Evaluating a Mass Text Messaging Service: Get the Best Service at the Best Price

30 Oct

If you're looking for a mass text messaging service, you'll probably start by comparing features and cost. You may even come up with your own side-by-side comparison chart. You get x features with y sends for z dollars.

But don't forget to take into account some factors which are a little more difficult to measure, such as ease of use, truly helpful customer service, straightforward billing, and convenient message templates.

We'll show you what to look for and how to find a service which gets you the most value for your spend.

How to Find the Best Mass Text Messaging Service

As you evaluate mass text messaging services, it's important to consider factors beyond the feature list. Of course, don't skip the text marketing platform feature comparison. You need to find the SMS marketing software that can do everything you need it to do.

But don't stop there.

What is a Mass Text Messaging Service?
A mass text messaging service, or bulk SMS, is a technology which gives organizations the ability to text many contacts at once. This is what is known as 1-to-many text messaging.

One of the distinguishing factors of text messaging compared to other marketing channels is the extraordinary open rates. An internal study recently revealed that the open rate for messages sent through the EZ Texting service is 98%, compared with just 21% for emails.

Focus on Service for Mass Text Messaging

As you begin marketing through SMS, you're going to have questions. And having a team of experts to help you through sending your first campaign, setting up drip communications, developing a text-to-vote poll, etc. can be invaluable.

Think in terms of personalized support as you ask these questions.

  • Will you even get a live human on the other end of your support call or chat?
  • Does the service outsource support?
  • Will they simply be reading from a script?
  • Do they actually have experience in text message marketing?

Look through the service's testimonials to see if they mention helpful support. Here are some examples from our Testimonials page.

"Very easy and affordable to use, especially compared to other services...What REALLY impressed us was the phone call we received from your tech trainer in Austin, TX who was not just super-intelligent, but friendly and supportive." Kim Secrist, COO, Scripcorp, LLC
“We reach hundreds of customers to inform of Education opportunities, promotions, new product launches also…Works perfectly, excellent customer service.” Steve Brownlee, Assistant Manager, Professional Salon Concepts
"Easy to use, pricing is not too high in comparison to similar services, staff is very willing to help out users." Destin Bell, CEO, Life Off U
"Just like the name, EZ texting is super convenient! I liked how I could view and edit the messages quickly. I also appreciated the responsiveness of their customer support." Breann Montesanto, Marketing, University Medical Center

How About the Help Section?

An often overlooked component of a top-notch mass text messaging service is a robust help section.

A fully developed help section indicates a company which is committed to the success of their customers. It means this isn't their first rodeo. They know what it takes to make text marketing deliver results and where the common hangups are.

Look for a help section which covers not only covers basic topics like getting started, how to use the tools, and accounts and billing, but more in-depth issues like errors when uploading contacts.

Usability Makes a Difference

Bulk SMS marketing isn't complex.

The messages are short. There are no hidden algorithms to optimize for. You don't have to figure out which hashtags are popular.

So using a text marketing service shouldn't be complicated either. But how do you know up front whether a service will be straightforward?

2 Easy Ways to Evaluate Ease of Use

One quick way to evaluate whether a service will be easy to use is going through the signup process for a free trial. Is the signup itself simple? Are the steps to sending a test message, uploading contacts, etc. easy to grasp? Some services offer wizards or tours which take you through this process step-by-step, showing you where to click and what to do.

Here's an example of the first step of our Message Send tour:

Signup4

Another method of evaluating usability is checking the testimonials and reviews. Great text messaging services surprise people with how easy they are to use, and that will show up in what those customers say about the service.

Notice that in the testimonials above, customers used phrases like "works perfectly," "I could view and edit the messages quickly," "super convenient," and "easy and affordable to use."

Easy to Understand Billing

Don't forget that frustrations can come from more than just the use of the tool itself. If you get bills which are unclear or which include hidden fees you aren't expecting, you'll be disappointed.

Most text message marketing services use credits to bill customers and allocate the number of sends you get for the investment. Ask some of the following questions as you evaluate billing:

  • Is the credit structure clearly laid out?
  • Are there different types of credits?
  • Do MMS messages require more credits than SMS?
  • Can I access invoices online at any time?
  • What payment methods are offered?

Convenient Templates

When you're getting started with text message marketing, it's important to understand what works for your industry and what doesn't. It's a lot easier to see what others have said in high-engagement bulk text messages than try to come up with verbiage on your own.

Check to see if one of the features of the text message marketing software you're considering is prebuilt message templates. These message templates should auto-populate the message for you as you compose new texts.

Our platform offers over 100 default templates in the following categories:

  • Fitness
  • Religious Groups
  • Restaurants
  • Bar / Night Life
  • Real Estate
  • Nonprofits
  • Retail
  • Sports Clubs
  • Holiday

In addition to default templates, make sure your platform gives you the ability to save your own custom templates for later use. These templates can save you a lot of time and headaches.

Watch the 20-second video below to see how to use our templates.

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Get a Free Trial with a Text Message Marketing Service

Now that you've considered some of the important factors beyond the feature list, it's time to give a couple of the major contenders for a test run.

Keep in mind that the signup and onboarding processes will help you evaluate the usability of the software and the ultimate satisfaction you'll get from the service.

Some services will load your free trial with some credits so that you can see how everything functions. Check for those credits, send yourself a test message, and try uploading some contacts. You'll quickly understand if this is an industry-leading service which will provide you with a great experience and a positive ROI.

GET FREE TRIAL

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