The best text marketing platforms of 2022

Best text marketing platforms of 2022

Table of Contents

Introduction

Text marketing platforms are here to stay! If you are a business owner you must already be considering these to amp up operations and increase revenue. This article is dedicated to helping you understand the A to Z of text marketing and which text marketing platform to shortlist for your business needs. We will begin with defining text marketing, its features, advantages of text marketing, moving on to defining text messaging platforms, how to choose the most suitable one for your business, and the top 10 platforms you can consider for the same. Let’s begin!

What is text marketing?

SMS marketing

Simply put, text marketing is the process of using SMS or text messaging as a communication channel for your business’s marketing needs. By using text messaging as a platform you can market products and services of your business, or keep your customers in the loop about any updates, etc. Text messaging can be accomplished either through SMS or MMS. 

SMS Vs MMS
SMS stands for short message service and MMS stands for multimedia message service. SMS uses text messaging and uses up to 160 characters. MMS on the other hand uses images, videos, gifs, audio, etc to convey messages. In terms of pricing, MMS usually costs more than SMS. You can use SMS or MMS based on how your audience demographic is and which method seems to be working better.

Advantages of text marketing

  1. It’s Direct

    This form of communication is such that one can be 100% sure that the text messages will reach the recipient’s SMS inboxes. This is because, regardless of whether one has a smartphone or not, texting services are always in use. This ensures a direct path of communication with your customers.

    2. It’s engaging

    Texting performs wonderfully in terms of numbers. Aside from the 98% open rate boasted by text messaging, another study ( (Attentive Mobile Consumer Report) stated that 91% of customers agreed that they would happily opt-in to receive text messages from businesses.
    Another reason for the greater engagement with text marketing is that businesses can only text those customers who have explicitly agreed to receive SMS from them.

    3. It’s affordable

    Sending an SMS message is much cheaper than placing a full ad in front of a potential consumer. Prices vary, but many platforms allow your business to send messages for just a few cents each. Meanwhile, bulk packages allow you to send hundreds or thousands of messages each month for a relatively low, flat rate.

SMSEMail
Delivery Rate98%77%
Open Rate98%23%
Response Rate45%8%

What are text marketing platforms?

Text marketing platforms are also known as SMS marketing platforms. These are software that provide text messaging as a feature on their platform. Simply put, a business would be able to create, send and manage their marketing needs through text messaging from these platforms.

Text marketing has a lot of potential for lead conversion because of the nature of texting. A whopping 98% open rate for text messaging truly does wonders for your marketing strategies.

Text marketing platforms have options for businesses to create automated text campaigns as well as manual campaigns. Both these options have their own advantages and can be used according to your business’s marketing needs of the hour

Features of text marketing

Text marketing features are basically the features provided by text marketing platforms. These features allow you to interact and engage with your customers in a unique way. Essentially the features of text marketing should be able to align with the marketing goals you have set for your business.

For example, if you run a healthcare practice, one of the goals of your practice would be to improve patient recall. The marketing goal would thus be to:

a) Make your patients aware of a due check-up
b) Get them to schedule an appointment 

So when considering a text marketing platform you would want to finalize one which will help you realize this goal. Some of the features provided by text marketing platforms that will help you achieve your marketing goals are:

2-way text messaging

2-way text messaging is a great way to emphasize that your intent to reach out to customers isn’t just based on hitting the numbers. Basically, 2-way texting allows the customers to respond to the text message you sent. This opens up arenas for the customers to ask you questions, solve their queries and ultimately take ownership of their purchase journey. 2-way texting instills in the customer that you are just a text message away and are available to answer any queries.

 

Mass texting or Bulk Messaging

Text marketing platforms provide a great mass texting or bulk messaging feature. As you can guess by the name itself, it allows for texting multiple contacts at once. It’s one of the most sought-after features in any text marketing platform as it helps save time, reach multiple people at once, and reduce costs as well.

MMS texting

MMS or multimedia messaging encompasses the act of sending images, videos, etc to make a conversation more engaging. MMS texting is also a feature provided by text marketing platforms. If the user wishes to send media-rich text marketing campaigns to their customers.
Automation

Automated text messaging is another one of the great features provided by text marketing platforms. Automation in texting allows for minimal human intervention. Through automated texting users are able to schedule campaigns, enable autoresponders, etc to name a few. 
Integrations
Relevant integrations are necessary to keep the marketing operations running smoothly. 

 

Personalization

Emails and texts convert better if a dash of personalization is added to the text body. This allows for creating a more personal one-on-one connection with the customer. Text marketing platforms allow for adding relevant personal markers, such as first name, appointment date, etc.

 

How to choose a text marketing platform for your business?

Choosing a text marketing tool for any business is an extremely personal process. Personal in the sense that, each business has different needs, and choosing a text marketing platform for those needs will probably have a different process. However, these are some steps you can follow while choosing a platform that suits your business needs:

1. Lay down your Goals

Before finalizing a text marketing platform you need to assess whether it aligns with your goals. List down what you intend to do with the marketing platform. Which of your goals do you need to achieve through the platform? How frequently do you plan on using the platform? Will the text marketing platform help you achieve your campaign goals? Do your goals involve tracking the performance and assigning new steps according to the reports? Note down your answers to all these questions, it will help you in narrowing down the best platform.

2. Finalize a budget

Another aspect of goal setting is deciding the budgets for your marketing campaigns. Depending on whether your business is a start-up or a business enterprise, you might have different needs and hence different goals you wish to achieve with a set budget. Decide the price range you wish to work with and narrow down text marketing platforms according to that information.

3. Check features

According to the marketing plan you have laid down for your business, different features might be needed to achieve the goals. All text marketing platforms present their features on their websites. You can start off by making a list of features that you require to meet your text marketing goals. Next, you can compare the features and the pricing each platform offers and select the one which is most relevant to your business.

4. Check support

Optimal campaign performance is dependent on things such as initial setup, seamless delivery and reporting and analytics, and support. It’s very much possible to encounter problems in the aforementioned stages. This is where good support from the text marketing platform would be needed. Hence another important aspect of choosing the platform is assessing the support that the platform provides for users.

5. Assess ease of use

Depending on who is going to use the software the most, you will need to assess the ease with which the text marketing platform functions. Aside from this, another thing that should be on your radar in terms of assessment is how much of the platform you are able to assess without intervention from the support staff. If setting up campaigns is an easy process along with following up with campaigns, and the reporting and analytics functionalities are all fairly easy to understand. 

Top 10 text marketing platforms to consider in 2022

The top text marketing platforms to consider in 2022 are:

  1. Emitrr
  2. Text Magic
  3. SlickText
  4. Simple Texting
  5. EZ Texting
  6. Podium 
  7. Textedly
  8. Klaviyo
  9. ClickSend
  10. OmniSend

Emitrr

Text marketing platforms: Emitrr

 

 

Emitrr is a customer interaction and engagement platform. It caters to industries from small businesses to healthcare practices. These businesses use Emitrr to improve interactions with their customers and provide them with a better customer experience. Emitrr offers an array of features such as missed call to text, VoIP capabilities, automation, webchat, reputation management, etc. The feature that stands out, however, is the text marketing tool. Emitrr provides text marketing tools such as manual and automated SMS campaigns, that can be used to send reminders, payment links, surveys, request reviews, or just to update customers. Other text features include webchat to text, wherein the queries received on a business’s website widget can be converted to a text conversation to better engage the customers. Calendar can also be synced to the Emitrr platform and used to schedule messages directly from there. Emitrr features are highly customizable according to the need of the business and the package price is also decided as per the need. You only pay for the features you use! It would be remiss to not point out that text messaging is absolutely free.
The quality of the 24/7 customer support is also highly appreciated by existing customers.


Emitrr offers the kind of campaign automation and overall channel optimization that you expect to see from Podium and others of the sort but at a fraction of the price. For the return on investment that you receive, this service is unparalleled and is ever-evolving based upon direct feedback from the users, something we’ve never experienced before in decades of business operations.”


Final Thoughts: Emitrr’s omnichannel features and customizable package plans, along with stellar customer support one of the top contenders of the text marketing platforms. 

Text Magic

Text marketing platforms: TextMagic

An intuitive platform, Text Magic is simple to use. Its dashboard is pretty easy to access and set up campaigns from. Apart from the ease of use of the entire platform itself, the setup process is also very quick. Within 10 minutes one is able to set up the Text Magic software and send their first text campaign. Text Magic can be used for: Notifications, Alerts and Reminders, Order confirmations, and SMS marketing campaigns. Some of the main features provided by TextMagic include Web App, SMS chat, Email to SMS, Desktop App, and SMS gateway API. The standout feature provided by Text Magic is Email to Text. With this feature, you can send and receive text messages via email. The pricing is also fairly transparent and can be checked according to each country on its website.
In comparison to other text marketing platforms out there, pricing is higher with TextMagic as the add-ons provided by Text Magic are usually included in the main package with other text marketing platforms.

My only little remark with TextMagic is the price. It should get lower, to be more affordable, and if not, offer some daily, unlimited packages for example.” (Capterra Review)


Final thoughts: Text Magic is a great software to consider if price issues are something you can gloss over.

SlickText

Text marketing platforms: SlickText

Slicktext is one of the text marketing platforms that offer a 7-day free trial (without credit card details submissions). SlickText also comes packed with an array of useful features. Some of the features provided by SlickText include Customer Opt-in service through Text to join, mass texting, Text Survey, Automated workflows, Message scheduling, Birthday texts, etc, to name a few.
The stand-out feature would be the text survey. This feature allows customers to engage in a 2-way conversation with the business, by helping them answer survey questions. Conversational surveys on text have better engagements. One of the pluses of SlickText is the transparent pricing. Another feather in their cap is the option of rolling over texts which have not been used in a month to the next. You can upgrade, downgrade or cancel your plan at any time is what they claim on their website. However, we were able to come across a lot of reviews that stated the opposite. Take for example:

We sent a cancellation request over a year ago. They didn’t cancel our account and continued to bill us for 12 months. When we called to cancel for the second time they argued with us and refused to hear our complaint. The employee said (direct quote) “I’m not talking to you about this and there’s no management for you to talk to.” (Capterra review)


Final Thoughts: SlickText is one of the most popular text marketing platforms as it provides a wide range of features at decent prices. The issue seems to be around the clarity of contracts and the confusing 9 packages offered. 

Simple Texting

Text marketing platforms: SimpleTexting

Simple Texting is another one famous text marketing platform. Simple texting offers a 14-day free trial. Some of the features offered by Simple Texting include Text to Win where one would be able to grow their list by hosting contests or sweepstakes, autoresponders, threaded conversations, scheduled texts, and Integrations to name a few. Simple Texting’s in-house Integrations are one of the features that sets it apart. With no extra charge, Simple Texting’s in-house team would build the integrations required for your business. Integration with Mailchimp allows keeping your MailChimp list synched with the SimpleTexting list. Email and Text campaigns can go hand in hand thanks to this integration. You also get a dedicated account representative once you sign up with Simple Texting.
One of the most loved features of SimpleTexting also seems to be the one under fire the most. As good as the multiple keywords options sound, the downside to it is that since one account can take multiple keywords, those keywords are exhausted for others to use. Brainstorming novel keywords can be a bit of a hurdle. 

Seems like a bait and switch. I signed up with a certain number of credits and was never warned about extra charges that will be applied. This was only brought to my attention at the time of the renewal with a large bill. As a non-profit organization, I don’t have that kind of money to spend on these services and especially during the Pandemic. So I think the account was overcharged with no warnings and I was not given a fair resolution at the end of term”


Final Thoughts: We were able to see mostly good reviews for SimpleTexting features and support, but the pricing can be seen as at a bit higher end for some small businesses and non-profits.

EZ Texting

Text marketing platforms:: EZ Texting

EZ texting goes one step ahead in providing rich media engagement for its users. It does so through a very unique integration with Shutterstock. This integration makes image suggestions that can be used while texting a customer. Other prominent features of EZ texting include Group texting, 2-way texting, Text forwarding, Reminder campaigns, Reporting, etc. EZ Texting also provides a free trial without having to submit credit card details. Some issues faced by customers using EZ Texting are credits being exhausted after a specified period of time, even when a full amount has been paid for the set credits, and ease of delivery as there have been complaints about increased bounce rates even when phone numbers are known to the users, and the heavy price.

wouldnt let me use the product they way I have been for over a year then all the suddenly decides im not legit. Refused to credit back to me my unused credits that purchased in good faith. I actually increased my monthly credit expenditure and was excited to move forward then they abruptly want to shut down my process. There are plenty of Other platforms/apps out there that will allow me(and you) to reach customers via text in an easy and affordable way.


Final Thoughts: While feature wise EZ texting is a great text marketing platform to consider, the area where it falls short is the expiry of credits within a stipulated time. This is particularly a setback because there are other text marketing platforms out there that allow roll-over credits and offer the same features at competitive pricing. 

Podium

Text marketing platforms: Podium

Podium like Emitrr is a text customer engagement platform. Alongside its major customer engagement tools, it also offers text marketing tools. Some of the features in the text marketing tool kit include Review collection through text messages, Payment collection through SMS, 2-way text messaging, etc, Podium is diverse in the industries it serves to, from restaurants to healthcare practices. Small businesses and Enterprises use Podium alike. You can use Podium to build customer relationships, generate leads, set up SMS marketing campaigns, etc. Users of Podium, hail it as a decent tool for customer engagement with innovative text marketing tools. For example, one of the features of Podium, which is not available with other specific text marketing tools, is the web chat widget. With the web chat widget, a business can convert with their customers through text. Among many of the reviews for Podium, the most common one was how pricy it is. Another red area is the contract. Canceling a service with Podium is one of the pain areas mentioned by some customers.

I signed the contract, having listened to the beautiful promises of the sellers that everything would work perfectly and make it easier for me to communicate with clients. As a result, you can only interact with clients within this platform, you will never receive a notification that the client is waiting or the client has sent you a message. Only within the platform. If you missed the message – that’s your problem. Given that my call center is still accepting messages from customers via phone, email, and Yelp, keeping another platform open is extremely inconvenient. As a result – a bunch of missed messages and dissatisfied customers. I was promised free text messages included in the price. As a result, I have to pay more than $1000 for mailings. When I tried to stop the service, the manager informed me that I had a contract for a year and I was obliged to pay for this year, even if the service did not perform its functions and promises “ (Capterra Review)


Final Thoughts: As Podium is a customer engagement platform, many of the text messaging services it offers are not included in other text marketing platforms. These additional features are innovative and high-tech. The issue however with this upgrade in features is obviously the price. Their cheapest package starts at $289. So you may be paying for services that you do not intend to use. Narrowing down Podium may come as a bit heavy on the pocket for small businesses that are sans the required budget.

Textedly

Text marketing platforms: Textedly

Textedly is another text marketing platform that offers a 14-day free trial for its text services. This is largely considered an affordable option as compared to other text marketing platforms in terms of the price and the services offered. Some of the features offered by Textedly include 2-wat text messaging, free incoming messages, calendar, contact management, etc. The free incoming message feature is definitely something that sets it apart from other text marketing platforms. The calendar feature allows users to schedule messages, either single messages or group messages directly through the calendar. The reviews for Textedly shine light upon its issue with clarity of contract and canceling and at times abysmal customer service.

Company has the worst customer service. I have tried to cancel on multiple occasions but they NEVER get back with the customer. I have tried to cancel but since my account was on an annual contract, could not do it through the website. Spoke with multiple people over chat since their phone service is terrible, and been told that “someone” will reach out to you regarding this issue. I hardly receive replies on the chat site on the web page, and they ignore your requests. Do not use this service unless you want some major stress in your life.” (Capterra Review)

Final Thoughts: Textedly is a great option for small businesses that do not have a huge budget as it offers a lot more features at a considerable price. However, based on the reviews, the customer service provided by Textedly seems to be questionable

Klaviyo

Klaviyo

Klaviyo is an email and text marketing platform. Having unified email and SMS channels for marketing helps in driving better engagement with customers. Klaviyo also provides a free trial for customers to help them understand the platform. Features provided by Klayiyo include 2 way messaging, AB testing, Mass texting, MMS, and Message personalization among others. The pricing is dependent on the number of contacts you have. For example, if you have downwards of 250 contacts the free version of their package would apply to your business. This version includes 500 free email sends along with 150 credits for SMS/MMS. The other paid packages are slightly higher than other text marketing platforms due to the unified email and SMS features provided. Klaviyo also allows numerous integrations with tools to make marketing operations run easier. Most of the clients of Klaviyo are Ecommerce stores due to the integrations it provided with industry-specific tools.

SMS is not great. They recently rebranded which completely throws me off with their new color choice. I almost felt like the rebrand was a way to cover up a whole lot of changes that they didn’t want people to notice.” (Capterra User)


Final Thoughts: Klaviyo provides great email marketing tools for businesses (Especially eCommerce shops), however, the SMS marketing features can be a bit better for the price range offered. It seems to be mainly an email marketing tool as pricing packages do not provide SMS-only marketing packs, as opposed to the email-only packs it provides. 

 

ClickSend

ClickSend

 

 

ClickSend is a business SMS gateway. It allows businesses to do their SMS marketing online through a web-based SMS portal or send transactional SMS via an SMS gateway API. SMS gateway API enables integrations directly with business applications, websites, and software. Bulk messaging is also available through their SMPP gateway. Some of the other features offered by ClickSend include Real-time message status monitoring, low credit warning, email to SMS, etc. Apart from its SMS marketing services, ClickSend also offers a Voice gateway, Fax Gateway, Email Gateway, and even Online Post. It is a multichannel communication platform. ClickSend users have complained about intuitiveness lacking with the interface and it being a bit clunky. Questions have also been raised about their customer service.

The service uses marketing mail and charges you 75% what the bulk mail costs them only for them to deliver within 3 weeks. When I reached out to customer service, the original rep had no idea how to help me and told me to flag the letters so they would get attention. A “Customer Service Manager” decided to step in and give me lip – telling me “I’m sorry you feel that way” and ignoring my request for a refund (she didn’t even acknowledge it). I would avoid this company at all cost.” (Capterra review)


Final Thoughts: Although ClickSend boasts 24/support, the quality of support being offered seems questionable. It makes for a good multi-channel communication tool but lacks some features that niche text marketing tools offer. 

OmniSend

OmniSend

OmniSend is another multichannel communication platform for eCommerce businesses. It is mainly an email marketing service, but it also offers SMS services. OmniSend allows the integration of Email and SMS to achieve higher engagement with customers. SMS marketing can be used as a means to enhance email marketing campaigns. Some of the features offered by OmniSend include Email+SMS marketing, SMS automation workflows, SMS channel reports, web-push notifications, etc. OmniSend also offers a free plan that includes 60 free SMS credits.

“Meh is the best way to describe it. I’m using a number of the features but do not have confidence I’m using it correctly or well. Getting support in a timely and sufficient manner is abysmal at best. Chat doesn’t cut it for the depth of insight I’m looking for. Not nearly as responsive or interactive as it can and should be.” (Capterra User)


Final Thought: OmniSend is a great platform to consider if you own an eCommerce business with competitive pricing and good email marketing tools. Other businesses might need some more features specific to their industry to get maximum value out of the software. 

 

Best Practices for SMS marketing

While we are now aware of the benefits of SMS marketing and the lucrative engagement it offers, to set up a successful text campaign we need to follow some carefully curated steps and best practices to obtain maximum results. Some of the best practices you should follow while setting up an SMS campaign are: 

  • Get Permission

    Before you send out text messages, you need to get permission from your customers to receive messages from your business. Once they have ‘opted-in’ to receive messages you can create a list of these contacts. Another very important thing to note is that it is essentially illegal to send messages to people who haven’t explicitly agreed to receive communication from you. Maintain this list of customers who have opted to receive messages from your business and keep updating it. Make sure that the messages are going to the people from this list only as this is the list that is in compliance with the TCPA. This not only ensures that customers don’t view your message as spam but also pay attention to it.

  • Be smart about crafting the message

    Text messages have a limited number of characters, so you have to make sure to craft a message that catches your customer’s attention and also sends across the message properly. A well-written promotional message would contain the following elements-

    Name of your business: So that the customers know who is contacting them and be able to recall that they have given explicit permission to receive these messages.
    Purpose of the message: Is it a promotional message, an order confirmation, an appointment reminder, etc.
    A CTA: This will lead the customer to the intended page to view the information offered by your business.

  • Be mindful of the timing of the message

    It’s important to be mindful of the time at which you send the messages. Although text messaging warrants instant communication and high open rates, you should not try and abuse this power by reaching out to customers at odd times. Be rest assured no one wants to receive text messages at 2 am.

  • Limit the number of messages sent

    Yes, the customers have given a go-ahead to receive messages, but that doesn’t mean you bombard them with messages. If you want to keep the relevance of your messages you need to make sure that the messages you send out are properly spaced out and are relevant.

    Sending too many messages may make the customers view your text messages as spam and lead them to unsubscribe from your messaging list.

  • Allow an option to unsubscribe

    It is respectful to allow your customers to opt-out of receiving messages, just as they opted in to receive them. Customers may wish to opt-out because the services are no longer needed or relevant to them. Opting out ensures that the quality of your list is maintained, for now, only those customers will receive messages who would be actively engaged with your business. The opt-out option can be presented in the form of a prompt such as “reply with STOP” to unsubscribe.

Some SMS Marketing Stats

A look into how millennials use text messaging
  • According to a MediaPost survey, 75 percent of millennials would rather lose their speaking abilities than lose their ability to send texts.
  • Sixty-three percent of millennials love the less disruptive nature of text messaging. (Score, 2019)
  • Seventy-six percent love the convenience of opening these messages at their time of convenience. (TextMagic, 2019)
  • Nineteen percent of millennials say they don’t bother opening voice mail. (Score, 2019)
  • Fifty-three percent prefer text over a voice call or video conferencing. (Score, 2019)
  • An estimated 11-30 percent increase in engagement is seen by experts when reaching out to millennials, which may involve the use of SMS marketing software. (TextMagic, 2019)
  • Surprisingly, SMS marketing stats 2022 show that 68 percent of consumers aged 18 to 24 tend to check their phones 190 times a day, two times more than the national average. (Asurion, 2019)
  •  Forty-three percent of consumers will text businesses proactively regarding inquiries, ordering products and requesting services. However, only one out of three consumers receive a reply (potentially lost customers). (Zipwhip, 2020)

  •  Sixty-eight percent of businesses use some form of texting today – and that’s not even a structured and efficient campaign designed by an expert SMS marketing agency. (Zipwhip, 2020)

Benefits of text messaging
  • Boost your click-through rate by up to 39 percent and increase brand visibility by simply using branded links in your SMS marketing campaigns. (Zipwhip, 2019)
  • Eighty percent of consumers prefer tracking orders via SMS. (Aviaro, 2018)
  • Only 21 percent of businesses reach out to loyal customers giving them SMS rewards, which will increase customer loyalty. (Access Development, 2016)
  • You can reduce missed appointments by 26 percent by simply sending business appointment text reminders to customers. You can use free SMS marketing software to send these reminders. (Aviaro, 2018)

Conclusion

As of 2022 text marketing platforms have become an inescapable part of any business marketing operations. With the high engagement rate that it provides, SMS marketing has been established as an indisputable means of communication. It’s only wise to leverage the power of text messaging to keep your customers engaged and provide them with a great customer experience. Choosing the best text marketing platform for your business is a matter of understanding what your goals are and how you wish to achieve them. Keep in mind your budget, features you require, reviews, and support provided by the platform and you will be able to finalize your text marketing platform.  

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