What makes a great SMS marketing service in 2021?

Still to this day, text messaging is one of the most important communication channels for marketers around the globe. With a plethora of SMS marketing services available to American businesses in today’s society, it’s important that a business establishes what really makes a sufficient SMS marketing provider that will help you thrive.

When done correctly, text message marketing is one of the most useful tools for any business, whether a small business, medium business, or large enterprise. Many providers offer API services for developers who wish to make their own apps, whilst others provide simple-to-use web-based applications for any business owner to use straight away.

Assuming that you are a business who wants an easy and quick means of communication with your customers or stakeholders for your marketing campaigns, you should consider the following aspects when choosing an SMS provider for you in 2021.

  1. Easy to use, with no need to download additional complicated software – includes platforms such as email to SMS or a web-based App
  2. The ability to conduct two-way communication (send and receive) in order to build customer relationships
  3. Integration with other applications to send reminders, bookings, and appointments
  4. Capabilities to send MMS (multimedia such as photos and videos) to increase customer engagement
  5. The ability to set up automation through features such as drip campaigns
  6. Low volume requirements (particularly important for small businesses who wish to send smaller volumes of SMS)
  7. Free trial periods, SLAs, and American-based customer service – this will dictate the level of reliability of the SMS marketing service
  8. The type of SMS gateway used – whether this be a direct route (using American telecommunication providers) or Hybrid/Grey routes (using both American and overseas providers)
  9. The phone numbers available to purchase – many SMS marketing services offer a range of mobile numbers including dedicated numbers, short codes, and more

Best web-based application for SMS marketing: ClickSend

If you’re after a simple-to-use online SMS marketing platform to send and receive SMS messages between yourself and customers, stakeholders, or staff members, then ClickSend should definitely be in your shortlist. ClickSend is a world-renowned SMS marketing service, offering many SMS features for different levels of clients.

One of their most popular options is the online SMS gateway, providing businesses with the ability to send and receive mass text messages from any web-enabled computer, straight to the recipient’s mobile phone. ClickSend’s all-in-one online SMS gateway creates a dashboard for businesses to easily access on a computer, laptop, mobile, or tablet, to conduct two-way communication with an individual or large group of target audiences and subscribers. ClickSend also offers a mobile app, enabling businesses to manage their mobile marketing strategy anytime, anywhere.

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With a 100% SLA uptime guarantee and 24/7 customer support, ClickSend is a great option for businesses of any size. To send SMS messages using ClickSend’s online platform, all a business needs to do is:

  1. Log onto their business dashboard and go to the SMS tab
  2. Add in placeholders/recipients or contact lists and start typing in the message
  3. Click send and the SMS marketing software will send your message in real-time! Tracking history and reports are also available

View ClickSend Review >>Visit Website >>

Best for cheap SMS pricing packages: BulkSMS

Many SMS providers available in the US and worldwide offer premium monthly pricing plans which lock in their clients to particular time periods and monthly costs, regardless of the SMS credits used. This is where BulkSMS is different. BulkSMS is a global SMS marketing service offering a range of different pricing plans, packages, and schedules to suit different types of businesses.

BulkSMS has a range of credit package sizes, which enables businesses to buy only the amount of SMS credits they require. The best part is, the credits don’t expire, therefore businesses can buy a single package of a large amount of credits for the best value, and use these over time for multiple SMS marketing campaigns.

The average cost per SMS from BulkSMS is around 3c, however this cost differs depending on the number of text message credits purchased. The SMS marketing provider also offers flexible pricing options including VISA, Mastercard, and PayPal, so every type of business can purchase through BulkSMS.

Additionally, BulkSMS offers a money back guarantee, meaning you can request a refund for unused credits if you are unhappy with their services.

View BulkSMS Review >>Visit Website >>

Best for SMS marketing automation tools: SlickText

SlickText is one of the best SMS marketing services offering affordable text message communication tools for businesses around the world. SlickText is great for businesses who are just starting their SMS marketing journey who want a simple dashboard with different features to run various types of campaigns.

SlickText offers an easy-to-use software which includes automation, contact management and more within a simplistic dashboard which is simple to navigate. One of top features that SlickText prides themselves on is their SMS automation tools. Text message automation enables businesses to set up or schedule particular campaigns, so all they need to do is send the initial message, then hands-free two-way communication can occur as messages are “triggered” as the recipient interacts.

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The SMS providers’ marketing software offers text message automation tools and mass texting templates including:

  • Automated workflows for follow-up messaging
  • Drip campaigns
  • Autoresponders and auto-replies
  • Scheduled text messages
  • Recurring messages
  • Abandoned cart SMS messages
  • Automated birthday rewards and other reward programs
  • Integration with email marketing campaigns and social media interactions

View Slicktext Review >>Visit Website >>

Best for global SMS integration: MessageBird

MessageBird is a popular SMS provider, offering a modern platform, built for omni-channel communication on a global scale. MessageBird is known for their integrated communication into one shared inbox, enabling businesses to connect with their audiences where it matters. With a user-friendly interface, MessageBird delivers a reliable text messaging service that can integrate with any CRM platform, ecommerce website, and other marketing tools for an all encompassing marketing solution. 

A great advantage of MessageBird is that they are powered by over 240 direct-to-carrier connections in 140 countries globally, meaning that wherever you need your message to be sent, you can rely on their routes to get the communication delivered in a successful, timely manner. Therefore if your business wishes to send time-sensitive bulk text messages such as appointment reminders, booking confirmations, or one-time password verifications for credit cards, then MessageBird should be highly considered.

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The SMS provider has a dedicated help centre and 7 offices around the world, meaning that they are available to assist businesses 24/7, in many different ways – whether that be through a live chat online, email, or over the phone.

View MessageBird Review >>Visit Website >>

Best for large enterprises (bulk SMS volume): Twilio

For large, international businesses wishing to send thousands of SMS text messages at a single time, Twilio is a great option. The company is known for its vast range of communication services, however is most popular for their SMS platform. Twilio offers an SMS web-based dashboard with many communication tools in over 180 countries to send mass messages around the world. 

Twilio also offers a blank canvas for businesses to build and develop their own SMS API platforms. This enables the ability to integrate their dashboard with channels such as WhatsApp, Zapier, Facebook Messenger, Mailchimp, and other cross-channel communication platforms. The company prides itself in offering SMS API gateways which are able to grow and adapt with any businesses needs, with global senders and reliable telecommunication providers for fast and efficient delivery, no matter the scale.

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With a pay-as-you-go pricing structure (rather than monthly pricing plans), Twilio offers pricing discounts for bulk volumes starting at $0.0075 per SMS.

As Twilio’s interface is built to be customized to your needs, there is quite a bit of work involved when starting with the SMS provider, however their customer support is there to assist businesses however they need it. Therefore, minimal coding/developer knowledge is required.

View Twilio Review >>Visit Website >>

So Why Is Text Message Marketing Important?

Whether you want to conduct a one-off text campaign, send SMS messages to new customer or potential customers about new products, remind audiences about upcoming sales or appointments, or run sweepstake competitions, different SMS providers deliver a range of services for every business. That’s why all businesses, from retailers, to real estate agents and even nonprofits can benefit from SMS marketing services and gain the ultimate customer satisfaction.

As outlined in our text message statistics article, open rates for SMS messages are around 90%, which is amongst the highest of any marketing channel.

What Other SMS Marketing Services Should I Consider?

There are a wide range of SMS marketing services available to American businesses, all with different features, prices, reliability, and customer service. Other SMS messaging providers include EZTexting, SimpleTexting, Textedly, Textmagic, and more.

Compare SMS Providers

 

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