There are more paid SMS services on the market than ever before. Here’s how to choose the best one.
First things first: we are a paid SMS service.
And we like to think we’re one of the best. But the point of this article isn’t to give you the hard sell.
Over the past decade, we’ve worked with tens of thousands of businesses from different industries who use SMS for various reasons.
From this experience, we’ve learned how companies find and pay for SMS services like ours, and the mistakes they routinely make when choosing a platform.
To help you with your texting journey, we came up with the questions you need to answer when evaluating a service.
Even if you decide not to go with ours, we hope this guide serves to help you make the right choice for your business.
You need a service that can send and receive SMS. But you need to dive a little deeper than that if you want to be happy with your final choice. Let’s look at the eight questions you need to ask yourself when choosing a service.
These questions can frame your search, but don’t stop there. Ensure it also provides you with room to grow in the form of nice-to-have functionality.
A lot of text messaging platforms allow you to either text 1-on-1 with customers or send bulk texts.
So it’s critical to understand if a service can support your use case,i.e., if you want to offer SMS customer service, don’t sign up for a platform that focuses chiefly on text marketing.
Conversely, if you want to send SMS promotions, you’ll need to text large groups of people at once and even schedule texts in advance. You don’t want a platform that allows only limited group texting. (We enable you to do both.)
Different phone number types allow you to achieve different objectives when it comes to texting. We’ve written before about what they are here and what we offer.
Most online SMS services offer either:
You don’t want to sign up for a service that only offers six-digit short codes and realize you can’t text-enable your existing landline phone number to respond to customer service issues.
We offer all the phone number types mentioned above, and all of our accounts come equipped with a complimentary local number.
Whether through our integrations or SMS API, a large number of our customers send automated messages.
For example, some of our customers send abandoned cart text messages to customers when someone stops short of completing a purchase on their Shopify site.
It’s essential to check if a platform has the integrations–or API functionality–to support your use case.
If you plan on using a paid SMS service for text marketing, you’ll want to know what list growth tools they offer. That’s because the size of your list is a key determining factor in your overall success.
That’s why we offer:
You want a service that allows you to import phone numbers and include additional contact information like name, email address, and personalized notes. You also want a service that allows you to export these contacts (some don’t).
If you plan on using an online SMS service for two-way messaging with customers, it’s necessary to have an SMS inbox that helps you stay organized and efficient. For example, can you:
You can read more about setting up our SMS inbox here and what it allows you to do.
When you’re getting started with a new communication channel, you want to know you have the support you need. With that in mind, it’s vital to ensure that your online SMS service provider offers customer support on the weekends and during hours that you’re likely to send texts.
The final consideration is the cost of an online SMS service. The per-message price is a huge factor.
It’s also worth understanding if credits roll over from one month to the next or if it’s possible to temporarily pause an account.
Finally, it’s worth checking how hard it is to scale your spending up and down.
Before choosing a platform, you’ll also want to read real customer reviews on third-party websites such as Capterra and G2 to see what customers say. Once you’ve done that, the last thing is to sign up for a free trial.
We promised you no hard sell. So we’re going to ask you instead to try us out for free and see what makes us a cut above the rest. There’s no credit card required, and you can sign up and try texting within minutes. Get started here.
Drew Wilkinson is the Head of Marketing at SimpleTexting. Drew has more than a decade of experience managing successful integrated marketing programs to build brands, raise awareness, and generate demand.More Posts from Drew Wilkinson
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