The 7 Best Bulk Text Message Services of 2020

Create loyal customers by marketing to them on their phone

We publish unbiased reviews; our opinions are our own and are not influenced by payments from advertisers. Learn about our independent review process and partners in our advertiser disclosure.

Bulk text message services let businesses take advantage of one of the most innovative tools for engaging with customers. From offering coupons and announcing specials to running surveys and contests, text message marketing lets even the smallest businesses stay current and competitive.

Text message marketing works. Studies show that 75% of consumers actually want to receive texts with special offers. Text messages have a 98% open rate compared to 20% of emails, and 19% of links in text messages are clicked versus only 2% of links in emails.    

We looked at over a dozen bulk text message services for this review based on ease-of-use, features, scalability, price, and more. Here are our top picks.  

The 7 Best Bulk Text Message Services of 2020

Best Overall: EZ Texting

EZ Texting

EZ Texting 

Founded in 2004, EZ Texting is a leading SMS marketing software provider serving over 160,000 users for businesses including Lowes, Home Depot, and Vivint. We chose it as the best overall because it offers a wide range of text message marketing tools for companies looking for new ways to increase customer engagement.  

As its name implies, EZ Texting makes it simple for businesses to market to their customers using text messaging. Users just choose a keyword and let the software create a sharable shortcode. 

For example, a business owner chooses DEALZ as a keyword and gets the shortcode 313131 from EZ Texting. They can then send the following message to their customers: “Text DEALZ to 313131 to get monthly coupons." Customers that text the keyword automatically become subscribers and get added to the business’s list.  

EZ Texting offers many automated marketing features, including drip campaigns, text forwarding, recurring messages, reminders, and polls. Users can also personalize messages for each customer using an existing database or a list of subscribers generated by the platform. Finally, EZ Texting integrates with a number of powerful third-party marketing tools, including Constant Contact, Zendesk, Mailchimp, AWeber, Squarespace, Salesforce, and more.

Value Plan

  • $19 per month
  • Unlimited contacts
  • Unlimited inbound messages
  • Unlimited 1-on-1 chat
  • 200 mass messages included
  • Integrations
  • $0.04 per additional message
  • 1 opt-in keyword
  • $25 per month per additional keyword
  • 1 textable business number
  • $25 per month per additional number

Essentials Plan

  • $29 per month
  • All Value Plan features
  • Delivery reports
  • Picture & video messaging
  • $0.04 per additional message
  • 3 opt-in keywords
  • $25 per month per additional keyword
  • 2 textable business numbers
  • $25 per month per additional number

Premium Plan

  • $49 per month
  • All essentials plan features
  • 3-month credit rollover
  • Automated messaging
  • API access
  • $0.04 per additional message
  • 6 opt-in keywords
  • $20 per month per additional keyword
  • 3 textable business numbers
  • $20 per month per additional number

Custom Plan

  • $299 per month
  • All Premium Plan features
  • 50,000+ mass messages
  • Dedicated account team
  • Multi-user platform
  • Custom additional message rates
  • Custom opt-in keywords
  • $20 per month per additional keyword
  • Custom textable business numbers
  • $5 per month per additional number

EZ Texting offers a free 14-day free trial that includes 100 text messages and one demo keyword.

Runner-Up, Best Overall: SlickText

SlickText

SlickText

SlickText was created in 2012 by founder Matt Baglia who was disappointed with the choice of text marketing tools in the marketplace at the time. Since then, it has grown to serve over 70,000 users for businesses including FedEx, ESPN, Lyft, and IHOP. We chose it as our runner-up because it offers a full suite of text messaging features in an easy-to-use platform.

SlickText offers an intuitive interface that makes it easy for users with no text message marketing experience to quickly become adept with the platform. The company’s website also offers step-by-step instructional videos on creating an account, reserving a keyword, and setting up autoreply. Users can get fast customer support via phone, email, or live chat.

SlickText gives users many standard text message marketing features, including drip campaigns, autoresponders, scheduling, picture messaging, surveys, birthday texts, and text-to-win contests.

SlickText also provides users with robust reporting, segmentation, personalization, and email capture features and integrates with over 2,000 third-party apps through Zapier, including Facebook Ads, Twitter, Mailchimp, Zoho CRM, Shopify, and more.         

Basic Plan

  • $29 per month
  • 500 texts per month
  • 2 textwords
  • Unlimited contacts
  • Picture messaging
  • Rollover texts
  • Live chat support

Step Up Plan

  • $49 per month
  • 1,000 texts per month
  • 4 textwords
  • All Basic Plan features
  • 1 on 1 training session

Lil Bro Plan

  • $79 per month
  • 2,000 texts per month
  • 6 textwords
  • All Step Up Plan features

Big Bro Plan

  • $139 per month
  • 3,600 texts per month
  • 8 textwords
  • All Lil Bro Plan features


SlickText also offers a 14-day free trial that includes 50 texts and one textword (keyword).

Best for Quick Setup: TextMagic

TextMagic

TextMagic

TextMagic was created in 2001 by University of Cambridge mathematics student Dan Houghton just as text messaging was beginning to explode. Since then, the company has grown to serve more than 100,000 users for small businesses around the world. We chose it as the best for quick setup because it’s built to let anyone send their first text marketing message within minutes of setting up an account.

As with other bulk text messaging services, TextMagic makes it easy to import a list of contacts, organize them, and schedule messages to be sent out, all using a simple and intuitive interface. Getting started is easy. Users simply create a free account, set up prepaid credit payments, and start sending and receiving text messages right away. 

TextMagic offers virtual toll-free numbers in the U.S. and Canada so customers don’t have to pay to reply to messages. The platform can also forward calls made to these virtual numbers to any other number the user wants. TextMagic offers many standard text messaging features like automation rules, surveys, and attachments as well as speech- and email-to-text.   

Finally, TextMagic integrates with thousands of third-party apps through Zapier to expand its marketing capabilities. It offers an API that allows developers to connect the platform to just about any type of business software.       

TextMagic offers a pay-as-you-go pricing model. Prices start at $0.04 per text in the U.S. with varying rates to other countries. The company also offers a 30-day free trial with a subscription fee of $4 per month after that.

Best for Small Businesses: Textedly

Textedly

Textedly 

Textedly was founded in 2015 to provide small businesses with an affordable text messaging marketing platform. The company serves thousands of customers from businesses including Chick-fil-A, GoDaddy, and Reuters. We chose it as the best for small businesses because it offers a basic, no-frills set of text message marketing features to help businesses get started quickly.

Textedly offers a clean web-based interface that lets users access common messaging features, including scheduled campaigns, custom subscriber data, picture messaging, email capture, and autoresponders. Textedly is also one of the only companies that can send a text message of over 300 characters. Unlike many other services, however, Textedly doesn’t offer integrations with third-party applications.     

Textedly keeps things simple for small businesses with basic reporting that gives users real-time data such as user activity and history, interactive graphs, and performance metrics. The platform also supports an unlimited number of users, can import subscriber lists from another text messaging provider, and makes it easy to upgrade to a bigger texting plan anytime. 

Textedly offers eight plans in total, but we are only showing pricing for the tiers best suited for small- to mid-sized businesses.

Starter Plan

  • Free for 14 days
  • 50 messages
  • 1 custom keyword

Bronze Plan

  • $29 per month
  • 1,200 messages per month
  • 1 custom keyword

Plus Plan

  • $39 per month
  • 2,400 messages per month
  • 2 custom keywords

Enterprise Plan

  • $50 per month
  • 4,200 messages per month
  • 3 custom keywords

Textedly also offers a 14-day free trial with limited features and free incoming messages with every plan.

Best for Scalability: Trumpia

Trumpia

Trumpia

Trumpia was founded in 2006 and has since grown to over 80 employees serving 2,000 customers from businesses including eBay, Coca-Cola, Gold’s Gym, and Goodwill. We chose it as the best for scalability because it offers robust automation, targeting, and enterprise-grade messaging features to help small businesses grow.

Trumpia offers many standard text messaging features, including drip campaigns, scheduled reminders, contact importing, mobile keywords, and detailed reporting. The platform also offers advanced engagement tools, including yes/no response texts, auto-responses, SMS coupons, text-to-vote messages, and a shuffle responder for sending random fun messages.

Trumpia also offers more powerful automations than most of the other providers we reviewed. The platform automatically captures data as subscribers respond to text prompts and filters subscribers based on their interests, characteristics, and behavior. This type of detailed tracking lets businesses segment and target their customers more accurately instead of blasting everyone with the same messages. 

Finally, Trumpia integrates directly with Salesforce and with thousands of other third-party apps through Zapier. Developers can create nearly any software integrations they want using Trumpia’s APIs and pre-programmed tools. 

Trumpia offers six base plans that range from $45 to $1,100 based on the number of messages and emails included. Since all of these plans lack automations, list customizations, and user controls, we provided pricing for the company’s most popular plans for small- to mid-sized businesses. Trumpia also offers three additional premium plans for enterprise users.

Standard Plan

  • $195 per month
  • 1 automated workflow
  • 1 data set
  • Dedicated account management
  • Campaign consulting
  • Compliance training
  • 5,000 SMS credits ($0.0390/credit)
  • 50,000 emails
  • Unlimited keywords
  • Toll-free included
  • Online & phone support
  • Onboarding

Professional Plan

  • $495 per month
  • 3 automated workflows
  • 3 data sets
  • 15,000 SMS credits ($0.0330/credit)
  • 150,000 emails
  • All Standard Plan features

Small Enterprise Plan

  • $995 per month
  • 10 automated workflows
  • 10 data sets
  • 40,000 SMS credits ($0.0249/credit)
  • 400,000 emails
  • All Professional Plan features

Best Price: SimpleTexting

SimpleTexting

SimpleTexting 

Originally founded in 2010 to provide a variety of marketing services, SimpleTexting shifted gears to SMS marketing just a year later. Today the company supports thousands of customers from businesses including Starbucks, Cisco, Century 21, and Samsung. We chose it as the best price since it offers the lowest priced plans per text message of any service we reviewed.

In addition to letting users import a list of contacts like other text message marketing providers, SimpleTexting also lets businesses use their own five- or six-digit shortcode from another provider. The company can also provide businesses with random or vanity dedicated shortcodes as well as more affordable shared shortcodes.

SimpleTexting offers most typical bulk message marketing features, including custom fields, autoresponders, text-to-win, text-to-vote, scheduling, segmentation, polling, and analytics. Other features include the ability to sign up for text messages via a web form, self-cleaning lists that check for dead numbers, automated birthday texts, and more.

Finally, SimpleTexting offers direct integrations with many third-party apps, including Mailchimp, Salesforce, Slack, and Twitter. Users can also choose from thousands of other integrations through Zapier or have their developers customize their own using SimpleTexting’s API.  

All of SimpleTexting’s plans come with a 14-day free trial and include free incoming SMS messages, unlimited contacts, support seven days a week, unlimited keywords, and rollover credit. Subscription pricing is based on the number of messages expressed as credits:

  • 500 credits: $25 per month (4.5¢ per additional credit)
  • 1,000 credits: $45 per month (4.5¢ per additional credit)
  • 2,000 credits: $75 per month (3.5¢ per additional credit)
  • 3,000 credits: $95 per month (3.0¢ per additional credit) 
  • 7,500 credits: $145 per month (2.0¢ per additional credit)
  • 25,000 credits: $375 per month (1.5¢ per additional credit)
  • 50,000 credits: $625 per month (1.25¢ per additional credit)

Best for Customization: Twilio

Twilio

Twilio 

Twilio is a cloud communications platform that launched an API in 2008 to allow users to make and receive phone calls completely hosted in the cloud. In 2010, the company launched a text messaging API, and SMS shortcodes were available in 2011. We chose it as the best for customization since it’s primarily built for developers who can build it any way they want using Twilio's API.

Twilio lets developers create any type of bulk messaging service they want. The platform’s Programmable Messaging API can be configured to let users send customer notifications, mass alerts, targeted marketing messages, verifications, and more via text, WhatsApp, and chat.

For those who are not developers, the company offers Twilio Studio. This drag-and-drop builder lets users build any kind of workflow they want, including surveys, appointment reminders, autoresponders, call forwarding, call center workflows, posting messages to Slack, and more.   

Finally, users can connect their Zapier account to Twilio to bypass coding completely. Examples include sending and receiving text messages using email or posting texts to Slack or Google Sheets.

Twilio offers pay-as-you-go pricing for its SMS features. Sending and receiving messages via local or toll-free numbers or shortcodes costs $0.0075 per message. Picture messages can be sent via local numbers or shortcodes for $0.0200 and received for $0.0100 per message.

Twilio also offers dedicated local numbers for $1 per month and dedicated toll-free numbers for $2 per month. Customers can also use their existing local or toll-free numbers for $ 0.50 per month.

What Is a Bulk Text Message Service?

Bulk text messaging services let businesses send short, targeted messages to their customers about special deals and promotions right to their phone. For instance, a pizzeria might send a message to its users that says “Text PIZZA to 12345 to get 10% off of your next order.”

Since customers are constantly tied to their phones, text messaging can actually be a more effective way to connect to them than with email. Studies show that 75% of millennials actually prefer text communications for deliveries, promotions, and surveys over any other form of communication.

How Does a Bulk Text Message Service Work?

Bulk text message services provide businesses with three things: shortcodes, keywords, and a dashboard for managing messaging campaigns.

A shortcode is a five- or six-digit code that customers can send a message to instead of having to dial a phone number with area code. A keyword is what a customer texts to the shortcode that opts them into a particular offer or promotion. 

For instance, a business can send a message to its customers that says, “Text DEALS to 76543 to get monthly coupons.” The word DEALS is the keyword and the number 76543 is the shortcode. When the customer texts DEALS to 76543, they will automatically be added to a list and get coupons texted to them every month.    

How Much Do Bulk Text Message Services Cost?

Bulk text message services typically offer monthly pricing based on the number of messages the business can send out each month. Pricing starts at $25 for 500 messages to between $39 to $79 for 2,000 messages. Other services offer a pay-as-you-go pricing with fees starting at $0.04 per text. 

Are Bulk Text Message Services Worth the Cost?

Bulk text messaging services work well for businesses with established customer lists or who want to begin building a customer list. They are also best for businesses that offer rotating discounts, specials, and promotions. For instance, a dentist's office that only offers a once-a-year teeth-cleaning special won’t benefit as much from text message marketing as a salon offering monthly deals on products and services.

Bulk text messaging is also ideal for businesses with a younger customer base. As noted earlier, 75% of millennials prefer text messages for deliveries, promotions, and surveys over phone or email communications.        

How We Chose the Best Bulk Text Message Services

We looked at over a dozen service providers for this review. Because text message marketing is still new to most businesses, we wanted to find companies that made it easy to get started and offered an intuitive dashboard for managing campaigns. 

We also made sure to choose providers that offered integrations with other marketing tools to help businesses build on their existing systems. Finally, we made sure to choose text message providers with flexible pricing plans. As businesses learn how text message marketing can create loyal customers and increase their sales, they will need to have a platform that will scale with them as they grow.

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. MobileMonkey. "60 SMS Marketing Statistics That Will Change Your Mind About Text Message Marketing." Accessed July 28, 2020.

  2. MobileMonkey. "60 SMS Marketing Statistics That Will Change Your Mind About Text Message Marketing." Accessed July 28, 2020.