The best text messaging service for business lets users send bulk short messaging service (SMS) and multimedia messaging service (MMS), supports two-way texting, and automates message delivery. It offers a dedicated virtual phone number and allows texting customers overseas. It integrates with customer relationship management (CRM) and productivity tools, making it easy for users to adopt the platform in their workflow.
Based on our research, these are the best platforms to use for SMS communications:
- Podium: Best for end-to-end customer engagement
- Textedly: Most affordable option for teams with a tight SMS marketing budget
- Twilio: Top pick for adding SMS features to existing business apps
- Text Request: Solid choice for implementing large-scale SMS marketing campaigns
- Salesmsg: Great for adding call-based customer service to SMS
- TextMagic: Best for connecting to an international audience
Best Text Messaging Services for Business at a Glance
Best Business Texting Providers
Free Trial Period
$289 for 100 bulk messages per month
4.61 out of 5
$26 for 500 texts per month
4.55 out of 5
$0.0079 per text
Not available (N/A)
4 out of 5
$59 for 1,000 texts per month
3.99 out of 5
$49 for 1,000 texts per month
3.96 out of 5
4 cents per text
3.78 out of 5
Take our quiz to find out which business texting provider is best for you.
Which business texting provider is right for you?
Podium: Best for End-to-end Customer Engagement
*The entry-level plan’s fee is reduced from $289 to $249 when you choose annual billing.
Podium is the overall best text messaging service for businesses—offering end-to-end SMS solutions for customer engagement, like text marketing, text-to-pay, and text-based review invites. Text marketing tools include campaign templates and audience segmentation, making the execution of brand awareness strategies more efficient.
After building relationships with contacts, turn leads into customers by facilitating text-to-pay. Once the transaction is done, encourage customers to become advocates by texting review requests. Our overall best text messaging service for business works seamlessly with various third-party business tools, including Freshdesk, HubSpot, Zendesk, Mailchimp, and Shopify.
One drawback of choosing Podium, though, is its expensive monthly subscription. Its entry-level package already costs $289 but only allows up to 100 bulk texts. If you’re looking for a more affordable text messaging service for business, Textedly is a better choice. Its entry-level plan, which includes 500 texts, only costs $26 per month.
- Phones: Place and accept calls using Podium’s voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) system. During a live call, agents are able to check the customer profile and understand their inquiries better. If you’re interested in adopting a full-fledged VoIP system, check out our guide on the best business phone system.
- Contact profiles: Get an overview of all customer interactions in Podium’s built-in customer relationship management (CRM) tool. You’ll see when a client last messaged you and whether or not they left a review or paid an outstanding balance.
- Inbox: The inbox contains all customer messages, from Facebook inquiries to Yelp reviews. With everything in one place, you won’t miss any client feedback.
To learn more about this SMS service provider’s capabilities, check out our comprehensive Podium review. The guide should help you decide if it suits your business needs.
Textedly: Most Affordable Text Messaging Service for Business
*The provider offers an annual billing option with the same fees as the monthly arrangement, only with additional SMS credits.
Textedly is the best text messaging service for businesses with strict budget requirements for marketing efforts since its subscription plans have affordable rates and generous inclusions. The base-level subscription is priced at $26, offering 500 text messages and almost all the features the provider offers: custom keywords, unlimited contacts, and picture messaging. It also includes one toll-free phone number and one 10-digit long code (10DLC) phone number.
As you grow operations, you’re able to easily upgrade text credits in steady increments. Textedly supports a maximum of 200,000 messages.
While the business text service provider offers affordable subscription rates, it doesn’t provide discounts for annual billing arrangements (only additional SMS credits). Moreover, it lacks support for application programming interfaces (APIs), which Podium and Twilio provide.
- Text message data collection: The platform automatically gathers key information about your subscribers, including state, city, and ZIP code. Complete your customer profile by supplying the first and last names and email addresses.
- Instagram texting: Since Textedly has a built-in integration with Instagram (IG), you’ll conveniently receive messages sent to your IG profile. Simply add the “Text Us” button to your social media page.
- Analytics: Evaluate the performance of text marketing initiatives by looking at the subscriber time stamps, activity feed, and total user history. Insights from the analytics dashboard will help recalibrate your efforts.
Twilio: Best for Adding SMS Features to Existing Apps
Twilio is the ideal text service for businesses wanting to include SMS tools in their existing business platforms. It offers an SMS API and supports different programming languages, C#, Java, Node.js, PHP, Python, Ruby, and Go. Suppose you want your company’s mobile app to send appointment reminders to customers. Twilio’s programmable messaging feature helps you build that feature without starting from scratch and with only a few lines of code.
However, do note that since you’re dealing with a customizable solution, you must at least have coding knowledge to understand the API documentation well. If you don’t have an in-house developer team, it’s best to go for an off-the-shelf business text message service, like the others mentioned in this article. Or, if you want both options, consider Podium, a plug-and-play solution that also offers access to REST API for custom integration.
- Message redaction: Conceal the last four digits of your phone number or the message body to keep confidential information safe. When activated, the platform will only store the full number during the delivery of the message. After that, Twilio only has access to redacted phone numbers.
- Message scheduling: Set a specific time for the delivery of SMS or MMS messages. This is especially beneficial for time-sensitive messages, such as appointment reminders.
- Link shortening: Shorten URLs in texts to make messages more readable and monitor clicks. To enable this, you must register the domain you want to use in links on the platform.
Our Twilio review will help you become more familiar with the provider’s features. Read the guide before subscribing to the business texting software.
Text Request: Best for Implementing Large-scale Text Marketing Efforts
Text Request is the best business text messaging service when you frequently promote products and services to a large number of customers through SMS. It has dedicated plans for high-volume texts, supporting a maximum of 250,000 messages a month. Aside from generous monthly SMS credits, Text Request features mass texting, which makes reaching a large audience easier.
It has robust contact management tools, which will help you further streamline the delivery of bulk texts to a large database. One of these tools includes unlimited custom lists, where you get to add multiple contacts to specific groups. The platform also allows importing and exporting contacts from an existing database or CRM.
Unlike other business text messaging services, though, Text Request doesn’t have a free trial and annual billing discounts. Moreover, it has limited native integrations with third-party apps. Choose Podium if you plan to connect the SMS platform to your existing tech stack.
Text Request Features
- Signatures: Reflect your brand identity in promotional messages by adding custom signatures. You have the option to use your company or team member’s name.
- Message templates: Create templates for messages frequently sent to customers. This applies to schedule confirmations or referral promotions.
- Text-to-pay: Send payment requests to customers through SMS. Text Request works with over 200 payment processors thanks to its payments partner Authvia. The solution complies with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS).
Salesmsg: Best for Adding Call-based Customer Service to SMS
*Get two months free when you choose annual billing
Salesmsg is an excellent messaging service for businesses that want to supplement their SMS customer service with voice calls. This is because, besides texting capabilities, it offers VoIP phone features, supporting inbound and outbound calls. It has call forwarding capabilities, which keep you from missing important customer inquiries. Its on-demand and automatic call recording helps you document conversations and evaluate team members’ performance.
Salesmsg also has a call history, where you’ll be able to see the list of calls you placed, answered, and missed. To further improve call management, the automated voice message system delivers prerecorded voicemail messages.
While the SMS service provider has add-on VoIP capabilities, it lacks review management features. If this is an essential tool for maintaining your customer service and marketing efforts, consider Podium instead.
- Landline texting: Enable your existing landline or toll-free number to send texts. This way, you won’t have to replace or add a phone number, ensuring that your contact information remains recognizable to customers.
- Auto-reply business hours: Send an automated text to customers reaching out to you beyond business hours. Configure the days and hours in the Settings under the Timezone option.
- Private conversations: Let each employee use a unique personal number when communicating with customers. Aside from maintaining the privacy of messages, a dedicated phone number helps employees focus on assigned customer concerns.
TextMagic: Best for Connecting to an International Audience
TextMagic’s SMS messaging for business suits companies needing to touch base with clients overseas regularly. It allows sending of texts internationally, covering 190-plus countries and over 1,000 networks. The platform delivers the messages via Tier-1 SMS gateway routes.
Aside from international SMS, TextMagic offers local phone numbers in 25 countries, including Australia, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, and the United Kingdom. The monthly rate for the virtual numbers ranges from $4 to $35, depending on the country you choose. With local phone numbers, overseas customers will only pay for the local costs when they respond to your texts.
Although TextMagic’s international text messaging services for businesses are great, it doesn’t have text-to-pay capabilities. Choose Twilio if you want both of these features in your platform. The provider supports international SMS and facilitates text-based payments through its integration with the online payment processing platform Stripe.
- Long SMS: Send messages with a maximum length of 918 characters. The platform displays a real-time character counter so you know how much more text you’re allowed to enter.
- SMS distribution list: Rather than texting customers one by one, send the message to several contacts simultaneously to save time. TextMagic doesn’t have a limit on the number of distribution lists, so have as many as you need.
- Language support: Aside from English, the languages supported in TextMagic include Arabic, Japanese, Chinese, and Russian. You’ll be able to use special symbols as well.
How We Evaluated the Best Business Texting Providers
To assess the top texting services for businesses, we considered pricing, general and advanced features, ease of use, and customer support. We added our expert opinion on its value for money and popularity in the evaluation.
Learn more about the specific criteria we used in evaluating the providers by clicking on the tabs below:
15% of Overall Score
To determine the affordability of a texting service for business, we checked if it offers a monthly subscription and discounts for annual billing and bulk purchases. Providers with free trials earned more points.
25% of Overall Score
The general features we looked at were inbound and outbound SMS, MMS support, and customer database. Since businesses need a reliable communications platform for on-the-go employees, we included mobile apps in our assessment.
25% of Overall Score
The specialized features we checked were text marketing, text-to-pay, and scheduled messages. Higher points were given to providers with robust integrations.
10% of Overall Score
We evaluated ease of use by determining the expertise required to set up and operate the phone system. We also assessed if the providers have an intuitive interface.
10% of Overall Score
The variety of customer communication channels was part of our evaluation. We gave more points to providers with email, phone, and live chat support. We considered the hours these channels are active and operational.
15% of Overall Score
This includes our evaluation of the provider’s standout features, value for money, and ease of use. We checked user ratings in third-party review sites to gauge the platform’s popularity.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
A business texting service platform allows you to easily connect to customers through a channel they already use. People use their cell phones every day—checking new messages and sending texts. By communicating through a popular medium, you gain more visibility for your brand messages.
Aside from increased exposure and instant communication, SMS allows you to solicit quick responses from customers simply because texting is convenient. As you build consistent engagement with customers, you become the top-of-mind choice for buying decisions. Use business texting apps to manage customer responses more efficiently.
To find the best text messaging service for small businesses, consider these factors:
- Features: Some basic features to look for are bulk and two-way messaging, shared inbox, text-to-pay, and scheduled messages. Unlimited contacts and users are essential, especially when you foresee scaling customer service operations.
- Integrations: To make customer communications more efficient, go for a platform that integrates seamlessly with CRM tools. With this, it’s easy to see customer profiles and make sense of their concerns. Also, choose business texting services that come with industry-related integrations.
- Ease of use: Check reviews from credible sites to see how easy it is for other businesses to navigate the platform. Watch demos to get an idea of the tool’s interface.
- Customer service: Find a provider that has multiple customer support channels. Aside from phone and email, look for self-service platforms, like a knowledge base or community forum.
In inbound SMS, customers send a message to the company’s phone number or shortcode. The phone system stores these incoming messages in a shared inbox, where users have an overview of all the texts. In outbound SMS, customer service representatives send messages to customers who expressed consent to receive texts from the company. The texts vary widely in function: appointment reminders, promotion of products, and updates on customer requests.
Business SMS boosts marketing and customer service efforts, facilitating easy, instant communication with clients on their preferred channel. After evaluating different providers, Podium stood out as the best text message service for businesses because it supports customer engagement through and through.
It offers robust integrations and features, namely text marketing, text-to-pay, and review management, while also having VoIP capabilities. Sign up for Podium’s 14-day free trial today.