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SMS Marketing Software 2021: Ultimate Guide

SMS Marketing involves sending marketing messages and promotional campaigns using SMS as a channel. The text messages used here are mostly transactional in nature like updates and alerts and time sensitive. The target audience should provide consent to receive such messages. Learn why SMS Marketing is important for business and how to choose the right SMS Marketing software.

Last updated: Apr 14, 2021

SMS Marketing Software 2021: Ultimate Guide

What is SMS Marketing?

SMS Marketing involves the use of an SMS text messaging service to send permission-based advertising and promotional messages to potential customers of a product or service.

It is a commonly used marketing channel that allows businesses to direct communication with a prospect. This communication varies from promotional messages and product launch announcements to sales, offers and more.

What is SMS Marketing Software?

Using a phone, one can think of pushing one or a few SMS messages. But when it involves sending messages to thousands of existing or potential customers, the phone very quickly ceases to be a practical option.

Therefore, when a company needs to send marketing messages in bulk, it cannot for obvious reasons be done manually. This is where SMS Marketing software comes in. To use this software, the user has to log in to an online application or website, which will facilitate the entry of contacts in large numbers, allow the user to frame a message, send it out and then analyze the results.

SMS may be viewed as antiquated technology - but reality is that SMS plays a key role in connecting most modern technologies


Jamie Tolentino


A good SMS Marketing software will offer access to a variety of tools and applications designed to help the user get started with SMS marketing in a methodical, controlled way that is also easily scalable. It will give the user an easy to use platform that will help to efficiently create, deploy and manage SMS marketing campaigns.

The SMS marketing software is usually available in a cloud-based SaaS model, which allows users to get login access from any computer. This gives the user the benefit of managing SMS marketing campaigns on the go, in a very cost-efficient manner.

5 Benefits of SMS Marketing Software

Despite the advancement of technology-aided targeting of customers, SMS Marketing is still a highly utilized mode of communication for the following reasons:

High Open Rates

According to Gartner, SMS open rates run as high as 98% compared to email’s 20% mark. Additionally the Digital Marketing Magazine indicated in a study that 75% of consumers actually prefer to receive promotions via text message. Now, with the added benefits of SMS Marketing software, businesses of all sizes are making SMS marketing an integral part of their marketing strategy.


SMS campaigns are easy on the wallet besides offering excellent RoI.

Sending an SMS Message is cheaper than most marketing channels, and it can deliver (if not higher) the same level of ROI


Krissy DeAngels


Higher Coverage

A study by Simmons National Consumer Study (NCS) throws up an interesting insight: 91% of millennials are text messaging during a typical week, and 51% are willing to share their mobile number if encouraged by an incentive. Since mobile phone usage is so pervasive, it is much easier to reach a larger audience through SMS Marketing.

Generate leads

SMS campaigns are a very effective method of bringing in leads, using easy to set up shortcodes that allow customers to opt-in to your mailing list. This is a key part of Lead Generation.


SMS Marketing software gives users the feature of intelligent tracking. Not only will it tell you if your messages have been sent successfully, but it will also give you details on which recipient opened what message and the links clicked.

Which industries benefit from SMS Marketing software?

SMS Marketing is a very effective and reliable method of communicating with customers. In some verticals, the use of this medium is absolutely imperative, which makes SMS Marketing software a mandatory inclusion.

Let’s take a look at some of these industries.

Retail: The retail sector is one of the pioneers in adopting SMS Marketing. It is often used to send promotions, coupons, and discount information to opted-in clients. It is further personalized by sending in information to customers based on their purchasing history.

Restaurants and Hotels: The hospitality industry uses SMS Marketing to send text messages to their customers for promotions, discounts, and offer related information on rooms when the season is low.

Finance: Banking and Financial institutions are the most prolific users of SMS Marketing software. From sending alerts on unusual activity on the account, promotions, account updates, credit card activity alerts, it is used for a variety of purposes that are found beneficial by their customers.

E-commerce stores: For communications on promotions to order shipping information, SMS marketing is one of the most effective channels for e-commerce.

Travel companies: In the travel business, customers need access to real-time information – flight updates, gate information, cancellations, delays, weather alerts and more. SMS Marketing software is a fast and reliable method to communicate this information to customers.

Appointment-based services: SMS reminders are an excellent way to ensure your clients never miss an appointment. This improves productivity and efficiency and results in cost savings.

Various industries like healthcare, non-profit organizations, consumer-facing service organizations use SMS Marketing to engage with their customers.

Why SMS Marketing is Important?

Every time a marketer runs a campaign, the big question is “Is the customer reading my ad?” Research shows that engagement rates for text messaging are higher than any other channel.

Response rates as high as 45% have been reported by marketing experts, Business2Community, while email marketing response rates taper off at 6%. SMS is also number 1 in Click-Through Rates (CTR) at 19%, far ahead of email at 2.43%, Adwords at 2%, Facebook at 0.98%, Instagram at 0.52% and LinkedIn at 0.13%.

Why SMS Marketing is Important?

Some of the business issues that SMS Marketing software overcome are:

Delays in Message Delivery

Research shows that 97% of all text messages are opened and read, with the majority of them being read within 3 minutes. This makes it an instant messaging channel for marketers, delivering results quickly.

Message Blockers and SPAM

SMS messages avoid spam filters giving a marketer’s message a very high chance of being read by the target audience.

Lack of Campaign Insight

SMS Marketing software offers analysis capabilities to help marketers understand their performance better, and enable optimization of future campaigns.

Getting Customer Feedback

Customer feedback is priceless for any business. This information helps the business make improvements to its products/services in order to establish stronger relationships with customers. Research reveals that 31% of customers respond to surveys on mobile devices, with an average response time of 6 minutes. Brands can, therefore, run surveys via SMS, receive results almost instantly and respond to it just as fast.

9 Features of SMS Marketing Software

Bulk delivery

The communication needs of a brand are varied, and SMS Marketing software makes it possible to create and schedule campaigns in bulk.

9 Features of SMS Marketing Software

Scheduling mobile messages

An SMS Marketing software also allows you to schedule messages for specific times, depending on its content. You can choose from options like date, time, distributed sends to groups or spread sends over a certain period of time.

Campaign analytics

How many messages were delivered? How many were opened? How many clicked on the embedded links? An SMS Marketing software can throw up detailed reports that will help you track the performance of your campaigns.


An SMS Marketing software makes the creation and execution of customer surveys a very simple task and allows easy export of all data and responses collected.

Easily upload and manage contacts

SMS marketing software makes it easy to upload and manage contacts. Contacts can be grouped according to specific parameters, a feature that comes in handy when running campaigns.

Dynamic Routing

Due to longer journeys, there can be delays due to busy telecom networks. It is therefore very important that the SMS marketing software offers dynamic routing for faster delivery.


The software can automatically personalize text messages by replacing tags (e.g., #NAME#) in your message template, with the actual information for each individual recipient.

2-way messaging

This feature helps identify and bracket message replies into separate conversations that can be tied to a customer's CRM entry.

Picture messaging (MMS)

SMS Marketing software adds the MMS feature to messages which make multimedia messages possible, allowing the use of photos, videos, and audio recordings.

SMS Marketing Software and AI

With the evolution of communication technology, AI has made its way into SMS marketing strategies in recent years.

AI can be incorporated into a Bulk SMS strategy for a variety of use cases.

AI can be employed to analyze customer data, interactions they had on the company website, purchases they made, transactions they executed in case of financial transactions. Suitable updates can be sent via SMS in the form of confirmation messages, delivery updates, account updates, promotional messages including holiday offers. Such messages are highly personalized which in turn enhances customer experience.

AI-based technologies such as natural language processing being integrated with SMS marketing software for better interactivity and decision making. Verification messages can be sent over SMS with customers responding either with YES or NO answer. An AI-based chatbot can send suitable responses back which is highly personalized which is derived from customer data.

The integration of AI into SMS marketing will also enable chat responses to customers based on their replies to text messages. Automated responses can be set up to specific customer actions, which can also be personalized using customer data.

Chatbots are an AI-driven innovation that can dramatically speed up text messaging. They can respond to multiple customers at the same time, without keeping anyone waiting, thus ensuring customer delight.

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Buyer’s Guide: 6 Factors to Choose Right SMS Marketing Software

Size of the Company

There are various text messaging and SMS Marketing software available and a lot of them built specifically to cater to specific segments - SMB, Mid Market and Enterprise. The complexity of the software varies based on the target market segment. Choice should be made based on the fitment of the company's market segment.

Buyers are recommended to consider peer reviews and expert opinions that are extensively available on Cuspera before making buying decisions. Cuspera’s AI based engine guides you through the requirement process to help you choose the right software.

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Standalone Product or an Integrated Suite

Very often, SMS Marketing capability is available within an integrated suite along with other capabilities like Email Marketing and Chat. Software like Sendinblue, Avochato are such examples. There are specialized text messaging software like Ez Texting, Textus which focus only on text-based channels. Depending on the company’s channel strategy, the choice can be made to go either for text only platforms or integrated platforms which can support more than text.

Technology and Feature consideration

Depending on the company’s marketing strategy and the type of usage, businesses need to look at the capabilities of the SMS Marketing software - bulk SMS capabilities, scale, and performance, AI support, personalization.

Data Migration Support

A good SMS marketing software will have the ability to import, export and transform customer data from the other marketing platforms you already use.


SMS Marketing needs to integrate with a number of other applications like Marketing Automation, CRM, Customer Data Platforms and other omnichannel marketing applications. Ease of integration and out of box integration support available can be a key factor for choosing SMS Marketing Software.


Pricing plays an important role in the choice of SMS Marketing software. Pricing can vary based on a number of factors like feature support ( MMS for example), message volume, keywords.

ROI of SMS Marketing Software

Experts have reported response rates of SMS marketing campaigns as high as 45%, with a Click-Through Rate at 19%. These numbers alone tell you in clear terms that SMS marketing is very cost-effective and will be a money saver for your advertising budget while generating sales.

In fact, according to, eight out of ten businesses use SMS marketing software for communication and promotion. These business users are growing every year and are likely to peak by the year 2020.

As in any other marketing activity, the RoI of SMS marketing is calculated by stacking costs against revenue generated. An SMS marketing software allows you the flexibility of choosing specific metrics, depending on the results you want to measure.

The tool that empowers you is the analytics arm, which gathers, organizes and makes sense of all the data needed to judge the success of the campaign. It also helps businesses optimize their future campaigns based on inferences from the data. Based on this, you can weed out the underperforming campaigns and add fuel to those that are firing.

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116 SMS Marketing Software