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Updated May 17, 2024

Textline Review and Pricing

Mark Fairlie
Mark Fairlie, Senior Analyst & Expert on Business Ownership
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Table of Contents

Open row
Editors Score:9/10
Textline is our choice for the best text message marketing service for larger businesses. Its features help big companies communicate more personally with customers and team members. Textline is also the only Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)-accredited text messaging platform.
Thumbs Up Pros
  • Setting up new departments is easy as is communication between team members in a department.
  • Running text message marketing campaigns and sending group messages takes seconds.
  • The use of tags to segment various customer types is very well-executed.
  • Textline takes data security seriously; it's the only HIPAA-accredited text messaging platform.
Thumbs Down Cons
  • The Limited pricing tier doesn't include many standout features.
  • Textline doesn't have a built-in voice-over-internet protocol phone service, which limits direct phone interactions through the platform.
  • While most other platforms offer fully inclusive inbound text messaging, every instance is chargeable on Textline.
Textline logo
Editor's Rating9/10

Larger businesses face challenges communicating with and engaging customers effectively while facilitating cross-department collaboration. Textline is a secure business texting service that aims to solve these problems with robust business communication features, automations and controls, making it our choice for the best text messaging service for large businesses. The solution is easy to use and can improve communication and customer support while enhancing your business’s marketing efforts. Notably, Textline’s data security focus is unmatched among rivals. It includes built-in General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) compliance and is the only HIPAA-accredited text messaging system on the market. 

Textline Editor's Rating:

9 / 10

Pricing
8/10
Ease of use
10/10
Functionality
10/10
Segmentation
10/10
Customer service
7/10

Why We Chose Textline for Larger Businesses

When businesses grow, their communication needs become more complicated. Textline was built specifically to address the unique needs of larger companies with more complex corporate structures. For example, we like that Textline lets users create specific departmental groups like Sales and Customer Service and geographical divisions like the West Coast. This department-communication setup helps businesses streamline messaging to relevant team members only and avoid information overload for everyone else. 

Textline also helps with the collaboration challenges big businesses face. For example, we appreciated its Whispers function, which allows team members to add internal notes to a live chat without alerting the customer. Additionally, Textline’s Assignments feature uses tags to ensure the right person handles a specific customer conversation. Tags also come in handy when running text message marketing campaigns. You can label customers based on product interest, location or signup date.

This user-friendly and intuitive platform helps you quickly add custom workflows like scheduled messaging. We were also impressed by its security focus: Textline is compliant with CCPA and GDPR and is also fully HIPAA-compliant.

For all these reasons and more, Textline is our choice for the best text messaging platform for larger businesses.

FYIDid you know
Even in the age of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, businesses still value short message service (SMS) business messaging. Not every phone has specific messaging apps, but SMS is ubiquitous.

Ease of Use

Textline is a browser-based app; you won’t have to download software to your desktop. We like its sleek, minimalist layout that makes accessing the functions and features you need easy. For example, the main menu bar includes the following options:

  • Conversations: This section displays live chats and participant details and lets you scroll through past conversations.
  • Messaging tools: These tools include Announcements (mass texting), Scheduled Messaging, Automations, Routes, Shortcuts and Dispositions.
  • Address book: The searchable address book stores your contacts; you can tag them with attributes like VIP and Wyoming Branch Customer.
  • Surveys: Choose one of two built-in surveys or build custom surveys.
  • Metrics: View key performance indicators like average response time and active agents and analyze active conversations, inbound messages, response time and more.
  • Admin (via the cog icon): Manage departments, user settings and security options from this screen.

Managers and representatives can easily switch between departments and teams. We were pleased to see that Textline’s interface is consistent across roles, so managers can assist team members without additional training.

Textline’s Chrome plugin is a standout ease-of-use feature that allows in-browser messaging without switching back to the dashboard. This plugin is handy for sales reps conducting research while texting a client.

Textline dashboard

The intuitive, clean Textline dashboard groups crucial features at the top for easy access. Source: Textline

Features

Textline has an impressive array of features, including the following.

Departments

Textline’s “departments” structure facilitates team-level communication by letting you designate and communicate with separate entities in the business. For example, if you have sales, customer support and servicing teams at multiple locations, you can create departments like Wyoming Sales, Connecticut Support and Boston Service Team. (Employees can be members of more than one department.)

Every time you set up a new department, you can add a new phone number, enable an existing landline to receive texts, add an existing Twilio or Nexmo number or integrate it into your business’s Instagram or Facebook pages.

Each department functions as a unique group with specific contact details and even a dedicated Facebook page. This compartmentalized setup keeps things tidy and makes it easier to identify the right personnel for specific tasks. 

TipBottom line
Textline's sister app, Textedly, is designed for small and medium-sized businesses with essentially flat structures and limited customers. Check out our review of Textedly if you have a smaller business with less complicated communication needs.
Textline department members

Textline makes it easy for managers to access various department members. Source: Textline

Enterprise-level Security

We were impressed by Textline’s focus on data protection, especially its Sensitive Data Redaction feature. This function obscures private data automatically, making it accessible only to authorized team members. This added security layer is indispensable for companies dealing with confidential data.

Other security features include the following: 

  • Textline is fully compliant with CCPA regulations and extends GDPR protections to all users, not just those in Europe. 
  • Textline holds European Union-United States and Swiss-US Privacy Shield certifications. 
  • Textline lets you choose how long you store data. 
  • All message traffic via the app is encrypted using secure sockets layer /transport layer security methods.
  • The firm is SOC 2 Type 2-compliant.

Textline’s focus on healthcare data protection is also noteworthy. It offers comprehensive HIPAA-compliant texting plans that cover everything from patient consent to secure data storage. Note that HIPAA compliance services are available for an additional charge per month on top of your standard subscription fees.

Textline security credentials

Textline’s robust security credentials include being SOC 2 Type 2-compliant. Source: Textline

Collaboration Tools 

Textline has three standout collaboration tools: 

  • Group messaging: With group messaging, you can add up to 10 contacts to a conversation, keeping all recipients and their responses in one thread. Group members can keep the conversation live in Slack, on their phones and within the Textline dashboard. You can also use group messaging for personalized customer communications.
  • Whispers: The Whispers feature allows you to bring colleagues into a conversation when you need help. They can see your entire conversation and leave suggestions and notes to help you resolve the issue. The client won’t see Whisper messages.
  • Conversation management: Managers and users can claim, transfer and resolve ongoing interactions to achieve quicker case closures (or “dispositions” as the platform terms them). 
Textline Whisper

Textline’s Whisper feature lets you loop in colleagues to provide direction and advice. Source: Textline

Did You Know?Did you know
Business text messages can increase sales by engaging with leads, re-engaging older prospects, reducing appointment no-shows and qualifying leads before assigning a salesperson.

Workflow Automations and Shortcuts

Shortcuts and workflow automations are a core element of the Textline service, helping users save time and respond more quickly to client and co-worker requests. We liked the ability to order automations by priority in cases where a message may be subject to multiple rules.

Notable examples include the following: 

  • Message routing: We like how well Textline handles message routing (available on the Pro Plan). Automated routing options include the following:
    • Round Robin (cycles through agents in sequence)
    • Last Assigned (assigns conversations to agents based on prior interactions)
    • Load Balanced (considers an agent’s current conversation workload) 
    • Agent Pool (filter calls to available agents, agents who have not yet met their conversation limit or agents with specific technical skills, organization roles and language proficiencies)
    • Fallbacks (if none of the above apply, you can specify the first agent to pick up, assign a specific agent for these types of messages or route to another department or agent type)
  • Tagging automation: The platform’s smart tagging automation assigns specific tags. For example, you could tag your most important customers as VIPs and assign a specific action when one of these customers texts.
  • Message scheduling: Message scheduling is invaluable for businesses with appointments or site visits. You can set reminders, follow-ups or promotions to go out in advance. 
  • Shortcuts: We like Textline’s Shortcuts features. These prewritten templates save time while maintaining message consistency. Whether confirming an appointment or answering frequent questions, shortcuts make processes more efficient. 
  • Chrome plug-in: Textline’s handy Chrome plug-in allows agents to interact with customers without leaving their web browser. This function is ideal for sales reps who want to look up a business-to-business client’s details on their website or LinkedIn page while conducting a conversation.

Managerial Controls and Insights

We like that Textline makes it easy for managers and company leaders to monitor conversation activity and other metrics, including the following: 

  • Speed: Monitor how quickly agents reply to and resolve conversations by analyzing Time to Respond and Time to Resolution statistics.
  • Number of live clients: See who’s engaging with clients by checking the Active Agents metric and the number of new contacts agents help.
  • Unresolved conversations: The Unassigned Conversations metric shows clients awaiting a response; Contacts Waiting tells you how many unresolved conversations are underway where the client was the last person to send a message.
  • Areas for improvement: Use the Longest Wait and Unresolved Conversations metrics to identify areas where your team may be underperforming; check Resolved Conversations to see how many issues and inquiries have been successfully resolved.
  • Resolution times: See how quickly your team resolves customer problems and questions via the Average Messages to Resolve metric.
  • Volume of conversations: Check Active Conversations to see how many conversations are still live within a timeframe you set; check each agent’s caseload with Assigned Conversations.
  • Automation use: The Automation Sent metric shows how frequently the system sends automated responses.
  • Conversation outcomes: The Dispositions metric shows every conversation’s outcome, including which issues have been resolved and which still need a follow-up.
FYIDid you know
Textline's Unified Inbox gathers conversations from different departments and platforms, including Facebook Business and Instagram, giving a broader conversation overview. Admins can set visibility permissions.

Customer Communication Tools

Textline’s customer communication tools impressed us. Features include the following: 

  • Announcements: Announcements are bulk emails. We like that Textline makes it easy to send mass text campaigns from the platform. With a few clicks, you can compose a message and send it to entire segments of a customer database. You can choose from established lists or upload and save new contact lists. You can send messages immediately or schedule them for later. After sending your campaign, Textline displays graphs and charts showing sends, deliveries, responses, opt-outs and more. This level of analysis will help marketing teams improve marketing campaigns for greater engagement.
  • Surveys: We appreciate how well Textline’s survey feature has been integrated into the platform. You can run customer satisfaction score (CSAT) and Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys using prebuilt templates or create customized surveys. Gather survey data to gauge customer sentiment or program surveys at predetermined times, like after an issue has been resolved.
  • Call forward: We liked Textline’s call forwarding features. If someone attempts to call your text number and the system recognizes it as a voice call, you can forward it to a number you select. If you have multiple departments, you can assign a call forwarding number for each.
  • Facebook and Instagram integration: Many text messaging platforms are making the journey to omnichannel communications by extending their functionality beyond SMS and multimedia messaging service (MMS) messages. Textline allows you to send and receive messages from customers from within Facebook and Instagram to help you service requests across more customer channels.
Textline mass text messaging

Textline lets users send “announcements” or mass text messages to specific groups.  Source: Textline

Textline Pricing

Each Textline service level includes a wide range of features, including announcements, conversation history, automations, message templates, automatic responses and the ability to track and analyze metrics.

The current subscription levels are as follows:

Plan

Monthly price

Cost per additional agent

Features

Limited

$59.97 for three agents

N/A

Includes the basic features listed above, plus the ability to add one department, web chat and a 90-day conversation history.

Standard

$89.97 for three agents

$29.99

Includes everything in Limited, plus:

  • 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 
  • A dedicated Customer Success Manager

Pro

$249.95 for five agents

$49.99

Includes everything in Standard, plus: 

  • Up to 50 agents
  • Unlimited conversation history
  • Custom surveys
  • Salesforce integrations
  • Custom roles
  • Time-based automations
  • Routing 
  • Advanced security features

Additional phone numbers cost $9.99 per month and the add-on web chat bot is available for $29.99 per month.

No text messages are included within the above plans — they must be paid for separately. At the time of writing, the cost per text message was around 1.54 cents to send and receive SMS messages while the cost to send an MMS was approximately 2.8 cents and 4 cents to receive MMS messages.

You can take advantage of a free trial that doesn’t require a credit card. However, you’ll only be allowed to text your own number because of text messaging laws.

Textline plans

Textline’s higher-tier plans include access to standard and specialized integrations. Source: Textline

Implementation and Onboarding

We were happy to see that setting up Textline is straightforward. Here’s how it works:

  1. Create a user account.
  2. Choose which phone number you want to text your customers with (a new number, existing number or number connected to your Twilio account).
  3. If you choose a new number, enter the area code you want and Textline will assign you a number with that code.
  4. After logging in, you’ll create the appropriate departments for your company. 
  5. Allocate agents to specific departments. You can assign agents to more than one department. 
  6. Upload your existing contact lists, such as customer and prospect databases and confirm you have permission to message them.
  7. Group your agents into teams based on criteria like language or skill set.

If you prefer to use existing phone numbers, Textline can help you text-enable them and add SMS functionality to your landline numbers. 

Customer Support

Textline’s customer service team is available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time. You can open a support request ticket and send a text message, but we were disappointed that there’s no option to call an agent for technical support. The company does provide a phone number for billing issues. Customers on the Standard and Pro plans benefit from priority support and a dedicated Success Manager.

We like Textline’s extensive online knowledge base. There are 231 preanswered questions to search through, many of which give easy and clear step-by-step instructions on operating the platform. Twenty-seven helpful video tutorials cover everything from integrations to tagging contacts.

Limitations

Textline has many excellent upsides, but we did identify some limitations: 

  • Few integrations: Textline’s integrations were a bit disappointing. Its collection of 19 integrations may not be enough for larger businesses that want prebuilt functionality with their business software. While the API and webhooks are great, pairing Textline with your other business software titles will almost certainly require a developer. Read our review of Podium if you’re interested in a platform with robust integrations. This platform has over 200 integrations in five industry sectors. 
  • Limited tier is limited: Textline’s Limited pricing tier lives up to its name. Its narrow feature set is surprising for a vendor whose target audience is larger businesses. You only get three agent seats and one department. It lacks HIPAA compliance and surveys and imposes a 90-day conversation history cap. Its pricing is competitive, but most larger businesses will likely require higher subscriptions.
  • Customer service limitations: If you experience a problem outside the eight hours on weekdays when the customer service team is open, you’re stuck. Textline’s knowledge base is good and it’s great that you can submit a support ticket or send a text. However, many businesses would prefer picking up the phone and calling for help ― especially if they’re paying for a higher service tier. 
  • Paid-for inbound messages: Many competing platforms don’t charge for incoming text messages. With Textline, you pay for each inbound SMS or MMS message. Read our review of EZ Texting to learn about one platform with unlimited two-way texting and incoming messages.
TipBottom line
Check out our review of SimpleTexting if you have a small business and want to grow sales with essential texting tools.

Methodology

We analyzed and evaluated multiple text messaging services to identify the best solutions available. Our in-depth review process included evaluating each solution’s ease of use, features, pricing, customer support and integrations. When looking for the best text messaging service for larger businesses specifically, we prioritized customer and in-house communication tools, managerial controls, collaboration functions and security. 

Textline FAQs

Yes. Textline's Standard and Pro service plans are fully HIPAA-compliant business texting solutions (for an additional charge). The vendor's HIPAA compliance covers patient consent and secure data storage. In 2021, the company even patented its HIPAA Contact Consent feature, giving healthcare businesses peace of mind when sending messages to patients and service users.
To use Textline, open the platform and go to your Unified Inbox to see all departmental and customer conversations. Use the Announcements feature to send a bulk text message campaign. Use the Whispers function to consult with colleagues on live calls without the customer seeing. Other Textline functions are listed at the top of your dashboard.
Yes. Textline has iOS and Android mobile apps that sync with its web service, allowing users to manage multiple departmental phone numbers, engage in team-based texting and assign conversations. The app incorporates Whispers for conversation notes, Shortcuts for quick text templates and real-time notifications. Users can also schedule messages, integrate Facebook Messenger and connect with platforms like Zendesk and Slack.

Bottom Line

We recommend Textline for …

  • Multisite or multidepartment businesses that want a more streamlined and manageable text platform.
  • Companies using text message marketing that want deeper analytics and insights into campaign performance.
  • Businesses that must be HIPAA-compliant.

We don’t recommend Textline for …

  • Businesses that text infrequently or to limited groups and don’t need in-depth performance analysis.
  • Companies on a tight budget (less expensive options are available).
  • Firms that rely heavily on MMS marketing because Textline has potential capacity issues.
  • Businesses that expect high volumes of inbound SMS and MMS messages as Textline charges for these.
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.
Textline logo
Editor's Rating9/10
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