What SMS service is best? What do you use?

23 replies
I've started a local sms service, but I've been running into a few problems that I'm *hoping* someone can help me with!

First, I'll be using this initially in restaurants for lead gen - one time offer w/ immediate coupon after they text a keyword to a number. Want to eventually branch out to nail/hair salons, car washes, etc.

Problem is, there are SO MANY options for service providers! I'm currently using call loop and its buggy (see below), and I've contacted trumpia and brick&mobile with the questions below:

1. The very first offer provided to the customer can only be a one time offer, so if a customer opts in to the list today and gets a one-time coupon and goes back to the same restaurant tomorrow and sends a text to the same # with the same keyword, they must be sent a message that they are already opted into the list and not sent another coupon. Currently call loop says they're system does this but in testing a demo, this feature does not work...

2. Can your service use a local number to text to? Right now with call loop, they provide a number that is not a ten digit phone number and it confuses the clients we pitch and the customers. If I can use this with a local# and keyword then this will be an advantage.

3. Is this fully compliant with all current USA laws? Clear opt in to offer, clear unsubscribe options built in, etc. I have the feeling that the call loop is not fully compliant as they do not have an opt in confirmation...

4. Do you offer a trial period for the sms text message marketing service? I would like to verify for myself how the above features work before deploying this on a paid customer's account.

I'm also looking at the following threads:

http://www.warriorforum.com/warrior-...ays-price.html

http://www.warriorforum.com/warrior-...ms-system.html

http://www.warriorforum.com/warrior-...-platform.html

http://www.warriorforum.com/warrior-...ts-system.html

As well as anchormobile and text180. Would like to do a 2 week free trial, followed by a flat monthly service fee with an additional cost per subscriber maybe?

Would love to hear everyone's thoughts/recommendations!! If you have experience with any of the above I'd especially like to hear about it!

Thanks!

Marc
#mobile marketing #service #sms #text message marketing
  • Profile picture of the author GautamSaha
    I would also like to the responses from the SMS Warriors in the forum.
    I was looking at Chads WSO: http://www.warriorforum.com/warrior-...rketing.html#1 But he is missing after last year's flood in CO, so not sure that WSO is supported any more.
    I also hear good thing about Lime Cellular in this thread: http://www.warriorforum.com/mobile-m...marketing.html But not sure how it compared with twilio.com

    I also found Call loop buggy.
    Will be following this thread
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    • Profile picture of the author mdrosenkrans
      GautamSaha thanks for the reply, seems like we've shared some of the same struggles...

      I also stumbled on the thread you posted and WOW. That just kicked me into high gear with a clear action plan and some amazing guidance. Recommend anyone reading this thread to FIRST go to the thread you just mentioned to start!!

      I also noticed quite a few good comments about lime cellular... and was recommended by a VERY well known warrior in the SMS world that both the Mobile SMS Reward System plugin and the SMS Mobile Solutions service mentioned above are good choices.

      Also got a message from RoyalText.com - anyone used them? Website looks nice at least but no pricing on it...
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  • Profile picture of the author imsolutionsgroup
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  • Profile picture of the author mdrosenkrans
    Thanks everyone! I've decided to start with the one from rkaiser5 and the sms mobile solutions - haven't gotten everything set up but during the process the support has been nothing short of FANTASTIC! Once I get everything up and running on one of our client's accounts I'll be leaving a review on the product page. But basically for the price, that one can't be beat IMHO...I especially like the website, a done for you solution that can do most of the selling for you! Its a very professional site, with explainer video, ROI calculator, a few niche specific pages and so much more. The website alone is worth much more than what you'd pay him for an entire year subscription! This was especially important to me just starting out, I need something that instills trust in the clients and the website he provides really legitimizes my business and gives them added confidence in the product.

    Also, just gotta throw in here that Joe Ferdinando has been an amazing resource and extremely helpful! I do encourage anyone delving into the sms marketing field to head over to his site and get the free ebook he has available - its 100 pages, for free! And lots of gems in there too. The guy really knows his stuff as anyone who's seen his posts already knows...

    I'm also planning on expanding our services in the near future with the use of lime cellular - the amount of tools they offer is ridiculous and even though its a hefty $300/month, I feel that once the biz is bringing in some more cash I'll spring for that then offer clients add on packages for additional monthly fees. Looking at their features page makes me feel like a kid in a candy store, they offer so much!!

    Thanks to everyone for the responses so far!
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  • Profile picture of the author mdrosenkrans
    Thanks again to all the warriors posting on this thread - as you know I signed up for rkaiser5's service and very impressed so far, however I have a legal question (not asking for legal advice, just some sage knowledge) - on the twilio site it mentions that the following use is prohibited "Using Twilio Services to harvest or otherwise collecting information about others, including email addresses or phone numbers." Also, in regards to short codes vs long codes Twilio says "Mobile carriers do not allow marketing SMS messages, whether solicited or not, to be sent on long codes (10-digit numbers). Marketing messages may only be sent using shortcodes (special 5 or 6-digit numbers). If you’re interested in a dedicated US shortcode please contact our sales team."

    Now these things concern me a little bit... Maybe it's ok to get started this way but I think I'll have to upgrade to a platform like lime cellular sooner than later to make sure I'm fully compliant. But it seems a lot of warriors are using twilio for their sms campaigns, doesn't it? Are they treading in murky waters?

    Please help!
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    • Profile picture of the author geolocal
      I'm wondering about this as well -- are marketers using Twilio for SMS indeed treading murky waters?

      Sharon

      Originally Posted by mdrosenkrans View Post

      ...on the twilio site it mentions that the following use is prohibited "Using Twilio Services to harvest or otherwise collecting information about others, including email addresses or phone numbers." Also, in regards to short codes vs long codes Twilio says "Mobile carriers do not allow marketing SMS messages, whether solicited or not, to be sent on long codes (10-digit numbers). Marketing messages may only be sent using shortcodes (special 5 or 6-digit numbers). If you're interested in a dedicated US shortcode please contact our sales team."

      Now these things concern me a little bit... Maybe it's ok to get started this way but I think I'll have to upgrade to a platform like lime cellular sooner than later to make sure I'm fully compliant. But it seems a lot of warriors are using twilio for their sms campaigns, doesn't it? Are they treading in murky waters?

      Please help!
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  • Profile picture of the author xlfutur1
    From my experience, most small businesses will not have large enough lists to need a short code. Long codes are fine for smaller lists. The major benefit is that you can use them for taking phone calls at the business as well - something short codes cannot do. I haven't had a problem sending to a 900+ subscriber list on a long code with Twilio.

    You DO need to do a double opt in now though and be sure that you comply with the latest laws regarding SMS. You will have to do that with any service though. I like Twilio because its really cheap (.075 cents per text), very customizeable, and there are no monthly fees to deal with. Just pay as you go.

    Most important thing is to just get one client. So many people over analyze and worry about every little thing before they even have a paying client.
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  • Profile picture of the author dexter7
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    • Profile picture of the author Markmobiler
      I have heard that Lime Cellular has an outage on Sprint and T-Mobile with their US Short Code.
      Has anyone else heard that?

      This would be a huge problem.

      Has anyone heard anything about AvidMobile? I know they provide more than one short code.
      Let me know.
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      • Profile picture of the author The Beast
        Hi Mark.. Welcome to the Warrior Forum... actually Lime does have more than one short code and they are giving everyone access to the additional one. Here is the email they sent out:
        Lime is very excited to announce that from now on
        every white label will come with 2 short codes!

        If you are currently in the mobile marketing arena or planning to be in the near future, this is a Must Attend webinar for you

        On Friday 2/28, our CEO Yuval Madar, will be hosting a very special Live webinar. If you want to make 2014 your best year ever, I strongly suggest you attend.

        We will be discussing:
        -- The recent industry changes and how Lime can help you adapt and succeed in this environment
        -- The Launch of a robust new tool that will help you sell more, convert more and earn more!
        -- At the end of the webinar Yuval will be taking your questions live!
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  • Profile picture of the author Tbradley28
    I cancelled with Avid due to several failed promises made by the company. Since moving to Lime I am very happy. I waited over a year for automated billing and a real-estate module with avid and neither occurred. Lime had a problem and fixed it in less than a week. Keep up the good work Yuval.
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  • Profile picture of the author TrumpiaTim
    There's a number of providers you will find by doing a simple search on Google, dependent on your needs to use this for your direct business or as white label reseller you should do a thorough research of which company meets your needs.

    For example the above requests for:

    - Automated Billing
    - Multiple Short Codes
    - etc.

    Should be fairly standard items and by doing your research you'll find a provider that meets your requirements or fulfills majority of it for you to comfortably move forward with them.
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    www.Trumpia.com

    Trumpia: The Most Completed SMS Text Messaging Software & API Solution.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Gylseth
    I do believe it's worth taking the time to select one solid system and stick with it as changing from one system to another isn't always the easiest, and you'll lose a lot of time just in learning the ropes of the new system.

    I know I keep mentioning TXTWire on the threads asking similar questions to yours. I don't know if they can do what you ask for in your first question, but they are one of the largest SMS originators (meaning they are not using someone else's platform and rebranding their service). While there are many SMS providers in the US, I believe there are only about 5 SMS originators, with TXTWire being one of them.

    Their customer service is the main reason I recommend them, but they have a solid platform with options ranging from reselling their services to white label, and custom integrations. No need to worry about compliancies either as they strictly follow all rules and guidelines. They also work with pretty much all carriers, both large and small. They also have hooks into social media and other features beyond just regular SMS.

    Note: Although the list some monthly plans on their site, you can give them a call, tell them what you do, and then ask them how they can help, their prices, etc. I did this with various providers, and the responsiveness and professionalism of TXTWire is why our company has chosen to work with them.
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    • Profile picture of the author mdrosenkrans
      Thanks for the recommendation Chris - I am using rkaiser5's service now and have to say his support is hands down the absolute best I've ever experienced. He is quick to respond and definitely goes above and beyond (just today I had submitted a ticket, he responded within a half hour and even fixed the placement of the logo on my site without me even asking!!)

      I have no financial interest in his success, but for the cost of his service you really get the most value. I've looked at services like Lime Cellular, Trumpia and will check out TXTwire too and yes they offer a lot of bells and whistles and look very tempting...but they also charge over 20-30 times the cost. Another big benefit for me is the use of long codes because my market here is very localized (most local businesses don't even advertise their area code because there is only one here). I actually tested using a shortcode at first and it just confused people.

      So for now I'm very happy with and sticking by rkaiser5 and what I've set up there. Of course if a few months down the line the business is expanding and there is a need for more features, I'll be considering the much more expensive options...but like you said, I really don't want to start over learning a new system so that transition won't be anytime soon!
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  • Profile picture of the author TrumpiaTim
    Yes, definitely as your business grows so will the needs of your customers so a much more sophisticated platform with more features and reporting will be needed, however it seems like you found a good starting spot.

    Also note that long codes are not provisioned for mass messaging, so disruptions in service may take place if you're sending to large lists of opt-in sms numbers.
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    Trumpia: The Most Completed SMS Text Messaging Software & API Solution.
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  • Profile picture of the author mix87
    I am using this website and i'm very satisfied. www.cs-networks.net

    24/7 support (thats realy matters to me), very polite support team, good quality service and reliable.
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  • Profile picture of the author TrumpiaTim
    Txt180 is pretty good on the lower tier if you're just looking for basic messaging and under $10 a month.

    In regards to the above comment, did you have a poor experience as a White Label SMS Reseller for Avid?
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    Trumpia: The Most Completed SMS Text Messaging Software & API Solution.
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  • What other SMS companies are Warrior Forum members using for their marketing?
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    TEXTPEDITE

    SEND MASS TEXT MESSAGES FOR FREE!
    www.Textpedite.com
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