with hours of researching, talking to small business owners, and sending texts.
I’m about to throw a bunch of information at you about these business text messaging services, and it’s all intended to help you make the most informed decision.
But in case you want to short-list your options, I’ve included an overview of how each platform measures against the others.
|Platform||Starting Price||Free Trial||Key Features*|
|SimpleTexting||$29/mo. For 500 credits||14-day trial with 50 credits and one keyword||– URL shortener|
– Unlimited keywords
– SMS polls and surveys
– Data collection
|SMSBump||$0.0165 per SMS (no monthly fee for lowest plan)||Lowest pricing plan is free with limited features||– A/B testing|
– Campaign planner/visualizer
|EZ Texting||$20/mo. for 200 credits||14 days with 120 credits||– Unlimited keywords (for an additional cost)|
– QR codes
– Shutterstock image tool
|Textedly||$24/mo. for 1,000 credits||14-day trial with 50 credits and one keyword||– Data collection|
– Voice services
– Instagram texting button
|SlickText||$29/mo. For 500 credits||14-day trial with 50 credits||– URL shortener|
– SMS polls and surveys
– Website popups
– Loyalty rewards
– QR codes
|TextMagic||$0.04 per message||30-day trial with $0.40 in messaging credits||– Send SMS via email|
– SMS surveys
|Attentive||Not published||Not available||– URL shortener|
– Journeys (pre-built workflows)
*Each platform in this chart also has these standard features:
Now that you know how to go about picking your business texting service, here are the most popular options to consider.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t add SimpleTexting to this list, and in fairness, I’m not the only person who thinks SimpleTexting is one of the best SMS services for small business. G2 awarded SimpleTexting Easiest to Use, Easiest to Do Business With, and Users Most Likely to Recommend in Spring 2022.
Our customers love that the platform is an all-in-one business texting service with a comprehensive texting dashboard, a dedicated support team available seven days a week, and a user-friendly suite of features.
Our platform has all the tools you need to build a thriving SMS marketing strategy. From mass messaging and a one-on-one inbox to tools for polling your contacts and holding contests, everything is built with small businesses in mind.
SimpleTexting is also designed to work hand in hand with your existing tools and processes. Choose from any of our software integrations or have the team design a tailor-made custom integration just for you.
Every plan comes with unlimited keywords, self-service billing options, rollover credits, and three user seats.
SimpleTexting is strictly an SMS tool. You’ll need to integrate with other tools if you want to use SMS in conjunction with your email or CRM provider (but integrations are a breeze).
The platform also lacks a QR code generator, which may be an issue if you want to add contacts with a QR code (but here’s an easy way to use QR codes with SimpleTexting’s platform).
Our pricing plans depend on the number of messages you plan to send each month, and you can select a custom amount. If you need more credits, add more from your billing page at any time. Unused credits roll over to the next month.
All plans come with our full suite of features and:
Here are some examples of messaging credits costs and the features included.
SimpleTexting has a 14-day trial that comes with 50 credits and one keyword.
SMSBump is an SMS platform geared specifically toward e-commerce, with features that take the guesswork out of building effective customer flows. Fortunately, I have access to a Shopify store, so I can get the full SMSBump experience.
Recommended for: E-commerce store owners who are low on time and want out-of-the-box automation features, like Flow templates and dynamic audiences.
This service comes with a lot of features based on how your customers interact with your store, meaning you won’t have to track down someone who abandoned their cart or follow up to recommend products based on a previous purchase — the software will do it for you.
Users will also have access to one-on-one conversation capabilities in the Chat tab for customer service.
One of my favorite features is the pre-built flow templates, which allows you to create a series of automated messages for abandoned carts, loyalty rewards, customer winbacks, and more.
If you don’t already have an email service provider, you can sign up for Yotpo’s email app and directly integrate it with your SMS campaigns.
Customers complain chiefly about the UX of the platform, claiming that the product isn’t terribly user-friendly and is glitchy at times. Other reviews mention difficulty syncing with third-party software and some plans being too expensive for a small business.
When I signed up for SMSBump, I was confused about where I was supposed to go to create an SMS campaign. There seem to be two dashboards — one when you log in through their website and one when you access it through your Shopify store.
The dashboard on their site is bare-bones, which could be good if you’re just looking to send a mass text to your customers. But I don’t see a way to manage conversations and respond to customers from this dashboard.
I was relieved to find the Shopify dashboard for SMSBump, where the user experience is higher quality.
|Free||No monthly fee; $0.0165 per SMS||Customizable Automated MessagesCampaign Builder and PlannerFull Suite of Subscriber Collection ToolsAudience SegmentationOne Free Opt-In KeywordTwo-Way SMS ConversationsAdvanced Analytics & ReportingCustomizable Revenue Attribution & TrackingA/B Testing for Automated MessagesTech Stack IntegrationsYotpo Platform Synergies24/7 Email & Chat Support|
|Growth||$19/mo. + $0.0149 per SMS||All Free Features Plus:Unlimited Free Opt-In KeywordsUnlimited A/B TestingTimezone-based MessagesBusiness Name as Sender|
|Prime||$59/mo. + $0.0142 per SMS||All Growth Features Plus:Click to BuySmart Predictive SegmentationBranded Custom Short URLShopify POS Integration|
|Powerhouse||$199/mo. + $0.030 per SMS||All Prime Features Plus:Onboarding SpecialistMonthly SMS Strategy Sessions|
*All plans are eligible for 10,000 free emails.
SMSBump’s lowest pricing plan is free with limited features.
If you look up lists of the most loved text marketing platforms out there, you’ll see EZTexting on most of them. EZTexting is a classic SMS service with tools for growing and organizing your contact lists, designing and automating texts, and more.
Recommended for: Business owners or marketers who are looking for an SMS marketing starter kit.
Think of EZTexting as the SMS marketing starter kit.
With their features, you’ll be able to market to and communicate with your customers, monitor your campaign performance, and add team members to your account so you’re not handling your whole SMS strategy on your own.
Although EZTexting does have a mobile app, some reviews mention poor functionality when using the app. Other users experience issues with receiving notifications when they aren’t actively logged into their accounts, which affects response times and customer relationships.
As far as the desktop version of the platform goes, I was stoked to try out the Shutterstock integration, which lets you add a stock photo to your text message campaign. However, the search results don’t seem to include images with real models — only graphics.
Below are the starting costs for each EZ Texting pricing plan, and they all come with the full suite of features.
|Launch||$25/mo. for 500 credits and 500 contacts|
|Boost||$75/mo. for 500 credits and 501-2,000 contacts|
|Scale||$125/mo. for 500 messages and 2,000-50,000 contacts|
|Enterprise||$3,000/mo. for 200,000 messages and 50,000+ contacts|
You can try their platform for 14 days with 120 credits.
Textedly is a beloved text marketing platform, having won several G2 awards in 2022. They offer all the foundational text marketing tools such as easy opt-ins, text scheduling, extended character limits, and in-depth analytics to measure message performance.
Available apps also include surveys, Text to Vote, and voice services for your chosen number.
Most of Textedly’s accolades mention their great support staff and how well they’re suited to small business use.
More advanced features include conversation triggers that will help you put your customer communications on autopilot for better response times and customer service, as well as the ability to add multiple team members to your account.
The Voice Calls add-on ($99) is a good deal for businesses that want to use a text-enabled number for phone calls. Textedly also supports Instagram integrations and text scheduling.
Users have highlighted some issues when uploading and managing contact lists and individual phone numbers, specifically, a lack of flexibility in organizing and labeling contacts.
In the App Tools tab of my dashboard, I saw that I have many options for tools and integrations, but most of them have a one-time fee attached to them (for instance, the Instagram text button is $79).
If you know you’re going to use the integration often, it would be worth paying the money up front, but it may be hard to justify if you’re on the fence about it.
Textedly has pricing plans from $0/month all the way to $2,800/month for 200,000 credits (as well as custom plans). Here’s a breakdown of the first six pricing tiers.
|Plan name||Cost||Messages included|
|Starter||$0/mo. with one keyword included||50|
|Bronze||$24/mo. with one keyword included||1,000|
|Plus||$39/mo. with two keywords included||2,000|
|Enterprise||$50/mo. with three keywords included||3,500|
|Elite||$70/mo. with four keyworkds included||5,000|
|Business||$140/mo. with six keyworkds included||10,000|
Textedly offers a 14-day free trial with 50 message credits.
SlickText sits among the top business texting services in the industry, and for good reason. The platform focuses on your relationships with your customers, with tools to help you bring them onto your lists and connect with them quickly and efficiently afterward.
Recommended for: Brands that want to get an SMS loyalty program up and running quickly.
SlickText not only offers a wide range of opt-in methods to help customers join your text lists, but it also comes with features like email capture to help easily transfer existing email contacts to your text program.
From there, SlickText features options for personalizing and automating your texts so you can send effective messages with minimal setup or effort on your part.
Users have commented that their rollover credits tend to time out because their monthly allotted credits get used first. Others say that their automated workflows lack some flexibility.
|The Basic||$29/mo. for 500 messages||2 Textwords Free incoming texts Unlimited contacts Picture messaging Rollover texts Live chat support|
|The Step Up||$49/mo. for 1,000 messages||4 Textwords Free incoming texts Unlimited contacts Picture messaging Rollover texts Live chat support|
|The Lil Bro||$79/mo. for 2,000 messages||6 Textwords Free incoming texts Unlimited contacts Picture messaging Rollover texts Live chat support|
|The Big Bro||$139/mo. for 3,600 messages||8 Textwords Free incoming texts Unlimited contacts Picture messaging Rollover texts Live chat support Automated workflows 1 on 1 onboarding|
|The Boss||$189/mo. for 5,000 messages||14 Textwords Free incoming texts Unlimited contacts Picture messaging Rollover texts Live chat support Automated workflows 1 on 1 onboarding|
|The Albatross*||$350/mo. for 10,000 messages||16 Textwords Free incoming texts Unlimited contacts Picture messaging Rollover texts Live chat support Automated workflows 1 on 1 onboarding|
|The Whale||$750/mo. for 25,000 messages||20 Textwords Free incoming texts Unlimited contacts Picture messaging Rollover texts Live chat support Automated workflows 1 on 1 onboarding|
|The Monstro||$1,250/mo. for 50,000 messages||30 Textwords Free incoming texts Unlimited contacts Picture messaging Rollover texts Live chat support Automated workflows 1 on 1 onboarding|
* Loving the creativity in these plan names. Although, is the Albatross plan supposed to be a burden and an obstacle to success? 🤔 Surely not.
SlickText comes with a 14-day free trial with 50 credits.
TextMagic is an SMS platform built around the idea of easy-to-operate, effective text marketing. They offer features for creating, scheduling, and sending texts with things like templates and long text messages with more characters.
Aside from their texting features, TextMagic comes with features for identifying invalid numbers to increase your message deliverability and email to SMS so you can easily convert emails to texts.
Users can also text out audio files and use Text to Speech to turn texts into phone calls, meaning you can communicate with more than just words on a screen.
Reviews mention inconsistent sending to large groups of contacts and a lack of integrations with CRM platforms, as well as occasionally slow customer service.
TextMagic accounts are free. Users only pay for the messages they send, with SMS messages priced at $0.04 per text.
You can try TextMagic for 30 days with $0.40 in messaging credits.
Attentive is a text message marketing platform that supports business texting with a suite of tools that includes integrations, easy opt-in methods for building contact lists, and resources for targeted messages. The platform is built primarily with e-commerce companies in mind.
Attentive offers a lot of excellent features for zeroing in on who your customers are — their buying patterns, preferences, and personal details — and translating that information into targeted, effective messages and clear views of your larger customer base and what they want.
That’s a big advantage for small businesses that want text messaging to start working at maximum effectiveness without much trial and error.
The biggest drawback to the Attentive platform is that you must book a demo before you can view their plans or pricing. That lack of transparency can present an obstacle if you’re just at the browsing stage.
None available without a demo.
I wasn’t able to find a free trial on Attentive’s site.
These are my seven picks for the best texting services for small businesses. Read on to learn how business texting works, why you should use it, and what to look for in a texting platform.
Business text messaging is a service that allows businesses to send and receive SMS from their customers, employees, and partners. It’s the most convenient way to communicate important information quickly, such as appointment reminders, delivery notifications, customer support responses, and internal announcements.
Many types of businesses — like healthcare providers, retailers, and hotels — benefit from text messaging. For instance, healthcare providers can use text messaging to send reminders for appointments and medication instructions. Meanwhile, retailers can use it to answer customer questions and track orders. Hotel managers can schedule texts that confirm reservations and provide check-in instructions.
You’ll find that most business text messaging platforms provide features like automated messages, personalization, templates, and analytics (or, at least, they should).
Business text messaging works similarly to traditional text messaging, with a few differences.
Instead of using a personal phone number and messaging app (like iMessage), businesses use a specialized communication platform to send and receive text messages. It lets them manage high volumes of messages and automate parts of the messaging process, like sending reminders and responses to common questions.
Compared to traditional text messaging, business text messaging provides several advantages for businesses. First, it allows them to centralize their messages instead of spreading them across various employees’ personal devices.
It also helps them reach customers on a platform they are already using (and check 11 times a day or more on average), increasing the likelihood of getting a response.
But first, why should a business owner invest in a business texting service in the first place?
That’s the rundown on what a business texting service can do for a small business, but every business is unique, so it pays to do your due diligence when choosing a service. Here’s a quick checklist to follow as you do your research.
At the end of the day, the right small business texting service for you and your brand will depend on your unique structure and needs.
I hope, though, that this quick look at the top seven services in SMS gives you a good place to start looking and gathering information as you build out your ideal texting strategy.
Lily is a content marketing specialist at SimpleTexting. She specializes in making helpful, entertaining video content and writing blogs that help businesses take advantage of all that texting has to offer. When she’s not writing or making TikToks, you can find Lily at roller derby practice or in a yoga studio in the Seattle area.More Posts from Lily Norton
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