For small businesses, texting can be used to verify accounts and purchases, run localized promotional campaigns, do seasonal marketing and more. And because SMS needs customers to opt in before you engage them, the likelihood of them responding is much higher.
If you are using an Android device, what texting apps will let you leverage the technology for your small business?
This list of Android texting apps includes a range of features you can use to engage your customers, employees and partners by taking over as your default texting app.
Go SMS Pro
What Go SMS Pro has going for it is features, and a lot of them. However, these come at a premium. Access to all the app’s themes and the ability to remove ads will cost you $19.99.
The app includes a feature to encrypt messages and protect your privacy. There is also support for disabling all sponsored messages. And when you get a message there is a pop up for quick viewing and replying.
This is one of the Android texting apps that offers unlimited cloud storage space for message backup. This is a key tool to protect your business if you have to comply with regulations or or face a potential disputes in the future.
The approach chomp SMS has taken is to remove many of the features other apps deliver and create a clean platform with great functionality instead. The themes are limited, but features such as scheduled SMS sender, stopping a text while sending, and group messaging are useful tools small businesses can use. The app is free, but removing the ads will cost $2.49.
Textra is popular because of the customization and options it offers. This includes floating notifications, compatibility with PushBullet and Android Wear, and message blocking. All of the features together use only 3 MB. And the app is free.
It’s a no frills app with just the basics. But the basics on Google Messenger come in handy. They include blocking SMS senders with no interruption, plus location sharing, message archiving and more. The file sharing feature has options for sending text as well as rich media. The app is free.
The features of Sliding Messaging let you customize the user interface and experience, including gestures and navigation style. You can switch between conversation using the drag feature on your device, start a new conversation and manage old messages with a single click. This is one of the Android texting apps that has security settings to protect your messages with contact blacklisting and individual notification settings. The app costs $1.99.
The highlight of Evolve SMS is the usability of the interface with smartphones. This includes switching between conversations, making batch deletions, customizable notifications, password protection and more. However, if you want to go beyond the free version, the features that are available for free elsewhere, such as scheduling SMS, will require an in app-purchase.
WhatsApp has 900 million active monthly users. So it represents a huge marketing potential for small businesses. WhatsApp has all the features of the major apps, including group chats and the ability to send and receiving messages from the browser of your computer. It has an address book that can be accessed quickly, and offline messages are saved until you open the app.
The app is available for free for the first year, and only $0.99 per year after that.
Viber has an easy to set up and use platform, that uses your phone number as your login. This means no PIN numbers. You can create group messages with up to 200 people with admin privileges, follow public chats, share locations and contact information with support for desktop integration. The app also offers video calling and is free without any advertising.
If you want to secure your chat, Telegram provides encrypted chat messaging with client-server encryption for standard chats. A Secure Chat mode provides end-to-end encryption so only you and the recipient can view the conversation. Group chats can go as high as 200 users and you can send broadcasts to up to 100 contacts at a time. The app also syncs across all your devices and it stores your history in the cloud. The app is free with no ads.
This is another app designed for security conscious users. You can send encrypted instant messages, group messages, photos and other attachments to other TextSecure users. The app uses open source peer-reviewed cryptographic protocols. It performs all these security functions without any additional effort from the user. Like many of the other apps, it is free with no advertising.
Blackberry Messenger has the functionality and security the app has been known for. If you want a comprehensive texting app, this is it. You can send free text, voice calls, images and files and get a delivery and receipt tags for your messages. It has a 2-way opt-in for communications to control who can send you messages. A PIN system lets you share contacts without sharing additional details.
You can time your messages so they can disappear from the screen, retract message and choose how you share your information. Channels can be created for specific groups with subscription options. And these users can share similar interests in multi-person chats. And this app too is free.
Facebook Messenger is important because of the integration of the social media site and its more than 1.4 billion users. The app delivers on all texting features, as well as some that are very useful for small businesses. “Chat Heads” allow you to open other apps while you are chatting. And you can forward messages or photos to people who are not in a conversation. The free app also lets you see who is available on Messenger as well as users that are active on Facebook.
As the name implies, GroupMe brings everyone in your group together with great features. The free app has a notification control that allows you to choose what type of message you receive, to mute specific chats and to review your conversation at anytime, during or after the event. Chats can be carried out from other computing devices. And you can then share contents from URLs that are shared in a conversation.
WeChat allows group chats with up to 500 people, with options for sending text and rich media. The privacy control has been certified by TRUSTe. And the free app has real time location with its Friend Radar, People Nearby and Shake features.
Businesses can no longer ignore the marketing and networking opportunities text messaging delivers. These platforms provide better responsiveness and immediacy few channels can replicate. They are also cost effective, with an ROI that is hard to beat.
Texting Photo via Shutterstock