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Updated Jun 12, 2024

The Best Text Message Marketing Services of 2024

Businesses should use text messages to engage consumers, complement digital marketing campaigns and offer customer service.

Mark Fairlie
Mark Fairlie, Senior Analyst & Expert on Business Ownership
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Best for Larger Businesses
Textline
Textline logo
  • Base price: $59.97 per month
  • No inclusive text credits
  • 14-day free trial
USALinks to Textline
Visit Site
  • Base price: $59.97 per month
  • No inclusive text credits
  • 14-day free trial
Best for Simple Texting Needs
Textedly
  • Base price: $26 per month
  • 600 inclusive text credits
  • 14-day free trial
USALinks to Textedly
Visit Site
  • Base price: $26 per month
  • 600 inclusive text credits
  • 14-day free trial
Best for Ease of Use
EZ Texting
  • Base price: $20 per month
  • 500 inclusive text credits
  • 14-day free trial
USALinks to EZ Texting
Visit Site
  • Base price: $20 per month
  • 500 inclusive text credits
  • 14-day free trial
Best for Business Onboarding
SlickText
SlickText logo
  • Base price: $29 per month
  • 500 inclusive text credits
  • 14-day free trial
USALinks to SlickText
Visit Site
  • Base price: $29 per month
  • 500 inclusive text credits
  • 14-day free trial
Best for Building Subscriber Numbers
ProTexting
  • Base price: $39 per month
  • 12,000 inclusive text credits
  • 14-day free trial
USALinks to ProTexting
Visit Site
  • Base price: $39 per month
  • 12,000 inclusive text credits
  • 14-day free trial

Table of Contents

Open row

In determining the best text message marketing services, we looked for platforms that were easy to navigate, featured customer segmentation tools, allowed automated messaging and integrated with leading business phone systems and email marketing solutions. We considered each vendor’s messaging rates and plan options, compliance with legal regulations and customer support.

At business.com, we strive to provide top-tier recommendations for the best business software and tools based on in-depth research and firsthand experience. We begin by studying the market and interviewing vendors before testing software, comparing products and seeking user reviews. Our independent evaluations are vetted by an editor who wasn’t involved in the assessment process to ensure fairness and accuracy. Learn more about our methodology and editorial process.

In decades past, newspaper advertisements and television commercials may have been the best way to get your products in front of customers, but modern marketing requires businesses to think beyond traditional methods. Companies today need to meet consumers where they are: on their phones. With text message marketing services, you can interact with potential customers and existing clients through their mobile device, sending promotional SMS and MMS messages, answering customer service questions and even accepting payments.

Whether you want to have segmented subscriber lists or one-on-one conversations, the best text message marketing services — like Textline and EZ Texting — provide the technology needed, along with insightful analytics, email marketing software integrations and more valuable features. We tested a range of solutions from leading vendors and lesser-known providers and determined the top text messaging platforms for a variety of business needs.

Textedly composers

Textedly and its competitors feature message composers that simplify creating text messages to send to potential and existing customers. Source: Textedly

Tip Bulb

How We Decided

The business.com team spent weeks evaluating text message marketing services to identify the top solutions. Based on our in-depth analysis, we chose the five best platforms.

18

evaluated

12

researched

5

chosen

The business.com team spent weeks evaluating text message marketing services to identify the top solutions. Based on our in-depth analysis, we chose the five best platforms.

18

evaluated

12

researched

5

chosen

Compare Our Best Picks

BDC Ribbon
Our Top Picks for 2024
Textline
Textedly
EZ Texting
SlickText
ProTexting
Rating (Out of 10)9.08.08.28.08.4
Best use case

Larger businesses

Simple texting needs

Ease of use

Business onboarding

Building subscriber lists

Starting price

$59.97 per month

$26 per month

$20 per month

$29 per month

$39 per month

Free trial

14 days

14 days

14 days

14 days

14 days

Minimum inclusive text credits

None

600

500

500

12,000

Key features

Split into departments, faster Campaign Registry procedure, internal collaboration

Group texting, omnichannel communication, built-in compliance

Automated scheduling, drip campaigns, surveys

Mobile autoresponders, contact management, mass texting

Campaign-driven solutions, solo shortcodes, global delivery

Analytics

Agent performance, conversational outcomes, live client activity

Conversion rates, opt-outs, KPIs, new customers

Message tracking, contact tracking, delivery reports

Opt-in/opt-out tracking, geographic stats, link tracking

Responsiveness to campaigns, subscriber growth, keyword metrics

Integrations

17 native + Zapier

23 native + Zapier

5 native + Zapier

15 native + Zapier

49 native + Zapier

Review Link
Scroll Table

Our Reviews

Textline logo
  • Base Price: $59.97 per month
  • Top Features: Split teams into departments, fast Campaign Registry procedure, internal collaboration
  • Trial Period: 14 days
Editor's Rating: 9/10
Visit Site

Why Textline is Best for Larger Businesses

Textline is our choice for larger businesses because it has the advanced features needed to address multiple audiences at scale. When testing the platform, we found that tools like group messaging and mass surveys made it easy to engage with audiences you can segment for more successful campaigns. The clever automation tools are customizable and help you get the most out of text message marketing. Textline has three pricing plans that start at a somewhat higher rate than many of the other services we reviewed, but the value you get for the money is clear, especially if you’re managing a large audience.

We like that Textline offers an intuitive, user-friendly experience, helping streamline the demanding task of crafting multiple text message marketing campaigns for a variety of client groups. Big businesses handle more data and that’s a real point of separation for Textline. Its HIPAA compliance makes it a bolt-on solution for healthcare businesses while its wider security features like CCPA and GDPR compliance provide comfort to enterprise-level companies, especially those handling confidential and personal data.

Textline two-way communication tools

Textline’s two-way communication tools make it easy for customers to reach out via text for questions and support. (Source: Textline)

Textline Pricing

Plan Monthly Price Features
Limited $59.97 for three agents Scheduled messages, message templates, 90-day conversation history, automations, automatic responses, address book, one department, metrics, mobile app, multi-factor authentication, web chat
Standard $89.97 for three agents Everything in the Limited plan, plus access for up to 10 agents, multiple departments, three-year conversation history, NPS and CSAT surveys, standard integrations, application programming interface (API) and webhooks, admin and agent roles, HIPAA compatibility, priority support, dedicated customer success manager
Pro $249.95 for five agents Everything in the Standard plan, plus access for up to 50 agents, unlimited conversation history, custom surveys, Salesforce integrations, custom roles, time-based automations, routing, advanced security features

Textline Advantages

  • Textline is a secure solution that meets HIPAA compliance standards, making it useful for businesses in the healthcare space or other highly regulated environments.
  • The marketing automation tools make crafting text message marketing campaigns easy and fast.
  • Tags help you segment different audience groups.

Textline Disadvantages

  • Textline charges for every individual message you send.
  • The Limited plan is true to its name with few notable features.
  • The small collection of integrations may not be enough for larger businesses.

Trustpilot Score: Textline has a TrustScore of 4.6 stars out of five, indicating “excellent” user reviews. Said one customer, “After 4 years had a problem and it was fixed with non-issue and Great service. Best communication tool I have ever had. My clients love having it 24/7.”

CHECK OUT OUR FULL TEXTLINE REVIEW

  • Base Price: $26 per month
  • Top Features: Group texting, omnichannel communication, built-in compliance
  • Trial Period: 14 days
Editor's Rating: 8/10
Visit Site

Why Textedly is Best for Simple Texting Needs

Textedly offers one of the lowest per-text prices of the major text messaging platforms on the market, but don’t mistake cheap for substandard. You can easily build lists, have two-way conversations with clients, run bulk campaigns and integrate dozens of popular apps like Salesforce. We appreciate how well Textedly enables businesses to communicate with customers one-on-one over more than just traditional text messages — you can also have conversations via Facebook, WhatsApp and a website chatbot. This is also one of the few platforms that allows you to text customers directly from your Instagram business profile.

We love that the company’s resources section gives you 65 templates to choose from ― far more than most competitors offer. Textedly does charge extra for text personalization, drip campaigns and automatic replies, but the actual charges are low and one-off.

Textrdly auto replies

Textedly gives you the option to easily set up automatic replies. In addition to customizing what is said in the reply, you can set when you want the replies to start and end. (Source: Textedly)

Textedly Pricing

Plan Monthly Price Texts Included with Monthly/Annual Billing Features
 Basic $26 500/600 Free inbound messages, MMS, unlimited contacts, one toll-free and one 10DLC number, one user seat, chat support, one keyword
Bronze $38 1,000/1,200 Everything in Basic
Plus $69 2,000/2,400 Everything in Basic, along with text payments, Google My Business functionality, premium support, two keywords
Enterprise $99 3,500/4,200 Everything in Plus, along with three keywords
Elite $139 5,000/6,000 Everything in Plus, along with four keywords
Business $249 10,000/12,000 Everything in Plus, along with six keywords
Silver $349 15,000/18,000 Everything in Plus, along with seven keywords
Premium $499 25,000/30,000 Everything in Plus, along with 10 keywords
Pro $599 35,000/42,000 Everything in Plus, along with 13 keywords
Gold $849 50,000/60,000 Everything in Plus, along with 15 keywords
Platinum $1,599 100,000/120,000 Everything in Plus, along with 20 keywords
Diamond $2,299 150,000/180,000 Everything in Plus, along with 20 keywords
Champion $2,999 200,000/240,000 Everything in Plus, along with 50 keywords

Textedly Advantages

  • Textedly lets you easily build segmented lists and send target campaigns to customers.
  • The resources section gives you 65 message templates to choose from ― far more than most rivals have.
  • The addition of basic online review management via SMS is valuable.

Textedly Disadvantages

  • Textedly charges extra for text personalization, drip campaigns and automatic replies.
  • The platform doesn’t have the robust set of features some competitors offer.
  • Some tools are less intuitive and straightforward tasks require multiple clicks.

Trustpilot Score: With more than 2,000 reviews, Textedly has a TrustScore of 4.6 stars out of five. One testimonial read, “The customer service for Textedly is top notch and super fast at responding! Textedly has a very user-friendly dashboard and interface that makes sending out important texts to our customers a quick task. Our customers also love it as well! I highly recommended Textedly for all your custom text message marketing needs!”

CHECK OUT OUR FULL TEXTEDLY REVIEW

  • Base Price: $20 per month
  • Top Features: Automated scheduling, drip campaigns, surveys
  • Trial Period: Yes, 14 days
Editor's Rating: 8.2/10
Visit Site

Why EZ Texting is Best for Ease of Use

EZ Texting is an exceptionally intuitive text messaging platform full of useful tools. We like that nontechnical business owners and those with little or no marketing experience will have little trouble using the software. One aspect of EZ Texting that we particularly appreciate is its vast array of industry-specific content to give you ideas for your marketing campaigns. Additionally, there is an excellent template library to get you started, and we like how the generative AI tool is integrated directly into the messaging apps within the platform. EZ Texting is not the cheapest, but it does offer excellent functionality that’s easy to use, which may make the extra cost worth it for many company owners.

EZ Texting royalty free images

EZ Texting provides access to more than 2 million royalty-free images you can include in MMS campaigns. (Source: EZ Texting)

EZ Texting Pricing

Plan Monthly Price Texts Included Features
 Launch $20 500 Unlimited two-way texting, incoming messages, contacts and keywords; AI inbox tools; QR codes, signup forms and contact management tools; texting tools; campaign tools; analytics, reporting, template and design tools; Shutterstock access; “CRM Lite” tools; native integrations; Zapier and API access

Plus: Local EZ Textable phone number

Boost $60 500 Everything in the Launch plan

Plus: Local high-volume EZ Textable phone number

Scale $100 500 Everything in the Launch plan

Plus: Local high-volume, high-speed EZ Textable phone number

Enterprise $3,000 200,000 Everything in the Launch plan

Plus: Dedicated short code

EZ Texting Advantages

  • EZ Texting’s AI-powered platform is great for business owners not trained in information technology (IT) or other tech.
  • The system includes a well-stocked template library and a help section that offers lots of useful hints and tips for different industry sectors.
  • An intuitive Canva-like feature is great for creating branded announcements, invitations and promotions.

EZ Texting Disadvantages

  • If you’re not familiar with Zapier, you might need to pay a developer to integrate EZ Texting with other business software.
  • The per-text rates are higher than some competitors.
  • The vendor has limited customer support options.

Trustpilot Score: EZ Texting has earned a TrustScore of 3.8 stars out of five based on more than 100 reviews. One user stated, “Easy to use, manage, and super user friendly platform. Would love the ability to purchase phone numbers specific to different acronyms to make marketing a bit easier (ie 725-Textus1) but other than that i love using it!”

CHECK OUT OUR FULL EZ TEXTING REVIEW

SlickText logo
  • Base Price: $29 per month
  • Top Features: Mobile autoresponders, contact management, mass texting
  • Trial Period: Yes, 14 days
Editor's Rating: 8/10
Visit Site

Why SlickText is Best for Business Onboarding

What makes the easy-to-use, feature-packed SlickText stand out from the crowd is its very business-centered onboarding approach. When you sign up for any of its paid plans over $139 a month, you get a free onboarding session with a member of SlickText’s client success team. For plans under that amount, there is a small fee for onboarding support. After onboarding, client success agents are available to help you optimize the platform further and develop a text message marketing strategy for your company. We also appreciate the large knowledge base on SlickText’s website and its clearly written instructions on topics ranging from getting started to creating surveys.

SlickText on mobile and desktop

SlickText’s desktop and mobile dashboards provide a quick look at your subscriber numbers. (Source: SlickText)

SlickText Pricing

Plan Monthly Price Texts Included Features
The Basic $29 500 Two textwords, free incoming texts, unlimited contacts, picture messaging, rollover texts, live chat support
The Step Up $49 1,000 Everything in The Basic with four textwords
The Lil Bro $79 2,000 Everything in The Basic with six textwords
The Big Bro $139 3,600 Everything in The Basic with eight textwords, plus automated workflows and one-on-one onboarding
The Boss $189 5,000 Everything in The Big Bro with 14 textwords
The Albatross $350 10,000 Everything in The Big Bro with 16 textwords
The Whale $750 25.000 Everything in The Big Bro with 20 textwords
The Monstro $1,250 50,000 Everything in The Big Bro with 30 textwords

SlickText Advantages

  • SlickText offers one-on-one guidance from a customer success representative right from the start on subscriptions costing $139 a month or more.
  • All plans include free inbound texts, unlimited contacts and MMS messaging.
  • The no-code automation tool makes it easy to build a more personalized texting experience.

SlickText Disadvantages

  • One-on-one onboarding and automated workflows aren’t included in the three lowest service tiers.
  • Phone support is only available on weekdays.
  • The vast majority of integrations rely on user knowledge of Zapier.

Trustpilot Score: SlickText has a TrustScore of 3 stars out of five but from only two reviews. One of the users said, “SlickText platform is very easy to use and their customer service is AMAZING!” but the other customer was far less satisfied.

  • Base Price: $39 per month
  • Top Features: Campaign-driven solutions, solo shortcodes, global delivery
  • Trial Period: 14 days
Editor's Rating: 8.4/10
Visit Site

Why ProTexting is Best for Building Subscriber Lists

We found ProTexting to be the best choice for businesses, charities and schools that want to communicate individually and en masse with customers, donors, students and parents. The platform offers a great set of features you can use to build up and segment your subscribers quickly and effectively. Tools like the “Text Me” button let customers subscribe directly from your website. ProTexting can also segment customers automatically by location, ZIP code and more, as well as by keyword. For deeper personalization, we loved adding custom fields (like “VIP” for high-spending customers) to segment clients using our chosen criteria for even more precise campaign targeting.

ProTexting auto responses

With ProTexting’s auto-responder feature, you can set up automatic replies to send if a customer texts your company when the business is closed. (Source: ProTexting)

ProTexting Pricing

Plan Monthly Price Text Credits Included Features
Startup $39 12,000 Dedicated text code, free incoming messages, MMS, two-way texting, unlimited contacts and groups, one-hour onboarding session, unlimited phone support, two keywords
Economy $63 20,400 Everything in the Startup plan with two keywords
Standard $119 39,600 Everything in the Startup plan with four keywords and one additional user
Business $239 90,000 Everything in the Startup plan with eight keywords and two additional users
Corporate $399 156,000 Everything in the Startup plan with 10 keywords and three additional users
Corporate Plus $719 300,000 Everything in the Startup plan with 15 keywords and three additional users
Corporate Extra $959 420,000 Everything in the Startup plan with 20 keywords and three additional users

ProTexting Advantages

  • ProTexting makes it easy to send individual and group messages and respond to customer replies.
  • The contact management system is impressive, allowing you to segment subscribers to make your campaigns more targeted.
  • The Shopify and HubSpot integrations are especially appealing.

ProTexting Disadvantages

  • ProTexting doesn’t offer as many templates as other services, and the ones it does offer aren’t fully integrated with the messaging sections of the platform.
  • There is a learning curve when you first use the software.
  • There are extra fees for tools like surveys and email capture.

Trustpilot Score: With only two reviews, ProTexting has a TrustScore of 3.8 stars out of five. The lone testimonial, from several years ago, stated, “Great service, easy to use. Outstanding customer service and onboarding demos.”

Pricing

SlickText survey

The cost of your text message marketing service will depend on whether you only want basic texting abilities or also access to other features, like SlickText’s survey tools. (Source: SlickText)

Prices for text message marketing services vary by provider. Some charge per text, but most charge by the month, with the latter fee covering a certain number of texts and keywords for campaigns depending on the plan you select. For example, for $29 per month, SlickText will allow you to send up to 500 messages. In contrast, Textline’s base rate is $59.97 per month with no text credits included; instead, there are varying rates for sending and receiving SMS and MMS messages.

Adding more users, keywords, numbers and features may incur additional one-time or monthly charges. We recommend making a list of exactly what you want to do with text message marketing and asking providers to quote you for a package that includes those tools and functions. Note that free plans are available with some vendors, but they are extremely limited in what you can do with them.

Bottom LineBottom line
The cheapest SMS marketing plan we saw, from Textedly, costs $26 per month and includes 600 monthly texts when paid upfront annually. The most expensive plan we found is from EZ Texting at $3,000 a month for up to 200,000 messages.

Features of Text Message Marketing Services

Textline subscriber segmentation

The best contact management tools, like those from Textline, let you tag and segment subscribers based on different groups and characteristics. (Source: Textline)

High-quality text message marketing services do much more than send texts. They can help you find your target audiences, engage with them and track how they interact with your messages.

Consider the features below, deciding which ones will be of most value to your business. As your buying journey continues, look for vendors with the tools you want at a cost your business can afford.

  • Message templates: Templates for your most common message types can save you a lot of time. Choose a provider with templates you can use as inspiration for your campaigns. The platform should also allow you to create your own templates and keep them at your fingertips.
  • Multimedia messaging: MMS messages allow you to send pictures, videos and audio clips as well as up to 1,600 characters of text. Not all providers offer MMS messages, so check with each vendor before signing up for their service.
  • Scheduling: Many systems allow you to schedule text messages in advance to your target audiences. It’s best practice to plan campaigns weeks ahead, and scheduling allows you to set up these future campaigns and make sure they go out to customers at the optimal times.
  • Contact management: If your contact list is full of old numbers, customers won’t receive your messages and your campaigns won’t succeed. The best text message marketing solutions make it easy to add contacts, import existing lists and scrub lists to ensure they only include active numbers.
  • Free incoming text messages: It’s important to show customers you’re open to a dialogue and allow them to respond to your messages. Most highly rated services don’t charge you when a customer texts you back.
  • Customization: You can make your campaigns more successful by personalizing each text message to its recipient. Look for services that allow you to target your messages based on data like a customer’s full name, birthday and ZIP code.
  • Drip campaigns: Drip campaigns are automated customer journeys with actions triggered by conditions you set. For example, a welcome text goes out when a customer subscribes and they receive a thank-you message when they make their first purchase.
  • Analytics and reports: You can improve your future campaign performance when your texting platform tracks responses and other metrics, showing you what went well and what didn’t with your current and past campaigns.
  • AI: Many text message software solutions now feature generative AI to help you compose marketing campaigns and formulate automatic replies to customer queries. This can save marketing and customer service teams a lot of time.
  • Automation: The best text message marketing companies offer automation tools, which are helpful if you want to send the same text message regularly, such as recurring reminders.
  • Integrations: Most text message platforms can integrate with other business software, such as the best email marketing services like Mailchimp and Constant Contact, allowing you to sync data and functions seamlessly. [See our Constant Contact review.]
  • Mobile keywords: The system should allow you to create multiple keywords to reflect different tastes and preferences among your customers. A new subscriber will choose the keyword that best reflects the products and services they want to receive messages about.
  • Surveys: The best services make it easy to gather customer feedback with polls and surveys.
  • Text-to-landline: This feature lets you send and receive text messages through your business landline phone number with no changes to your voice service.
  • Payment processing: We love platforms that allow businesses to accept payments via SMS messages. You can text customers the link to a secure payment page, a convenient option for both merchants and their clients.
Did You Know?Did you know
The number of small businesses using SMS grew to nearly 6 million in 2023, according to data from Mobilesquared.

Benefits of a Text Message Marketing Service

EZ Texting performance

EZ Texting provides detailed statistics on how each text message campaign performs. (Source: EZ Texting)

The prime benefit of text message marketing is, of course, the chance to communicate directly with customers, but using these services comes with other advantages, too.

High Open Rate

SMS marketing has a much higher open rate than email marketing. This means most recipients will see your text messages. If you include a link to your website in your text, this can also lead to conversions.

Cost-Effective Marketing Method

Text messaging is a low-cost way to market your business. The number of texts included in monthly plans is often quite generous and above what most companies need. A few pay-as-you-go options are available, too.

Ability to Be Where the Customer Is

Customers now expect you to be available in-store, online, on social media and messaging apps. Nearly all Americans carry a cell phone that they check multiple times a day. Text message marketing ensures you can reach them whether they’re in front of their computer or not.

Part of a Multichannel Marketing Strategy

Text messaging doesn’t need to be your entire marketing effort ― it works well in conjunction with other types of marketing. For instance, you can include links to your social media profiles in your text messages or offer a discount code for recipients to use on your website.

Regulations for Text Message Marketing

Textline HIPAA compliance

Textline boasts features that help ensure compliance with HIPAA and other legal regulations. (Source: Textline)

When using a text message marketing service, be sure to follow text message marketing laws and best practices. Pay attention to your provider’s own guidelines and recommended use policies in addition to the applicable regulations like those below.

Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)

The TCPA is overseen by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. It outlines the laws you must abide by when collecting contacts and sending text messages. Not everything in the TCPA applies to text message marketing, but you should review the regulations specific to texting to ensure you comply.

One TCPA requirement is that you get permission from each contact before you send text messages to them. Another is that you only send texts between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. (in the recipient’s time zone, not yours).

Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA) and Mobile Marketing Association (MMA)

The CTIA and MMA guide companies on the appropriate use of text message marketing to consumers. Although these guidelines are not laws, they are considered best practices. Here are some of them:

  • Don’t use the term “free” unless what you’re offering is truly free to the end user.
  • Advertising materials should include the program name, a description of the products and quantity (if applicable), a link to the terms and conditions, instructions on how the individual can stop receiving messages and a note that message and data rates may apply. Alternatively, you can provide all of this information when the customer texts HELP.
  • Get the consumer’s opt-in approval before sending messages to them.
  • Provide an easy mechanism to unsubscribe.
  • Maintain opt-in and opt-out records for at least six months.
  • Avoid advocating the use of tobacco, alcohol or other drugs in your message.
  • You may need to require age verification for some marketing campaigns.

Campaign Registry

In recent years, consumers have been plagued by spam text messages. Often, a rogue operator purchases a local number and sends unsolicited and unwanted marketing messages to consumers before disappearing. This can lead to messaging platforms like those we’ve reviewed being shut down temporarily to investigate what happened.

To address this, the Campaign Registry was established by the major cellular network operators, including Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T. Their goal was to stop spam text messages so that, as a channel of communication, it would retain and strengthen the trust of consumers.

Now, before any company can send a text message marketing campaign via a 10-digit-long code (10DLC), they must be on the Campaign Registry. To apply, you must first provide information about your company, including its brand name, type of business, address, website address, company size and contact details. You also need to share why you want to use texting, the type of content you want to send out (including sample messages) and how you’ll manage subscribers opting in and out.

Once registered, you’ll get higher deliverability on your text campaigns and be able to send more messages. There is a fee of $15 a month to stay on the service and all phone numbers from which campaigns are sent out must be on the Registry.

Your text message marketing platform provider will normally assist you in this process.

FYIDid you know
You can be fined $500 to $1,500 for every illegal text message you send. All the services we investigated have active programs to help you stay on the right side of the regulations.

Additional Options Worth Exploring

If our top recommendations above don’t meet your text message marketing needs, there are alternative platforms on the market that may be a better fit. Here’s what stood out to us about these other solutions.

Twilio

Twilio is ideal for businesses seeking a customizable omnichannel communications platform that includes not just text messaging abilities but also voice, email and chat tools. The API and SDK documentation for the Twilio Flex platform will enable your developers to create a solution tailored to your company’s exact needs. At a cost of $150 per user per month, this is an expensive choice; however, you can opt to sign up just for pay-as-you-go text messaging at highly affordable rates. Find out more in our full Twilio Flex review.

SimpleTexting

We love that SimpleTexting bolsters its platform with valuable artificial intelligence and analytics tools, allowing businesses to generate text copy, drill down into campaign performance and more. There are no contracts, and you can pay a small fee to have the vendor’s professional programmers custom-build the integrations you want — an opportunity no other provider we evaluated offers. See our SimpleTexting review for a breakdown of monthly costs based on message count.

Thryv

Service businesses will find Thryv’s Business Center platform valuable in the way it combines text message and email marketing, social media management and a CRM in one solution. Beyond the texting capabilities, we especially like the tools that facilitate appointment setting, payment processing and online local listings. You’ll also get access to the vendor’s Command Center, which provides a centralized inbox for all customer communication. With unlimited 24/7 support and an add-on for HIPAA compliance, this is a multifaceted product blending marketing and sales. Learn more about Thryv.

Podium

If you’re looking to enhance local client relationships, you’ll love that Podium allows unlimited one-on-one text messages. We further appreciate that the platform integrates with leading customer review sites like Google and Facebook so you can ask customers to join your text message marketing list after they leave a review, a great tactic to drive retention and brand loyalty. With the AI tools included on higher-tier plans, you can quickly generate responses to reviews and text context for messaging campaigns. Get all the details in our comprehensive Podium review.

TextMarks

TextMarks specializes in helping transit agencies provide riders with timely updates via text message. Passengers need only text a keyword and the number associated with their bus, rail or streetcar stop to receive real-time, up-to-the-minute information on delays and cancelations. While this service is free for riders and doesn’t require a mobile app, transportation companies are charged a minimum of $199 per month, plus text messaging fees, and may require help from outside developers to set the system up. Find out more about TextMarks.

Text Message Marketing FAQs

Text message marketing is an effective, quick and easy way to reach customers. A very high proportion of text messages are read within three minutes of being received. Unlike with emails, nearly every person you send a text will see it. Personalized text marketing messages are particularly effective as they make customers feel seen and appreciated.

Businesses should use text message marketing when they want to distribute offers and incentives to their audiences. They should also use SMS to provide business updates (like changes in your store hours) or invite customers to an event. Plus, text platforms that allow two-way communication are great for providing customer service via text.

Text message marketing is important because it gives you a clear, dedicated line of communication with your customers. It’s a direct channel where you can keep up levels of engagement, increase customer satisfaction and build your brand reputation.

Text marketing can attract new customers to your business through special offers sent via text, personalized messages and regular updates. These efforts can enhance your credibility and build customer loyalty. [Learn more about business texting.]

Text marketing can help you keep the customers you already have by providing an easy way to
keep subscribers in the loop about deals, opportunities and news from your business. Text messages keep your brand front of mind for loyal customers and incentivize them to keep buying from you.

The most common way to get consent is by asking a consumer to provide their phone number on an online or paper form that includes the required terms. You must obtain express written consent for each number on your marketing list and, according to the TCPA, the terms of consent must be “clear and conspicuous.” In other words, a recipient must understand exactly what they are agreeing to when they provide their phone number.

Consumers open around 98 percent of texts they receive on their phones, proving the effectiveness of text message marketing. For comparison, the average email open rate is around 22.5 percent. While email marketing still generates great returns, there is a strong argument ― particularly for business-to-consumer companies ― to shift some expenditure to text message marketing and see if it gets a higher response rate for your company.

You can track your text message marketing campaigns through your chosen software. Most text marketing platforms will show you the number of messages you’ve sent, the number of messages delivered (if a recipient’s carrier supports that function) and the number of bounces (failed deliveries due to network issues or a number no longer being in service). You can also include links with tracking codes in your texts to monitor how many subscribers visit a webpage as a result of your message.

What to Expect in 2024

Traditional text messaging is thriving and has not been eclipsed by private messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. That’s because anyone with a smartphone or feature phone can send and receive text messages without any third-party apps required.

While much attention has been paid to the sales and marketing uses of text message platforms, in 2024, analysts expect the rise in popularity of functional texting like appointment reminders and two-factor authentication to increase thanks to the number of integrations that exist with the best CRM software and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. Expect CRM and ERP providers, as well as text messaging vendors, to continue building integrations to take advantage of the demand for text messaging alerts and notifications.

AI will play an important role in the future of text message marketing. When linked to a CRM whose AI technology can examine and predict individual purchasing patterns and product preferences, retailers and e-commerce stores will be able to push one-time, highly personalized offers via text for high-value stock and surplus stock.

Marketers are increasingly choosing texting because of its popularity with Gen Z and its higher customer engagement, open rates and clickthrough rates in comparison to other marketing channels. Gen Z will soon be the most important economic demographic, indicating that SMS marketing will continue to grow in the coming years.

Predictions from economic experts back up the optimism in the sector. The market is expected to grow by 10.9 percent per year up until 2032, creating a global market worth in excess of $100 billion per year.

Mark Fairlie
Mark Fairlie, Senior Analyst & Expert on Business Ownership
Mark Fairlie brings decades of expertise in telecommunications and telemarketing to the forefront as the former business owner of a direct marketing company. Also well-versed in a variety of other B2B topics, such as taxation, investments and cybersecurity, he now advises fellow entrepreneurs on the best business practices. With a background in advertising and sales, Fairlie made his mark as the former co-owner of Meridian Delta, which saw a successful transition of ownership in 2015. Through this journey, Fairlie gained invaluable hands-on experience in everything from founding a business to expanding and selling it. Since then, Fairlie has embarked on new ventures, launching a second marketing company and establishing a thriving sole proprietorship.
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