Choosing the Right Texting Provider

February 9, 2021

If you're thinking of adding texting in as a new communications channel, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind when evaluating different texting providers.

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If you're thinking of adding texting in as a new communications channel, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind when evaluating different texting providers.

1. Baseline Capabilities


A2P vs P2P - When considering a service, the first thing to think about is, who are you communicating with? Are these opted-in long-time subscribers, or new prospective supporters? If your universe has provided proper opt-ins and you want to communicate with them efficiently, you’ll want to make sure the service you choose supports text-blasting (also called A2P texting). If your universe has not all clearly opted in and/or you want to engage with them in a more personalized way, you will want to explore a service that provides peer-to-peer (P2P) texting, which allows for individualized messages sent manually one at a time.

 

Speed/Reliability - Can the service you choose meet your texting goals, whether it’s a certain number of texts per day or getting text messages out to your audience when you want them to go out. 


Ability to go beyond Notification text - For many, text based communication only lives in the world of “Notification” - letting your list know a piece of information. Text messages have astronomical open rates, so you can be confident your message is getting through. But what about going beyond notification and using texting as a platform to directly engage your lists? If your goal is greater engagement, you are going to want to make sure your provider has an inbox feature that allows you to view text replies, and the ability to take those replies to 1-1 communications. Additionally, the ability to set up keyword reply automation can help make your engagement work a little less 1-1, but more more efficient. 

2. Ease of Use and Features


User Interface - An important consideration when choosing your provider is ease of use. Does it take staff a long time to manage your texting program, or is it possible to send out campaigns quickly and easily? You want to make sure the platform you choose is intuitive and easy to use. 


Features- You’ll want to make sure the service you choose has features that match the type of engagements you’re looking to have by text. Are you hoping to send emojis or images? Make sure your service supports sending emojis, or sending MMS messages. Are you hoping to have people take direct action via text? Prompt.io includes PromptExchange, which allows for direct data transfer and action via text, so that your recipients can reply to surveys, volunteer, or sign petitions directly from text, with all data being captured in the system.


3. Integrations/Flexibility


Database Integrations and API - Prompt.io is API first, meaning we can plug into essentially any other system that is serving as your database of record, along with having . Make sure you select a provider who can do this so that your team spends less time moving around data manually and more time strategizing on how to engage your supporters.


4. Cost

Pricing that makes sense for you - are you running a time bound campaign planning to send a large number of texts in a short period of time with a specific end date? Or are you planning regular and sustained text-based engagement over the long term? Whatever sort of text based work you are looking to start, you want to make sure the contract and costs aligns with your strategy. Prompt.io offers both bulk text purchase or subscription based contracts. Bulk purchase tends to make the most sense for shorter term campaigns or more sporadic texting, while subscription based pricing allows for predictable monthly costs and unlimited texting, which can be valuable for getting more meaningful engagement. 


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