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SharpSpring

SharpSpring is a fully integrated cloud-based marketing tool that offers customer relationship management, marketing automation, mobile and social marketing, sales team automation, customer service and more, all within one solution. SharpSpring... Read More
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Act-On

Established in 2008, Act-On is a comprehensive marketing automation tool designed to offer a complete suite of applications, including email marketing, website visitor tracking, lead management, social media management, reporting and... Read More
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Marketo

Marketo offers a web-based email marketing platform for companies of all sizes to form and preserve engaging customer relationships. The solution features integrated modules that deliver a range of capabilities including marketing... Read More
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ActiveDEMAND

ActiveDEMAND is a web-based marketing tool designed specifically for marketing agencies. Subscriptions are based on the number of contacts loaded into the application rather than the number users, so agencies are able to create sub-accounts... Read More
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bpm'online marketing

Bpm’online marketing is a marketing automation platform that provides users with tools to manage lead management starting at demand generation, through nurturing and the transition to sales.  The solution features tools to test,... Read More
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Delivra

Delivra is a cloud-based marketing platform designed for companies looking to manage automated email marketing campaigns. It’s suited for small to midsize organizations in a variety of industries, such as education, healthcare, real... Read More
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IRIO

IRIO is a cloud-based mobile marketing solution suitable for businesses of all sizes, and is particularly suited to retail, real estate and agencies. IRIO enables users to send surveys, sweepstakes, promotions, customer service messages... Read More
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Textedly

Textedly is a cloud-based SMS marketing tool for businesses of all sizes. The system offers mass group texting, text scheduling and customizable auto replies. Users can send texts over 300 characters long. The system also offers a... Read More
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SAP - CRM

With thousands of implementations across 26 industries ranging from Aerospace & Defense to Wholesale Distribution, SAP’s CRM solution is intuitive and robust enough to meet the needs of the mid-market business while sophisticated... Read More
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Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Salesforce Marketing Cloud is a part of Salesforce.com family that offers robust social marketing solution to help businesses create and manage the social presence on a variety of social media sites. The solution offers multiple functionalities... Read More
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ONTRAPORT

ONTRAPORT provides a customer relationship management (CRM) system for small and growing businesses looking to automate marketing and sales efforts. The solution includes tools for email marketing, lead scoring, lead nurturing, lead... Read More
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SendinBlue

SendinBlue is a cloud-based email marketing tool suited for organizations of all sizes. The solution comes with tools and templates for marketing automation, email campaigns, transactional emails and SMS messages. SendinBlue facilitates... Read More
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CXM

CXM by Creedenz Solutions is a customer relationship management (CRM) solution for mid-market organizations. This comprehensive CRM solution suits companies in multiple industries, including technology, health care, manufacturing,... Read More
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SkyCRM

SkyCRM is a customer relationship management (CRM) software solution available for cloud or on-premise deployment. Key features include marketing automation, sales automation, customer service and support and social CRM. It is suitable... Read More
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Oracle Marketing Cloud

Oracle Marketing Cloud is a software-as-a-service solution that meets the needs of both the B2B and B2C marketer. Oracle Marketing Cloud (previously Oracle, Responsys, BlueKai, Compendium, and DataLogix) is an email marketing automation... Read More
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Silverpop

Silverpop provides marketing automation and email marketing solutions to companies around the world. Silverpop's technology helps marketers develop and deliver relevant, targeted multi-channel campaigns. Silverpop's solutions are... Read More
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Mailigen

Mailigen is a cloud-based email marketing system. It is suitable for individuals as well as midsize companies in industries including e-commerce, advertising, banking, media and more. Key features include email list segmentation, email... Read More
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Teradata Integrated Marketing Cloud

Teradata’s Integrated Marketing Cloud is a broad suite of marketing tools that allows enterprise-level businesses to unify campaign processes, data, resources and performance analytics—which, in turn, helps improve customer experiences... Read More
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ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign is an integrated marketing and customer relationship management (CRM) suite with a foundation in email marketing. Targeted towards small-to-midsize businesses, the software is designed to help organizations build their... Read More
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StormPost

For companies looking to effectively manage the customer lifecycle, engage new segments and centralize marketing communications into a single powerful platform, StormPost offers a full suite of features to design, create and deliver... Read More
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SAS Customer Intelligence

SAS Customer Intelligence is an integrated marketing management suite for midsize businesses and enterprises across a wide range of both B2C and B2B industries. It leverages SAS’s position as a leading provider of business intelligence... Read More
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SimplyCast

SimplyCast is a Web-based customer relationship management (CRM) solution. It helps organizations of all sizes manage and nurture leads, design marketing processes and manage workflow for sales processes. Users can track lead activities... Read More
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Modomodo

Modomodo is a Web-based mobile marketing application platform that enables businesses to build mobile applications centered around their branding initiatives. The application enables customers to purchase products through their mobile... Read More
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Iterable

Iterable is a growth marketing automation platform that provides multi-channel user engagement campaign management functionality based on dynamic workflows. With Iterable, users can create unlimited segments based on any criteria... Read More
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Adobe Marketing Cloud

Adobe Marketing Cloud is an integrated digital marketing suite that enables businesses of all sizes to organize, access and personalize their marketing content. The suite features a wide set of solutions, including Adobe Analytics,... Read More
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dbSignals

Created for businesses of all sizes, dbSignals is a fit for both B2B and B2C companies needing a sales and marketing automation system to track client data, nurture leads, and boost customer engagement. The system also features analytics... Read More
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SALESmanago Marketing Automation

SALESmanago is a cloud-based, standalone Marketing Automation tool that is useful in virtually any industry. The program is iPad friendly, accessible on any connected mobile device, and applicable to both B2B and B2C businesses. Users... Read More
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Maropost

Maropost is a Web-based marketing platform that provides capabilities such as email marketing, social media listening, mobile marketing, Web marketing, marketing automation and analytics. It caters to small and midsize businesses as... Read More
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Xert Precision Suite

Xert Precision Suite is a cloud-based email marketing platform that helps target, manage and optimize email campaigns. The suite consists of different modules for email marketing, contact management, events marketing, forms management... Read More
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Yotpo

Yotpo is a cloud-based customer content marketing platform for e-commerce businesses of all sizes. The solution enables users to collect every type of user-generated content and use it to build brand and manage customer experience. Yotpo’s... Read More
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Xtremepush

Xtremepush enables global enterprise brands to analyze their mobile and web customers and drive engagement. Key features of the platform include enterprise-class analytics, personalized messaging, web and app push notifications, as... Read More
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SAP Hybris Cloud for Customers

SAP Hybris is an omni-channel commerce platform, offering products designed to help enterprise companies target, engage, and support their customer base. The software is available for web-based or on-premise deployment, and integrates... Read More
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CloudCherry

CloudCherry is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) that helps brands track and improve customer engagement by mapping customer journeys, collecting omni-channel feedback and measuring its Net Promoter Score. CloudCherry... Read More
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Boomtrain

Boomtrain is a cloud-based marketing engine that leverages artificial intelligence to help automate marketing recommendations. It is suitable for midsize and large marketing agencies and media companies. Boomtrain’s machine-learning... Read More
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LeadSquared Marketing Automation

LeadSquared Marketing Automation is a cloud-based marketing automation solution for businesses of all sizes. It serves clients in industries such as finance, e-commerce, education, health and wellness, marketing, real estate, software... Read More
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Unamo SEO

Unamo SEO is a cloud-based search engine optimization (SEO) platform suitable for businesses of all sizes. Unamo helps users analyze keyword rankings and backlinks, generate reports and analyze website optimization issues. Unamo SEO... Read More
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Leadfeeder

Leadfeeder is a cloud-based software-as-a-service application that tracks traffic to user websites in order to collect and score potential leads. It is suitable for business of all sizes across all industries. Leadfeeder offers integrations... Read More
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IBM Watson Marketing

IBM Watson Marketing provides a portfolio of marketing solutions that allow marketing professionals to design and execute digital marketing campaigns. This cloud-based system is compatible with Mac and PC/Linux operating systems, and... Read More
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SoAmpli

SoAmpli is a cloud-based advocate marketing and sales platform. SoAmpli provides a platform for marketing and social media managers to distribute content to their sales teams and employees. Users can schedule posts of company content... Read More
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FirstHive

FirstHive is a cloud-based cross-channel marketing solution designed for small and midsize businesses. It features lead qualification, customer journey management, behavioral segmentation and analytics functionalities within a suite. FirstHive... Read More
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WebEngage

WebEngage is a cloud-based marketing automation tool designed for B2C businesses. It helps businesses to manage cross-channel communication with their customers, allowing them to send messages via emails, text messages, push alerts,... Read More
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Buyer's Guide

Given the ubiquity of smartphones and tablets, it’s easier than ever for marketers to reach customers on the move. These mobile devices are ingrained in our everyday lives, and features such as location tracking and push notifications make them the ideal platforms for delivering messages that enable conversions and build brand loyalty.

For these reasons, SMS (short message service), or text message, marketing software is becoming one of the most versatile and effective tools companies can use to connect with customers.

In this guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know for implementing mobile marketing strategies in your company.

(Click on a link below to jump to that section.)

What Is SMS Marketing?
Common Functionality of Text Message Marketing Software
Mobile Marketing Software Deployment Options
Market Trends to Understand

What Is SMS Marketing?

SMS marketing is a term often used synonymously with "text message marketing" or "mobile marketing." (You'll see us using those terms interchangeably in this guide as well.) All refer to marketing messages that are delivered to digital mobile devices, such as cell phones or tablets. SMS marketing software can facilitate the creation, routing, deployment and tracking of these messages to maximize their impact.

Many different kinds of messages may comprise SMS marketing. Here are a few examples to help you imagine the many possibilities:

  • Special offers. Retailers can send customers promotional offers (e.g., discounts on goods or services) directly to their phones. These messages are especially effective when sent while customers are in or near the business that sends the offer.
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  • Polls. Companies can encourage people to vote in custom polls to better understand buyer habits, measure brand awareness, engage with audiences and more. Recent research suggests respondents prefer completing surveys on mobile devices versus regular desktops.
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  • Contests (“text-to-win”). Running a contest is a great way to promote your brand while collecting a large volume of phone numbers for future campaigns. Just ask mobile users to text a keyword to a specific number so they can enter to win a prize.

A retail offer being drafted and sent via Salesforce's mobile marketing solution

A retail offer being drafted and sent via Salesforce's SMS marketing solution

With SMS or mobile marketing software, your company can easily create campaigns like the ones we highlighted above and more. Keep reading to find out how the technology helps companies interact with new and existing customers through their mobile devices.

Common Functionality of Text Message Marketing Software

Of course each solution is different, but there are a few core functions that most mobile marketing platforms will perform. Here are some of the most common capabilities among mobile marketing solutions:

Mass SMS/MMS messaging and templates SMS (short message service) or MMS (multimedia messaging service) messages can be created using the software’s templates and sent on a large scale in a matter of seconds. Most software vendors allow users to personalize templated messages.
Two-way messaging Customers can respond to your company’s text messages with follow-up questions or feedback, giving your staff a chance to assess the customer’s needs and respond appropriately in the same message thread.
Location-based triggers Marketing software can use the GPS capabilities in mobile devices to help you reach customers in strategic locations. For example, mobile alerts can be triggered automatically when customers are within a targeted, pre-defined geographic area.
Mobile keywords Customers can text a specific keyword to a number you’ve provided, and the software will send an automated response and save their number in your database. This is frequently used in “text-to-win” scenarios.
Contact management It’s critical that your marketing solution lets you create and maintain a list of contacts. In many systems, the customer database is searchable and customizable.
Reporting and analytics Some solutions offer dashboards with charts to illustrate how many people are interacting with your messages, including their demographic information. This allows marketers to assess the success of a particular text message marketing campaign.

Mobile Marketing Software Deployment Options

This type of software can be implemented in one of two ways:

The type of deployment you choose will depend on your organization's needs and, of course, your budget. For example, mobile marketing can be part of a multichannel marketing strategy that combines more traditional platforms (e.g., print and broadcast) with digital ones. Tracking performance across all channels is more seamless if all your data is stored in a single, integrated system. Because they include additional applications, these systems are typically more expensive than best-of-breed alternatives and require monthly subscriptions or the purchase of a perpetual license.

Buyers with limited budgets or those with existing software that doesn’t yet offer text message marketing apps are probably best served by stand-alone products. Such vendors typically don’t offer license agreements. Rather, they price their mobile marketing platforms on a monthly subscription basis or charge a flat rate per message sent.

Market Trends to Understand

As you get closer to choosing a SMS marketing tool, there are a few market trends you should consider:

Opt-in and opt-out. Companies are required by the FCC to obtain consent from mobile users before sending them SMS marketing materials. For example, a customer is considered to have “opted in” to your text messages if they voluntarily text you during a text-to-win contest. However, you must ensure customers are easily able to “opt out” of receiving your communications (e.g., by replying “Stop” to your latest text).

Mobile marketing via wearables. Smartphones and tablets aren’t the only mobile devices out there. As wearable technologies such as smartwatches and activity trackers rise in popularity, companies will increasingly look for ways to optimize marketing messages for those platforms as well. If your company is already incorporating wearables in its marketing strategies, you'll want to look for a software vendor that's thinking about them as well.