Best SMS Marketing Software 2021

The Best Mass Texting Services for 2021

This in-depth guide to mass texting services will answer your key questions and give you an inside look at the best mass solutions for your business.

SMS messaging has become one of the most common ways that individuals interact with one another. As a result, an increasing percentage of businesses are choosing to communicate with their customers and employees using a mass texting service.

This article will discuss everything you need to know about mass texting services and whether you need one for your business.

Table of Contents

What is Mass Texting?

A mass text is a single SMS message that is sent to a large number of recipients. This distinguishes mass texting from one-to-one text messaging, which is a conversation between two individuals. Mass texting can be executed through personal mobile phones, or mass texting software.

What is a Mass Texting Service?

A mass texting service is a software solution that you can use to send bulk-texts. Today, most mass texting services are cloud-based. Access to the software is typically purchased through a monthly subscription.

Below, we detail the benefits, use cases, and features of mass texting services.

”SlickText

How do Mass Texting Services Work?

Mass texting services have three main competencies – the ability for you to store contacts, create messages, and deliver messages. Many mass texting services have integrations that automatically pull customer data from your CRM system.

For each mass text, you follow five basic steps:

  • Upload and select your contacts
  • Compose your message
  • Preview your message
  • Schedule message delivery
  • Analyze results

This YouTube video from EZ Texting provides a useful visual overview of how mass texting services work.

How Much Does a Mass Texting Service Cost?

Mass texting services are typically priced as a monthly subscription. The average cost is approximately $25 to $30 for 500 text messages.

Unfortunately, pricing models are not standardized across mass texting services. Some platforms charge a platform fee in addition to per-message fees. Other platforms only charge a single monthly fee.

For example, you’ll see in the table below that SlickText has no per-message fee. This means that you have to pay for a higher plan if you want to send more messages.

Solution TierExample VendorStarting Subscription PriceMessage Fee
BasicSimpleTexting$25 per month$0.045
IntermediatePostscript$25 per month$0.01
AdvancedSlickText$29 per monthIncluded in subscription

Mass Texting Benefits

Now let’s discuss some of the primary benefits of mass texting and how it can help your business.

Improving Your Customer Communication

Mass texting is an excellent tool for customer communication. You can quickly create a single message that the majority of recipients will read almost immediately. Text-based communication can reduce the number of customer service inquiries and complaints your business receives.

For example, ecommerce businesses can use a mass texting system to send out important communications like order confirmations, delivery updates, and tracking notifications.

Increased Customer Engagement

Mass texting lets you send texts at the perfect moment. When you contact your audience by email, you have no control over when they will see it – if they even open it all.

With texts, however, you have an increased chance that the recipient will open the message and read it almost immediately. Over 90% of texts are read within the first three seconds of receipt. There’s no other channel that allows for such precise communication.

Customer engagement is also increased by the fact that these text messages can be personalized. You can segment your list (in the same way you can an email) to make sure you’re texting the right people at the right time with the right message.

Most mass texting services also allow you to reply to messages. If someone receives your mass text and replies, you can text them back. Below is an example of two-way communication in SimpleTexting.

”SimpleTexting

Reduced Marketing Spend

Mass texting is affordable. There are plans that start around $25 a month, and others that allow you to pay as you go. Generally, messages are between $0.01 to $0.04 each. This makes SMS cheaper than all marketing channels with the exception of email.

Increased Revenue

Mass texts are affordable, and they can drive material revenue. When executed properly, mass text campaigns can have a very strong ROI.

For example, you can send a mass text to hundreds or thousands of customers simultaneously. If this message is personalized and includes an effective direct-response tactic (e.g. a coupon), it can quickly generate significant sales.

In addition, many SMS marketing tools have analytics features that can track the performance of your mass text campaigns. SMSBump offers several statistics such as total revenue and ROI, which can be seen below.

”SMSBump

Instant Delivery

As mentioned above, text messages arrive almost immediately. This means that time sensitive communications, like account access messages, appointment reminders, and flash sales will be received on time.

Mass Texting Use Cases

Here are common use cases of mass texting. These should provide an idea of how you can leverage mass texts for your business.

Appointment Reminders

If you have a service-based business, you can send out appointment reminders to customers. This helps to reduce the number of no-shows and allows customers to text you back to let you know if they can’t make their appointments.

Staff Communication

You can use mass texting as a way to quickly get in touch with your staff. This is useful for any short notice changes to schedules, or important emergency announcements that need to be made urgently.

Special Offers or Discount Codes

Letting your customers know when you have a special offer will help to drive more people to shop with you, which ultimately means more sales. To boost performance, you can personalize the discount codes and messages for each message recipient.

If you have an ecommerce store on a popular platform like Shopify or BigCommerce, there are mass texting services that can produce discount codes automatically. SMSBump enables Shopify store owners to quickly engage customers with personalized SMS messages.

”SMSBump

Delivery Status Updates

You can use a mass texting service to let your customers know the delivery status of their orders. This helps them keep track of its progress, plan for final delivery, and will reduce the number of customer support requests received by your business.

What Types of Businesses Should Use Mass Texting?

Mass texting can be leveraged by all types of businesses and organizations. If you have a list of customers or a large staff, you can benefit from using a mass texting service. Many mass texting services are general solutions that can be used by any type of business. There are also specialized solutions that have built for specific industries, including:

  • Schools
  • Non-profits
  • Veterinary practices
  • Car dealerships
  • Grocery Stores
  • Restaurants and fast-food outlets
  • Gyms
  • Entertainment venues
  • Spas & Salons

Mass Texting Services for Nonprofits

Mass texting is a popular medium of communication for nonprofits. Here are a number of common mass texting use cases for nonprofits:

  • Communicating with existing volunteers
  • Recruiting new volunteers
  • Reaching out to new donors for donations
  • Updating donors on projects and how donations are being used

We found that the best mass texting service for nonprofits is SimpleTexting. This is because it’s one of the most affordable tools designed primarily for mass texting. It also offers a 15% discount to nonprofits.

Mass Texting Services for Churches

Mass texting is similarly popular for churches as it is for nonprofits. Unlike nonprofits, however, there are a number of tools built specifically for church mass texting.

Churches can utilize mass texting in a number of ways:

  • Welcoming new members,
  • Managing event registration
  • Sending event reminders
  • Keeping members informed about closures
  • Asking for prayers
  • Tithing
  • Surveying attendance of services

The best mass texting services for churches are Text In Church and Flocknote. This is because they are both specifically designed to streamline communications for churches.

Text In Church
Rating: 89
Starting Price: $37 per month

Text In Church was founded by CEO Tyler Smith in 2012. The company's mission is to create simple communication tools connect pastors with people. Today, over 17,000 church leaders use their church communication software to increase attendance, lift check-in rates, and improve engagement. Its integrations with Church Community Builder, and Planning Center are big advantages if your church uses those management systems. We recommend Text In Church's free trial to any church in the market for a new communication system.

Pros:
  • Pricing model includes free unlimited emails
  • Two-way integrations with Church Community Builder and Planning Center to share member lists
  • Automated workflows allow you to set up series of communications for a given group
Cons:
  • Analytics package within Text In Church is weaker, limited mostly to email open and click rates
  • Does not offer live polling or voice messages
  • Your purchased text credits expire each month and cannot be carried over

Mass Texting Features

There are a number of primary features that most mass texting services support. Let's discuss some of the most common features you should expect from a high-quality mass texting service.

Subscriber List Building

You can use the system to help build your subscriber list, and also to incorporate the list you already have. As your marketing strategy works, and more people sign up to receive texts from you, your list will grow, and you can use this system to record everyone in it.

Message Creation

You can create your messages inside the system and personalize them as much, or as little, as you’d like. Many tools offer features like MMS attachments, custom fields, promo codes, and shortened URLs. Below is an example of message creation in SlickText.

”SlickText

Campaign Building

If you have a special offer coming up or are doing something for the holidays like Black Friday or Christmas, you might want to set up a campaign. This is one of the features of a mass texting service in that you can tell it how many messages you want to send, and when to send them. This helps to get people excited about your offer and ultimately create more sales for you.

Two-Way Conversations

If your customers message you back in response to your text, you can continue the conversation with them through this service. This is one of the primary ways to facilitate customer service for your business and engage directly with customers. Most services will primarily feature two-way conversation capabilities through an inbox.

”SlickText

Automations

If you have a message you want to send to your list after certain periods of time, you can do that by setting up automated and recurring messages. You can schedule the times and dates you want to send your messages and the system will do it all for you. This helps to save time, money, and effort.

Analytics

As with any kind of marketing campaign, you need to be measuring how well something is working all the time. Reviewing your analytics will help you to see what’s going well, the messages people are engaging with, and the ones that don’t seem to be working. This then helps you to plan your messaging going forward and make the most ROI.

Best Mass Texting Services

For most small businesses, the best SMS marketing software for sending bulk SMS is SimpleTexting. This is mainly due to the fact that it’s one of the most affordable solutions on the market today, and its features are primarily built for mass texting.

SimpleTexting
Rating: 87
Starting Price: $25 per month

SimpleTexting is a SMS marketing platform used by a diverse range of businesses. SimpleTexting is ideal for small businesses new to SMS marketing due to affordability, accessiblity, and an attentive customer service team. Businesses looking for a more powerful solution will find SimpleTexting's subscriber data storage and segmentation opportunities limiting.

Pros:
  • SimpleTexting is one of the more affordable SMS marketing solutions
  • SimpleTexting's learning curve is very accessible for businesses new to SMS marketing
  • SimpleTexting offers a multitude of prebuilt, engaging campaigns to choose from
Cons:
  • Segments cannot be grouped together with and-or statements, which limits targeted marketing
  • There are few opportunities to capture subscriber data in SimpleTexting
  • Analytics are very basic for ecommerce and retail businesses

The best SMS Marketing software for ecommerce businesses is Postscript. This is because it has specific features like segmentation and automation that are particularly designed for Shopify stores. Some examples of custom segmentations in Postscript are found below.

Postscript
Rating: 85
Starting Price: $25 per month

Postscript is a SMS marketing tool for Shopify that has been used by over 1,000 businesses. It is ideal for Shopify businesses looking for an effective yet affordable SMS marketing solution designed specifically for ecommerce businesses.

Pros:
  • Postscript is the most budget-friendly SMS marketing tool for Shopify businesses
  • Prebuilt automations are robust and designed specifically for ecommerce businesses
  • Shopify businesses will find ecommerce-specific segment conditions very helpful
Cons:
  • Campaign creation options are limited to solely custom campaign creation
  • Many crucial analytics for Shopify businesses are not available
  • There are very few custom fields for personalized messages

Finally, if you’re looking for the best all around tool for sending mass SMS messages, SlickText is your best option. Although one of the more expensive solutions on the market, it offers a variety of robust features for a variety of businesses.

SlickText
Rating: 90
Starting Price: $29 per month

SlickText is an all-in-one SMS marketing tool that has been used by over 70,000 businesses. It is ideal for small and medium sized businesses looking for a SMS marketing solution with flexible subscriber data collection and powerful list building options. Although SlickText is an all-in-one tool designed for all types of businesses, ecommerce stores might prefer more specialized solutions for their use cases.

Pros:
  • SlickText's web forms are extremely effective for capturing subscriber information
  • SlickText's unlimited custom fields enable marketers to collect data for segmentation and personalization
  • Analytics are highly detailed with individual pages dedicated to every campaign and automation you build
Cons:
  • SlickText is one of the more expensive SMS marketing solutions
  • SlickText is not as specialized for ecommerce businesses as SMSBump or Postscript
  • SlickText does not offer a diverse selection of native integrations, although Zapier is supported

You can also read our full list of mass texting services for more information on which tool can best serve your business.

Best Free Mass Texting Services

Unfortunately there are no free mass texting services that we would recommend. However there are services that offer a free subscription and solely charge based on messages sent. There are also solutions that give a complementary amount of messages per month, such as Avochato.

If your goal is to find the cheapest solution, here are some of the most affordable tools we’ve analyzed:

SolutionMonthly subscription feePer message fee
SimpleTexting$25$0.045
Postscript$25$0.01
Avochato$76$0.02

Mass Texting FAQs

Let’s discuss some of the most frequently asked questions regarding mass texting.

Can I Schedule Sending Mass Texts For a Later Date?

Yes. The majority of service providers for mass-texting give you the option to select a time and date for sending your messages. When you go through the process of setting up your message, you will usually be given a choice as to whether you wish to send it now, or later.

You can also set messages up to “repeat”, so you can send them as often as you like, on days you would like, without having to manually send the message again.

Can I Personalize the Bulk Texts I Send?

It’s actually really important that you do personalize them! To personalize your texts, you can insert custom fields into messages. This makes your messages sound more personal, which improves open and click-through rates..

Here’s an example of custom fields being leveraged to create highly personalized messages in SMSBump:

”SMSBump

Is Mass Texting Illegal?

No, mass texting is 100% legal. The important thing you need to remember is to get the express written permission of the person you are texting before you text. That person needs to consent to receive messages from you, know what they’re signing up to and who they’re getting it from. It is also best practice to give people the option to opt-out of your messages at any time.

Are Mass Texts Expensive?

It depends on how many people you are looking to message each month. Mass texting is in fact really affordable, with some plans costing around only $25 a month on average. If you’re looking to send tens of thousands of messages a month, it will be more expensive, but for the average-sized business – it is a really affordable option.

Can I Send Mass Texts From my Phone?

Yes. Most service providers will be mobile-friendly with a mobile application that you can use to send and schedule messages while you are on the go.

Who Can Use a Mass Texting Service?

Anybody! They work well for businesses of any size. Some examples of businesses this can work for are:

  • Restaurants
  • Accountants and Tax Firms
  • Spas and Salons
  • Schools
  • Events companies

Can I Send Text Messages for Free?

Text messages sent using mass texting services will always have fees. This is true even if a service doesn’t have a platform fee. You can usually find a free trial as part of most mass texting service packages. More often than not, you’ll be given a set number of credits to test out the service before you buy. Once the trial has run out, you’ll need to pay to continue the service.

Bottom Line

Mass texting services are a cost-effective software tool that nearly all small businesses can use to improve customer engagement and drive sales. Using a high-quality solution costs as little as $30 per month.

In addition, there are solutions that are built for specific types of small businesses. If you run an ecommerce store, nonprofit, or church, we recommend testing the industry-specific solutions that have been built for you.

Yousef Fatehpour

Yousef Fatehpour is a Junior Research Analyst at SoftwarePundit. He graduated from University of California, San Diego, where he studied Human Centered Design and Communications. His work at UCSD's Design Lab emphasized UX research and product management.

Yousef's primary areas of interest are software design, user journeys, and how user experience is handled across software markets. Yousef also has experience in product design and multimedia content production. You can connect with Yousef on LinkedIn.

Yousef is an expert in several software categories including:

  • SMS marketing software
  • Document management software
  • Human resource software
  • Applicant tracking software

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