Texting remains one of the most effective ways of communicating with customers. Compared to other marketing methods, SMS marketing has the highest open rates of all channels at 98%. Messages get seen and read fast. About 60% of customers read text messages within five minutes or less after receiving them and nearly half respond.
Successful marketers know that SMS works, and it works at scale. SMS marketing automation tools are a simple way to send text messages in bulk, provide instant notifications, and facilitate interactions even at high volume.
What Are SMS Automation Tools?
SMS marketing tools let businesses send text messages and create SMS marketing campaigns at scale. Besides allowing auto-replies and two-way communication between customers and businesses, SMS is also used routinely for a variety of activities, including:
- Order confirmations
- E-commerce tracking information
- Welcome messages
- Abandoned cart re-engagements
- Appointment reminders
- Marketing offers
- Drip campaigns
- Scheduled messages
Integration with existing CRM, websites, platforms, and third parties can automate much of the process for a more seamless workflow. One of the biggest advantages of SMS automation tools is the ability to send bulk messages with minimal setup and activation.
What To Look for in SMS Marketing Automation Tools
When you are looking for SMS marketing tools, some of the criteria you’ll want to use for evaluation include:
- Ease of use for non-techie people: You shouldn’t have to be a data scientist to use SMS automation tools. The best systems will be intuitive even for those without deep technical knowledge.
- Allowance for two-way communication: Pushing out text messages and auto-responders is great, but you also want to be able to engage recipients in actual conversation.
- Integration with other services: The best SMS automation tools will integrate with your existing tech stack so you can communicate without having to bounce between different platforms. You also want to be able to automate key functions like order confirmations or appointment reminders.
- Scalability: You should be able to quickly scale up your SMS campaigns whenever you need to without paying significantly higher fees or being forced to move permanently to higher tiers.
The 7 Best SMS Marketing Automation Tools
When looking at different SMS marketing automation tools, you’ll see more similarities than differences. They can all handle the basic task of sending bulk texts and autoresponders. The key differences you will find will more likely be in pricing and plans and whether they specialize in SMS or also accommodate communication across other channels.
Here are our picks for the seven best SMS marketing automation tools.
Most plans offer free trials so you can evaluate them yourself and a variety of plans at different price points.
SimpleTexting is an SMS marketing platform that allows you to send messages in bulk with segmented target lists or your entire customer list. It integrates with other platforms, such as MailChimp and Zapier, and accommodates autoresponders and two-way messaging.
SimpleTexting also lets you create unlimited custom keywords — many SMS automation tools cap the number of keywords you can use. The SMS marketing platform offers custom integration for higher-level plan users.
SimpleTexting Pricing: SimpleTexting offers scalable pricing depending on how many messages you send each month, starting at $29 per month.
Textedly is also a solid SMS marketing automation tool, for mass testing. It’s easy to set up SMS schedules and enable drip campaigns. It also allows users to send longer text messages, exceeding the standard 160 characters.
Textedly has a deep feature set, including built-in link sharing, email capture, voice services, text-to-vote, auto-replies, and two-way SMS.
Textedly Pricing: Textedly offers multiple package options based on how many messages you send each month, ranging from $24 per month billed annually.
Podium is an SMS marketing platform that aggregates customer conversations across different channels into one platform. It’s a good tool for doing customer surveys and getting automated customer reviews.
Podium also provides web chat and video chat as well as allows you to manage all of your third-party messaging apps through its platform.
Podium Pricing: Podium provides an Essential, Standard, and Professional package with different features. The lowest price package is $289 per month and includes up to 1,000 contacts and three users. Higher-level packages offer unlimited contacts and team members.
SlickText also offers SMS automation tools to handle your marketing campaigns at scale. It allows you to schedule SMS campaigns and include, email capture and autoresponders. It also integrates with Facebook, Zapier, and more.
SlickText is a good choice for customer interactions for contests, voting, and surveys. You can set campaigns with auto-reply messages or for two-way messaging.
SlickText Pricing: SlickText offers a basic bundle for 500 texts a month at $29, step-up packages for up to 50,000 texts a month, and enterprise options.
Omnisend lets you integrate your SMS campaigns, email marketing, and push notifications into one marketing platform. It features a large collection of templates, drag-and-drop editing, and automates much of the workflow.
Omnisend also automatically captures customer opt-ins using pop-ups and forms to grow your user and subscriber base.
Omnisend Pricing: Omnisend Pro combines email and SMS for high-volume senders for $59 per month, including unlimited email and up to 3,993 SMS messages per month for up to 500 contacts.
TextMagic is an SMS marketing platform that works well for bulk SMS messaging. With a global reach, you can send mass texting campaigns and easily convert emails into SMS messages. You can also attach images, files, and PDFs.
TextMagic also features virtual phone numbers, scheduled SMS, mail merge templates, and automated management of opt-outs.
TextMagic Pricing: TextMagic has account fees with pay-as-you-go pricing at $0.04 per text. Discounts are available for higher volumes.
Automate Your SMS Marketing With Aktify’s Conversational AI
You can supercharge any of these SMS marketing automation tools by adding Aktify’s conversational AI platform.
Aktify augments your sales text message responses and responds in a human-like manner to let you have thousands of SMS conversations with prospects, leads, and customers at the same time. Using Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Natural Language Understanding (NLU) technologies, Aktify can discern intent and respond in a remarkably human way.
Machine learning tools also mean your virtual agents get smarter the more it’s used, learning the nuances of your customers and prospects to optimize performance.
Aktify also eliminates the need to set up drip campaigns. The platform can interact with your contacts and nurture them throughout the buyer’s journey until they are ready to convert. The goal is to engage with prospects in a natural way, stay in touch with them, and then get them to call. When they’re ready to talk, Aktify connected your reps by phone so they can close deals.
By adding conversational AI, your SMS interactions are fluid conversations rather than rigid auto-responders. Most people can’t tell that they’re not interacting with a human rep. The result is significantly higher conversion rates as high as a 10X ROI.
To learn more about Aktify can enhance your SMS platform and generate significantly more revenue, contact the conversational AI experts at Aktify today for a demo.