As the world is becoming more digitized, marketers have to adapt their campaigns and techniques to reach consumers properly. With the usage of cell phones and smartphones, companies are starting to pay attention to focus text message marketing or SMS marketing. Ding! And your brand can gain awareness in front of millions of potential customers.
However, pulling off a successful SMS marketing campaign is not easy, especially when it still has not been used widely. Businesses of any size need the right tool to make sure they can reach target customers and leverage the results to make sales while following SMS regulations.
In this article, let's explore the best SMS marketing platforms - which can help you find the perfect solution of SMS for your business. If you think of exploiting the short text messages to upgrade your marketing arsenal, this is the right place. Let's dive in.
What is an SMS marketing platform?
An SMS marketing platform offers users the ability to send promotional and transactional messages for different marketing purposes through text messages. Businesses send these messages to notify customers about promotional offers, cart reminders, and other important updates to those who agree to receive such texts.
A short message service (SMS) is a form of communication with many advantages because it is a built-in component for most mobile phones, so consumers don't need to download or use another software to receive messages. Businesses also desire to use SMS marketing because SMS campaigns have incredibly high open rates compared. Organizations can deliver bulk SMS campaigns as well as having two-way conversations with customers.
The SMS marketing platform offers features to analyze SMS campaigns' success, then users or marketers can determine which campaigns are performing well and improve their strategies accordingly. It can even be a useful tool to combine different marketing strategies' efforts, as SMS marketing is known to enhance the effectiveness of email marketing campaigns when conducted together.
Therefore, businesses have a great way to maximize ROI while focusing on multi-channel marketing.
Key benefits of an SMS marketing software:
Deliver automated SMS campaigns
Analyze SMS performance and A/B test campaigns
Send mass text messages instantly to customers and notify new promotions
Communicate with prospects and customers via two-way messaging
Improve marketing conversion rates and open rates
Build customer loyalty with coupons and personalization
Include privacy regulations to send SMS campaigns through opt-in subscriptions safely
Having various pricing plans for different types of needs
Why should you use an SMS marketing Platform?
Engage with customers in a personalized way: One of the most significant benefits of SMS marketing is that users can facilitate private, two-way communication between a brand and customers. Consumers can easily contact the business with feedback or inquiries. By encouraging a convenient two-way communication form, companies can improve the customer experience. For example, a brick-and-mortar clothes store can send their clients a reminder about an upcoming order which is being shipped.
Increase the brand's awareness: SMS marketing is an effective and inexpensive way to raise brand awareness. In the modern world, everyone has their own mobile device, so marketers can use text messaging to reach consumers who respond less to email marketing or advertising. An SMS marketing platform helps users send a wide range of messages to remind consumers of a brand and encourage more purchases. Common SMS campaigns include promotions, polls, surveys, coupons, and text-to-win sweepstakes.
Automate SMS campaigns: Text scheduling features of an SMS marketing software allow users to automate campaigns. From there, marketers can plan their SMS campaigns in advance and ensure that the messages are delivered to customers at a specified time and date. This way, campaigns with mass audiences and segmented groups can have the same advantage of automation.
Analyze and optimize SMS marketing: Analytics is a vital component of any marketing platform. Most SMS marketing platforms with built-in reporting features let users analyze campaign metrics such as open rates, delivery rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. Marketers can then see which campaign or tactic has a positive return on investment (ROI) and optimize future campaigns.
List of top SMS marketing platforms for eCommerce
Despite the name, an SMS marketing software doesn't only support marketing. eCommerce businesses can also use it to interact with customers and build a lasting relationship. Some SMS marketing platforms can support all of these activities, but others can have unique features specially tailored to sales, customer service, or others.
When comparing SMS marketing platforms, think of your goals, needs, initiatives, and resources for your SMS channel. With that in mind, here are the best SMS marketing platforms for eCommerce that you should consider:
SMS and email can be the killing combination to amplify your marketing efforts and reach more audiences. AVADA Email Marketing is the best app to utilize both of these powerful marketing channels in just one platform.
I have talked about the email marketing aspect of AVADA Email Marketing enough, but for the SMS features, the app doesn't lack fantastic tools as well, such as:
SMS automation to follow up with customers.
SMS templates for all necessary automation events: Welcome subscribers, Abandoned carts, Cross-sell, Upsell, Order follow up
SMS newsletters for special sales events such as Christmas, Valentine, Black Friday, and more.
Up to 150 countries are available so you can send to customers anywhere.
Ready-to-use sign up forms help you collect mobile numbers more efficiently.
High-quality support available through live chat and emails.
Full reports of your SMS campaigns for optimization.
AVADA Marketing automation is free to start using, so get the best of both worlds in just one platform today! The pricing plan scales based on the number of recipients so you can start with a low monthly fee and use all of the features.
Simple Texting's SMS marketing service is exactly like what the name implies – simple, accessible, and intuitive so users can start sending campaigns easily.
Users can use the platform to send text messages to a list of contacts. Messages can have pictures and other promotional material, as well as track who clicked through links. It allows users to create two-way conversations easily and use existing numbers.
Simple Texting's users can also send mass texts while creating drip SMS campaigns that automate one or more messages to be sent as follow-up messages. Sending personalized texts and managing customers' data can be done with ease.
If users want to integrate their contacts from Mailchimp over to SimpleTexting, there is an integration available. Users can also track clicks and engagements, the number of people unsubscribed, and detailed analysis for each SMS campaign. If you don't have access to a computer, Simple Texting has a mobile app to help you send mass text messages on the go.
3. Text Magic
Text Magic is anUK-based SMS company, with over 19 years of experience in helping businesses optimize mobile marketing and communication through sending text messages campaigns online.
Text Magic's platform allows you to send notifications, reminders, alerts and mass SMS marketing messages to customers. Through the platform, you can send bulk texts through a desktop, browser, or mobile application. You can also create two-way conversations with customers.
Users also get access to API gateways and Zapier integrations on top of an automation function to optimize your SMS strategies with the marketing team.Track your leads and overall outreach through the built-in analytic tools.
ClickSend allows users to send thousands of text messages from any country in the world without downloading any additional software. You can send bulk text messages with their SMS service provider, or even through ClickSend's email accounts.
Through this cloud-based application, users can manage multiple digital marketing campaigns, switching from text, emails, and even non-SMS channels like WhatsApp or Facebook on the fly. While these options make a much more robust service, ClickSend is likely more suited for experienced marketers.
ClickSend provides APIs for integrations so their services are compatible with third-party apps and programs. Tasks such as customer support, event management, and general reminders are made simpler with the app's features, making SMS marketing a lot easier for many businesses.
5. Hey Market
If you are looking to leverage SMS applications and provide excellent customer support, HeyMarket is a fantastic solution.
eCommerce companies often get bombarded with similar questions about whether a certain product is in stock or not or the shipping process. HeyMarket is the SMS marketing platform that created shared inboxes to answer your customers' questions in a timely and efficient way.
Support team members can set up automated messages or type in their own answers to ensure the best response for each context.
But HeyMarket is more than just a customer service application, the platform also allows businesses to engage in SMS marketing campaigns. Users can send mass campaigns and drip-feed content to make sure their customers receive information about the latest campaigns.
Heymarket also integrates with marketing applications and other social media channels, allowing you to extend your reach with platforms like Line, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp. If you have a marketing team, working together would be easier by integrating Heymarket with team-related applications such as Microsoft Teams and Slacks.
Podium is a SMS marketing platform that utilizes text messaging to help e-businesses manage customer relationships and build a well-loved brand's reputation on a variety of websites.
Podium's platform has only a single dashboard that consolidates customer interactions and online reviews into one place,helping users manage online review and interaction. From the dashboard, companies can send review invitations, send and receive text messages, or respond to onlive reviews in real time.
Additionally, Podium's SMS marketing platform provides businesses with reports on the day-to-day operations, including competitive benchmarking and sentiment analysis, which can help identify potential areas for improvement.
However, one downside is that Podium only has an annual contract and requires your information to give a custom price quote, which may be unsuitable for small companies.
Speaking of small businesses, they need an efficient SMS marketing platform just as much as any other company. Salesmsg is the tool for smaller enterprises to have the necessary tools and reach their customers on the text channel.
While Salesmsg's user dashboard might not seem impressive, its quality comes from the simplicity and incredible integrability with other applications. The platform can generate new numbers for users to contact their customers using phone services and local landlines, providing an unlimited number of contacts to make connections with consumers.
You can set up auto-replies to answer buyers during non-business hours while automating specific messages to get sent during the day. The app allows users to import contacts and also has a call-forwarding feature that forwards all business calls to your phone or landline.
Much like other platforms mentioned, Salesmsg allows users to integrate it with thousands of other applications through Zapier. This means more automation and easier management for small businesses to maximize their outreach with SMS.
What to expect from SMS marketing platforms this year?
As the world still has a lot to do before getting back to the "normal state" prior COVID, we can expect more usage of SMS marketing as brands try to create more direct and personal relationships with customers. To drive new purchases, maintaining the current customer base is crucial for any business now.
Many customers have noticed an increase in communication, when companies announce new closures, protocols, and policy changes. A report from Forrester Research predicts that marketing message volume would increase by 40% over the year of 2021. Companies are likely to shift to "local first" strategies with campaigns focusing on smaller groups and more targeted audiences.
Here are some key predictions for SMS marketing platform this year:
Privacy and tracking rules are more strict: Text message will see effects from major companies adjusting their policies on data privacy and cookies. An unprecedented pandemic may force marketers to see an ecosystem without many third-party cookies, all while reducing budget and navigating an unpredictable economy.
Direct, conversational marketing is more preferable: Some brands may design a special channel where customers are able to reach out directly to a real representative, who responds in a conversational manner and create a stronger connection between customers and the brand.
Customers engage more with businesses via texting: SMS is a highly effective way for customers and businesses to engage with each other. It is an easy way for companies to share important updates and information, and also send incentives to customers to shop online. Savvy brands will definitely try to leverage SMS marketing and boost brand loyalty as well as customer retention.
AI will heavily influence texting: Artificial intelligence has been steadily growing in the text message industry. This year, AI can help companies respond effectively and quickly to all general customer questions, direct them to suitable channels, and collect data from business audiences.
Omnichannel will be a focus: SMS marketing won't be a stand-alone marketing channel no more, now it will integrate with other marketing efforts, such as text newsletters linking to blog posts, or combining text and email promotions and social media. A platform that can combine these channels efficiently will be the best option on the market.
At the end of the day, choosing an SMS marketing platform is all about usability and cost. After all, you still need to look at ROI when finishing a text campaign. I've tested every player on this list, but AVADA Marketing Automation is always on the top of my recommendation for the best SMS marketing platform.
If you would like to set up and try AVADA Email Marketing, feel free to contact me through live chat or email. There are no setup fees, no contract, and no starting cost, so you have nothing to lose. See you at AVADA!