If you haven't added texting as a marketing channel yet, you're wise to consider it now. Only 55% of businesses text their customers, but 70% of consumers have subscribed to texts from brands. So the channel isn't oversaturated yet. Now is the time to invest in SMS marketing and build relationships with customers while it's still largely underutilized by many ecommerce brands.
If you're going to invest in text message marketing, you need the right platform. We'll look at the top six SMS marketing platforms so you can choose the right software for your business.
What is an SMS marketing platform?
An SMS marketing platform is a software system that allows businesses to send text messages to their customers.
Depending on the software, marketers can use the platform to run SMS campaigns and flows, automate responses to customer queries, and track the impact text message marketing has on your business.
The value of SMS marketing
Today, SMS marketing has one of the highest ROI among all marketing channels. On average, Emotive customers see a 27x ROI on SMS marketing campaigns.
With 71% of people checking their phone within the first ten minutes of waking up, SMS messaging is the fastest way to connect with customers. SMS Comparison estimates that 95% of consumers open text messages within the first three minutes of receiving them, compared to a 25% open rate for email.
SMS marketing is also an owned channel, which makes it easy to measure. Companies control the content, who receives it, and when. With dedicated links and keywords, businesses can better track attribution and conversion.
Features to consider when choosing an SMS marketing platform
There are a few features you should consider when analyzing SMS marketing services for your business. Here are some of the most important ones:
Made for ecommerce
First, you want to ensure that your chosen platform is designed to help your online store succeed.
Look for a platform that has features specifically designed for ecommerce businesses, such as conversion tracking, automations built for ecommerce like cart abandonment, and the ability to sync to your ecommerce platform.
You'll also want to choose a platform that makes it easy to segment your customers so you can send them targeted marketing messages.
Segmentation can be based on factors like location, purchase history, and even how they found out about your store. The more segmentation options a platform offers, the better.
Advanced automation capabilities
The ability to automate your text messages will help you scale your SMS marketing program and boost revenue with fewer resources.
Automations can range from simple welcome messages to more complex flows triggered by customer behavior.
The right SMS marketing software will allow you to create sequences for things like your welcome series, post-purchase flow, browse and cart abandonment, and winback flows.
Two-way SMS conversations
You'll also want to ensure the platform you choose offers two-way SMS conversations. Two-way conversations allow customers to reply to your messages or initiate conversations with you.
Two-way conversations will enable you to build relationships with your customers and provide them with the best possible customer experience.
The right SMS platform should be able to connect the text conversation to your help desk software for customer support agents to help solve customer problems. But it should also help you scale customer conversations with automatic responses to frequent queries.
You'll also want to choose a platform that integrates with the other software you use in your business, such as your ecommerce platform, CRM, loyalty program, and email marketing software.
Integrations will help your marketing programs run smoothly and prevent data silos between your systems.
Reporting and analytics
You'll also need robust reporting and analytics features. This will allow you to track the impact text message marketing has on your business and make data-driven decisions about your campaigns and automated flows.
Look for a platform that offers detailed reports on clicks, conversions, opt-outs, and revenue. Then you can see what messages are resonating with your audience.
Some marketing tools are going to be just that — tools. You sign up, hand over your credit card number, and then you’re left to figure out how to use this new channel on your own.
There’s a huge benefit to adopting an SMS platform that’s going to be a valuable partner that’s invested in your growth. This could mean your SMS vendor helps you define your strategy, set up the software, or with copywriting. Some even help respond to your customers’ queries and escalate to your customer support team what they can’t respond to.
The services your SMS platform offers can boost your success with this channel while saving internal resources. So get clear on what services your SMS platform offers before you commit.
The best SMS marketing platforms
Now that you know what features and services to look for, it's time to consider your options.
Emotive (hey that’s us!) is the best SMS marketing software for ecommerce stores serious about growth. It's a full-funnel text marketing platform to help you acquire, engage, and convert customers at scale.
Automate two-way conversations for customers to get support and place orders right in the SMS thread
Create dynamic audience segments to power automated flows across the customer journey
Integrates with your marketing software ecosystem, including your ecommerce platform, CRM, email, help desk, and other third-party apps
Detailed analytics allows you to track success across SMS marketing campaigns and flows.
White glove services team with deep experience to help you strategize, write SMS copy, respond to customer inquiries, and optimize your campaigns.
Pricing: Pay-per-text with a monthly minimum.
Postscript is an SMS marketing service for Shopify stores that want to automate their customer acquisition. It's a two-way messaging platform that helps you turn website visitors into customers with automated text message conversations.
SMS software dedicated to Shopify stores
Segment customers and personalize your messages based on product SKU, event trigger, and subscriber traits
Integrates across your software stack for seamless marketing operations
Full control over your customer data if you want to take your segments or subscriber list somewhere else
Learn more about the difference between Emotive and Postscript.
Pricing: pay per SMS/MMS text sent with additional platform fees for additional features.
SimpleTexting is a pared-down SMS marketing platform for small businesses that want simple, straightforward features. While not dedicated to ecommerce, it offers the basics small businesses need to get off the ground.
Affordable pricing for small businesses and a 14-day free trial
Segment customers and send automated text messages based on customer behavior
Two-way SMS messaging to connect to your customer service team
Integrates with a wide range of software, including ecommerce platforms, marketing software, productivity tools, and more
Pricing: Prices start at $29/month. Subscriptions include free incoming messages and unlimited contacts, users, and keywords.
Attentive is an ecommerce SMS marketing platform that drives revenue through personalized messaging. While Attentive doesn't have top features like conversational ads, it's a top contender worth mentioning.
Create comprehensive customer profiles to personalize text automations
Text-to-buy drives conversions
A/B testing to optimize your text message marketing campaigns
Advanced reporting helps you refine your strategy
Learn more about the difference between Emotive and Attentive.
Pricing: Attentive does not share pricing on its site.
Klaviyo offers SMS capabilities for ecommerce built on top of your email marketing foundation. Klaviyo isn't dedicated strictly to SMS, so its features are limited, but it can be a good option for businesses that want their email and SMS on one platform.
Integrated with your email list for combined customer profiles
A/B testing to improve campaign results
Automate personalized flows to convert customers
Reply to incoming texts through integrations with Gorgias and Zendesk
Learn more about the difference between Emotive and Klaviyo.
Pricing: Pricing starts at $60/month. Klaviyo uses the number of contacts to calculate pricing.
SlickText is a mass text messaging service aimed at connecting businesses and consumers through texting. While not dedicated to ecommerce, it offers basic plans for budding brands on a tight budget.
Grow your list with several opt-in options to meet your customers where they're at
Send mass texts to your whole list or a targeted subset of your list
One-to-one texting allows customers to reply to mass texts
Automate texts based on customer behavior
Pricing: Plans start at $29/month and vary by the number of texts, keywords, onboarding, and ongoing customer support options.
Choose the best SMS marketing platform for your business
Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with SMS marketing tools, it's time to choose the best one for your business. Consider your needs and compare features to find the perfect fit.
Emotive is designed for ecommerce shops that are serious about growth. With advanced features designed to drive customer engagement at every funnel stage, Emotive is the best platform for businesses that want to scale their SMS marketing efforts quickly and effectively.
Learn how Emotive's best-in-class features can elevate customer experience and turn SMS into a reliable revenue stream. Sign up for a demo.