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Short Message Service, or SMS, marketing software — also known as text marketing software — uses text messages to promote a business and its products or services to existing and prospective customers. It typically includes SMS messages that are up to 160 characters and longer Multimedia Messaging Service, or MMS, messages — which can include images, videos, website links and other types of files.
The best SMS marketing software offers unlimited contacts and keywords, website forms, design tools, the option to add users and the opportunity to test the product through a free trial.
SimpleTexting: Best overall SMS marketing software
Pricing: Starts at $29 per month for 500 credits. Cost increases based on messages sent per month. You can opt for annual billing to receive a discount.
Feature overview: A free 14-day trial with 50 outgoing messages as well as access to all features and customer support is offered. SimpleTexting’s plans include:
Choice of toll-free or local number.
Unlimited contacts, keywords and free incoming SMS messages.
Free templates and graphic generator tool.
Mobile sign-up widget.
Three user seats.
Mailchimp and Zapier integrations.
For an additional cost, you can also add advanced contact sync integrations, advanced automations or a dedicated account manager. Live support is available daily with extended hours during weekdays. Step-by-step guides, how-to videos, tools and articles are available in the help center.
EZ Texting: Best for design tools
Pricing: Four plans are offered; pricing starts at $25 per month for 500 credits with the option to add more credits for an additional fee. You can opt for annual billing to receive a discount.
Feature overview: A free trial includes 100 free messages to try out the service. All plans include the following features:
10-digit textable local number.
Unlimited contacts, keywords, incoming messages and two-way texting.
Website sign-up forms and SMS QR codes.
Free template library and design tools with Shutterstock image library.
Basic contact upload, grouping and personalization tools.
HubSpot, Mailchimp, Constant Contact and Zapier integrations.
Toll-free numbers, dedicated short codes, reporting tools and multiple users are some features available with higher-tiered plans or at an additional cost. Phone and chat support is available weekdays during business hours and the resource center offers videos, guides, articles, case studies and information reports to users.
SlickText: Best for customer engagement and promotions
Pricing: Nine plans are offered; pricing starts at $29 per month for 500 credits and increases based on monthly text limits, keywords (or "textwords") and features. There are monthly and annual billing options.
Feature overview: A 14-day free trial is offered with 50 text messages. All plans include the following notable features:
Unlimited contacts and free incoming texts.
Keywords (textwords). Allowance increases by plan.
Text to join, opt-in links, pop-ups, QR codes and email capture tools.
Opt-in forms and user-friendly form builder.
Contests, surveys, promo codes, mobile coupons and loyalty rewards options.
Custom user permissions based on role.
Shopify, HubSpot and Zapier integrations.
Automated workflows and a one-on-one onboarding session is included starting with the Big Bro plan and up. Email support is offered 24/7, along with phone and chat support for extended hours during weekdays. Articles, guides and step-by-step instructions are available in a help center and videos can be found on SlickText’s YouTube channel.
Textedly: Best for analytics and metrics
Pricing: Twelve plans are offered; pricing starts at $24 per month for 1,000 credits and increases based on monthly messages and keywords. There is the option to pay monthly or annually.
Feature overview: A 14-day free trial is offered with 50 messages and one custom keyword. Paid plans include:
Toll-free phone number.
Unlimited contacts and free incoming messages.
Embedded website sign-up forms and form builder tools.
SMS templates and drip campaigns.
Analytics with interactive graphs and performance metrics.
Rule-based permissions for additional users.
Instagram and Zapier integrations.
Phone, email and chat support is available seven days a week. Additional resources include online resources and guides.
TextMagic: Best pay-as-you-go plan
Pricing: Starts at 4 cents per outgoing SMS or MMS of 160 characters or fewer. No monthly subscription fee; instead, you purchase prepaid credit packages ranging from 10 to 10,000.
Feature overview: A 30-day free trial is offered with premium features. TextMagic users receive:
Unlimited contacts and free incoming messages.
Click-to-text forms for websites.
Templates and contact segmentation to automate bulk sends.
Subaccounts for additional users.
Reporting and analytics.
Ability to message to more than 190 countries.
Email support is available 24/7 and phone support is offered during weekdays. Additional resources include how-to articles, video tutorials, tools and articles.
Salesmsg: Best for sales and support team features
Pricing: Starts at $25 per month for 500 credits. Cost increases based on the number of messages sent per month.
Feature overview: Plans include the following notable features:
Local or toll-free numbers.
Unlimited contacts and keywords.
Private inbox for sales reps or shared inboxes for support team.
Internal notes, private conversations and archiving features.
Call forwarding, auto-reply messaging and canned responses.
Analytics and reports.
HubSpot, ActiveCampaign and Zapier integrations.
Advanced features, available at the 5,000 credit level and up, include a dedicated account manager and premium phone support. A help center, videos and articles are available to all users.
How to compare SMS text marketing software
If text-based communication is part of your overall business marketing strategy, consider these factors to find the best text message marketing software for your business’s goals.
To better understand what each SMS marketing software provider is offering, here are some common terms and what they mean for your marketing strategy:
SMS: Short Message Service texts have a 160-character limit and will typically cost one credit in a text marketing plan.
MMS: Multimedia Messaging Service texts have a 1,600-character limit, can include embedded images, videos and links, and typically cost two or three credits.
Credits: The value assigned to each message sent to a single contact.
Keywords: Words or short phrases that customers can text to be added to the subscriber list of a business.
Short codes: Five- or six-digit textable numbers often used with keywords to prompt customers to join a subscriber list.
Click-to-text buttons/forms: Opt-in links used by subscribers to give consent on receiving marketing messages from a business.
QR codes: Scannable images that automatically open the text messaging app on a mobile device.
User seats: The number of people who have access to your business’s SMS marketing software account.
Merge fields: Coded field used to insert names and other details into text messages.
Segmentation: Groupings of contacts based on such things as location and interests.
The cost of an SMS marketing plan is primarily influenced by the number of monthly message sends. Some providers will refer to this as the number of texts, while others will use a credit allowance, where an SMS counts as one credit, but longer messages or MMS may count for two or three credits. However, the number of keywords, user limits and advanced features can also increase the price. If you only plan to use SMS marketing sporadically, you might consider a pay-as-you-go plan that can save you a monthly subscription fee.
Onboarding assistance and live 24/7 customer support are not common, but there are some providers that offer daily support and others that will assist with onboarding at higher plan tiers. However, most software comes with step-by-step instructions, videos, articles and other educational content. Because these additional resources are typically accessible on the provider’s website, you can check them out before purchasing a plan to see if the software will meet your needs.