SMS Messaging Websites Explained

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Not only is it possible to send text messages without a phone, but there are many instances where it would benefit your business to do so.

You’re already managing your organization’s emails, Facebook messages, Twitter DM’s, and live chats all from your computer. And while your business may also have a landline people call for information, there are hundreds of reasons why text-enabling your business is the next big communication move for you.

So, how do you integrate a text marketing strategy alongside all your other web-enabled communications in a way that both sets you apart and boosts your efficiency?

Well, thanks to the development of SMS messaging websites, you can text one or thousands of your customers with one click and a few minutes of your time.

Ways to Send SMS Texts Without a Phone

Whether you know it or not, by finding your way to us here at SimpleTexting you’ve landed on an SMS messaging website. Maybe you’re here because you already know about text marketing and you just want to learn how it works. Or perhaps you’re here because you didn’t know you could send texts through the internet, and our blog came up as the golden ticket answer to your Google search!

Either way, we’re all in the same boat here—The SS “What The Heck Is Online Text Marketing”. And she’s a beauty about to set sail.

How Does SMS Texting Work Without a Phone?

Sending a traditional text message with your cell phone is as easy as opening up your messages, clicking “new message,” typing in your contact’s name and message, then clicking send.

But what if you want to send the same message to more than one person without them knowing it was a mass text? Or what if you wanted to respond right away to a text, even when you’re not by your phone? Or what if you sent someone a really important link that you want them to open and read, and you want to know for sure they did?

It’s just not possible with only a cellphone.

But with the software developed by text marketing companies (like SimpleTexting) messages are sent from a kind of digital inbox. Your list of contacts, or subscribers, are people who have given you express written consent to receive messages.

From there you have the option to send messages back and forth on a one-on-one basis (also known as business texting) or send out mass messages (also known as mass texting campaigns) which can go to thousands of people’s phones at once.

Similar to how VoIP technology uses the internet as a medium to transfer information, messaging websites utilize the internet as the same kind of bridge to cellphones. We do this by text-enabling an otherwise land-bound line.

[Read: What Is VoIP Texting And How Does It Work?]

Our software takes your existing 10-digit landline and turns it into a digital number that can both send and receive text messages from a computer, tablet, or any other internet enabled device.

We can also do the same to a toll-free number of your choosing, or a 6-digit short code unique to your organization.

SMS Website Advanced Features

In addition to the ability to send and receive messages, text enabling your business gives you access to advanced features focused on enhancing your communications. Remember our examples from above—sending messages to multiple people, generating automatic responses, and tracking links? That’s where these features come into the equation.

A host of advanced features is available for each type of texting—business or mass. Used individually or in combination with one another, you’re often able to better serve your customer experience and retention goals.

Some of the most popular SMS web features include:

  • Segments: The segments feature makes it easy to build custom groups of subscribers and start sending out targeted text message campaigns.
  • Keywords: An SMS keyword is a word or phrase that your customers can text to a designated text short code to interact with your SMS marketing campaign.
  • Templates & Duplicates: Save time by reusing your frequently sent messages, campaigns, inbox replies, autoresponders, and keyword confirmation messages.
  • Data Collection: With keyword-based Data Collection, you can collect even more information from your subscribers to customize your messages.
  • Custom Fields: a custom fields feature can help you deliver personalized messages to each person in your mass text campaign.
  • Multiple User Access: if you need to give others access to your lists, it’s easy with web SMS. Simply set up multiple users with custom permissions using a sub-accounts feature.
  • Scheduled Texts: schedule all of your important SMS messages ahead of time. Text scheduling can be used together with autoresponders to automate text marketing even further.
  • Link Tracking: One of the distinct benefits of text marketing is that you can track how many times your links are clicked as it happens. You can use that information to tell how effective your marketing campaign is in real time and tweak your campaigns for optimum performance.

Sending SMS Without a Phone: In Review

We know that was a lot of information all at once, so let’s review the most important takeaways before moving on to the next section. Here are the most important things to remember about web-based SMS:

  1. SMS messaging websites have each developed their own software that allows you to send text messages over the internet, directly to people’s phones. And to each recipient, the text will show up in their inbox as if it was sent from another phone.
  2. This kind of internet-based texting is different from traditional SMS for a couple of reasons, but the main one is your ability to send one message to up to thousands of people at once.
  3. Different messaging websites are set apart by the additional features they offer. Features that are focused on helping you deliver a more efficient and improved customer experience.

Reasons to Send SMS Texts Through a Website

These features sound nice and everything, but wouldn’t it just be easier to have a cell phone or two to manage your business’s texts from? Why break from the traditional and instead web enable?

Here are our top ten reasons:

  1. Cost: In addition to the cost of the device, cellphones also come with cellphone plans. The cost of these plans is often developed with personal vs. professional use in mind. With companies like SimpleTexting however, pricing is flexible and based on the volume of texts you anticipate sending. In the long run, this can end up saving you some serious coin.
  2. Integrate with your other marketing efforts: SMS messaging websites truly help you work smarter by partnering with other services, like Mailchimp, that work with your SMS campaigns to gather and share information. Here at SimpleTexting, we allow you to connect with over 1,000 different apps through Zapier.
  3. Prioritize communications: With text marketing, your inbox isn’t just a space where messages live. It’s also a place for you to organize customer communications in a way that provides individualized service to all. One of our business texting features even allows you to filter your inbox based off of when a message was received or how long a customer has been waiting.
  4. Keep detailed records of all your transcripts: Record keeping is important if you want to avoid any he-said-she-said situations. SMS messaging sites are able to keep detailed backlogs of all of your communications that can be pulled for your reference at any time. It’s like the ultimate receipt.
  5. Manage from anywhere: Don’t have your work cell phone on you? Doesn’t matter. You can log in to your dashboard and manage your texts from any internet enabled device. At SimpleTexting we even developed apps for iOS and Android that can be downloaded onto any device (personal or professional) making any work your work cell if you need it to be.
  6. Leave notes on communications: Similar to the ability to prioritize conversations, you can also stay organized by adding notes to conversations that are only visible from your end. This is extremely helpful if more than one person from your organization is communicating with customers.
  7. Give customers more than just one way to reach you: With a traditional cell phone, a customer needs to know your number in order to reach you. However, web SMS gives you the opportunity to get into people’s contact lists in other ways. For example, by putting their information into a web form, or texting in a keyword.
  8. Engage in smart communications: SMS web texting is all about data collection. You can sort and organize threads of subscribers based on information like purchase preferences or behavior.
  9. Receive product support: When you purchase a text marketing plan you become a customer. That opens you up to support from your provider— both technical and marketing. At SimpleTexting we pride ourselves on some of the best customer support available to all of our clients seven days a week.
  10. Measure the success of your campaigns: Chart your growth with built-in text marketing analytics. At a glance, you can see how many new subscribers you’ve gained, the number of users clicking links in your texts, and the number of messages sent per list. With data like this, you can tweak your campaigns for optimum performance.

How to Choose an SMS Sending Site For Your Business

We’ve gone ahead and written a comprehensive guide telling you what to look for in an SMS provider. But if you don’t want to pull your attention away from this awesome article, here are the top 10 things we recommend looking for in your provider:

  1. Clear and reasonable pricing*
  2. Two-way messaging abilities
  3. Defined network coverage
  4. Quality Support
  5. Compliance Guides*
  6. Integrations
  7. Mass texting and 1-on-1
  8. MMS Capabilities*
  9. Ease of account management
  10. Free trial

Some of these suggestions are a little more straightforward than others (who doesn’t love a free trial) so let’s break down some of the more industry-specific ones.

Understanding What Makes A Good SMS Sending Site

*These are text marketing terms which may be unfamiliar to you if you’re just getting started. Luckily, they’re easy to understand. We’ll explain:

Clear and Reasonable Pricing

Most text marketing companies offer pricing plans based on something called credits. Credits refer to how many messages you can send in a month. Some messages, like those including photos or video, can cost you more “credits”. By estimating how many messages you plan on sending each month you can roughly determine how many credits you’ll need.

You want to find a text marketing provider that not only gives you reasonable options for volume of texts, but doesn’t secretly charge you for incoming texts as well as outgoing.

Compliance Guides

Another thing that makes mass texting different from traditional SMS is how it’s regulated. Because you’re able to send texts to so many people so easily, the potential for people to abuse it as spam is high. That’s why groups like the FCC have set forth strict rules regarding text marketing. We’ve got plenty of guides that can tell you everything you need to know about understanding compliance. But you want to make sure that whatever text marketing platform you go with also has a clear understanding of the rules. They should make it as easy as possible for you to follow them.

MMS Capabilities

We’ve been talking pretty frequently about SMS (short messaging service), which is most commonly associated as a synonym for text messaging. That’s not wrong, but it’s not the only type of “text” message in existence. SMS messages are just that…text messages. They allow you to send words to another person in 160 characters or less. However, if you want to send photos, videos, or other rich media you’ll need to send something called an MMS message (multimedia messaging service). In addition to sending media, MMS also gives you additional space for text, up to 1600 characters. Finding a provider who can support both SMS and MMS is essential.

We certainly invite you to give SimpleTexting a shot, we do offer a free trial after all! But if you’re not in the market for a text marketing provider right now be sure to keep poking around in our blog. We have plenty of other marketing guides that could be what you’re looking for.

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