2024’s Top 3 SMS Marketing Platforms Analyzed

Discover the best SMS marketing platforms of 2024 in our comprehensive analysis of top providers where we compare features, pricing, and ratings.

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Text message marketing can bring huge benefits to your business, it has high success rates and can be used in many industries. To get the most out of your marketing campaigns, SMS marketing platforms and software can help. SMS Marketing platforms can be used by different departments and for varied use cases.

Let’s take a look at the best SMS marketing platforms on the market in 2024 and their key features, to guide you in making a well-informed decision.

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What is SMS Marketing?

Short message service (SMS) marketing, also known as text message marketing, is when businesses send promotions to customers via text messages. These messages are short, only 160 characters, meaning that they don’t require much effort on the consumers’ part, increasing the chance that they’ll be read. Clients need to sign up to receive text messages via opt-in forms on companies’ websites.

What is The Success Rate of SMS Marketing?

SMS marketing has high success rates, according to current statistics, consumers are 4.5x more likely to reply to an SMS marketing message than a marketing email, and 86% of businesses using texting find it generates higher engagement than email.

Also, 90% of texts are read in the first minute, which is much higher than email, which has an average open rate of 20%. Also for email, the average response rate is 8-10%, while text message marketing has an average reply rate of 45%.

When we look at Return on Investment (or ROI), SMS marketing campaigns have a 500% return, or 5x what they invested.

Why SMS Marketing is so Effective

There are many compelling reasons that businesses have embraced SMS marketing platforms. Among those numbers are these from SMS comparison:

85% of adults in the USA own smartphones

95% of text messages are read and responded to within 3 minutes of being received

98% the average open rate for an SMS campaign, 5x that of email (that deserves an exclamation point!)

In marketing, you need to reach prospects and consumers where they are. When so many people carry their smartphones wherever they go, businesses can reach those consumers wherever they are, at any time.

Organizations have used SMS marketing campaigns in a variety of ways. Retailers inform their customers of time-sensitive or exclusive deals. Restaurants, airlines, and hotels confirm reservations or post alerts. Medical offices send appointment reminders and seek confirmations. Utilities or credit card companies confirm automatic monthly payments. The list goes on.

What Industries Benefit the Most from SMS Marketing?

If it seems like SMS is the perfect marketing tool for almost any business, that’s probably because it is. It is especially useful for industries that need to send fast communications reminding people of an appointment, such as healthcare or real estate.

For airlines, it’s the best way to let people know about changes to flight schedules effectively. For restaurants, SMS allows them to send updates on orders, push for feedback and reviews, and let diners know about deals. In the fashion industry and retail, they can send receipts via texts, and send personalized offers.

graph showing the top industries using sms marketing

What is an SMS Marketing Platform?

An SMS marketing platform is a software solution that enables marketers to plan and automate text message marketing and set up workflows with texts.

Your SMS marketing strategy can be hugely improved by using a text message marketing platform.

Types of SMS Marketing Platforms

There are 3 main types of SMS marketing platforms:

  1. Dedicated SMS software: This is an SMS marketing platform that focuses exclusively on SMS marketing, this type of tool tends to have in-depth solutions and options for text messages.
  2. Integrated marketing platforms: This is a platform that combines SMS marketing with email, voice, and possibly other channels so that you can create a campaign across different channels.
  3. Legacy platforms: A legacy platform is a system that runs on an older operating system that isn’t in widespread use anymore. This is a robust system, but it may not be updated frequently.

The Benefits of Leveraging SMS Marketing Tools

Using SMS marketing tools enables you to automate your marketing campaigns, including them in workflows and building them out effectively. Using SMS software you can also personalize messages based on customer data. For instance, you can let all your customers who live in Houston know about an event you’re hosting there, or tell everyone who favorited a piece of clothing know that it’s now on sale.

A good SMS marketing platform will also integrate with other channels that you use, so you can see and answer texts from an app or directly from your email. This saves you time and makes you more effective, but it can also help you to build workflows. So when someone doesn’t complete a purchase your e-commerce channel notifies your text messaging tool, which sends your client a reminder message.

Having channels that are integrating improves your efficiency, and enables you to deliver the right message at exactly the right time.

Last but definitely not least, text messaging software helps you to follow legislation around data privacy. It assists you with opt-ins, opt-outs, and following quiet hours.

Who Uses SMS Marketing Platforms?

Marketers across industries, including e-commerce and SaaS, can use SMS marketing solutions to share offers, content, and valuable information with leads.

Another department that can benefit from SMS software is sales, to remind customers of appointments, and in SaaS and key accounts you can push personalized discounts to clients who are close to closing but need that last incentive.

Finally, customer success can use SMS platforms to get feedback from clients and remind them of upcoming meetings.

Must-Have Features to Look for in SMS Marketing Platforms

  1. Automated answers: Use automated answers in text messages like you would a chatbot. It improves engagement and helps you interact with your customers without any effort. Send instant replies and improve relationships quickly and easily.
  2. Two-way texting: You can also manually answer clients with two-way texting, which improves relationships with customers and brings that personalized touch to all interactions, leading to more satisfied customers.
  3. Integrations: Use integrations with your CRM, team messaging tool, or e-commerce platform to make your workflows more powerful and trigger text messages automatically based on your client’s actions.
  4. Mass texts: Send texts to a large number of contacts, you can schedule mass texts to let people know about offers, and events or send them an alert. Bulk text messages save you time and are useful for fast and effective communication.
  5. MMS messages: Use MMS in your marketing efforts to send visually appealing messages using an image, gif, or video through text messages. MMS can help you stand out, improve storytelling, and increase engagement.

Evaluating the Top SMS Marketing Platforms

TechReport projects that the SMS marketing industry will grow to $12.6 billion by 2025. As you might expect for such a robust industry, there are a lot of players jockeying for a piece of the pie.

With so many platforms available, how can you decide the best SMS marketing software for you?

Choose the solution that specializes in providing the type of service that best meets your marketing and budgetary needs.

1 – Sakari

sakari website screenshot cloud-based text messaging service sms marketing platforms

Sakari is the first company of its kind to offer cost-effective, automated, measurable messaging across several demand-generation channels. Leverage its 1,300 integrations to ensure more effective, automated marketing campaigns and higher conversion rates. It’s perfect for marketing, sales, and customer service teams.

Perfect for:

  • Small and medium-sized businesses
  • Companies that are scaling their text message campaigns
  • Sending texts worldwide
  • People looking to integrate their marketing channels
  • Robust analytics capabilities
  • Companies searching for a reliable and knowledgeable partner
  • Flexible pricing

Pricing: Starts at $16 per month.

2 – Emotive

emotive website screenshot, purple background with white text saying built to scale revenue for ecommerce stores

Emotive is an SMS solution built for e-commerce that has been in the market since 2018. It integrates with the biggest e-commerce platforms, including Shopify and Magento.

It’s perfect for:

  • E-commerce brands
  • Companies looking to focus on SMS
  • Brands sending only to the US and Canada
  • Customizable templates

Pricing: Starts at $125 per month.

3 – SimpleTexting

simple texting website screenshot with white background with blue text everything you need to start texting

SimpleTexting is made for small and large companies to reach their audience through SMS marketing.

Perfect for:

  • Integrating with different platforms
  • Creating drip campaigns
  • Send mass texts
  • Build SMS lists

Pricing: Starts at $39 per month.

How to Choose the Right Platform for Your Business

If you’re hoping to incorporate SMS services into your marketing efforts, any platform under consideration should have the following features.

  1. Easy to use: This includes an easy integration into your tech stack, an intuitive setup, and a platform that is easy to use and to launch automated workflows from.
  2. Sophisticated message delivery: Look for two-way communication that not only allows for outgoing messages but responses from recipients; global delivery, and filtering for better-targeted lists.
  3. Compliance and privacy features: Make sure any SMS marketing solution can incorporate and adapt to the latest compliance and privacy regulations.
  4. Analytic capabilities: Reporting should allow you to learn from A/B testing and refine and improve SMS campaigns continually.
  5. Experience and customer service: Not only should an SMS marketing software know what they’re doing but they should be available to help you with what you’re doing, whenever that may be.

SMS Marketing Platforms Use Cases

You can use SMS marketing software in a variety of ways, these three use cases show you how you can send SMS campaigns to reach your business goals.

  1. To decrease bounce rates

The Catalyst Resource Group was looking for a way to increase engagement with their contacts and reduce the manual work of continually cleaning up their data, as their emails were bouncing if people changed their email addresses.

They began to use a new CRM and integrated their text message marketing platform with it. They could now follow up with contacts by SMS messages, decreasing bounce rates and increasing email open rates by 10%. They also saved around 5 hours a month on data cleanup, freeing up time for more important tasks.

  1. To improve customer engagement

RenoRun was struggling with low participation in feedback surveys, and engagement with their emails was low, making it hard to gather information on what customers wanted. So they implemented SMS marketing to help leverage client feedback.

Since they started, they’ve seen a 30% increase in engagement around promotions and NPS surveys. This improved their customer interactions and relationship building. Especially since they integrated their SMS software with Slack, ensuring they never miss a text!

  1. To increase business reviews

Rise Physical Therapy was searching for an SMS marketing tool that worked with their CRM, HubSpot, so they could integrate text messages in workflows reminding patients of appointments and asking for reviews.

They managed to increase the number of reviews that they received and increase transparency within the team. Now everyone can see patient communication, as well as canceled and rescheduled appointments.

Learn More About Sakari by Starting a Free Trial!

Sakari was created by demand-generation experts to provide small to mid-sized businesses with a cost-effective SMS marketing solution. Today, the company offers measurable messaging across the most popular demand generation channels—SMS text, email, WhatsApp, voice, MMS, and RCS. Companies can automate campaigns across different channels and, with valuable analytic insights, improve performance with each iteration.

Since 2016, more than 5,000 customers have relied on Sakari’s software for sales, marketing, and customer support, sending millions of messages to people all over the world. Sakari is built to give marketers higher conversion rates, and to make marketing automated messaging and campaigns easy.

Sakari at a glance

  • Sends messages domestically and internationally
  • Integrates with over 1,000 applications
  • Develops automated, personalized workflows
  • Creates cross-channel campaigns via SMS text, email, WhatsApp, voice, MMS, and RCS
  • Over 200 million messages have been sent and received
  • Over 40,000 people use Sakari to send text messages
  • Capterra Shortlist 2020 and 2022

Get a free 14-day Sakari trial today

To see how Sakari can turbo-start your demand generation campaigns and SMS marketing messages, start a free trial today. You’ve got nothing to lose and higher conversion rates to gain.

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