7 Best SMS Platforms for Customer Engagement


Snigdha
By Snigdha | Last Updated on February 25th, 2024 11:42 am

Staying in constant touch with your customers and keeping them engaged is crucial for any business to succeed today. Text messaging, or SMS, has proven to be an effective communication tool for order confirmations, appointment reminders, special offers, and updates. Unlike emails, text messages boast significantly higher open rates and are more convenient for customers to engage with. In fact, SMS messages have a 98% open rate which is almost five times more than emails (Source). To help you find the best SMS platform for your business, we've conducted our own research to present you with the best SMS marketing platform for your business in 2023.

On a side note, while all these SMS services listed below are quite powerful, there is still scope to further stretch their functionality by implementing workflow automation using Appy Pie Connect.

What Makes the Best SMS Service for Businesses?

When evaluating different SMS apps for businesses, it's essential to consider the specific criteria that align with your company's needs and goals. Let's delve deeper into the five key factors that make a great SMS app:

  • User-Friendly Interface: Business owners and their teams often wear multiple hats, but not everyone has a technical background. Thus, a user-friendly SMS app is paramount. It should offer an intuitive setup process and a straightforward interface, enabling users of varying technical expertise to navigate and utilize its features seamlessly. The goal is to empower businesses without requiring specialized training or support.
  • Two-Way Communication: Effective communication with customers goes beyond just sending text messages; it’s about fostering genuine interactions. A great SMS app enables two-way communication, allowing businesses to engage in real-time conversations with their customers. This functionality is vital for addressing inquiries, resolving issues, and providing personalized assistance. Additionally, the app should support automation features, such as chatbots or predefined responses, to streamline responses and maintain efficiency.
  • Integration Capabilities: Businesses often rely on various tools and platforms to manage different aspects of their operations, from customer relationship management (CRM) systems to scheduling and ordering apps. To enhance productivity and improve communication, an SMS app should seamlessly integrate with these external applications. Integration empowers businesses to automate tasks like sending reservation reminders, conducting customer satisfaction surveys, or updating contact lists, saving time and reducing the risk of errors.
  • Affordability: Cost considerations are critical for businesses. The top SMS marketing platforms should offer pricing plans that are not only affordable but also transparent. Businesses should be able to choose from flexible payment options, such as pay-as-you-go or low-fee monthly plans, without being burdened by exorbitant monthly fees or demanding high-volume commitments. This affordability ensures that SMS marketing remains cost-effective for businesses of all sizes.
  • Scalability: Businesses naturally aspire to and work toward their growth, and their communication needs may evolve over time. A reliable SMS app should accommodate this growth without imposing restrictive limits or excessive fees. Scalability means that businesses can expand their SMS campaigns, reach a broader audience, and adapt to seasonal or promotional spikes in messaging volume without incurring unexpected costs. It ensures that the chosen SMS app remains a valuable and sustainable solution as the business expands.

The best SMS marketing app for businesses combines user-friendliness, two-way communication capabilities, integration flexibility, affordability, and scalability. By considering these factors, businesses can select an SMS app that aligns with their unique requirements and empowers them to establish meaningful connections with customers while optimizing their operations.

Best SMS Platforms for Customer Engagement

Now that we know all the criteria we must consider before choosing the best SMS marketing platform, it is time to list the top SMS marketing platforms or apps that meet these criteria.

  1. TextMagic: The Quick Start SMS Solution
  2. Top Features:
    • User-friendly web app for SMS messaging.
    • Pay-as-you-go pricing model for flexibility.
    • Option to send messages from TextMagic's number or your own.
    • Contact list management and message scheduling.
    • Automation for responses and templates.
    Pros:
    • TextMagic stands out with its intuitive and user-friendly web application. The straightforward interface ensures that users, even those with limited technical expertise, can navigate the platform with ease. This user-friendliness is a boon for businesses looking for a hassle-free SMS solution.
    • Businesses often need flexibility in their budgeting, and TextMagic delivers on this front with its pay-as-you-go pricing model. This means you're not locked into an expensive contract or subscription. Instead, you prepay for the text credits you need, keeping your costs under control.
    Cons:
    • While TextMagic offers robust functionality for sending SMS messages, its automation features may not be as advanced as some other options. Businesses looking for highly automated workflows might find this limitation a drawback.

    TextMagic provides an accessible and user-friendly platform for sending SMS messages. Its flexible pricing structure ensures cost control, making it an ideal choice for businesses that want an affordable and sustainable way to connect with their customers.

  3. SimpleTexting: The Marketer's Dream
  4. Top Features:
    • Streamlined marketing list setup.
    • Built-in apps for surveys and competitions.
    • Keyword setup for easy list building.
    • Analytics for tracking campaign performance.
    • Autoresponders for automated customer engagement.
    Pros:
    • SimpleTexting excels in simplifying the setup of marketing lists. The user-friendly interface makes it effortless to create and manage marketing lists, which is especially valuable for businesses with marketing-focused objectives.
    • For marketers, SimpleTexting offers built-in apps designed for surveys and competitions. This feature enhances engagement with customers and provides valuable insights.
    Cons:
    • While SimpleTexting shines in marketing campaigns, its interface for individual messaging might not be as intuitive as other apps. Businesses that require frequent one-on-one interactions should consider this aspect.

    SimpleTexting is specifically popular due to its advanced marketing capabilities. It simplifies list management and offers built-in tools for engaging customers through surveys and competitions, making it an excellent choice for businesses with a strong marketing focus.

  5. SlickText: For Advanced Marketing Campaigns
  6. Top Features:
    • Opt-in forms and pop-ups for collecting phone numbers.
    • Marketing-focused tools, including templates.
    • Onboarding wizard for ease of use.
    • SMS marketing automation.
    • Loyalty programs, contests, and more.
    Pros:
    • SlickText stands out with its advanced marketing tools, including opt-in forms and pop-ups. These features make it incredibly easy to collect phone numbers through websites and social media, crucial for building customer lists.
    • SlickText's marketing-focused tools and templates empower businesses to run advanced marketing campaigns efficiently.
    Cons:
    • While SlickText offers powerful marketing capabilities, some of its advanced features may come at an additional cost. Businesses need to weigh the benefits against the pricing to ensure it aligns with their budget.

    SlickText caters to businesses focusing on their marketing efforts. With opt-in forms, pop-ups, and specialized marketing tools, it provides a platform for collecting phone numbers and executing sophisticated marketing campaigns.

  7. Sakari: Affordable Outbound Messaging
  8. Top Features:
    • Affordable pricing for outbound messaging.
    • Advanced integration capabilities for workflow automation.
    • Web app for sending messages and managing campaigns.
    • Conversational messaging features.
    • Suitable for businesses with high message volume.
    Pros:
    • Sakari excels in providing cost-effective outbound messaging solutions. Its pricing structure makes it an attractive choice for businesses that primarily send outbound messages such as confirmations and notifications.
    • The integration with other useful apps enhances Sakari's capabilities, allowing businesses to automate processes and streamline their SMS workflow effectively.
    Cons:
    • While Sakari offers affordability for outbound messages, it charges for inbound messages. Businesses should consider this cost when assessing their messaging needs.

    Sakari's strength lies in delivering solutions with great value for money, for businesses focused on outbound messaging. Its integration with Appy Pie Connect adds automation capabilities, making it a versatile choice for optimizing SMS workflows.

  9. Salesmsg: Geared Toward Local Businesses
  10. Top Features:
    • Offers local numbers in the U.S. and Canada.
    • Integrates with popular CRMs.
    • Call forwarding and text-to-call features.
    • Integration with other apps and services.
    • Suitable for local businesses and CRM users.
    Pros:
    • Salesmsg caters specifically to U.S. and Canada-based businesses by providing local numbers. This regional focus can enhance the perception of locality and trustworthiness.
    • Salesmsg's integration with popular CRMs streamlines customer relationship management, allowing businesses to maintain a centralized view of interactions.
    Cons:
    • While Salesmsg offers valuable features, its web app may appear simplistic to some users. Businesses seeking more comprehensive functionality might find it lacking.

    Salesmsg targets local businesses in the U.S. and Canada, offering them the advantage of being able to use local numbers for sending SMS messages. Integration with CRMs enhances customer management, making it a suitable choice for businesses with a regional focus.

  11. EZ Texting: Hand-Holding for Non-Techies
  12. Top Features:
    • Exceptional onboarding with clear instructions.
    • Support for non-technical users.
    • Extensive help documentation.
    • Integration with various other apps via Appy Pie Connect.
    • Various SMS essentials, including campaigns and keywords.
    Pros:
    • EZ Texting excels in providing onboarding support for users of all technical backgrounds. Its detailed help documentation ensures that even those less familiar with technology can navigate the platform confidently.
    • Businesses can rely on EZ Texting's customer support team for assistance, making it a reassuring choice for those who prefer readily available support.
    Cons:
    • While EZ Texting's guidance is valuable for newcomers, experienced users may find the level of guidance and hand-holding excessive.

    EZ Texting's standout feature is its exceptional support for users with varying levels of technical expertise. It ensures that businesses can effectively harness SMS marketing capabilities while providing readily available customer support.

  13. Twilio: The Ultimate Customization Tool
  14. Top Features:
    • Fully customizable for unique use cases.
    • No-code features for non-developers.
    • Integration with Appy Pie Connect for enhanced functionality.
    • Versatile APIs for SMS and voice communication.
    • Suitable for businesses with complex SMS needs.
    Pros:
    • Twilio offers unmatched customization capabilities, making it suitable for businesses with unique and specific SMS needs. It can be tailored to address a wide range of use cases.
    • While Twilio is developer-focused, it includes no-code features and integrates seamlessly with other apps. Twilio integration opens up the app’s potential to non-developers, expanding its accessibility.
    Cons:
    • Setting up Twilio may require more effort compared to other apps on this list. Users should be prepared for a learning curve and initial setup complexities.
    • Twilio's user interface may not be as user-friendly as some other options. Businesses should weigh their customization capabilities against the potential learning curve.

    Twilio shines as a versatile platform for businesses seeking highly customized SMS solutions. While it caters to developers, its no-code features and app integration capabilities extend its accessibility to non-developers, making it an unparalleled choice for businesses with unique SMS needs.

Conclusion

Selecting the best SMS service app for your business depends on your specific needs. Whether you prioritize affordability, marketing capabilities, or customization, the SMS apps on this list offer valuable features to enhance your customer communication. Evaluate your requirements, explore the options, and choose the SMS app that aligns with your business goals. Elevate your customer engagement and streamline communication with one of these top SMS apps in 2023.

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Snigdha

Content Head at Appy Pie