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9 best SMS messaging services for small businesses in 2024

Best business texting services

When you’re running a business, every message counts. 

SMS messaging has changed how businesses and customers communicate, but SMS services can’t just be about sending and receiving texts. That’s why you need a text messaging service that goes beyond the basics.

The best SMS services reduce manual work by automating responses, sending snippets, and helping teams nurture relationships with customers and prospects.

Ready to step up from the basic SMS app on your mobile phone or move away from your existing texting provider? This guide breaks down nine of the best text messaging services for small businesses.

We’ll also share how to select the right texting service for your company.

The top business text messaging services compared

Let’s take a closer look at how the top SMS services stack up against each other.

ProviderStarting price per monthShared phone numbersMMS supportScheduled text messagesAuto-repliesUnlimited calling to US & Canada
OpenPhone$15
Google Voice$16Texting in the US onlyXXUnlimited calls to Canada from the US
SimpleTexting$393 user seats included, $20 per user per month for more usersMust apply creditsMust apply credits
SlickText$29Must apply creditsMust apply creditsX
TextMagic$4.90$.08 per messageMust apply creditsX
EZ Texting$20Must apply creditsMust apply creditsMust apply creditsX
Zendesk$55XDoesn't support outbound MMS messagesMust apply creditsMust apply creditsX
RingCentral$19.99Up to 20 usersNot available in Canada or toll-free numbersXSMS only
Textedly$26Must apply creditsMust apply creditsX

If you’re in the midst of your search, all the numbers and information might feel overwhelming. Use this guide as a springboard to help narrow down the right fit based on your needs and budget. Keep reading for more details about each provider to help you decide on the right SMS service for your needs.

1. OpenPhone: Best calling and text messaging service for small businesses

Pros

  • Free calling and SMS/MMS messages to the US and Canada included
  • Shared numbers to split responsibility for calling and texting
  • Auto-replies, scheduled messages, and snippets included
  • Group texting (up to 10 participants) included
  • Integrations with Zapier, Salesforce, and HubSpot, and more
  • Available on Mac, Windows, iOS and Android
  • Dozens of ways to save time texting

Cons

  • Can’t verify other accounts through two-factor authentication texts*

*Nearly all virtual phone numbers run into this problem. For safety reasons, companies like Facebook, Uber, and Google rarely let you authenticate accounts through a virtual phone number.

business text messaging services: OpenPhone desktop and mobile apps

OpenPhone is a reliable VoIP phone system and versatile texting solution that lets you make calls and send and receive messages using just an internet connection. 

With OpenPhone, your team can have a dedicated business phone number so they can manage calls and texts from a single platform. You can view all text messages, call recordings, and voicemails with specific contacts in a single view. This combination helps your team streamline your communication processes so you no longer have to deal with scattered messages and missed conversations. 

Anyone on your team can easily review and continue conversations from a shared number. Or you can move conversations to text if you’re playing phone tag with anyone — which is a breath of fresh air for your team and your customers.

As one G2 reviewer put it, “When I was introduced to OpenPhone by a colleague, I was surprised to find how many things I could do with OpenPhone. I could use OpenPhone both on my computer and on my mobile phone to make calls, send text messages, answer and reply to calls and texts, send or receive documents and even connect it to my HubSpot account to track calls and text messaging without having to pay the premium prices I found to be a bit too expensive if I used HubSpot’s internal system.”

With OpenPhone, you get free calling and texting to the US and Canada, so you won’t pay per text or worry about the maximum number of text messages you get with a particular plan (unlike some of the other text messaging services for businesses on this list).

OpenPhone also excels at helping businesses save time texting and collaborating. With it, you can automate SMS messages and use snippets to answer frequently asked questions (FAQs), schedule text messages to your contacts, and help your team collaborate on communications through internal threads.

Sign up for a free, seven-day trial of OpenPhone. If you need to port over an existing number, you can use a temporary phone number to confirm OpenPhone is a good fit. And when you’re ready, move any local US, Canadian, or North American toll-free number for free.

Key features of OpenPhone

  • Free SMS and MMS messages to anyone in the US or Canada
  • Group messaging
  • Shared phone numbers
  • Auto-replies
  • Snippets
  • Scheduled text messages
  • Integrations for CRMs and other popular platforms, including Salesforce, HubSpot, Slack, and Zapier

OpenPhone pricing

OpenPhone pricing

OpenPhone offers the following three flexible and straightforward pricing tiers:

Starter

  • Starting at $15 per user per month
  • Includes the option to share a number with up to 10 teammates, auto-attendants, scheduled texts, snippets, internal threads, shared contacts, and more 

Business

  • Starting at $23 per user per month
  • Unlocks call transfer, logs and analytics, Salesforce integration, HubSpot CRM integration, the ability to share your phone number with as many teammates as you need, and more

Enterprise

  • Custom pricing for a custom plan
  • Unlocks a dedicated account manager to tailor a plan to your team’s needs

2. Google Voice: Top solution that integrates with Google Workspace

Pros

  • Integrates seamlessly with Google Workspace

Cons

  • Restricted to US customers
  • No other integrations outside of other Google apps
  • No toll-free numbers, snippets, auto-replies, or document/video sending
Best text messaging service for business: Google Voice

Google Voice for Business isn’t exactly heavy-duty text software. Still, it’s a natural choice if you already use Google Workspace. While reliable, it falls short in terms of being a comprehensive text messaging service.

Keep in mind Google Voice doesn’t directly integrate with anything outside of other Google apps if you are looking to bring more of your tech stack together. 


One user’s G2 review sums it up well. “If it’s all you can afford, I think it is a good option. However, I’ve recently seen many other apps that do the same thing in a better way that I may consider changing soon.”

This reviewer isn’t an outlier, as Google Voice’s business SMS functionality is limited. Texting is restricted to US customers and lacks support for: 

  • Toll-free numbers
  • Snippets
  • Auto-replies
  • Sending documents or videos

Another Google Voice user wrote on G2, “Google Voice function is basic versus the paid options available through other companies and wasn’t able to do as much as other companies. It worked for us, but we ended up needing our texting service to do more.”

When you’re the only person handling daily business operations, Google Voice may work fine just for you. But as your team expands and your messaging needs grow, Google Voice is extremely limiting. Plus, it doesn’t play well with the rest of your stack. If you want to seamlessly track your calls and messages in your CRM or your help desk software, you’ll want to choose a different messaging platform.  

Key features of Google Voice

  • SMS to US and Canadian numbers (available to US customers only; excludes US territories American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands, and US Virgin Islands)
  • Group messaging (up to eight participants)
  • Multi-level auto attendants and ring groups
  • Voicemail transcription

Google Voice pricing

Although a personal number is free, Google Voice’s paid plans require all businesses to have an active Google Workspace plan (starting at $6 per user per month). Here’s how Voice’s business plans break down:

Google Voice pricing

Starter

  • $10 per user per month
  • Includes calls to the US and Canada and unlimited text messaging for up to 10 team members

Standard

  • $20 per user per month
  • Access to ring groups, multi-level auto attendants, and eDiscovery for text message records for an unlimited number of users

Premier

  • $30 per user per month
  • Unlock all of the above features and advanced reporting

3. SimpleTexting: Best option for SMS marketing

Pros

  • Auto-responder feature for efficient customer communication
  • Flexible 14-day trial and pay-as-you-go option for cost control
  • Built-in marketing tools to run polls, surveys, sweepstakes, and push notifications

Cons

  • Potential additional costs for advanced features and integrations
  • Challenges with customer service and using numbers for calling
  • Limited texting reach to the US, Canada, and select Caribbean regions
Best text messaging service for business: SimpleTexting

If you’re looking for a texting service that offers mass SMS campaigns, SimpleTexting could be for you. It enables you to send bulk messages to a list of contacts, and its intuitive user interface (UI) is easy to navigate.

With SimpleTexting, you can set up an auto-responder to send new customers basic details, follow-up texts, or coupon codes based on specific keywords. 

For example, if a customer texts “PAW” to your business phone number to check current dog food deals, the auto-responder will send the customer a list of available deals. 

You can also access a range of technical marketing tools with SimpleTexting’s built-in apps. These tools help you run text-based polls, surveys, and sweepstakes. You can also send push notifications and gain valuable analytics for better insights. 

SimpleTexting has a 14-day trial that lets you access all features, but you’re capped at 50 daily messages. If you want to upgrade to the paid version, you can buy credits and pay as you go.

Keep in mind that SimpleTexting only lets you text numbers in the US, Canada, and select regions in the Caribbean. 

The biggest limitation of SimpleTexting is it doesn’t support calling from the app. If you wish to use the same number to call and text your numbers, they offer limited call forwarding — except for toll-free numbers, which you won’t be able to call from at all with SimpleTexting. If any of the limitations listed above impact your business communications, consider shopping around to avoid overpaying for your text messaging platform.

Another drawback? SimpleTexting offers Mailchimp and Zapier integrations in its plans, but it doesn’t offer native integrations with CRMs like HubSpot and Salesforce. If you’re a small business that runs on either of those CRMs, you have to spend time building workflows on Zapier yourself. 

Credits and fees seem to be a common issue for SimpleTexting users. One G2 review states, “I wish their rollover credits and payment plans were a bit more transparent and easy to understand. I’ve also found that when I try to contact their customer service via phone, I am never connected with a service rep, and am instead asked to leave a callback number–but they never call back. I recommend using their live chat instead.”

SimpleTexting is a trustworthy solution for running SMS marketing campaigns because of helpful features like auto-responders, advanced tools, and custom integrations. However, it has limited reach when it comes to texting recipients. One G2 reviewer wrote, “I dislike the limits on sending MMS campaigns. I realize that I can pay more with a short code to overcome this limit; however, that means I would have to change my 800-number, which my customers already have in their address books on their cell phones.”

Key features of SimpleTexting

  • Unlimited contacts
  • Unlimited keywords
  • Rollover credits
  • Mailchimp and Zapier integrations

SimpleTexting pricing

SimpleTexting plans start at $39 per month for 500 texts and vary depending on the volume and type of messages you send. For example, SMS messages cost one credit, while MMS messages cost three credits.

Any paid plan includes three team members and one number, along with the admin seat. If you need to add more team members, you’ll have to pay $20 per month per teammate and add extra numbers as needed.

SimpleTexting also offers access to advanced features such as contact syncs integrations starting at $49 per month and custom pricing for advanced automations.

4. SlickText: Best option for businesses building loyalty programs

Pros

  • Automation tools and custom keywords for effective campaigns
  • Ability to run contests and create assets like flyers and surveys

Cons

  • Must contact an account representative for additional text credits
  • No option to text PDF files
  • Expensive to scale
Best text messaging service for business: SlickText

SlickText is a low-cost text message marketing service that offers automation tools, custom keywords, and an intuitive user interface. If you’re looking for a cost-effective option with strong campaign-building features, automation, and segmentation capabilities, SlickText is a solid choice. 

At least, that’s the case for service-based businesses aiming to attract repeat business through loyalty programs. You can offer customers to opt in to loyalty rewards at check in on your website or at the point of sale.

As one G2 reviewer put it, “SlickText has a strong presence on the front lines of what their clients may be looking for in terms of new ways to opt-in subscribers or fun and effective marketing measures to ensure end-user loyalty and success.”

Slicktext also gives you the ability to run text marketing campaigns. Once you set up a keyword in SlickText, you can add your contact list, send messages, and access analytics. Then you can run contests and create assets like flyers, text-based surveys, and opt-in web forms.

Some users have reported they had to contact an account representative to buy additional text credits, which is inconvenient if you prefer a self-service business texting app. Smaller teams may also find challenges scaling their services as their base plan ($29 per month) only includes 500 text messages. 

Keep in mind SlickText is solely built for text marketing. You won’t be able to provide more personalized touchpoints in some cases, as the files you can send are restricted (their platform doesn’t support sending PDF files, for example). 

Another limitation of SlickText: it offers text messaging services with no option to call your customers. This is fine if you only plan to communicate with your customers via email and text, but if you want to get on calls with your customers, you’ll need a business phone service in addition to SlickText.

Key features of SlickText

  • Unlimited contacts
  • Rollover texts
  • Picture messaging
  • Live chat customer support
  • 1 on 1 onboarding (for higher-tier plans only)

SlickText pricing

SlickText is a good service with a not-so-great pricing structure. All nine of its plans have nearly the same feature set. The primary variable is the number of texts you get. Plus, the pricing is different for the US and Canada. 

Here’s the breakdown: 

SlickText pricing

The Basic

  • $29 per month
  • Includes 500 texts per month and two Textwords

The Step Up

  • $49 per month
  • Includes 1,000 texts per month and four Textwords

The Lil Bro

  • $79 per month
  • Includes 2,000 texts per month and six Textwords
SlickText pricing for The Big Bro, The Boss, and The Albatross plans

The Big Bro

  • $139 per month
  • Includes 3,600 texts, eight Textwords, automated workflows, and 1 on 1 onboarding

The Boss

  • $189 per month
  • Includes 5,000 texts, 14 Textwords, automated workflows, and 1 on 1 onboarding

The Albatross

  • $350 per month
  • Includes 10,000 texts, 16 Textwords, automated workflows, and 1 on 1 onboarding
SlickText pricing for The Whale and The Monstro plans

The Whale

  • $750 per month
  • Includes 25,000 texts, 20 Textwords, automated workflows, and 1 on 1 onboarding

The Monstro

  • $1,250 per month
  • Includes 50,000 texts, 30 Textwords, automated workflows, and 1 on 1 onboarding

Enterprise

  • Contact for customization 

5. TextMagic: Most flexible pay-as-you-go text messaging app

Pros

  • Offers message templates and auto-replies 
  • Two-way chat capability for remote communication with staff and customers
  • Advanced features for marketing lists, detailed reports, and message replies

Cons

  • Unpredictable costs
  • No direct CRM integrations
  • Challenges reported by users regarding message delivery notifications and identifying reply sources
business text messaging services: TextMagic

TextMagic is an easy-to-use text messaging app that works on a pay-as-you-go basis, making it ideal for small businesses or individuals with changing texting needs.

With TextMagic, you can create marketing lists, access detailed reports, and receive replies to messages sent using your TextMagic number. Similar to other options in this list, TextMagic has two-way messaging, which allows your team members and customers to have ongoing conversations over text.

TextMagic also lets you create message templates for repetitive tasks like booking confirmations or appointment reminders and set up auto-replies so customers can receive real-time responses to messages as they send them.

While TextMagic seems solid on paper, its pay-as-you-pricing can quickly add up as your business grows. TextMagic also doesn’t provide direct integrations with CRMs. 

TextMagic also has a confusing user interface. Some users, like this G2 reviewer, report confusion regarding notifications: “I don’t like that I don’t get a notification if a text message wasn’t successfully delivered. I would have to look at my history to see if it was delivered or not.”

Another G2 user wanted more clarity on received messages, “Having to figure out which customer the reply message came from has been the biggest challenge.”

Although TextMagic has a full suite of features tailored for business texting, consider whether it’s worth the higher costs, notification confusion, and lack of direct CRM integrations for your business.

Key features of TextMagic

  • Mass text to 190+ countries
  • SMS gateway API
  • Email to SMS gateway
  • Two-way SMS
  • SMS distribution list

TextMagic pricing

Text messages

  • $0.049 per text + $10 per month for a virtual dedicated number
  • Includes bulk text messages, two-way SMS chat, email to SMS, and Zapier integrations 

MMS

  • $0.08 per MMS + $10 per month for a virtual dedicated number
  • Send texts with images, and access two-way SMS chat, email to SMS, and Zapier integrations 

Lookup

  • $0.04 per lookup + $10 per month for a virtual dedicated number
  • Validate numbers or emails one by one, in bulk, or via API.

6. EZ Texting: Best for text list-building with QR codes

Pros

  • User-friendly mobile app interface for easy SMS marketing
  • Access to Shutterfly’s image library and editor and QR codes
  • Offers drip campaign options

Cons

  • Each plan includes only one phone number, requiring additional fees for more numbers
  • Short codes for SMS campaigns cost a minimum $3,000 monthly
  • Less cost-effective than other text marketing platforms
Best business texting services: EZ Texting

EZ Texting is an all-around SMS marketing solution for businesses. Along with the ability to set up drip campaigns, EZ Texting offers access to Shutterfly’s image library and editor, as well as QR codes. These features help you create professionally designed MMS messages in your messaging campaigns and build your contact list.

Plus, you can access two-way texting, group texting, and attractive templates for contests, vouchers, and coupon codes to drive more awareness and loyalty to your brand. 

Along with SMS analytics, EZ Texting integrates with your email marketing software. This can give you a clearer picture of your marketing campaign’s performance. EZ Texting also offers up to six free keywords that can trigger an automatic text response from incoming messages, but it will cost you $25 per keyword to add more.

Keep in mind while EZ Texting bundles credits with each plan, these credits don’t roll over month to month on their plans. And they aren’t exactly clear about this on their pricing page. To find this information, you have to sift through their Help Center. 

Additionally, using short codes for your SMS campaigns is costly, with a minimum monthly cost of $3,000. Consider taking a good look at the benefits and costs to determine if they line up with your business needs. 

Bottom line: EZ Texting is a strong text messaging option for businesses looking to increase customer engagement and attract potential customers. But some businesses may find other options more cost effective due to the lack of rollover credits.

Key features of EZ Texting

  • Keywords
  • Auto-replies
  • Integrations
  • Textable numbers
  • Mass and two-way texting
  • Message template library
  • Link shortener and tracking
  • Contact import and management

EZ Texting pricing

EZ Texting offers four plans based on your monthly texting volume to your customers. Here’s a look at their pricing tiers:

Updated EZ Texting pricing table

Launch

  • Starts at $20 per month for up to 500 contacts
  • Includes 500 free messages per month, incoming messages, contacts, keywords, two-way texting, and Shutterstock images and editing

Boost

  • Starts at $60 per month for 500-2,000 contacts
  • Includes 500 free messages per month, incoming messages, contacts, keywords, two-way texting, and Shutterstock images and editing

Scale

  • Starts at $100 per month for 2,000-50,000 contacts
  • Includes a dedicated short code, 99% delivery rate,  free messages per month, incoming messages, contacts, keywords, two-way texting, and Shutterstock images and editing

Enterprise

  • Starts at $3,000 per month for 50,000+ contacts
  • Includes 200,000 messages per month, incoming messages, contacts, keywords, two-way texting, and Shutterstock images and editing

7. Zendesk: Best text messaging service for large contact centers

Pros

  • Native Zendesk support — send and receive messages in your Zendesk account

Cons

  • Pricing per text gets expensive quickly
  • No outbound MMS support
  • Limit of 250 simultaneous texts per number
Zendesk's desktop app interface

Zendesk is a help desk software tool for large contact centers that also offers text messaging and voice calling to its customers. It enables contact center teams to bring all their support communications in one place and serve customers in a streamlined way. 

While Zendesk doesn’t provide a standard text messaging service for businesses like other options in this list, its native automations make it a worthy candidate for contact center teams that optimize for efficiency. For example, messages can automatically create help desk tickets, reducing administrative work for your team. You can also create auto-replies based on custom triggers to respond to customer inquiries quickly.

What holds Zendesk back? Its pricing. Zendesk charges customers for inbound and outbound texts, which can quickly add up for your team every month. 

Zendesk also doesn’t allow you to send MMS messages to your customers. You can only receive inbound MMS messages on local US numbers, which means you can’t get pictures, GIFs, or documents if you’re using an international number.

Zendesk might be a solid help desk tool for contact centers, but you may be better off pairing it with a better text messaging service to send as many texts as you need to customers without worrying about your costs.

Key features of Zendesk

  • Omnichannel support (email, voice, web, social, mobile)
  • Automations and workflows
  • Canned snippets
  • Knowledge base management
  • Ticket routing, customization, and tagging

Zendesk pricing

Zendesk pricing table

Zendesk offers four plans to customers:

Suite Team 

  • $55 per agent per month
  • Includes access to its ticketing system, help center, custom business rules, and more

Suite Growth 

  • $89 per agent per month
  • Includes access to multiple ticket forms, CSAT ratings, business hours, and more

Suite Professional 

  • $115 per agent per month
  • Includes access to HIPAA enablement, skills-based routing, and more

Suite Enterprise 

  • Contact sales for pricing

All of Zendesk’s plans offer text messaging as an add-on, which means your final monthly pricing will depend on the type of number you use, where your customers are located, and how many messages you send to them every month.

8. RingCentral: Best text messaging solution for call centers

Pros

  • SMS marketing campaign tracking from the dashboard
  • Texting capability and unlimited calls to the US and Canada
  • Integration with popular apps like Salesforce, Hubspot, and Slack

Cons

  • The Core plan only allows 25 monthly texts per user
  • Storage limited to 5,000 text messages per user 
  • The Advanced plan lacks features most teams need
Best text messaging service for business: RIngCentral

Designed with call centers in mind, RingCentral is a VoIP service that helps teams stay connected through calls, texts, emails, and more. 

With RingCentral, you can text, make unlimited calls to the US and Canada, and track your SMS marketing campaigns from the dashboard. It also integrates with apps like Salesforce, HubSpot, and Slack.

RingCentral might not be the best choice for small teams or for sending a large number of messages. On its Core plan, RingCentral lets you send 25 monthly texts per user. You pay extra per message for anything over that or you can upgrade your account. If your team plans to use RingCentral’s Standard for calling and texting, keep in mind it  lacks key features like automatic call recording.

One more thing: RingCentral only stores up to 5,000 text messages per user. So, if you text a ton of customers, you won’t have complete records of all your conversations. RingCentral also limits storage of your call recordings to 90 days unless you upgrade to their most expensive plan. It’s a phone system with an expiry date for all your calls and messages.

And if you want to port out of RingCentral at any point, they don’t make it easy. As one G2 reviewer points out, “Porting out is extremely tedious…We had to reach out to the Chief executives on LinkedIn to be able to have someone help us out with the port out. The amount of calls made to have a solution to our issue were just too much and we always received the same useless answer.”

Although it has calling and messaging in one place and advanced messaging features like SMS auto-replies and workflow automations, RingCentral’s texting and storage limits and customer support issues make it a tricky option to recommend to small businesses. But if you’re willing to work around those issues, it might be the right move for you.

Key features of RingCentral

  • 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

RingCentral pricing

RingCentral pricing

RingCentral users can add high-volume SMS starting at $0.0085 per message sent or received. Here is the breakdown of its three pricing tiers:

Essentials 

  • $20 per user/month
  • Includes messaging and phone services

Standard 

  • $25 per user/month 
  • Unlocks texting, calling, and on-demand call recording

Premium

  • $35 per user/month 
  • Access messages, phone calls, videos, automatic call recording, and an open API

For more advanced features, RingCentral also has contact center-specific plans. You must contact them though to receive a quote.

9. Textedly: Best online texting service for business payment transactions

Pros

  • Secure payment collection through text messaging
  • Lowest per-text price compared to other services on the list
  • Range of tools available, including auto-replies, bulk SMS, web forms, and scheduled messages

Cons

  • Steep learning curve to use
  • Lack of transparency in MMS pricing
  • Additional charges for some features like auto-replies, text personalization, and drip campaigns

Best text messaging service for business: Textedly

Textedly is the only service on this list that lets you request and collect secure payments through text messaging. This means you can track requests and revenue all in one place. But you’ll have to pay for Textedly’s Plus tier plan, which starts at $69 per month.

With auto-replies, bulk SMS, web forms, and scheduled messages, Textedly offers plenty of tools. Plus, it offers the lowest per-text price compared to other services on this list.If you really care about value for money with a text messaging service for your business, we recommend going with a service that offers unlimited messaging instead of per-text pricing.

Certain features like auto-replies, text personalization, and drip campaigns come with additional one-off charges. The costs can add up because Textedly’s lack of transparency about its MMS pricing may lead to unexpected costs. 

One G2 reviewer wrote, “There are additional monthly costs that I wasn’t told about that get billed automatically. It’s not a huge amount, but it was unexpected.”

There’s also a learning curve if you want to use advanced features, so you’ll need a savvy SMS marketer on the team — which may come as another added cost if you’re a small business.

Key features of Textedly

  • Two-way SMS
  • Scheduled texts
  • Mass group texting
  • Built-in link shrinking
  • Comprehensive analytics

Textedly pricing

Textedly has a complicated pricing structure with 13 different plans to choose from. Here’s a breakdown of its plans:

Textedly pricing

Basic 

  • $26 per month for 600 text messages
  • Includes a custom keyword, free incoming messages, unlimited contacts, and picture messaging

Bronze 

  • $38 per month for 1,200 text messages
  • Includes a custom keyword, free incoming messages, unlimited contacts, and picture messaging

Plus

  • $69 per month for 2,400 text messages
  • Access two custom keywords, text-to-pay, and everything from the Basic and Bronze tiers
Textedly's Enterprise, Elite, Business, and Silver pricing plans

Enterprise 

  • $99 per month for 4,200 text messages
  • Includes three custom keywords and everything from the Plus tier

Elite 

  • $139 per month for 6,000 text messages
  • Unlocks four custom keywords and everything from the Plus tier

Business

  • $249 per month for 12,000 text messages
  • Access six custom keywords and everything from the Plus tier

Silver

  • $349 per month for 18,000 text messages
  • Access seven custom keywords and everything from the Plus tier
Textedly pricing for their Premium, Pro, Gold, and Platinum plans

Premium 

  • $499 per month for 30,000 text messages
  • Includes 10 custom keywords and everything from the Plus tier

Pro 

  • $599 per month for 42,000 text messages
  • Unlocks 13 custom keywords and everything from the Plus tier

Gold

  • $849 per month for 60,000 text messages
  • Access 15 custom keywords and everything from the Plus tier

Platinum

  • $1,599 per month for 120,000 text messages
  • Access 20 custom keywords and everything from the Plus tier
Textedly pricing for their Diamond and Champion plans

Diamond 

  • $2,299 per month for 180,000 text messages
  • Includes 20 custom keywords and everything from the Plus tier

Champion 

  • $2,999 per month for 240,000 text messages
  • Unlocks 50 custom keywords and everything from the Plus tier

It’s worth noting each Textedly account requires an $8 Telecom surcharge. You can also purchase extra texts and keywords at any time — $25 for an additional 500 texts and $5 per additional keyword.

Pro Tip: Choose a business phone platform that offers calling and messaging in one place

There are hundreds of text messaging platforms to choose from, but you don’t have time to review every single one. One way you can filter your platform options is by choosing services that offer calling and messaging in one place.

When you choose a platform that lets you make calls and send messages to your customers, you can bring all your conversations to one place and ensure your conversations aren’t fragmented or repetitive. You can also get the full context of a customer’s history with your business, which often gets lost when your calls live in a different tool or happen offline and are recorded later.

Unless you’re running a dedicated mass texting marketing program, you don’t need SMS messaging features like text-to-win, text-to-join, and short codes. You just need a regular phone number (a ten-digit long code or 10DLC) to have text conversations with your customers.

What exactly to look for in a business texting service

Not sure what you should expect to get from a business texting provider? Here are nine features you may want to prioritize when searching for the best text messaging service for your company.

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.

Using internal threads in OpenPhone to tag a teammate for help answering a customer service issue received over text.

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 text 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) we use for texting conversations, while short codes are five- or six-digit codes used for application-to-person (A2P) messaging by businesses. Unlike numbers, short codes don’t support two-way messaging.

Using 10-digit numbers makes more sense for a company because recipients can reply to that same number. With some providers, your customers can even call the same number to reach your team and ask follow-up questions that are too 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 use a remote phone system. 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.

6. Snippets

Using snippets in OpenPhone

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.

7. Integrations

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 companies’ 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 your 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 specific clients 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

Scheduling text messages from the OpenPhone desktop and web apps

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 time zones — you don’t want to message someone outside of their working hours.

OpenPhone is far more than a basic text scheduling app. When you queue up a message to go out later in OpenPhone, you can specify the recipient’s timezone. You can even avoid awkward text exchanges as you have the option to automatically cancel a scheduled message if your contact reaches out to you first.

How you should choose a business texting platform

With so many options, it’s easy to get lost when choosing a text messaging service for small businesses. Here’s what you should look for when you’re choosing a business texting platform:

  • Goals: How do you plan on utilizing texting? Do you want to use SMS as a marketing channel to let your customers know about new products, deals, and giveaways you have planned for them? Or do you want to have two-way conversations on a one-to-one basis with your customers? Your goals can help you shortlist the features your business needs.
  • Feature set: Many SMS platforms can help you send text messages, but if you’re focused on growing your business, you need more than just an SMS messenger. Look for platforms that offer auto-replies and integrations to make running SMS marketing campaigns or responding to clients quick and easy.
  • Pricing: Not every SMS platform will match your budget. Some SMS platforms charge based on the number of users in an account, and others charge based on the number of texts you send monthly. Estimate each platform’s price to understand whether they will remain affordable as you scale.

    One thing to keep in mind here is hidden fees. Some text messaging platforms have a primary price for their messaging services but have add-ons that inflate the total cost of their service. For example, SimpleTexting charges $39 per month for 500 texts monthly and then charges $20 per user per month for users you add to your account beyond its 3-user minimum.  
  • Customer support: Choose a platform highly rated for its customer support because texting is one of the most important communication channels with your customers. If it suddenly goes down or your messages don’t get delivered, it can severely impact your business growth, so you need a support team that can resolve your issues quickly. 
  • User-friendliness: Is your team lost in a sea of menus, panels, pop-ups, and support docs when they trial a messaging service? Intuitive user interfaces help your team move faster. Choose a service with positive reviews that mention a platform is easy to use. 

4 tips for using a business text messaging service effectively and compliantly

Choosing a text messaging service is just the start of your business texting journey. While you might be eager to start texting your customers right away, you need to be aware of a few compliance requirements before you hit ‘Send’ on your first message (and prevent your account from being accidentally flagged by your provider!).

Here are four tips for using your texting platform effectively:

1. Complete your A2P 10DLC registration ASAP

US phone carriers, including AT&T and Verizon, recently introduced new regulations for businesses that want to text customers based in the US to reduce phishing texts and other forms of spam. 

Businesses are required to complete a registration process to verify their identity and their messaging campaign strategy. This process is referred to as A2P 10DLC registration.

After you choose a business texting platform, you should immediately complete your A2P 10DLC registration so you can start messaging your customers. 

Want to know more about the registration process? Check out our small business guide to A2P 10DLC registration.

2. Collect opt-ins from your customers

One of the cardinal rules of business texting: only message customers who consent to receiving messages from you. 

In the US, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) requires businesses to obtain explicit consent before sending text messages for marketing purposes. If you don’t collect explicit consent, you can be fined anywhere from $500 to $1,500 per willful violation or more (cases where you intentionally messaged customers without collecting consent). Collecting consent from your customers isn’t an option; it’s a requirement.

Here are a few easy ways to collect consent from your customers:

  • Verbal consent
    If you record customer calls for compliance reasons or have an in-person conversation with a customer, you can ask them to confirm their consent to receive SMS messages.
  • Sign-up forms
    Include a checkbox for text message opt-ins on your website’s sign-up forms. Make sure it’s unselected by default, requiring the user to actively choose to receive texts.
  • Double opt-in with text messages
    Once a customer opts in verbally or with a sign-up form, send a confirmation text asking them to confirm their subscription. This double opt-in process is required for marketing texts, ensures your customer truly wants to receive texts from you, and provides clear evidence of consent.

If you want to know more about consent in business texting, check out TCPA’s opt-in and opt-out requirements and our guide to SMS opt-in examples.

3. Use auto-replies to set expectations outside business hours

While large enterprises have the resources and global footprint where it makes sense to offer customer support 24/7, your team may not need that level of staffing yet. 

But customers might try to reach you outside your business hours at times. Auto-replies let you keep the conversation going even when you can’t immediately respond. Customers aren’t left waiting for a response; instead, they’ll know what to expect from your team.

With a business texting platform, you can set up auto-replies for missed calls, missed voicemails, and text messages that come in after you’ve logged off for the day.

Auto-reply text in OpenPhone and how it looks

Curious what different ways you can use auto-replies? Here’s a list of 40 auto-reply text examples to get you started. 

4. Make it easy for customers to opt out of your messages

Customers might want to stop receiving messages from you for a variety of different reasons, so in your initial text you should include the option to opt out (For example, “To opt out of receiving texts, reply STOP”). 

Business texting platforms make the opt-out process easy. Customers simply have to send single-word messages like ‘Stop’ or ‘Quit’ to your business phone number, and they immediately unsubscribe from your text list. With OpenPhone, if someone opts out, our platform automatically sends a message confirming they’ve successfully opted out of future messages from you.

Resubscribing is as easy as unsubscribing — customers can opt back in with a single-word message to your number, like ‘Start’ or ‘Unstop.’

Your customers should want to receive messages from you, and having smooth opt-in and opt-out processes helps them choose when they want to get your messages and when they don’t.

Choose OpenPhone for the best text messaging platform

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 free 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.

Start your free trial of OpenPhone today.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Why do you need a business text messaging service vs. just a cell phone number? 

A business text messaging service offers a vastly better customer experience than just having a separate phone number you use for work. Here’s how:

• Ability to share your number: Business text messaging services allow you to share your number with your team, which means more people are monitoring incoming messages and responding to them. If your team can’t access your number, your customers will be waiting for responses instead of instantly getting answers from you.

• Advanced messaging features: Business text services come with a host of advanced messaging features that make you more productive and more efficient with your texting channel, including scheduled messages, auto-replies, and snippets (templated texts).

• Work-life balance: A regular cell number is accessible to your customers 24/7. With business text services, you can set business hours that give you the ability to set boundaries when you’re out of the office. You can set up auto-replies that let your customers know when they can expect a response from you or your team. 

If you want to deliver a superior messaging experience to your customers, you should go with a business text service.

How can I use business text messaging? 

Here are a few ways you can use business text messaging to build deeper relationships with your customers:

1. Appointment reminders: Remind your customers of their appointments, whether you’re a real estate agent visiting a property with a prospective buyer or a dental practice, checking to make sure your patient is coming in at their scheduled time. 

2. Product or order questions: Answer customer questions when they’re on the go and need a quick response. Do they want to check whether you have a product in a different size or on the status of their order? Share quick answers over a text thread.

3. Event invites: Hosting an event with a select group of customers? Make them feel special with a personal invite over a text message. 

4. Group texting: Need to coordinate different stakeholders between your team and your customer’s team? Start a group text thread so both teams are on the same page through the duration of your project.

5. Celebrate wins: Texting is the most personal way you can celebrate a customer win. Send your customers a photo, video, or GIF with MMS support to celebrate the moment.

How do I set up a text number for my business?

You don’t need a separate “text number” for your business — you can use a regular phone number that lets you send and receive messages from your customers. 

Here’s what you need to do to set up your business text number:
1. Sign up for a business text messaging service
2. Create a virtual number to text customers
3. Complete your A2P 10DLC registration process
4. Start texting your customers!

Can I create a business phone number for free?

Yes! You can create a business phone number for free with OpenPhone. We offer a seven-day free trial that lets you create your number, get set up, and start calling and messaging your customers. 

After your free trial ends, you’ll need to sign up for a paid plan with us, but the phone number creation process is 100% free.

How do I set up automated text messages for my business?

You can set up a number of different types of automated text messages in your business texting platform based on what your business needs:

For messages you receive outside of business hours or when you  miss a call, you can set up auto-replies that let customers know when you’re available. 

You can also set up trigger-based texts based on certain actions customers perform, like submitting a website form, booking an appointment, or responding to a survey.

Zapier is a popular automation tool you can use for your trigger-based texts. Read this article if you’re curious about how to integrate OpenPhone with Zapier.

Is it legal to send automated text messages?

Yes, it’s legal to send automated text messages to your customers as long as they consent to receiving them. 

As part of the process of collecting consent from your customers, you should inform them of what types of messages to expect from you. If those messages include automated messages, you should let them know upfront so they can choose whether they want to receive them or not. 

It’s illegal to send unsolicited text messages to customers, and you risk getting fined by the TCPA if you do. Just don’t do it!

Can I send SMS from my PC using a business text messaging service?

Yes, many text messaging services offer the ability to send texts from your desktop computer. With OpenPhone you can send texts using your browser or OpenPhone desktop app.

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