Don’t you wish people would just text instead of calling?
A lot of your clients do too. It’s often because when you call, they could be in a meeting or just not in the mood to answer. Emails are losing popularity too, with 55% of consumers flat-out ignoring marketing emails.
Since your customers want to text you, you should have an SMS app that can help you respond to text messages quickly and easily.
If you’re all set to take a step up from the basic SMS app on your mobile phone, we’ve compared eight of the best text messaging services for business below.
Best text messaging service for business: Top 8 options
The following eight best text messaging services can help you execute SMS marketing campaigns. Use this guide as a springboard to help you narrow down the right fit based on your needs and budget. Let’s dive in.
OpenPhone is a VoIP phone system, meaning you can make calls using a wireless internet connection. It’s also the best text messaging service for business because you can view all text messages, call recordings, and voicemails with specific contacts in a single view. That way, you can easily review and continue any conversations.
With OpenPhone, you can also send unlimited text messages to the US and Canada, which means you don’t need to pay per text or worry about the maximum text messages you get with a certain plan, unlike most other services on the list.
You can start using OpenPhone for as little as $13 per user per month.
- Unlimited SMS
- MMS support
- Group messaging
- Shared phone numbers
- Scheduled text messages
- Integrations for CRMs and other popular platforms, including Salesforce, HubSpot, and Zapier
2. Google Voice
Google Voice for business isn’t exactly a heavy-duty text messaging service.
Granted, it’s a reliable tool and costs a little less than other options on the list.
But it’s best suited for companies who only want to send a handful of messages or simply respond to incoming messages from clients or leads. If you don’t need to run mass texting campaigns, Google Voice might save you some money.
Plus, Google Voice is a natural choice if you already use other Google apps like Gmail and Google Workspace.
Be aware that Google Voice’s business SMS functionality is fairly limited. Google Voice doesn’t support toll-free numbers, snippets, or auto-replies. If you’re looking for a cost-effective messaging platform and don’t need a lot of messaging features, Google Voice might make sense.
Google Voice business plan starts at $10 per user per month. However, you’ll also need to an active Google Workspace subscription (starting at $6 per month).
- Unlimited SMS to US and Canadian numbers (excluding US territories American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands, and US Virgin Islands
- Group messaging (up to eight participants)
You can text individual clients, but the service focuses more on helping you run marketing campaigns where you send bulk messages to a list of contacts.
Additionally, set up SimpleTexting’s auto-responder to send new customers basic details, a follow-up text, or a coupon code based on a specific keyword. For example, if a customer wants to check the current deals available on dog food, they can text PAW to your business phone number. The auto-responder will send them a list of deals, if any are available.
You can also access more technical marketing tools with SimpleTexting’s built-in apps. These enable you to run text-based polls, surveys, and sweepstakes, among other things. You can also send push notifications and get analytics for links you share with clients for better insights.
You can try SimpleTexting for 14 days. The trial gives you access to all features, but with a cap of 50 messages per day. If you’re ready to switch to the paid version, you can buy credits and pay as you go.
The downside? If you don’t use the advanced functionality, you pay extra money for nothing. If you wish to access their custom integrations, you’ll have to pay at least $229 per month to use SimpleTexting.
SimpleTexting plans start at $29 per month.
- Unlimited contacts
- Unlimited keywords
- Rollover credits
Once you set up a keyword, you can add your contact list, start sending messages, and access analytics. You also get a few bells and whistles on SlickText such as the ability to run contests and create assets like flyers, text-based surveys, and opt-in web forms.
It’s a good service but with a not-so-great pricing structure. It has nine plans with nearly the same feature set. Plus, the pricing is different for the US and Canada. Given that all the plans basically only differ in the number of texts and price, rather than the features they provide, SlickText could’ve condensed it down to fewer options.
If you’re looking for a self-service business texting app, some users also report having to contact an account rep to be able to purchase additional text credits.
Starts at $29 per month (includes 500 texts per month).
- Unlimited contacts
- Rollover texts
- Picture messaging
- Live chat customer support
- 1-on-1 onboarding (on higher-tier plans only)
The app’s simplicity isn’t at the expense of more advanced features. For instance, you can still create text marketing lists, utilize advanced reporting, and receive replies to the API for messages sent using your TextMagic number.
Alternatively, you can receive messages on your cell phone if you text using your own phone number. You can also create templates for repeating text messages like booking confirmations or appointment reminders, or set up auto-replies to respond to incoming messages in real time.
If you send a lot of texts though, TextMagic isn’t for you. The pay-as-you-go pricing can cost significantly more than other services with tiered pricing.
Also keep in mind TextMagic doesn’t offer any direct integrations with CRMs, so unless you’re willing to invest in testing out their API you may wish to look elsewhere.
$0.04 per text, $4 per month for a virtual dedicated number
- Mass text to 190+ countries
- SMS gateway API
- Email to SMS gateway
- Two-way SMS
- SMS distribution list
6. EZ Texting
The SMS marketing platform allows you to run contests, offer vouchers, and share coupon codes. Collectively, these tools can help improve customer engagement.
Along with SMS analytics, the SMS marketing service also integrates with your email marketing software, giving you a clearer picture of your marketing campaign’s performance.
EZ Texting is a fine service, but you’re probably going to quickly pass through its pricing tiers if you’re a high-growth company. With every new user, you’ll need to upgrade your plan. By the time you have three users, you’ll be paying $49 per month for the Premium plan, which only offers three textable numbers and six keywords. Any more than three and you need to contact them for custom pricing — and pay significantly more. 💰
Starts at $19 per month
- Textable numbers
- Mass and two-way texting
- Contact import and management
- Message template library
- Link shortener and tracking
Unlike most other options on the list, RingCentral is a VoIP service. It’s a communication tool that enables teams to connect via phone, SMS, email, and more.
Since RingCentral is more than just a texting app, you can use it for overall business communication. Make unlimited calls to the US and Canada, track SMS marketing campaigns’ performance from within the dashboard, and integrate it with your tech stack.
RingCentral isn’t a great option if you’re a small team or send a large amount of messages. On their base plan, RingCentral lets you send 25 texts per month. Anything over that and they charge you extra or you can upgrade your account. The standard plan lacks most features that make RingCentral popular, so you’ll need to pay more to get the features you need for business.
If you wish to text from your computer, you should also use another provider. SMS and MMS messaging are only available on RingCentral’s mobile app. RingCentral also currently doesn’t support MMS for customers in Canada.
Keep in mind also RingCentral only stores up to 5,000 text messages per user so if you text many customers, you won’t have the full records of all your conversations.
Vary depending on your team’s size. For teams of 20 users or less, RingCentral plans start at $19.99 per user per month.
- 1,000-character long text messages
- MMS support for sending messages containing images, videos, and other multimedia files
- Push and email notifications for incoming messages
- Store up to 5,000 messages, including sent and received messages
- Integrations for popular platforms like HubSpot and Salesforce
Textedly’s interface makes it look basic, but when you dig deeper, you’ll discover features like auto-replies, bulk SMS, and scheduled messages. Textedly has everything you’d want in a powerful messaging app, plus a little more.
All this comes with the lowest per-text price of any service on the list. But you’ll need to pay an extra one-off charge for auto-replies, text personalization, and drip campaigns. Textedly also isn’t upfront about how much it charges for MMS.
There’s also a bit of a learning curve if you want to use advanced features, so you’ll need a savvy SMS marketer on the team — probably not feasible if you’re a startup or small business.
Starts at $24 per month for 1,200 messages per month.
- Mass group texting
- Scheduled texts
- Two-way SMS
- Comprehensive analytics
- Built-in link shrinking
8 key business texting features
Here are some of the features you may want to prioritize when searching for the best text messaging service for your business.
1. Shared inboxes
A shared inbox gives you a consolidated view of text messages, voicemails, and calls, so you can preview your communications in one place. Shared inboxes allow your teammates to reply when you’re out of office or busy with something else.
Need help from a colleague with a client query? Using OpenPhone you can also start internal threads by commenting on client messages to collaborate behind the scenes. Don’t worry. Your client won’t see the comments.🤫
2. MMS support
MMS support is necessary when you want to send photos, videos, PDFs, or other multimedia files via messaging. Sending a quirky GIF every once in a while makes your communications more engaging. MMS also lets you send longer text messages of up to 1,600 characters. When you send an SMS message that’s longer than 160 characters, it’ll split into multiple messages that may arrive out of order.
3. Numbers vs. short codes
Numbers are 10-digit long codes (10DLC) that we use for texting conversations, while short codes are five- or six-digit codes used for application to person (A2P) messaging by businesses. Using numbers makes more sense for a business because recipients can reply to that same number.
Unlike numbers, short codes don’t support two-way messaging. Recipients can also call the number and ask follow-up questions that are complex to explain via text.
4. Device compatibility
Selecting a platform that has apps for all popular devices including desktop, Android, and iOS is critical because it enables teams to collaborate on communications and lets your team work remotely. You can also have a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy.
Your team can use their own devices so you won’t have to invest in expensive hardware.
For instance, if you’re on an important call, you can ask your colleague to respond to a client’s incoming text message, provided their device can access the platform you’re using.
5. Trigger-based texts
Looking to save time on routine text messages? Using a text messaging service that integrates with Zapier, you can automatically send a text based on a specific event. For example, a trigger-based text that goes out when someone fills out a form on your websites.
Who wants to type that same old response 15 times a day? With snippets, you no longer have to. Snippets on OpenPhone are essentially messaging templates.
You can create responses for the most common questions you receive via text and use the template for responding to clients quicker, saving you time.
The best text messaging service for business should integrate with a range of popular tools. Integrations make it easy to pull data from and feed data into your existing business apps so you have a single source of truth. This also allows all your business apps to work together without the need to transfer info manually from one app to another. Integrations with tools like Zapier and webhooks allow you to automate parts of your workflow so your team can focus on other strategic parts of the business.
8. Group texting
Group messaging lets you create groups so specific conversations are accessible to multiple team members or external contacts.
Once you create group text threads on OpenPhone and give team members working with a specific client access to their interactions, everyone will always be on the same page and able to respond in case one of the team members is unavailable.
9. Scheduling texts
Your platform needs the option to schedule text messages to send at a certain time during the day. The feature is especially important for businesses that have clients across multiple timezones — you don’t want to message someone outside of their working hours.
How we chose the best texting services
We looked at the following factors for selecting the best texting services for businesses:
- Feature set: Many SMS platforms can help you send text messages, but as a business, you need more. You need capabilities like auto-replies and integrations to make running SMS marketing campaigns and responding to clients quick and easy.
- Budget: As a company, you probably have a fixed budget to work with or at least a ballpark figure in mind. You shouldn’t just pick the least expensive service, but you can’t overspend either.
- Customer support: What happens if you run into an issue, reach out to support, and receive a response 72 hours later? That’s bad for business. You need support that can help you solve problems fast.
- User-friendliness: You probably don’t want to hire an expert to set up the SMS app and manage it. It’s best to opt for a user-friendly app that makes text messaging easier.
- Integrations: Integrations streamline your internal workflow by seamlessly sending and receiving data from other business apps. The more integrations a service offers, the better.
Why text messaging is pivotal for growing businesses
SMS marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to market your businesses. But there’s more to like about SMS than just promotion. Following are more reasons you might want to use SMS communications for your business.
Better open and conversion rates
The open rate for text messages is 99%. Compare that to email’s open rate of 28-33% and you start seeing why SMS is important for your business. Text messages also generate a click-through rate (CTR) of a whopping 36%, versus 6-7% for email.
Your clients prefer text messages
A large majority of smartphone users — 85% — want you to contact them via text message rather than email or a call. 76% of shoppers are more likely to shop from small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that offer text messaging.
Setting the right expectations is key to building relationships. You can automate text messages for confirmed orders or appointments right after booking. Your clients and customers are very likely to open the text message and read it, which means they’ll be on the same page about when they’ll receive an order or have the required details for the appointment.
As mentioned earlier, people open and read SMS messages much faster than emails, so there’s more expectation to respond to them right away. When you’re outside of work, you can set up an auto-response to inform the recipient about your business hours.
Choose OpenPhone for the best text messaging functionality
If you’re looking for a tool that can help you deliver a dependable customer experience and make your internal communications effortless, OpenPhone is an excellent choice.
You get unlimited text messages to the US and Canada and a suite of other automation and communication features, so you can focus all your efforts on clients instead of processes.