Business Text Messaging
Skip the small talk. Support your customers with text messages.
A guide to the best business text messaging software
For years now, most people have been using their phones significantly more often than their computers. And texting and messaging are two of the most popular activities on smartphones.
Businesses would be remiss to ignore a channel where most (if not all) of their customers are already communicating. And they know it. As a result, text services for businesses have flooded the market. So much so that choosing the right solution can feel overwhelming.
Fortunately for you, we created this page to cover everything you need to know to properly research and find the best business texting app for your organization. In the sections below, we’ll cover the following topics:
- What is business text messaging?
- A comparison of top 11 business text messaging services and apps
- An overview of the best services for text messaging for business
- What makes a great business SMS app?
- What are the benefits of using a business texting service?
- How to choose the right business text service?
- Frequently asked questions
- Try business text service for free
What is business text messaging?
Business text messaging is the exchange of short messaging service (SMS) messages between a business and its leads, customers, or employees. For the recipient of a text message for business, the experience is much like texting with a friend. But for the business, the backend of a business text messaging service may include sophisticated recipient segmentation, workflow automation, analytics, and much more.
Business text messaging also includes leveraging popular mobile communication channels, including SMS and chat apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to provide a better customer experience. While text message marketing is an important function of business text messaging, it’s much more than that.
Why do you need a business text messaging service?
Business texting means more than just SMS. Text messaging, and messaging more generally, has transformed customer service. In the year 2020, messaging channels saw massive growth in ticket volume. In 2020, WhatsApp ticket volume grew by 101 percent year over year. And 15 percent of those surveyed said they prefer SMS as a support channel. All this means that you need a business text messaging service to enable your business to communicate with customers on the channels they prefer most.
How does business text messaging work?
Business text messaging works much like traditional text messaging except that with business text messaging, it’s a company’s phone system that tracks and logs messages. Depending on the capabilities of the system, business text messaging can include two-way message exchanges between the company and the consumer or one-way messages from the company to the consumer.
To be able to send messages to customers, companies must first get their customers’ consent to receive reminders or updates.
A comparison of top 11 business text messaging services and apps
Starting price (/user/month)
An overview of the best services for text messaging for business
With Zendesk, you can say goodbye to the seemingly inevitable silos that arise when you communicate with customers via in-app chat, social media, voice, email, web widgets, and more. By tightly coupling business texting and messaging with email and other channels, Zendesk brings your tickets together in a unified workspace. The end result is your team is set up for sustainable success with easy, clear access to high-priority conversations and a seamless ability to collaborate on multiple tickets simultaneously.
Along with this smarter approach to ticketing collaboration, Zendesk’s business texting application also features robust customer journey profiles that help agents deliver personalized, contextually relevant service. And with Zendesk’s native analytics tool, service managers can always find a way to improve their operations.
Where texts become tickets
Zendesk is a great option for using business text messages for customer service because the moment a customer texts you, their message automatically becomes a ticket in Support. Once that ticket is created, agents can apply macros, triggers, and other business automations to respond quickly and easily.
Works right out of the box
One of the most common mistakes software buyers make is overemphasizing licensing costs and disregarding implementation costs. Fortunately, with Zendesk teams can get started in minutes — no need to hire developers or an implementation team. Texting and SMS are built right into the Zendesk ticketing system.
Message on any channel
If there’s one thing our Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report showed, it’s that companies with excellence in CX tend to have all of their service channels connected in a unified space. And that’s what Zendesk does with your business texts, social media messages, and even messages from your Google My Business account.
- Suite Team: $49 user/month
- Suite Growth: $79 user/month
- Suite Professional: $99 user/month
- Suite Enterprise: $150 user/month
Free trial: 14 days
Features of Zendesk
- Canned snippets
- Ticket routing, categorization, and tagging
- Knowledge base management
- Real-time chat
- API and integrations
- Email with unlimited addresses
- Native automation
- Tracking and measurement
- Omnichannel support
- Shared inbox
RingCentral’s business SMS and MMS software enables users to text and send multimedia messages to their clients and colleagues from a unique business number. And you get the same unique numbers for voice and fax communications. RingCentral caters to startups, small businesses, and enterprises in a wide variety of industries including, but not limited to, retail, nonprofit, financial services, healthcare, education, professional services, and more.
Its notable features include texting for business across any device with the RingCentral Phone app, push and email notifications, number blocking, and international SMS in 22 countries. It’s also worth noting that all RingCentral plans come with messaging and phone support. So even with the starting plan, you’ll have Business SMS as well as unlimited calling in the United States and Canada. And if you need to, you can rent desk and conference phones from RingCentral.
Free trial: 15 days
- Essentials: $29.99 user/month
- Standard: $37.99 user/month
- Premium: $44.99 user/month
- Ultimate: $59.99 user/month
Features of RingCentral
- Multi-site admin and management
- Popular CRM integrations with Salesforce, Zendesk, and more
- Industry-specific integrations with Canvas, Smarsh, and more
- Video meetings with up to 200 participants
- Real-time analytics
- Unlimited calls in US & Canada
- Team messaging and document sharing
- Phone rental options; desk and conference phones
EZTexting bills itself as an all-in-one text marketing solution. But while it is a marketing tool, EZTexting also caters to Customer Service, Sales, HR, and Employee Operations teams. And it’s useful for businesses in all kinds of industries, including restaurants and entertainment, fitness clubs, marketing agencies, and many more. Also, Canadian businesses will be happy to know that EZTexting also provides Canadian pricing for its packages.
All EZTexting plans include textable numbers, two-way texting for business, keywords, contact management, mass texting, and message templates. But plans vary in terms of how many users you’re allowed, how many keywords you can use, and how many textable numbers you get. Unlike a tool like RingCentral, EZTexting is more focused in its offering and doesn’t include voice services.
Free trial: 14 days
- Value: $24 per month
- Essentials: $36 per month
- Premium: $61 per month
- Custom: $374 per month
- Free two-way texting
- Mass texting and text forwarding
- SafeSTOP opt-out
- SMS texts up to 160 characters
- Image texting support
Another sales and marketing-oriented tool, Sendinblue is a business texting app that’s heavily geared towards marketing. In addition to SMS marketing tools, Sendinblue’s more advanced plans feature classic digital marketing capabilities like an email designer, landing page builder, and a Facebook ad manager. All plans include email, SMS marketing, contact management, transactional emails and texting, automation, and real-time reporting.
Using Sendinblue’s SMS marketing tool, you can build SMS marketing campaigns, set up transactional SMS for order fulfillment, craft personalized messages, and track SMS campaign performance. Plus, for businesses with a need for flexible pricing, Sendinblue is a great option for texting because it allows you to purchase prepaid SMS credits. All you have to do is go to their pricing page, enter the number of texts you want and in what country, and you’ll receive your pricing.
- Free: $0/month
- Lite: $25/month
- Premium: $65/month
Free trial: Not available
- Unlimited daily text messaging
- SMS marketing automation
- Advanced segmentation
- Advanced open and click stats, heat map reporting, and real-time reporting
- Basic and advanced integrations
- Email and phone support
- GDPR compliance
If you run a brand in e-commerce, retail, food and beverage, or entertainment, Attentive’s texting service for businesses is worth a look. Its messaging capabilities include cart abandonment reminder texts, omnichannel sign-up solutions, real-time updates, and pre-sale codes. Based on G2 reviews, Attentive earned a rating of 9% above average for the category for its bulk SMS and coupons and promotions features. But it had low marks for its email campaign functionality, with its rating falling 15% below average for the category.
In addition to its messaging solution, Attentive includes Audience Manager, Business Intelligence, and Growth. The Audience Manager helps you build custom audience segments to improve message targeting and timing. Growth is centered around providing solutions for lead generation, such as mobile website sign-up modules. Finally, Business Intelligence is all about providing you with the detailed reports you need to measure performance and optimize your messaging campaigns.
Free trial not available
Pricing not available
- Trigger-based automated text messaging
- Multi-channel marketing
- Automatic URL shortening
- Rich media support
- A/B testing and real-time statistics
- Group messaging, message personalization, and customer segmentation
Textedly is a solution worth considering if you don’t yet have an idea what kind of texting volume you expect. Using their message volume-based pricing, you can easily scale your messaging program up and down depending on your needs. And since Textedly connects to popular tools like Slack, Mailchimp, HubSpot, Zendesk, Quickbooks, and more, it can easily integrate within your existing tech stack. Plus, Textedly offers a 14-day trial so you can see what this text service for business is like.
As far as features go, Textedly brings a lot to the table. All their plans include free incoming messages, mass group texting, toll-free phone numbers, text scheduling, text messages over 300 characters, two-way SMS, auto-reply texts, comprehensive analytics, and social media messaging. The only difference between plans is the number of messages you can send per month and how many custom keywords you can use.
Free trial: 14 days
- Bronze: $24 per month
- Plus: $39 per month
- Enterprise: $50 per month
- Elite: $70 per month
- Business: $140 per month
- Silver: $210 per month
- Premium: $350 per month
- 1200 to 30,000 messages/month
- Text keywords to enable users to sign up for text marketing and notification campaigns
- Text scheduling for single texts and group messages
- Free incoming messages
- Two-way SMS
- Messaging analytics
- Social media messaging
Like Textedly, SimpleTexting is also geared towards marketing teams in a variety of industries and its pricing is purely volume-based. The two are also similar in terms of their feature sets. SimpleTexting also includes messaging-focused capabilities such as group texting, extended messaging, autoresponders, trigger-based messaging, scheduled texts, analytics and more. And if you’d like to collect customer feedback via text message, SimpleTexting has you covered with text polls.
SimpleTexting sets itself apart with thoughtful capabilities such as self-cleaning number lists which automatically remove dead phone numbers and SMS sweepstakes which you can use as a fun way to add new subscribers. To top it off, SimpleTexting has a solid rating on G2 of 4.6 out of 5 stars based on 347 reviews and it boasts above-average scores for ease of use, quality of support, and ease of setup.
Free trial: 14 days
Volume-based pricing starts at $29 per month for 500 outgoing messages
- Free incoming SMS messages
- Unlimited contacts
- Support available seven days a week
- Unlimited signup keywords
- Rollover credits
- 5 user seats
- Integrations with over 400 apps
You might know Birdeye as a website that helps businesses manage their online presence of business listings and reviews. And while it does do that, Birdeye also provides robust messaging capabilities. Whether you’d like to chat with customers via SMS, on Facebook Messenger, through Instagram, or over your Google business listing, you can do it all in Birdeye. On top of that, Birdeye enables you to send mass texts in a single click to as many as 10,000 contacts.
Also, to make mass texts feel even more personal, Birdeye enables you to turn a text conversation into a one-on-one exchange when people respond to your mass texts. And you can build message templates to speed up your response time and minimize repetitive work. All BirdEye plans come with Messaging, but you’ll need a Professional plan for webchat and a Premium plan for referrals, surveys, ticketing, and analytics.
Free trial not available
- Standard: $349 per month
- Professional: $449 per month
- Shared inbox for sending/receiving texts
- Email and SMS surveys for SMS and 3rd party reviews
- Integration with 1000+ apps
- Video chat
- Unified inbox for messaging
- Business listing and online review monitoring
With 4.8 out of 5 stars on G2 based on 170 reviews, SlickText has a pretty impressive rating. Its highest-rated features include its automatic URL shortening, bulk SMS, and text scheduler. But this business texting app has much more to offer including text keywords, unlimited contact, picture messaging, and live-chat support on all plans. The pricing of each plan is mostly based on text volume, though higher volume plans also get more text keywords. For instance, if you’re sending 500 texts per month, you get two text keywords and if you’re sending 2000, you’ll get six.
SlickText is geared towards growth marketers in all industries with capabilities like text-to-join, which enables leads to join your marketing lists by texting your business’s shortcode a custom keyword, and QR code opt-in, which enables leads to join your marketing lists by scanning your custom QR code. SlickText bills itself as a solution for both small and large businesses, but the vast majority (130 of 170) of the users who reviewed it on G2 are small businesses.
Free trial: 14 days
- The Basic: $29/month
- The Step Up: $49/month
- The Lil Bro: $79/month
- The Big Bro: $139/month
- The Boss: $189/month
- The Albatross: $350/month
- The Whale: $750/month
- The Monstro: $1250/month
- Text keywords for signing up
- Unlimited contacts
- 1 on 1 onboarding support
- Picture messaging support
- Unused texts rollover
- Dedicated short codes and phone numbers
Podium is a messaging platform designed for small and large businesses in the automotive, retail, home services, professional services, and healthcare industries. And every Podium plan comes standard with an inbox for all your emails, texts, phone calls, and social media messages. However, more advanced communication features like voicemail transcriptions, automations, integrations, advanced routing, and auto-responses are not available on the basic plan.
If you want unlimited contacts with Podium, you’ll need to opt for one of their two more expensive plans. But as you can see, Podium can be worth the money since it covers a few more bases than just business text messaging, which makes it a powerful messaging tool. It’s also a very popular tool, as evidenced by its many reviews on G2 which average to a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars.
Free trial: 14 days
- Essentials: $289 per month
- Standard: $449 per month
- Professional: $649 per month
- Task automation
- Round-robin lead routing
- Customized branding
- Text-based website chat
- Personalized, automated frequently asked questions
- Reporting and analytics
- Unlimited contacts and team members on Standard plans
- Branding customization
- Secure payment processing
As much as it is a business messaging app, Omnisend is also a full-blown email marketing solution for sales and marketing teams. In fact, Omnisend positions itself as a direct competitor to MailChimp. Omnisend has earned 4.6 out of 5 stars on G2 based on 671 reviews and has its highest-rated feature listed as market automation. Its lowest-rated feature is its landing page functionality.
All Omnisend plans include A/B testing, popups and signup forms, customer analytics, contact management, pre-built automations, and built-in email templates. There are two volume-based pricing options for Email and Email and SMS. And according to Omnisend’s FAQs, if you plan on using SMS heavily, you’ll need a Pro plan. But if you’re moving from Klaviyo, Omnisend is currently offering 30 percent off and a free migration package.
Free trial: 14 days
Pricing (based on contact volume)
- Standard: $16/month*
- Pro: $59/month*
*Pricing based on a contact list size of 500 contacts per month
- Email and SMS automations
- Push notifications automation
- Custom workflows and A/B split testing
- Personalized recommendations
- Pre-built workflows for SMS
- Free SMS credits
- SMS list building tools
What makes a great business SMS app?
Both texting and messaging capabilities
As mentioned earlier, business text messaging in the modern world isn’t just about SMS. It also includes messaging on social media platforms and through dedicated messaging applications. This means it’s imperative that any modern business SMS app supports both traditional texting and messaging on the most popular messaging app.
Tight integrations with popular tools
Any business SMS app you choose will undoubtedly be used alongside a variety of other tools, including CRMs, analytics tools, help desk software, email marketing software, and more. So whether it’s through an API or a native integration, a great business SMS app should be capable of complete integration with your existing tech stack.
Text-specific macros and backend automations
Anyone who uses an email-based ticketing system or email marketing software knows that automations create tons of value by increasing efficiency. Great business texting software can do the same with text-specific macros that automate workflows for sending texts and remove manual work for service agents. Ideally, you’ll also be able to trigger backend automations, like updating a CRM with new customer info, through your business SMS app.
Just as any business texting tool you choose should fit in with your existing backend tools, it should also facilitate cohesive communication across all channels. That means even if a customer has started a chat via text, then switched to messaging on Facebook, and then submitted an email ticket, agents receive their entire conversation history from every channel.
It also means that a customer actually can, without disrupting the flow of the conversation, switch from texting to messaging to email if they want to.
What are the benefits of using a business texting service?
Doubles as a marketing and customer service tool
In many organizations, business texting is considered a marketing channel. And for good reason: 77 percent of customers opt-in to receiving promotional texts for discounts. But business texting is equally, if not more effective, as a customer service tool. Customer service agents can carry on multiple text conversations simultaneously, which helps improve efficiency. Texts can even be made to trigger the creation of customer support tickets. Plus, since messaging is asynchronous by nature, customers can pick up the conversation when it’s convenient for them.
Customers love messaging
In 2007, texting overtook voice calls as the dominant way that people used their phones. And the trend of texting outpacing voice calls has only grown since then. Back then, the biggest texters in terms of demographics were those in the 13 to 24-year-old age group. 15 years later that group’s age range is between 28 and 39, which is a key customer segment for many companies.
So it should come as no surprise that now, the number of customers messaging businesses has exploded. From 2020 to 2021, customer service ticket volume on SMS and messaging increased by 28 and 32 percent, respectively. And ticket volume on WhatsApp increased by 370 percent.
Seamless integration with other systems and channels
Part of the appeal of email-based communication is its easy integration with backend systems like CRMs, analytics tools, as well as other service channels. But with the explosive demand for messaging service channels, technology has caught up to allow for easier integrations between messaging software and other systems.
This potential for more seamless integration enables agents to provide more cohesive omnichannel experiences, allows managers to track and report on messaging initiatives, and facilitates automated service workflows.
How to choose the right business text service?
Is it compatible with your existing service strategy?
Even the simplest service strategy relies on the organization of people, processes, and technology. The right business text service should fit right into this existing organization. If not, you’ll be forced to shoehorn your texting services, and the user experience will suffer for everyone, including administrators, employees, and customers. Plus, it’ll become increasingly expensive to customize, maintain, and upgrade as your service strategy evolves.
Is the tool easy to use for admins, agents, and end-users?
The ease of use of any software has significant downstream effects on how useful that software is. In the case of business texting services, when agents can’t do what they need to—or they can’t do it easily—the person they’re serving gets slower service. Not only that, the agent gets frustrated that their tools are making their job more difficult and their morale suffers. The ultimate downstream effect is that workers burn out quicker and customers get poorer experiences.
Is the business text service flexible enough for your future needs?
No one can predict the future, especially in business. This is exactly why it can pay major dividends to select a business texting application that’s flexible enough to grow with your business. This is where it’s important to consider general functionality, such as whether the tool is service or marketing or sales-oriented, or both. While you may only plan to use business texting for service purposes, it’s smart to think about whether it might also play a future role in your sales strategy, for example.
Frequently asked questions
Can you do business text messaging from a computer?
Yes, you can send a text message for business from a computer. Most modern business text messaging applications have a desktop application through which you can send text messages. Also, many business messengers integrate with your help desk software so you can use that to send text messages.
Which of your devices can receive business text messages?
Any device that is compatible with SMS or your messaging app of choice, such as Messenger or WhatsApp, can receive business text messages. This is because business text messages are sent using the same messaging protocol as consumer text messages.
When should businesses use text messaging services?
Businesses should use text messaging services when they need to:
- Send out time-sensitive updates and alerts such as delivery notifications or order status updates.
- Provide discount codes and promotional offers.
- Engage in internal or external short customer service conversations.
- Collect customer feedback.
- Reach customers who prefer to communicate via SMS.
Try business text service for free
Teams can get started with Zendesk Text in minutes—no coding or additional software required. Text, a feature of Zendesk Talk, allows companies to provide customers with one phone number for both phone and text support. And everything else you need, from self-service customer portals and file storage to analytics and AI-powered ticketing automations, is also just a few clicks away.
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