This article is part of a larger series on VoIP.
The best text messaging service for business automates appointment reminders and mass text marketing campaigns. Most apps also support short message service (SMS) and multimedia messaging service (MMS). However, not all services offer international messaging, and some limit the number of contacts or users. We evaluated texting services based on pricing and features to help small businesses find the best solution according to their needs.
Here are the best text messaging services for business:
- Podium: Best for companies wanting to manage the entire customer journey
- Twilio: Ideal for developers wanting a custom text marketing solution
- TextMagic: A good messaging fit for companies targeting international leads
- ClickSend: Suitable for teams wanting pay-as-you-go messaging across multiple channels
- Textedly: Best for scaling your local marketing with text messages
- Salesmsg: Perfect for solopreneurs and small groups needing text and voice services
- Text Request: A top solution for small, service-based account receivables teams
Best Business Texting Providers at a Glance
$289 per month for 1,000 contacts
$0.0075 per text and $1 per number
$0.04 per text and $4 per phone number
$0.0261 per text and $1.86 per dedicated number
$24 per month for 1,000 messages
$25 per month for 500 messages
$59 per month for 1,000 messages
Podium: Best Business Texting Provider for End-to-End Customer Journey Management
*Pricing is based on monthly payments, and you can save 21% with annual billing. Additional fees apply for payment processing.
Podium is the only messaging solution that helps you manage the entire customer journey—from marketing to payments and review collection. It’s ideal for companies that rely on text messages to communicate with clients regularly because Podium records all interactions in contact profiles, giving you a unified view of the customer journey.
Podium also provides a comprehensive dashboard for review and reputation management. You can turn any text conversation into a video chat to improve your customer support and conversion rates. However, mass marketing texts are limited to 100 contacts on the base plan, and upper tiers may be too pricey for small business owners. If you want a text message service for business marketing, consider an app that offers unlimited contacts like ClickSend or Textedly.
- Payments: Get paid quicker by letting your customers pay you through text. Send a message with a link and the recipient clicks on it to view their bill, make a payment, and receive a confirmation. Podium payments differ from Text Request because Podium uses its own processing service, whereas Text Request integrates with third-party processors.
- Review management: Although you can request reviews via text with other services, Podium is the only platform with a unified review management dashboard. From a single location, you can read new reviews from multiple third-party sites and automate review collection.
- Contact profiles: See a quicker return on your investment (ROI) by logging all interactions and using customer insights to develop targeted outreach campaigns. Podium tracks contact payment history, conversation notes, review history, survey responses, website browsing history, and video and voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) calls.
Twilio: Best Text Messaging Service for Business Developers
*Twilio pricing is based on the type of message, destination, and your recipient’s carrier. Additional fees may apply for T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, and U.S. Cellular networks.
If you’re looking for a custom text messaging solution and want to use your existing applications, look at Twilio. It has programmable messaging and conversation APIs, allowing you to add text capabilities to nearly any program, including your mobile apps. Twilio also offers APIs for omnichannel communications, including call tracking and webchat.
Although Twilio is the least expensive solution on our list, it does require some coding skills. If you don’t have a developer on your team, you may want to consider an out-of-the-box text messaging service like TextMagic or ClickSend, as both support international texting.
- APIs: Add text messaging to your applications using programmable messaging and conversation APIs. It lets you send and receive SMS, MMS, and WhatsApp messages. You can see your delivery status with the REST (REpresentational State Transfer) API. Plus, Twilio provides many code samples, so you can learn how to add appointment reminders and mass alerts.
- Omnichannel capabilities: Build relationships across multiple channels with Twilio. It supports chat-based channels for your website and mobile iOS and Android apps. A free API key to connect your team to WhatsApp is also available.
- Global reach: Communicate with customers and leads worldwide. Twilio offers more than 65,000 prefixes for local, national, and toll-free numbers. The advanced opt-in and opt-out features let you add rules to account for international languages and regulations.
TextMagic: Best for International Messaging
*Prices per outbound text vary by the recipient’s country, and virtual numbers outside the U.S. have different rates.
Build relationships with an international customer base with TextMagic. It supports the highest number of countries worldwide (more than 200) compared to over 180 with Twilio. TextMagic also offers virtual phone numbers in more than 20 countries, with prices ranging from $4 to $35.40 per number, per month. Add numbers to a blocklist to reduce spam-related expenses and use your analytics to monitor delivery rates.
While TextMagic stands out for its international reach, the service charges more per text and phone number than other providers. It also requires prepayment, whereas other text services offer subscription plans or bill you monthly for usage. If you deliver a high volume of text messages internationally, Twilio is less expensive and offers similar features if you have some coding experience.
- Text message reports: Use live delivery reports to track message status in real time and leverage various analytics to ensure your ROI. Automatically send monthly reports to your email and export data to a comma-separated value (CSV) or Excel file.
- List segmentation: Create lists for certain campaigns, locations, or other customer demographics to improve your targeting efforts. List segmentation makes sending bulk messages to an unlimited number of contacts in different categories easier.
- SMS surveys: TextMagic provides a predefined template and survey flow tool, making it simple to customize your polls and questionnaires. The survey results show up on your TextMagic dashboard, giving you access to recipient responses and survey performance data.
ClickSend: Best Business Texting Provider for Pay-as-you-go Multichannel Services
ClickSend is a multichannel service offering pay-as-you-go and post-paid plans for SMS, MMS, voice calling, email, and fax. It’s a good fit for companies that want to run their marketing campaign from a single application and only pay for usage. ClickSend offers many features, including delivery reports, bulk contact uploads, and automatic opt-out management.
However, if you want to send messages over 1,224 characters, consider Textedly, as it supports 1,600 MMS characters. Or for international texting, TextMagic is an excellent solution as it supports up to 918 characters, and you can message people in more than 200 countries.
- Keywords: Unlike Textedly, ClickSend doesn’t limit the number of tracked keywords. You can create numerous campaigns and set rules that send an auto-response based on a keyword. Each campaign can have up to five auto-replies.
- Guaranteed delivery: ClickSend is the only platform that doesn’t charge for undelivered messages and offers a 100% uptime service level agreement (SLA). It supplies an online SMS gateway to view delivery status and offers APIs for customization.
- Multichannel options: With ClickSend, you don’t need to deploy multiple services to handle marketing tasks. ClickSend offers pre- and post-paid options for online activities like email and text and custom postcard printing and mailing.
Textedly: Most Scalable Text Message Service for Businesses
*Pricing is based on monthly billing. Prepay annually and receive 20% more messages per month.
Textedly is an affordable solution for companies sending a high volume of text messages within the U.S. It also offers the most scalable subscription plans, with per text rates as low as $0.014 on upper tiers. The monthly plans include more than 25 features and a toll-free phone number.
In comparison, the potentially cheaper rates from Twilio and ClickSend don’t provide a dedicated phone number. Plus, a text credit only covers one text segment or 160 characters, whereas a Textedly message can be up to 300 characters. However, Textedly doesn’t offer international texting. If you want to expand globally, consider TextMagic, as it supports more locations than any other text messaging service.
- SMS surveys and polls: It can be challenging to keep up with customers as your business grows. Textedly’s built-in poll and survey tools help you measure customer sentiment, test market demand for new products, and increase engagement.
- Integrations: Textedly integrates with Zapier and several CRMs, allowing you to connect your favorite tools like Salesforce, Slack, and Pipedrive. It also works on Instagram. Your followers can get in touch by tapping on the “text us” link in your profile.
- Mass group texting: Unlike Podium, your contact list is unlimited, and you can bulk upload all leads who’ve opted in to your text marketing messages. Preschedule messages for any date and time using the built-in calendar.
Salesmsg: Best Business Texting Provider for Text & VoIP Services
If most of your customers contact you via text message, you may not want or need a separate phone line. Salesmsg lets you use your texting app to make and receive calls over the internet without adding a new service. This unique feature includes call recording and works on a desktop, tablet, or cell phone.
As your company grows or call volume increases, you may need to switch to another solution. Calls cost one credit per minute and add up quickly, whereas the best business phone systems include unlimited calling and texting. In addition, there are less expensive options if you send thousands of messages per month, such as Twilio or Textedly.
- VoIP calling: Use Salesmsg to call your clients or accept incoming calls without switching apps. Enable inbound and outgoing automatic call recording on any phone and take advantage of other VoIP features, such as call logs.
- Smart broadcasting: Advanced features help you improve your text marketing campaigns by getting your messages to the right people at the right time. You can filter recipients by date, name, tag, or email, and use the scheduling tool to plan campaigns. During and after your promotion, you can view insights and measure the success of your campaign.
- Integrations: Connect your Microsoft, Google, or customer relationship management (CRM) calendar to view appointment availability and schedule service calls from your app. CRM integrations automatically sync your contacts and update client information, so you don’t have to enter it twice. Salesmsg integrates with HubSpot, Pipedrive, and Zapier.
Text Request: Best Business Texting Provider for Small Accounts Receivable Teams
*Text Request also offers high-volume plans and a package for political campaigns.
Text Request helps your small billing and collections department request, remind, and accept payments all through text. Its straightforward user interface and multi-user management tools make it easy to delegate tasks to team members. In addition, you can manage your contact lists based on billing cycles or identify those behind on their payment.
Unlike Podium, you won’t pay separate processing fees to Text Request. Simply connect your texting app to your existing payment processing service to keep your current rates. Although Text Request provides many features, it doesn’t support international texting. If you want to send marketing messages worldwide, consider a provider like ClickSend.
Text Request Features
- Text-to-pay: Text Request is an affordable alternative to Podium. It works with more than 200 payment processing providers, so your current provider is likely on the list. Plus, you can add convenience fees, reference numbers, and confirmation notices.
- Team productivity: Increase your small team’s productivity with Text Request. It timestamps messages and shows the profile picture of the employee who sent the message. Text Request also alerts your staff if someone else is in the process of replying to a text.
- Automation: Text Request offers automation tools to free up your small group’s time. It automatically sends out messages, and also supports auto-replies, keyword responses, and greetings to those who call your number instead of texting it. While it lacks VoIP services like Salesmsg offers, the automated voice messaging directs callers to the correct phone number.
How We Evaluated the Best Business Texting Providers
The best text messaging service for business offers various payment options, including pay-as-you-go and monthly subscriptions. The texting solutions also provide different capabilities, such as text-to-pay and review collection. We compared the top texting apps based on general and advanced features, pricing, and ease of use.
Learn how we evaluated the best text message service for business by clicking on the tabs below:
20% of Overall Score
Texting services range in price from pay-per-text options priced as low as $0.0075 per text to subscription packages costing more than $600. We rated each provider based on expected monthly costs and the length of their free trial.
40% of Overall Score
Most text message services for business support mass or broadcast messaging and scheduling. The character limits per message differ, and not all solutions support international texting. In addition, the options for keywords, message personalization, and analytics vary by provider.
30% of Overall Score
We reviewed texting apps and online tools that support SMS surveys and polls. Plus, we scored services that support integrations with calendars and CRM software higher than those that didn’t.
10% of Overall Score
Our expert score looks at the unique features of each texting service and considers user reviews. We based our score on the value for money, popularity, and overall ease of use.
Choose the best text message service for business by understanding how you want to use the application and finding a solution that fits your budget. While some services focus on SMS marketing, others focus on payment collection, customer surveys, and review management. Ensure a solid return on investment (ROI) by identifying your use cases and picking the right system for your needs.
If you need a full customer journey and multiple ways to stay in touch with customers, try Podium. It’s an all-in-one tool that provides billing, reviews, and marketing dashboards. However, if you have a local business and want to focus on payment collection, Text Request is an excellent alternative.