Life without texting is pretty unimaginable in the modern world. 📱 Whether you’re texting for business or personal use, if you’re like the average person, you send and receive 94 messages each day. As businesses shift away from landlines and toward VoIP systems, phone services that offer VoIP texting are becoming an essential part of every business owner’s toolkit.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has already changed the game for phone calls. With a VoIP number that’s linked to a virtual account (instead of a phone), you can make calls from virtually any device with an internet connection — and now, you can send texts, too
Here’s what you need to know about VoIP texting, how it works, and why it could be the best solution for your team’s communication needs.
What is VoIP texting?
VoIP texting refers to the use of a virtual phone number to send and receive text messages. There’s no need to subscribe to a traditional phone plan to start texting with a VoIP service. Instead, all you need is an internet connection and a VoIP app that supports SMS messages — and MMS messages if you want to send group texts, pictures, GIFs, videos, and audio files.
VoIP texting makes it easy to stay connected with clients and team members from just about anywhere. Jump on a mobile device or text from your computer. And on top of standard texting features, you can save hours every month using automations and text message templates.
How businesses use VoIP texting
Let the people-pleaser in you rejoice: VoIP texting allows you to reach 85% of smartphone users on their preferred communication channel. As a result, using business SMS and MMS can give your open rates, response rates, and client satisfaction a major boost. 📈
So how can you use VoIP texting for business? The opportunities are endless, but here are a few ideas.
Whether you’re looking for a fresh way to reach out to sales-qualified leads or save yourself time, here are a few ways sales teams use texting:
- Confirm meetings if you experience a lot of no shows
- Provide sales quotes to customers who request them on your site
- Follow up with leads as an alternative to emails
- Automatic logging through a Salesforce SMS integration or another CRM
For customer support
Provide a better customer experience by taking a multi-channel approach to support.
- Answer questions from customers in a timely manner; encourage them to text you by adding an SMS link to your website
- Send automated appointment reminders to clients one week before their service
- Offer walkthroughs to customers who are struggling to use a product feature
- Collect screenshots and videos from customers so you can file tickets with your engineering team
- Follow up after a customer service call with a text containing more information
- Send interview reminders a week before a scheduled meeting
- Get feedback from candidates about their interview experience
- Reach out to candidates about new opportunities
How does VoIP SMS work?
To start using a VoIP texting service, you first need to create an account and download your provider’s app on any compatible device. Once you’ve done so, you can send messages through your app, just like you would on your cell phone’s built-in texting app.
Your internet connection — whether you’re using WiFi, data, or something else — will replace the need for cell service.
Your text message recipients won’t be able to tell the difference between your VoIP texts and standard mobile phone texts.
Since VoIP texting uses virtual phone numbers, you can also message people from two (or more) phone numbers on one phone. This way, you can separate your personal and business texts, so you don’t have to worry about your team members or customers receiving a text meant for your mom.
Plus, you’ll be able to keep your personal cell number private for better security and more work-life balance.
Benefits of VoIP texting vs. cell number-to-phone SMS
So why do businesses choose VoIP SMS and MMS over traditional text messaging? VoIP numbers tend to offer significantly more texting perks than your average cell phone.
The one big advantage of cell phone-to-phone text messaging is that services like Facebook, Uber, Airbnb, PayPal, Google, WhatsApp, and banks don’t allow virtual phone numbers to be used for verification purposes. However, VoIP texting services can save your team time, money, and a lot of headaches.
Here are six perks of using a VoIP phone for business text messaging.
If you want to save time texting clients, VoIP texting can help you out. VoIP providers like OpenPhone allow you to set up auto-replies to missed calls and voicemails or if clients contact you outside of your business hours.
OpenPhone’s Zapier integration also lets you send automated texts based on many additional triggers. You can set up automations that send pre-written texts when customers abandon their carts on Shopify, schedule a Calendly meeting, and much more.
Check out some of the Zap templates other OpenPhone customers use.
2. Shared phone numbers
If you set up a dedicated phone line (like a sales or support number) for your clients to text, you’ll likely need more than one person taking on incoming texts. VoIP makes it possible for your team members to share phone numbers, collaborate on conversations, and see all your texts, missed calls, call recordings, and voicemail in one single space.
With OpenPhone, you can even add custom properties and notes to your contacts, so team members can all have the context they need for seamless conversations. Plus, you’ll see when someone else is typing and avoid double-texting your clients.
Using shared numbers to deliver a better customer experience
Learn more about how other growing businesses like Guaranteed Rate, a lending team, work as a team to make their vice president look superhuman — helping them develop trust and relationships with their clients.
3. Schedule text messages
If you want to avoid having to send a message later or texting someone outside working hours, you can schedule text messages in OpenPhone. To avoid sending an outdated message or any awkward text changes, you can automatically cancel delivery if they message you first. By default, scheduled messages in OpenPhone have this setting, but you can specify whether your message still goes out even if they text you first.
4. Canned responses
Want to speed up your responses? With canned responses (we call them snippets), you can create text message templates for the conversations you frequently have, so you don’t have to retype the same message every time. 🙌
5. Voicemail to text
Some VoIP phone systems can automatically send your voicemails to your text message inbox (and even forward text messages or send voicemails to your email inbox), so you never forget to call clients back. OpenPhone takes this a step further by sending voicemail transcriptions to you as a text with the recording, so you know how urgent a voicemail is without having to listen.
6. Reduced costs
Many VoIP providers offer small-business-friendly pricing plans and texting rates that are lower than those offered by traditional phone carriers. OpenPhone offers free, unlimited texting in the US and Canada with plans starting at $13 per user per month. International texting is also available at a low per-message rate based on the destination. 🌍
Can you text a VoIP number?
You can absolutely send text messages to VoIP numbers — as long as their VoIP service provider supports SMS. If you’re sending multimedia messages, which include pictures and group texts, your recipient’s provider needs to support MMS as well.
Similarly, you’ll need a provider that supports SMS and MMS to receive all the texts your clients send you.
Which VoIP providers support texting?
Many modern VoIP providers support texting, but not all are created equal. Here are some VoIP texting limitations from a few popular providers:
- Grasshopper doesn’t support text messaging on toll-free or Canadian phone numbers.
- Nextiva only supports texting through its mobile app; texting isn’t available on its desktop app or with its lowest-tier plan.
- Google Voice only offers unlimited SMS in the US
VoIP providers like OpenPhone, on the other hand, offer unlimited SMS and MMS in the US and Canada included with all pricing plans. Plus, you can text from your desktop, web, and mobile apps. Take your pick!
Get more from VoIP texting with OpenPhone
VoIP texting is a modern way to communicate for modern businesses. You no longer need to limit yourself to basic texting features, a cell phone plan, or one device. With VoIP texting, you can connect with your clients and team members from any device, at any time, from anywhere as long as you have an app and an internet connection.
OpenPhone is a VoIP service that allows you to unlock all the benefits of VoIP texting, from automation and canned responses to shared phone numbers and reduced costs, without many of the limitations you find on other services.
Start your free trial of OpenPhone to begin text messaging with ease and efficiency.
Emily is a freelance business and marketing writer based in the desert, though her writing is anything but dry. Her passion is writing compelling, human-friendly content that helps growing businesses perform better.