As SMS Marketing has grown popular, a number of SMS platforms have been introduced to cater to the needs of companies who require SMS advertisement. Let us focus on the popularity of SMS first. Statistics show that SMS has a whopping 19% click-through rate and the average response time for a text is only 90 seconds! Why? Because the average person looks at their phone 150 times a day. The statistics really are mind-blowing. Since people these days simply cannot live without their mobile phones, businesses use this opportunity to interact with them on a highly immediate and intimate platform. Marketing with text messages proves to be very profitable in the long run. Thus, the need for SMS providers comes about. These providers give businesses a platform through which they can interact with customers. It allows for the smooth transmission of messages between businesses and consumers. SMS platforms provide professionalism, ease of use and generate high profits for businesses. Due to this demand for SMS providers, a number of platforms have been introduced over the past decade Some of the most popular platforms in the US include ExpressText and EZ Texting. With fierce competition in the market, both platforms strive towards providing their clients with the best services. This article is an analysis of EZ Texting vs ExpressText by comparing them based on various characteristics, including:
How it works
The process for signing up with any online SMS platform is nearly the same. Users fill out a form with their basic details (name, contact number, email
ExpressText categorizes its features into 5 main groups:
The convenience features help customers in using the platform every step of the way. ExpressText has done its utmost in making sure that each process is as easy to use as possible. There is an easy contact upload, simple billing process and help videos to guide users through every step!
These features are perhaps the most important for a user. ExpressText offers a text-to-join campaign feature which allows its clients to promote their shortcode and mobile keyword anywhere – through conventional means such as magazine and newspaper ads as well as on Twitter, Facebook and billboards. So basically everywhere. Another feature that ExpressText offers is the web widget. If a consumer fills out their information, the data can be sent directly to a user’s ExpressText account. Moreover, ExpressText makes life easier by providing the feature of scheduled messages. Users can send scheduled messages on a weekly or monthly basis, or even on specific holidays like Independence Day!
Staying organised can help save a lot of time and money. ExpressText offers features such as contact management, templates, groups and calendars. Calendars can be used for marking the days of scheduled messages. Groups and contact management can also come in handy. Many times, a message does not have to be sent out to the whole contact list. Suppose a company wants to send out an offer only to its loyal customers. If a group of these customers is pre-existing, it makes it less time consuming to send out the offer – rather than having to manually select contacts. Similarly, templates also save a user time which can be better utilised in another department.
Without monitoring, SMS marketing would be half as effective. ExpressText offers graphed reports, detailed invoices, an easy opt-out process and an inbox. A user’s inbox plays a major role in 2-way communication. It is where a company/user can view responses from customers which can be used to make changes to an SMS campaign accordingly. Without the insight of customers, a company would not be able to improve their SMS campaign. Graphed reports also play a role in helping a company to determine where to invest their time and resources.
Communication is the key to effectiveness. ExpressText offers 2-way messaging, message forwarding and instant delivery. Message forwarding can prove to be very convenient for a user as all notifications and updates are sent to the user’s mobile phone so they do not have to open their ExpressText account each time.
ExpressText is constantly working to improve its services for customers. This includes the frequent introduction of new services to its platform, some of which are birthday reminders, short links, and double keyword opt-in.
ExpressText offers a 30 day free trial for its users. To avail the trial, users are required to create an account on the platform. The trial applies on any payment option (except high volume packages). It consists of free 100 text messages and 1 keyword. Users can also switch between payment options at any given point in time. The first monthly package offered by ExpressText includes 500 messages along with 1 keyword. It comes at $24 per month. The second payment option is an upgrade to 1500 messages in the price of $49. The advanced payment option, ExpressText’s most popularly chosen package, includes 2 keywords and 3000 messages at $99. The premium package is also available. It is best suited to large users as it offers 6000 messages along with 3 keywords. All payment options include free contact upload and unlimited groups for easy contact management. However, these payment plans may prove to be insufficient for multinational and national level companies looking to advertise on a larger scale. For these users, even larger payment plans are available. These come in the form of 4 packages: bronze, gold, silver and platinum. The price range for these varies from $350-$1500 per month, with text messages ranging from 17500 up to 100,000! The number of keywords increases accordingly with each payment plan. Users who opt for bigger payment plans enjoy an economy of scale as the price per text gets lowered which each upgrade. Lastly, users who do not wish to use the platform’s services frequently can opt for the ‘Pay as you Go’ plan. This way, they can sign up with the platform but are required to pay only when they avail its services. ExpressText prices Pay as you go text messages at 3 cents per message.
Easy Texting also works towards providing its users with features that enhance the value of its SMS service. They categorize its features into the following:
Engaging the Audience
These features can improve the effectiveness of a campaign greatly. Easy texting offers reminders, MMS pictures and text to vote polls. For years, critics have argued that SMS is not engaging enough as it is limited to text. With MMS features, users can include pictures and videos in their messages which is more engaging for consumers. Moreover, text to vote features can be used in free giveaways e.g. ‘Guess the winning team of the Football world cup to our shortcode 8080 and get a chance to win a free football kit!’ This encourages customers to interact with the brand and become potential customers. Reminder features minimise the occurrence of missed appointments and improve customer loyalty.
Easy Texting offers a call to landline feature in which text messages in a user’s account can be received on their office landline number. This feature allows them to respond to messages as well, thus eliminating the need for them to have to open their Texting account. The platform also offers dedicated shortcode services to its clients as well as EZ chat. EZ chat allows users to have personalized, one-on-one conversations with their customers.
Both companies offer a variety of features, many of which are similar. It offers drip campaigns and recurring messages i.e. scheduled messages. It also offers text forwarding service, tracking and reports which help to improve the efficiency of the SMS campaign and a link shortener to add a hyperlink within text messages. Hyperlinks can be used to direct customers to online websites and forms if they are interested in the detail of the message. They can be very useful in providing information to customers.
To put its users at ease, Easy Texting offers a 14-day trial after a user signs up with the platform. This includes 100 free messages, 1 demo keyword and is MMS enabled. No credit card information is required so it is absolutely committed and risk-free. Once the trial period has ended, users can either subscribe to a monthly package or pay as you go package. Pay as you go costs 5 cents per message, with 1 demo keyword and MMS. Additional purchases of keywords cost $25 per month. This package is most suitable for those users who do not wish to use the platform’s services frequently. However, the downside of it is that it is costly per text as compared to monthly packages. The first and most popular one costs $49. It includes 1000 text messages along with 1 keyword. Additional purchases include extra text messages at a cost of 4.5 cents per message and $25 for every additional keyword. The second monthly plan costs $94. It consists of 2000 messages and 2 keywords. Additional purchases are the same for all monthly packages. Moreover, the ‘elite’ monthly package costs $149 per month. It includes 3300 text messages along with 3 keywords. Additional text messages cost less in this package i.e. 4 cents per text, along with the same price of $25 for each additional keyword. Apart from these regular pricing options, they also offer high volume packages which are suitable for big corporations that target a large number of consumers. These include Pro, Bronze, Silver and Gold which fall in the price range of $250-$2000, with up to 50,000 text messages. Last but not least, they also offer the pricing option, ‘Just for You’, which is customizable in nature. Users can call on the platform’s helpline and craft a plan that suits them the most. The pricing varies accordingly. EZ Texting offers its services not only in the US but Canada as well.
After the above analysis, it can be concluded that while both platforms offer equally value-added features, ExpressText remains ahead in terms of competition due to a major factor: its pricing strategy. At the end of the day, businesses are looking to generate maximum profit at the lowest possible cost. These price-conscious users have a variety of SMS platforms to choose from, so online SMS services need to drive down prices in order to remain competitive. Both companies offer similar features, but ExpressText offers SMS packages with a higher number of text messages as compared to EZTexting at the same price. ExpressText has already signed globally popular companies such as McDonald’s and Honda Motors. Its popularity not only owes to the pricing but also to its efficient services. It is easy to use, fast and it simply works.