Since sometime in 2000, marketing software had been popularly tapped upon for inbound and outbound strategies. One which had rarely been spoken about, yet is still sought after is Mass Text Messaging. Also known as SMS (Short Message Service). A Mass Text Messaging software offers strategic placement, and hence, brand visibility in front of the eyes of the customer. The Mass Text Messaging software is equipped to send bulk text messages to people who subscribe to receive the messages regarding a company products or services. Take note once again that these messages got to have prior permission via an informed subscription, or be seen as spam and a violation against data protection regulations. Learn more about SMS Marketing compliance HERE. The strategic messages can be about the latest offers, deals, updates about new products and services, customer support and even an announcement about a policy change.
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Aka SMS Marketing
SMS marketing is surely tricky. But like all other tools, when used with knowledge and compliance, is game changing and rewarding. Are there any SMS software that are regulatory-compliant? Surely! And we are going to discuss some of them in this article. Furthermore, we will also introduce some of these software’s key features to help you understand how SMS marketing is carried out with these tools. As long as you are the company Marketer, PR or Communications person, you got to read on below. Here we go!
The first tool we are going to talk about is a top brand in text messaging. Launched in 2010 in New York, SimpleTexting had earned a reputation for its affordability and flexibility. The developing team has its headquarters in Florida, United States, and they work with American and Canadian companies alike. Top review sites such as Capterra and G2 also rate SimpleTexting highly. With an annual near perfect server uptime of 100% (except for the one or two days per year), it is little wonder why. We also recommend
- Easy-to-Setup Automation
- Keyword Subscribe supported
- Poll and Survey
- Third-party integrations possible to expand its features
- Import contact details via CSV, XLS or XLSX, setup scheduled messages, autoresponders, re-use message templates and other automation. Then, take a step back and let the machine do the work while you monitor as you stagger other work.
- With keyword subscribe, it is further confirmation of interest for more messages and intent from a subscriber for that particular keyword. This is extremely useful because you could see the possible transition from marketing qualified lead (MQL) to sales qualified lead (SQL)!
- You see, SMS marketing is not just one-way. It could be exciting and engaging if you are willing to. SimpleTexting enables this with their 2-way messaging feature that made conducting poll and survey possible. Add in an incentive or two and start seeing your subscribers warm up to you!
- With Zapier integration opening the floodgate to over 1000 possible integrations to third-party apps, the use of SimpleTexting had got serious! CRM, ecommerce, email marketing, productivity, social media, the list and what these tools could do once integrated are endless. Nonetheless, it means more possibilities, greater productivity and even higher potential results!
Things to Note:
- Without a CRM built-in, separate effort have to be made to understand better about these subscribers even with engagement metrics recorded. Taking up a separate CRM software integration adds to costs.
- Require proper planning on the number of messages and credits required which can limit SMS marketing activities. Services might pause until plan upgrade for more credits.
- Only available to US and Canada based users at the moment.
Pricing (based on annual Plan)
- 2-week Free Trial
- Based on the number of messages sent starting from US$18.75 for 500 messages a month and 6000 credits to spend. 1 SMS costs 1 credit, 1 MMS is 3 credits. 1 MMS received costs 1 credit. Unlimited contacts. Unlimited keywords. Unused credits are rolled over to the end of the following month.
- Heavy users can opt for the 50,000 messages a month plan with 600,000 credits to spent at US$468.75. For heavier usage, contact SimpleTexting for customized plan.
- Non-profit organisations receive 15% discount on monthly plans.
This tool that we would like to introduce here is a specialized one for E-commerce sites hosted in Shopify, the currently most popular E-commerce platform. Shopify is founded in 2006, but had gained tremendous traction in the COVID-19 period as they help empowered many small businesses, startups and freelancers to setup their E-commerce easily. Besides being an E-commerce platform, Shopify had built-in easy-to-access marketing tools, such as Postscript, to help their users get ‘shop’ visibility and sell easily. Postscript, being developed for Shopify, means its features works much more seamlessly with Shopify’s and lesser glitches. Not a Shopify user? Read below for Postscript’s features. Then, learn how Postscript does SMS marketing for E-commerce HERE.
- Strict compliance to US TCPA regulations
- Syncs with Shopify’s Data
- Built-in tools to grow SMS Marketing subscriber list
- A/B Testing possible
- Built-in automatic measures to ensure their users stay within TCPA regulations, and preventing run-in to legal issues.
- Postscript integrates with Shopify readily like key and lock, allowing purchase, or customer behaviour data to be synced to Postscript for respective trigger actions on abandoned carts, SMS subscription, free vouchers etc. This basically functions like a CRM that allow users to segment and target their subscribers better.
- Besides helping get word out, Postscript is also concerned with helping their users expand their subscriber base and its no wonder. As their users gain success, Postscript succeeds too. With strategically placed pop ups across Shopify’s pages, Postscript grow their user’s subscriber list constantly and in a TCPA-compliant manner.
- A/B testing campaigns are essentially a core in marketing and it is no different in SMS marketing. With Postscript, it compares and shows results of different SMS campaigns to inform a better one for subsequent usage. As a rule of thumb, a better SMS campaign will have lower subscribed rates, higher click-through-rates (CTR), higher conversion, and higher earnings per recipient (EPR).
Things to Note:
- Only available to Shopify users at the moment.
- Strong compliance to Anti-Spam Policy may errantly pause or terminate credible user accounts if a huge number of subscribers report the messages as spam within a certain timeframe. This could cause inconveniences although it helps protect the reputation of their user companies.
- Like other software in our list, Postscript’s pricing is based on the number of messages per month. Requires proper planning on the estimated messages sent out.
- Free trial with unlimited credits for first month.
- Based on the number of messages sent starting from US$25 for 2500 messages (credits) a month. 1 SMS costs 1 credit, 1 MMS is 3 credits. Any unused credits are rolled over to the end of the following month.
- As users commit to higher volume of messages per month, the costs per message decreases. Use their webpage slide to check.
- 6-month and 12-month commitment discount available by contacting Postscript.
DialMyCalls is different from the rest in this list as it also does mass voice message broadcasting which opens up possibilities for marketing. It was initially a wake-up call service started by a team of tech enthusiasts at the University of Central Florida. Would certain groups of people prefer hearing voice than seeing text messages? How about voice broadcasting over texts in certain situations? Certainly! Let’s explore more below.
- Landline Texting possible
- Text Message Template Supported
- Free Email option of the voice and text message
- Voice Broadcasting
- Mobile App version available
- Set up text messages to be sent and received to your landline and boost the business communication abilities with the customers. The phone would need to be texting-capable. Free to setup for paid users by the way.
- Possibility to save messages as templates for future use cuts in wastage and helps trace back to improve on past campaigns.
- In broadcasting via text or voice, DialMyCalls have an email option to inform the subscribers that they had received a message. By clicking the link in the email, it will direct subscribers to that particular text or voice message. This adds to the chance of that message being seen!
- The voice broadcasting could be useful for certain people as long as they consciously opt in to it. It is also useful in emergency broadcast or in the marketing case, flash deals opportunities where mall subscribers are informed of these deals happening in a store over the next hour. Quickly conduct polls or surveys over these recorded/robot voice messages. Although to prevent inconveniences, these should ideally be kept short; perhaps kept to two questions or less.
- Supports work on-the-go with its Apple and Android compatible app. Check reports and setup campaigns all within your palm!
Things to Note:
- The additional email option seems like a ‘overkill’ to get a message seen. Unless it is really of a beneficial nature to the subscribers, such as in winning a lucky draw.
- Does not support MMS messages. Need to overcome this by hosting the image in another platform and an URL link generated to include in the text messages. Images are not shown though. Receivers would need to click the URL link to access the image.
- This software includes a voice message feature which is good to have if desired, but if not, it adds to the pricing to use this software.
- No automatic backend enforcement of TCPA regulations which might be essential for this software due to its voice messaging and email option features which might be over privacy invading if not managed properly.
- Currently only able to text and call to the 48 US States only.
- Free trial available with one broadcast per week to 25 contacts per broadcast. Additionally, the recording limit is to30 seconds.
- Two plans available: 1) Occasional – Based on number of credits not limited to spending within the month. Starts from US10 for 140 credits to US$999.99 for 25,000 credits. 1 credit equals to 1 text or voice messages.
- 2) Monthly Plan (annual billing) – Based on number of contacts. Unlimited sending of text and voice messages. Starts from US$6.74/mth for 25 contacts up to US$85.49/mth for 500 contacts.
- Custom Pricing available for customized usage.
University graduate Matt Baglia and two co-founders developed SlickText in 2012 in a mission to provide businesses with better reachability to their customers via text messaging. It has since been used by over 70,000 users in six countries worldwide. It is feature-packed and nothing less compared with the others in our list. To even more value-add, SlickText have several features that empowers their users’ customer to subscribe to their SMS campaigns. What? Read and find out!
- Compliance to US TCPA regulations, CTIA and MMA (Mobile Marketing Association) guidelines
- Landline Texting possible
- Loyalty Rewards Program
- Build and Send Coupons
- Mobile App version
- SlickText is very compliant to regulations and industry guidelines. It built in functions that helps users stay compliant without the noticeable effort. The compliance simply makes SlickText reliable to use.
- Landline texting is useful because it opens another channel of communication that the user’s customers can reach them with. With as much as 85% of customers preferring to receive texts over phone call or email, landline texting is more of a proven necessity that just adds more business credibility.
- A well thought out feature, SlickText’s loyalty rewards program helps support their user’s customer retention and repeat purchase efforts. It works when customer enters the store and keyed in their mobile number stored as per the records. Then, they earn points either by the number of visits or amount spent. Users can redeem certain rewards with the accumulated points. All this information is viewable via a report dashboard. The loyalty program gave another reason for the user’s customers to subscribe to their SMS campaigns!
- The ‘coupon’ feature is another strategic function to give the user’s customers reason to subscribe to their company’s SMS marketing. SlickText support this with a built-in mobile coupon builder that is fully customizable and generates a POS barcode. If not, users can also set up campaigns to send their customers coupon code that is unique to them and fully trackable. Don’t want to subscribe to company SMS? Think again!
- Access SlickText’s full features with its Mobile App version as long as you have an internet connection and mobile device. Yes, it is full features! Not a reduced version with limited features!
Things to Note:
- Need good planning of SMS marketing campaigns in advance and auto responder setups in order to get an estimation of how much messages that will be sent per month. SlickText pauses sending once the monthly text limit is reached. Nonetheless, we noted that SlickText will notify users once there are no texts left.
- The pricing for large plans could perhaps be much better. Compare to SimpleTexting, SlickText costs about double for the same 25,000 texts/mth plan although it is noted that SlickText contains more features with its loyalty programs, coupons etc.
- Only available to US and Canada based users at the moment.
- 14-Day Free Trial – 50 texts with 1 keyword.
- Pricing starts from Basic Plan (US$29/mth) – 500 texts with 2 keywords, unlimited contacts and rollover remaining texts;
- Up to Monstro Plan (US$1,250/mth – 50,000 texts with 30 keywords, unlimited contacts and rollover remaining texts.
- Custom Plan available via customer support contact
ManyChat uses a different approach in ‘Chat Marketing’. It uses the intelligence of Chatbot and SMS marketing to deliver information about their products and services, or any company news to their subscriber’s chat channels. The chatbots interact effectively like any human, and can welcome them, automatically send them the information they ask for, and even schedule messages; all without human intervention. Besides, ManyChat’s chatbots are capable of deployment in Facebook, Website, Email, QR code or anywhere where users can place a link. Chat Marketing is definitely an interesting approach. It could open up conversations, turning cold leads warm, and contribute to the company’s commitment to their customers. Keen to know more? Read on.
- No-Code Drag-and-Drop Chatbot Builder
- Mobile-Optimised Chatbots
- Full-Suite SMS Marketing Tools
- Omnichannel chat platforms encompassing SMS, Facebook Messenger and Email
- Yes! No codes. Build your Chatbot conversations by dragging and dropping triggers and actions. Write in the message you want your Chatbot to respond in your preferred business tone and voice.
- Fast, Automatic and Accurate qualification of leads, answering of queries, and even service recovery possible
- Segment and send personalized content, special offers, send notifications of reminders, create drip campaigns and conduct surveys. Easily set these up within minutes with templates. The list expands with even more features with over 1,500 plus third-party integrations.
- With 1.3 billion people using Facebook Messenger every day, users could reach these users. Then, begin the customer nurturing process across platforms like Email and SMS. Keep the conversations going where they are receptible to because you can with ManyChat.
Things to Note:
- Yes, Chatbot can be built and deployed easily and have machine learning capabilities. However, it requires regular monitoring, refinement and additions of more flows in order to create Chatbot that is responsive and able to respond to whatever the customers need. In simple terms, Chatbots are long-term commitment, not a one-off ticket to success.
- The pricing for SMS is flexible in that you could send more messages as you want to the subscribers as per the plan you took up. Only that it would add to costs. Keep this consciously in the mind in order not to run into over-budget.
- The SMS function can send and receive from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Mexico, Netherlands, UK and US phone numbers only.
Pricing (ManyChat Pro)
- Based on number of subscribers from 500 subscribers for US$10/mth up to 25,000 subscribers for US$145/mth. Each SMS is based on pay-as-you-go at US$0.01 which each MMS is US$0.02. Free number of emails equal to the number of subscribers in the plan. Any additional emails sent is US$0.003. All incoming messages are free.
- Have more than 25,000 subscribers? Then, contact customer support for pricing.
An ideal SMS marketing software is one that fits the budget while offering versatility and utility. Using a SMS marketing software can work wonders for your business especially if you feel reachability which impacts on engagement have been lacking. In fact, the world of SMS marketing is huge with as much as 66% of the world population having a mobile phone and spending an average of 4 hours 10 minutes a day on it! Still hesitating on SMS Marketing?
How do you think SMS Marketing can be used for your business and what precautions should you take? COMMENT below.
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