I ‘ve been covering engineering for 10 years, and I ‘ve been responsible for updating this list for the past four years. In that clock, I ‘ve profoundly researched and tested more than 40 of the top SMS apps for little businesses. This class, I besides have a personal stake : we ‘re presently exploring adding SMS functionality at Snapsure, a photography alerts caller I co-founded. so with that, here are my picks for the best samarium selling tools .
The 6 best SMS apps for small businesses
- TextMagic for getting started promptly with an SMS serve
- SimpleTexting for easy-to-run SMS selling campaigns
- Sakari for outgoing SMS marketing
- Salesmsg for modest, local businesses using SMS
- EZ Texting for non-technical people who want some guidance on SMS commercialize
- Twilio for customizing your master of science marketing
What makes a great SMS app?
How we evaluate and test apps
All of our best apps roundups are written by humans who ‘ve spent much of their careers using, testing, and writing about software. We spend dozens of hours researching and testing apps, using each app as it ‘s intended to be used and evaluating it against the criterion we set for the class. We ‘re never paid for placement in our articles from any app or for links to any site—we respect the trust readers put in us to offer authentic evaluations of the categories and apps we review. For more details on our process, read the full summation of how we select apps to feature on the Zapier blog. Email is a awful way to communicate with your customers. Inboxes are overflowing, apps like Gmail automatically separate your messages into a booklet that ‘s never checked, and many people just do n’t open them anyway—no matter how crucial they are. I ca n’t count the number of times I ‘ve missed an important update to a reserve or change to an order I ‘ve made because it was sent by email—especially over the last two years when everything has been so unsettled. SMS or text messages, on the other hand, are opened up to 98 percentage of the clock time, and frequently in the first few minutes after they ‘re received. They ‘re besides a extremely commodious direction for your customers to reply. Smartphone messaging apps are quick, easy to use, and equip into daily life, while electronic mail is, to be honest, by and large amazing. SMS selling is a huge business around the populace, so there are dozens of different SMS market platforms available. Most of them, however, are n’t actually appropriate for small businesses. many of these apps are designed for enterprise companies, political campaigns, and other groups looking to send thousands of SMS messages a day as depart of a market political campaign, quite than smaller businesses that want to maintain a more personal relationship with their customers. similarly, a fortune of “ apps ” are actually API services that developers can use to add SMS functionality to their own projects, preferably than a avail you can sign up for and use straight away. To cut through the huge range of options, we set five winder criteria that we were looking for in SMS apps :
- Easy to use for regular people. Setting up an SMS app for your business should n’t require hiring a specialist. There are plenty of great apps that can plug into whatever existing setup you have, without you needing a huge sum of technical cognition. Some of the apps—and specially the API services—just were n’t user-friendly adequate to recommend. Yes, you might need to read through the help documents or ask the subscribe team a doubt or two, but all of our picks are easy to get started with. In practice, this means that about all the apps on the list have a dedicated network app you can log in to and use to send and receive messages. A set of them besides have the ability to send and receive textbook messages through your electronic mail node or with mobile apps.
- Capable of true two-way messaging, so you can have a conversation with your customers. This is n’t a tilt of marketing SMS apps that can send 100,000 text messages with the click of a button. These are all apps for minor businesses that want a way to directly communicate with their customers. This means proper bipartite communication—just like when you ‘re texting a friend—was necessity for inclusion. You can still automate responses, collect sketch data, and schedule text with many of them .
- Able to integrate with other apps and services, so you can automate things like reservation reminders. Integrations with other apps and services were a must. This means that, in addition to texting your customers directly, you can besides ( for example ) have your on-line regulate service mechanically confirm when an order is placed or quick for solicitation, and follow up with a customer satisfaction survey .
- Affordable with low-volume requirements, so small businesses can get started. When it comes to sending SMS messages to your customers, pricing matters. I required all the SMS services on this tilt to be low-cost for little businesses. This mean no gamey monthly price or big volume requirements. alternatively, all the services are either pay-as-you-go or have low-volume, low-fee monthly plans .
- Able to scale as needed. Being locked into a plan that ‘s excessively little for your vacation marketing push is n’t estimable either. All these services besides had to allow you to scale up your SMS campaign without charging pathetic fees or forcing you to jump up to a much more expensive tier .
I checked out every SMS message app I could find, testing all the ones that appeared to meet these criteria. I signed up for whatever release trial was available and got straight into texting. As mentioned above, I was particularly concerned about the have of directly communicating with customers, so I paid a draw of attention to how slowly it was to do. I besides tested receiving texts—which involved a lot of me pretending to have conversations with myself—and explored any automation and integration features. nowadays, onto the apps .
Best SMS app for getting started quickly
TextMagic Within moments of signing up for TextMagic, I ‘d already sent my first base SMS. Sure, it was just a test message to my own cell telephone as separate of testing every function, but the process was superintendent easy. The setup sorcerer and intuitive interface meant all I had to do was enter the phone number, type my message, and click Send. And bam !, my call beeped and distracted me from writing this. But fair because TextMagic makes sending simple messages easy, does n’t mean it ‘s not functional or knock-down. You can send messages from TextMagic ‘s number therefore replies go to the API, world wide web app, or your electronic mail ; or from your own mobile phone number so replies go directly to your call. You can build contact lists by importing an Excel spreadsheet or CSV file, manually entering them in the Contacts pill of the app, saving the issue of anyone who texts you, or using a click-to-text form on your web site. In the Scheduled check, you can schedule messages, for example, to send out a Friday Specials text every week. You can besides set up templates in the Templates tab key to make it faster to send recurring messages—like appointment confirmations—and automatize responses to customer text. And of course, you can cursorily and easily send customers a textbook from the web or the io and Android apps. truly, Text Magic hits that sugared smudge of being both a gladden to use and potent enough for about anything a small business needs. And even better, it ‘s entirely pay-as-you-go, so you ‘re not locked into any kind of ongoing sign. You prepay for accredit and then barely send texts—which start at $ 0.04—as much or angstrom little as you need. You can besides connect Text Magic to thousands of organizational tools, scheduling calendars, and early apps through Zapier, so you can do things like follow up on Typeform feedback surveys or automatically post text messages to Slack.
Send TextMagic SMS messages to follow up on feedback sent via Typeform
Send TextMagic SMS messages to follow up on feedback sent via TypeformTry it
TextMagic + Typeform
Post TextMagic SMS messages to Slack
Post TextMagic SMS messages to SlackTry it
Slack + TextMagic TextMagic price : pay as you go starts at $ 0.04/text transport ; dedicated virtual numbers from $ 4.00/month .
Best SMS app for easy-to-run marketing campaigns
SimpleTexting SimpleTexting is the best choice if you ‘re looking to run market campaigns quickly. Like TextMagic, the exploiter interface is intuitive, with everything accessible from the main screen—I did n’t even need to view any tutorials to grasp how things worked. While you can contact customers directly, SimpleTexting is more focus on easy-to-run market campaigns, where you text the lapp message to everyone on a list. Go to the Campaigns pill, click New, give it a mention, and you ‘re quick to start commercialize to your customers. To get new prospects on your list, set up a keyword in the Keywords pill. For exercise, potential customers can text SAUSAGE to 555888 and get put on your blimp and Hot Dog Deals list. arsenic soon as they join, an autoresponder can immediately text them with a discount code and ask them if they want more data. If they do, it can respond with another text. With SimpleTexting ‘s built-in apps available in the Apps pill, you can besides conduct more technical commercialize efforts like running surveys, polls, and sweepstakes. Of course, for any commercialize campaign, you need analytics. SimpleTexting ‘s Analytics tab offers detailed breakdowns of how your campaigns are going with information like the issue of new subscribers, what keyword they ‘re using to join, how many autoresponders have triggered, how many people have unsubscribed, and what responses you ‘ve been sent. SimpleTexting besides integrates with Zapier, so you can do things like automatically add people to your blimp and Hot Dog Deals list from Facebook tip ads or Google Forms.
Add new Facebook Lead Ad leads to a SimpleTexting list
Add new Facebook Lead Ad leads to a SimpleTexting listTry it
Facebook Lead Ads, SimpleTexting
Facebook Lead Ads + SimpleTexting
Create SimpleTexting contacts from new Google Forms submissions
Create SimpleTexting contacts from new Google Forms submissionsTry it
Google Forms, SimpleTexting
Google Forms + SimpleTexting SimpleTexting price : From $ 29/month for 500 credits ( enough for 500 short-change text ). extra credits cost $ 0.055 on the entrance plan ; there are higher volume plans if you need to send more textbook .
Best SMS app for outgoing text messages
Sakari If you largely plan to send outgoing text messages to your customers, like booking confirmations, delivery notifications, and other similar texts, Sakari is one of the best options—and could save you some money. Like all the apps on this list, Sakari is a fully-featured SMS messaging app with a big web app. When you log in, you ‘re able to send a message straight away, either to an individual customer or a group. From the leave sidebar, you can see your Conversations with customers , produce marketing campaigns in the Campaign yellow journalism, desegregate things with apps like Zapier in the Integrations tab key, and generally do everything you ‘d want with an SMS message app. What sets Sakari apart is the price. It starts at $ 16/month for 500 SMS messages sent or received. That ‘s $ 4 cheaper than with TextMagic ( which would be $ 20 to send 500 messages ), but with it, inbound messages are absolve. extra messages start at $ 0.032 compared to TextMagic ‘s $ 0.04, and the differences are more extreme with greater volume. Say you run a delivery takeaway avail and send 6,000 texts per month but only meet 250 replies from customers. With Sakari, you could hop on the $ 170/month Team design, which includes 625 SMS messages, whereas with TextMagic, you ‘d have to pay $ 240— $ 0.04 for every text you send, and nothing for every one you receive. This is particularly handy if you want to use Sakari and Zapier to integrate with early apps for outgoing messages, so you can do things like mechanically message contacts you add to a Google Sheet or instantaneously textbook new Google Ads leads.
Send Sakari SMS messages to new contacts in Google Spreadsheets spreadsheet rows
Send Sakari SMS messages to new contacts in Google Spreadsheets spreadsheet rowsTry it
Google Sheets, Sakari SMS
Google Sheets + Sakari SMS
Send messages on Sakari SMS for new Google Ads leads
Send messages on Sakari SMS for new Google Ads leadsTry it
Google Ads, Sakari SMS
Google Ads + Sakari SMS Sakari price: From $ 16/month for the Starter plan with 500 messages sent or received, including one release phone number. extra SMS messages from $ 0.032 .
Best SMS app for small, local businesses
Salesmsg Salesmsg is a capital choice for U.S.- or Canada-based minor businesses—unfortunately, it ‘s not available internationally beyond that. Salesmsg has the most basic vane app of any of the services on this list. There are merely four tabs on the sidebar : Conversations, Contacts, Broadcasts, and Triggers. If you want more ability from Salesmsg, you ‘ll need to integrate it with other apps. a soon as you sign up, you ‘re prompted to create a local act. This is the number that all your texts will appear to come from, and you can assign a distinguish number for each team extremity. If you want, you can besides enable address forwarding, sol if a customer calls your text number, they ‘ll get forwarded to your personal or commercial enterprise earphone, or precisely answer calls using the web app. ( Testing this was kind of punch-drunk as the calls were being routed through VoIP servers all over the world for my voice to travel six inches. ) Out of the box, Salesmsg has one-click consolidation with Outlook and Google Calendar to handle appointments. When a customer makes an appointment by textbook, fair click Book Appointment to add it to your calendar of choice. For more potent customer management, it integrates with CRM platforms like HubSpot, Pipedrive, and Zoho, so you can use your CRM of choice and have Salesmsg automatically handle the textbook message. You can besides use Salesmsg ‘s triggers to create a webhook that you can use to send specific kinds of messages like appointment reminders. Or you can use Zapier to connect Salesmsg to any service you want, so you can do things like notifying customers about Calendly invites or logging all the messages you get in a Google Sheet.
Send Salesmsg text messages when Calendly invitees are created
Send Salesmsg text messages when Calendly invitees are createdTry it
Calendly + Salesmsg
Log new incoming SMS messages from Salesmsg to a Google Sheet
Log new incoming SMS messages from Salesmsg to a Google SheetTry it
Google Sheets, Salesmsg
Google Sheets + Salesmsg Salesmsg price: From $ 25/month for 500 text messages and a individual phone number. extra messages are $ 0.04 ; extra numbers are $ 10/month. If you need a higher bulk frame-up, they offer custom solutions .
Best SMS app for non-technical people who want some guidance
EZ Texting EZ Texting does n’t do much that the other apps do n’t : you can text your customers as a group or 1-on-1 from the Inbox ; you can set up versatile kinds of marketing campaigns from the Campaigns check ; you can configure a signup keyword in the Keywords & Numbers yellow journalism ; and you can view reports in the Reporting check. What makes it stand out, though, is that at every mistreat, EZ Texting makes it identical clear what to do. And if you get stuck, there ‘s the Getting Started Kit and instructive avail department of commerce to sort you out. adenine soon as you sign up, you ‘re asked whether you want to use EZ Texting to “ Delight Customers, ” “ Market & Engage, ” or “ simplify Operations, ” so it can walk you through the properly features. once you ‘ve chosen your gamble, you ‘re strongly encouraged and actively guided through sending a screen text to yourself. And then, once you ‘re in the app, every clock time you go to a fresh check or feature, there are clear instructions on how to use it and, in the encase of things like templates, working examples. If you have n’t grown up with computers or barely are n’t very comfortable with new apps, it ‘s hard to beat this level of education. And, as the signup emails will keep prompt you, you can always schedule a call with one of their team members if you need more help oneself. EZ Texting does n’t oversimplify a building complex product—it good makes it very accessible. It ‘s deoxyadenosine monophosphate mighty as any others on this list. You can even use EZ Texting ‘s Zapier integrations to do things like remind people via textbook about Google Calendar events or create contacts from Eventbrite attendees.
Send SMS reminders via EZ Texting for the start of new Google Calendar events
Send SMS reminders via EZ Texting for the start of new Google Calendar eventsTry it
EZ Texting, Google Calendar
EZ Texting + Google Calendar
Create EZ Texting contact when new Eventbrite attendees are added
Create EZ Texting contact when new Eventbrite attendees are addedTry it
Eventbrite, EZ Texting
Eventbrite + EZ Texting EZ Texting price : From $ 24/month for 200 text messages, one textable number, and one signup keyword
Best SMS app for customization
Twilio You might be here because you ‘re looking for a Twilio alternative, but hear me out. Twilio, unlike the other SMS software on this list, is a blank poll. It offers a image of APIs, so companies can build SMS message, call number redirection, and dozens of similar features into their own apps and services to do whatever they want. Uber, Airbnb, and Netflix are just a few of the companies that use it behind the scenes. And while Twilio is by and large aimed at developers, you do n’t actually need to be one to use it—there are enough no-code features that most people with some general technical cognition can get by. alternatively of building your own apps, for example, you can use services like Zapier, HubSpot, and Zoho CRM to connect to Twilio ‘s API immediately, without the motivation for you to do much, if any, gull. You broadly just have to find out which bits you need to copy-and-paste to where. For case, by connecting your Twilio account to your Zapier account, you ‘ll be able to send and receive textbook messages using your electronic mail account or collect text in Slack or a Google Sheets spreadsheet.
Send Twilio SMS messages from new rows on Google Sheets
Send Twilio SMS messages from new rows on Google SheetsTry it
Google Sheets, Twilio
Google Sheets + Twilio
Send new Twilio SMS messages as email messages via Gmail
Send new Twilio SMS messages as email messages via GmailTry it
Gmail + Twilio And, if you do want to build your own app or something like it, Twilio besides offers a few no-code ways to do it. Studio is a drag-and-drop app builder for creating things like SMS surveys and autoresponders. You start with a trip, like an entrance message or a calendar consequence. You can then create reply criteria based on what ‘s happened. It ‘s all very intuitive, and the built-in tutorials cover simple projects like SMS autoresponders and surveys. similarly, project templates make it possible for anyone to get started, even if you ‘ve never built an app before. There ‘s besides the CodeExchange. It ‘s a library of code samples for basic features like sending textbook auto-replies, sending SMS receipts for Stripe payments, and even building a television chew the fat app, that you can promptly add to your Twilio report and then tweak to meet your needs, again, without requiring that much code cognition. You ‘ll need to be able to follow along with the different steps to work out where to change things, but you do n’t have to do any of the difficult knead of writing the code. As features go, it ‘s a little beyond most little businesses ‘ needs—but if you truly want to cut costs or roll your own app-like setup, it makes it possible. When you sign up for Twilio, you ‘re asked whether or not you ‘re a developer. Whichever choice you choose, the interface is customized to your needs. If you ‘re not a developer, you get links to all the information you need to connect Twilio to third-party apps or consumption Studio so you can promptly get started.
For most function cases, Twilio should work out cheaper than the other SMS marketing services if you ‘re prepare to do the work to get it up and running. You can besides just use it as the text service for your other apps by connecting it to Zapier. Twilio price : Since Twilio is more of a platform than an app, its price is a little different from the others on this list. Text messages start at $ 0.0075/message mail and received—although there ‘s an extra $ 0.005/message carrier fee on messages you send. Dedicated phone numbers start at $ 1/month. This article was originally published in June 2019.