SMS marketing is the practice of using mobile text messaging to send marketing messages to customers. With the help of SMS marketing software, you can connect with customers via one of their most personal touch points—their mobile number (Hotline bling! Cue Drake music). You can use SMS marketing software to send offers, announce product launches, send transactional emails, and segment your recipients based on their responses.
Sending texts to your recipient’s mobile phone makes your brand and offers stand out compared to other mediums like email or social media. This is due to the text marketing space being less crowded and boasting an SMS open-rate as high as 98%, much more than email newsletters. As a result, you get more eyes on your messages.
In this article, I will talk about the 10 best SMS marketing tools that will help you launch marketing campaigns that engage customers and get you more sales.
Here’s the list of the best SMS marketing platforms that I’ll cover in this article.
What do I look for when I select the best SMS marketing tool? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:
User Interface (UI): I look for a clean and attractive UI. SMS marketing can be a complicated thing to handle for non-techie marketers. Hence, I specifically look for simple menus without confusing options. I ask myself: “Is the UI clutter-free and devoid of off-topic features?”
Usability: I look for SMS marketing tools that focus more on funnels and conversions than on coding. I especially go for text marketing solutions that have a visual workflow builder. It helps create funnels and rules easily in a user-friendly way without too much technicalities.
Integrations: I look for SMS marketing software that have direct integrations with CRM tools and helpdesk solutions. These SaaS niches are needed to work collaboratively with an SMS marketing solution. Therefore I look for solutions that work out of the box with such tools rather than rely on workarounds.
Value for $: I look for value-for-money tools whose features and capabilities justify their asking price. I look for tools with clear, transparent pricing plans.
SMS Marketing Solution Key Features
Mass texting is one of the main features of SMS marketing software that lets you send bulk SMS. It allows you to broadcast ecommerce offer messages to large target group recipients simultaneously. These bulk texts help you reach more customers faster and, when combined with message personalization, help you get higher conversions.
Customer segmentation lets you group your customers automatically based on their interests, traits, and interaction with your SMS marketing campaigns and CRM. This kind of contact management helps you send highly targeted marketing campaigns to the right customer groups at the right time. This can increase your chances of conversions and sales.
This lets you launch drip campaigns and send pre-planned marketing texts to individuals and groups at predetermined times. This helps convert your prospects into customers by sending tested and proven messaging sequences in an organized way. This also makes your marketing functions more organized by pre-planning ecommerce offers according to time of day, day of the week, or even season of the year.
Message personalization helps customize your mass message templates to make them more personalized for each recipient. With this feature, you can personalize the message with the name of the recipient and other personal details (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.). This helps leverage a personal connection with your recipient to increase customer engagement.
Two-way texts lets you provide support, close deals, and directly connect with your customers whenever needed. The process is this: You send out a marketing message that hits hundreds or thousands of devices. The customers are able to respond accordingly. Their response gets pushed to a conversation portal for customer service intervention or interpreted by AI/ML and given a cookie cutter response for basic or repetitive queries.
Automated responses can generate basic replies without the need for agent intervention. Autoresponder features can answer easy questions, confirm message receipts, or give instructions for further action. You can use autoresponders to communicate order confirmation, returns and refund request acknowledgment, support query acknowledgment, and other business texts.
Shortcodes are specific keywords and phrases that you can ask your recipient to text to you for them to enter a promotion/offer you are running. For example, a marketing text that says: “Text HAPPY to enter the contest” or “Test YES to know more.” Once the recipients text back the shortcode/keyword, they are automatically segmented into a separate list specific to the promotion. They will receive all the future texts and messages that are made for this promotional sequence. This feature is perfect for running timely offers as it automatically segments the customer group most interested in the offer.
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Overviews Of The 10 Best SMS Marketing Software
Here’s a brief description of each SMS marketing app to showcase each tool’s best use case, some noteworthy features, and screenshots to give a snapshot of the interface.
SimpleTexting allows you to do 2-way messaging with your customer with a new toll-free or local number. You can facilitate customer support and filter responses by time-waiting and time-received. You can add notes to a conversation and organize each conversation along with its historical data in a streamlined fashion along with the recipient’s data collected from your CRM.
You schedule texts and set up specific dates and times for your messages to go out. This helps you plan your messaging cycle months in advance.
With its custom fields feature, you can leverage your customer data and create personalized text messaging campaigns at a mass scale. This personalization based on your customer data helps send timely offers based on life events like birthdays and holidays. This goes a long way in fostering long-term customer relationships.
You can add multiple numbers to a single account and ensure that the right message goes to the right department by assigning each department its own line. This is perfect for enterprises with multiple departments.
SimpleTexting integrates with Zapier (a paid service), allowing it to work with 1000+ apps. It also works out of the box with e-commerce platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce. It also integrates with CRMs like Zoho, Mailchimp, and HubSpot.
SimpleTexting pricing starts at $45/month for 1000 credits (1 SMS costs 1 credit and 1 MMS costs 3 credits). There is also an option for a 14-day free trial.
Kimoby helps your frontline staff to communicate and build relationships with your customers via texting and MMS.
With Kimoby, you can send personalized messages and reminders to each individual customer. With its easy import feature, you can easily siphon customer information into a single, consistent profile without logging in to other applications or switching screens.
You can automate important but repetitive customer interaction tasks, like service updates, order confirmations, follow-ups, and appointment reminders.
The feature I like the most is its translation service. It lets you translate incoming messages from customers in the language of your choosing. It translates the message directly in the conversation interface (no hopping in and out to another window). Vice versa, you can write a message to your customer in your language and then translate and send it to them in their native language.
Kimoby lets you automatically sync data stored in your customer management system. You can create custom data fields for your customers based on your business needs. It has a flexible API that lets you customize the workflow of Kimoby to operate exactly the way you want. You can also get paid directly from the app with Kemoby Pay.
Kimoby integrates with Lightspeed POS and other apps using their API..
Kimoby does not list pricing on its site. However, you can request a free demo.
Ovation’s customer chat platform helps your team to engage with guests in the moment to resolve concerns and earn their trust.
With Ovation, you can leverage machine learning algorithms to get clarity on needed marketing funnel improvement. You can collect intelligent insights about individual customers, so you can later target them based on their behavioral characteristics.
Ovation does not list any integrations on its site.
Ovation pricing starts at $149.00/user/month. They offer a free demo.
Trumpia is a cloud-based text automation software with multi-channel messaging (SMS, email, and voice) used by the likes of 7-11, Volvo, Costco, and Goodwill.
Trumpia lets you collect actionable insights from your mass text messaging campaigns using shortcodes. Have your contact list respond to your message using predetermined keywords to automatically segment them into lists for future campaigns.
Trumpia lets you personalize your mass text campaigns based on the data shared by the recipient (for example, name of the recipient) and their interaction with your CRM.
A feature that stands out for me is Trumpia’s conversation threading. Here, all your SMS, MMS, and email messages are threaded according to the recipient you are sending them to. This helps in giving you a complete history of customer conversations.
You can send messages to your contact lists directly from your phone via its mobile app, allowing you to set campaigns on the go. You can also launch SMS surveys to engage your subscribers (and non-subscribers) and funnel them into different segments based on their responses.
Trumpia’s API helps you integrate it with your existing systems for things like automated triggers and synchronization of contacts. Trumpia works out of the box with apps like Salesforce, Typeform, HubSpot, and Zapier (a separate paid plan).
Trumpia’s pricing starts at $36/month (billed annually) for 1000 SMS messages. They offer a 14-day free trial.
5. Klaviyo – Best for customer segmentation features
Klaviyo is a growth marketing platform that enables you to deliver personalized experiences across SMS, email, in-app notifications, and web. Klaviyo serves clients like ColourPop, Chubbies, and Huckberry.
Klaviyo lets you segment contacts based on advanced targeting criteria like products purchased, timely behaviors and actions, specific website behavior, custom attributes, and other similar nuanced actions. As Klaviyo’s segment management is dynamic, it automatically syncs and updates changes to your segment lists.
With SMS retargeting, you can trigger sending an SMS to people who did not open an email. Likewise, if someone opens an email, you can retarget them by email or SMS.
Another feature I like is its SMS A/B testing. It allows users to run and test different variations of SMS campaigns and optimize their performance. You can test the SMS content, time of sending, image inclusion, and more.
Klaviyo integrates smoothly with apps like Olark, Zoho, HelpScout, and other similar apps.
Klaviyo’s pricing is based upon a pay-as-you-go model that is customized based on the number of SMS contacts you have and the number of messages you will send. They also offer a free-forever version for 50 contacts per month and 150 messages.
6. Drip – Best dynamic recommendations SMS marketing software
Drip is a marketing automation platform that gathers and organizes customer data and then uses it to help ecommerce retailers to create personalized multi-channel customer journeys via SMS and email. Drip serves customers like Fiat and Universal Audio.
Drip uses behavioral data to display dynamic recommendations to your customers. This helps to text your customers the products they are interested in without any manual involvement from your side.
Drip’s SMS feature also helps you optimize sales with abandoned cart messages, product launch sequences, and other campaigns that grab attention and urgency.
Drip lets you collect phone numbers by adding an SMS opt-in field to your opt-in forms. This adds a touchpoint that is even more personal than email. You can double down by offering people a special discount code as an incentive for signing up via phone number.
You can pre-schedule texts and add them to your Drip workflow. This way, you will have welcome sequences and offer texts pre-arranged and ready to go at the right time. You can send time-sensitive offers, product launch updates, holiday promos, and more.
Drip lets you set custom triggers for SMS campaigns based on customer behavior on your site. For example, you can set up abandoned cart reminders as a text message that goes to the user every time he adds a product and does not check out.
Drip integrates with apps like Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, and others.
Drip’s pricing starts at $19/month for 1500 contacts. Drip also offers a 14-day free trial.
The standout feature for me is its vanity tracking numbers. Vanity tracking numbers are phone numbers that businesses can apply to segment their customers and collect crucial data from them. Here’s how it works: The tracking number changes based on the campaign or channel your customer visited, helping you know the exact source of the lead to segment your customers accordingly.
I really like CallTrackingMetrics’ workflow for SMS marketing. First, it registers inquiries from leads in its real-time text log. Next, it lets you send an automated text response to your lead’s inquiry text. This response text is customized to the context of the lead’s message/inquiry. Simultaneously, CallTrackingMetrics sends you an alert about the inquiry from the sender so you can follow through manually and wow them with more value.
CTM lets you send bulk messages that are personalized with each recipient’s name. Recipients can be added automatically to your bulk message sending list based on call or text triggers.
As with its call tracking feature, you can send text messages via local, toll-free, or vanity tracking numbers (in over 80 countries).
You can use its centralized dashboard to add unique tags and scores as a way to attribute quality for the lead.
CallTrackingMetrics works out of the box with Salesforce, HubSpot, Drift, Google Analytics, Google Ads, and other similar apps.
CallTrackingMetrics pricing starts from $39/month. They also offer a 1-month free trial.
8. Blueshift – Best customer data platform software
Blueshift is an AI-powered customer data platform that lets you create omni-channel campaigns based on data collected from across your tech stack. This data helps you get a 360 degree view of your customer and helps you deliver real-time experiences. Blueshift is used by customers like Discovery+ and Skillshare.
Its rich customer data and predictive intelligence let you create personalized experiences across every channel. It unifies data into presenting individual profiles for each identifiable and anonymous user. You can add as many attributes to this profile. You can access their lifetime activity, recent onsite actions, engagements across all marketing transactions, and all transactions.
Its AI-powered predictive intelligence helps you determine ways to engage each customer. It gives you insights like likelihood to purchase, churn, or perform a desired action.
Blushift notifications can be set up as both triggered (based on certain actions of the user) or batch (scheduled broadcasts). You can push personalized product recommendations based on customer behavior on your site. You can use its push notification template builder that is available both on iOS and Android.
Blueshift has a simple drag-and-drop editor with pre-built templates to give you a headstart while creating personalized messages.
Blueshift offers one-click integration with Segment, mParticle, and Metarouter.
Blueshift does not list pricing on its site. You can however schedule a free demo.
Attentive is a text messaging tool that analyzes customer behavior and has features like abandoned carts, page visits, personalized text messages, and more.
Attentive lets you plan text message campaigns based on customer behavior on your site. You can send personalized text messages based on abandoned carts, page visits, and more. This helps reach your customer at the right time with the right offer. Attentive also lets you send transactional messages like order confirmation and shipment notifications.
The feature that makes Attentive a quality product is its compliance feature. Attentive’s messaging software tools are built with compliance being a top priority. It has features like audit trail (to prove and ensure compliance), two-tap opt-in, counsel-vetted opt-in templates, linked terms and privacy, and subscriber opt-out protection.
It has an in-house legal team focused on TCPA law (Telephone Consumer Protection Act) and a carrier relations team that works directly with the major carriers of the world on informing guidelines and best practices.
Another interesting feature is its coupons tool. Attentive lets you upload a CSV file of unique coupons (individualized for each subscriber), create a static coupon (same coupon for all subscribers), or pull unique coupon codes from a third party database.
Attentive has rich media support, where you can coordinate a comprehensive text messaging campaign across SMS, MMS, and video. The reporting feature gives real-time analytics so you can conduct A/B tests on what’s working best for your business.
Attentive works out of the box with Zendesk, Klaviyo, Mailchimp, and other similar apps.
Attentive does not list pricing on its site. However, you can request a free demo.
10. Twilio – Best for flexibility (with coding/IT support)
Twilio is a fully programmable cloud communications solution with features like message personalization, customization, SMS workflow builder, and more. Twilio serves clients like Lyft and American Red Cross.
Twilio lets you connect with your audience with SMS alerts and more with a programmable messaging API. It can also provide 2-way communication needed for customer support via its conversations API.
The standout feature for Twilio is its developer-friendly resources. You can start with a few lines of code and use its detailed API documentation to execute common use cases. You can then iterate further SMS flows with Twilio’s visual workflow builder.
Twilio can actually reach customers across SMS, MMS, WhatsApp, and chat. Wherever your customers are “texting” in their day-to-day. They offer media support for photos, videos, and other file types. You can also implement unique features like a profanity filter or embeddable SDKs for mobile and web.
Twilio’s programmable messaging feature pricing starts at $0.0075 to send or receive a message. The pricing is based on a pay-as-you-go model. Twilio does not offer a free trial.
Need expert help selecting the right SMS Marketing Software?
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Here’s a few more that didn’t make the top list.
Mozeo – SMS & MMS marketing with room for up to 300 characters and solutions for click tracking and reply management.
Teledrip – A lead follow-up software with conversational SMS, email, and AI-powered voice features.
Birdeye – An experience marketing software with solutions for customer review collection, surveys, and text messaging.
Community – A conversational text messaging software with powerful filters for hyper-personalization.
Avochato – An enterprise-focused SMS marketing software with behavioral-based triggers for automated text messaging.
TextBetter – A texting software that lets you send and receive texts from your landline number.
TapMango – Online ordering platform that enables customers to order directly from phone via e-wallet, credit card, and rewards.
Revetize – SMS marketing software with solutions for automated responses, shortcodes, and customer segmentation features.
SlickText – SMS marketing tool for retailers with features like behavioral triggers and SMS-keyword enabling.
Salesmsg – A text messaging tool with features for automated responses and personalization.
Vcita – Text messaging solution with solutions for appointment reminders with automated follow-up.
TextP2P – Text message marketing SaaS with solutions for automated text messages and ringless voicemail.
SalesNexus – Marketing automation software with solutions for lead response, upsell customers, and conversation routing.
Clickatell – A chat commerce software with chat 2 pay features that lets you send secure payment links via SMS or WhatsApp.
TXTImpact – Global text messaging software that lets you send and receive texts internationally and conduct mobile text communications directly from email or chrome.
Jasmin Gateway – A free open source software for SMS marketing with rule-based routing based on various criteria.
Textedly – An all-in-one text messaging service that gives a budget-friendly option for features like bulk SMS and auto-replies.
TextMagic – One of the most experienced tools in the list (since 2001) that has features like notifications, reminders, and drip campaigns.
SMS marketing refers to the use of text messaging to send marketing messages to customers’ mobile number. The service has become very popular because it allows businesses to reach customers on their personal devices for sales offers and other commercial information.
SMS marketing typically has features like mass text messaging, pre-scheduled messages, and message personalization.
How to use SMS marketing?
Using SMS marketing services is a great way for companies to reach a large number of people at once via SMS texts. It can be used to remind customers of upcoming events, send coupons for special deals, or even update them on new products or editions of your product.
SMS marketing can be used in the following ways:
Remind customers of upcoming events like meeting appointments
Send coupons and gift cards based on their important life events or ongoing offers
Send transactional emails like order confirmation or shipment information
Send abandoned cart reminders to increase conversions
Send automated responses to customers to acknowledge their queries
Segment customers based on their behavioral journeys on your site
Personalize marketing messages at scale and via automation
There are many more features like sending push notifications to mobile devices, conversation routing, etc. SMS marketing works with the same principles of marketing automation as online marketing tools.
What Do You Think About These SMS Marketing Software?
These were my top picks for the best SMS marketing software. Now I want to know your opinion. Tell me what you think of these SMS marketing tools? Any text messaging service that I missed? Let me know in the comments section. Also, if mobile marketing is your thing, check out this detailed article listing the 10 best mobile marketing software in 2022.
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