SMS is an essential communication channel thanks to its reliability, versatility, delivery speed, global reach and cost-effectiveness. It's also one of the best mediums for getting your message seen; according to research and consulting firm Gartner, text messages achieve open rates as high as 98%.
For these reasons, it makes good sense to leverage SMS for a holistic marketing approach. However, to unlock the power of SMS, you'll likely need assistance from an SMS agency. Keep reading to discover why you need an SMS marketing agency and six providers to check out when you're ready to start.
What is an SMS marketing agency?
An SMS marketing agency can help you design and execute marketing and communication activities via the SMS (short message service) communication channel.
SMS marketing primarily relates to sending promotional text messages, such as special offers, customer loyalty campaigns, product launches and abandoned cart reminders. But it can also include conversational and transactional messages – the former being back-and-forth chats and the latter including business-critical communications like order confirmations, delivery updates and 2FA PIN codes.
SMS marketing is often part of a larger suite of services offered by digital marketing agencies. Some provide individual solutions like SMS API testing and compatibility, while others focus on content creation or auditing and assessment. And some supply the complete package, helping you manage all aspects of your SMS marketing campaigns.
Why you need an SMS advertising agency
SMS delivers everything a strong communication channel should – impressive open rates and great accessibility (every mobile phone has a built-in SMS app). It's also highly reliable, with messages transmitted over cell networks, not WiFi. You probably already use SMS and may wonder whether you can send business texts yourself from your mobile phone. Well, that would be ineffective. Because only an SMS agency can help you with the following:
Campaign management – an SMS advertising agency gives you a platform where you can manage multiple SMS campaigns side-by-side, even if you're sending to hundreds or thousands of recipients. This would be virtually impossible to do from your own mobile phone. An agency can also help ensure you're not violating SMS marketing laws and make it easy to manage subscriber opt-ins and opt-outs.
Saves time and effort – you can quickly compose a text and send it to your entire subscriber base or specific groups over a single connection, as SMS agencies have agreements with multiple operators worldwide.
Masters in SMS marketing – such agencies live and breathe text marketing and know what works and what doesn't. They can advise on creating campaigns that resonate with your audience, including how to write impactful SMS copy, the best times to send messages and how to boost SMS signups.
Message customization – the top SMS platforms offer bulk messaging, where you can send a single text to a vast audience and personalize it so the recipient feels like they're getting a one-to-one text from your business.
Built-in tools – tracking and improving SMS campaigns is simple with an agency's analytics and educational resources.
- Access to industry insights – SMS marketing agencies must be at the forefront of business messaging, so when rules, regulations and marketing trends change, you'll be among the first to know.
The best SMS marketing agencies: our top six picks
Below, we've detailed some highly rated SMS marketing agencies that can assist with your campaigns. Some offer a range of online marketing services, while others are SMS specialists that focus purely on text messaging. We're kicking things off with our own SMS platform since business texting is Messente’s core offering.
Messente is a global SMS messaging provider that delivers business-critical PIN codes, transactional notifications and marketing campaigns worldwide quickly and reliably. Messente's Managing Partner, Uku Tomikas, explains:
"Businesses of all sizes rely heavily on Messente for all their SMS needs, including internal messaging for employees as well as essential customer-facing communications. Our SMS API can be easily integrated into existing business systems and used to help customers secure two-factor authentication with instant verification codes.
Clients can set up two-way texting, enabling personal one-to-one text conversations – ideal for customer service. Messente is also frequently used for promotional and transactional campaigns, like flash sale notifications, order confirmations, service or product review requests and appointment reminders."
Messente's key features:
SMS API for seamless text messaging integration with third-party applications (works with Zapier).
SMS verification service for 2FA authentication.
Global coverage in over 190 countries.
Bulk messaging for sending texts to large audiences simultaneously.
SMS marketing with campaign composer, preview and scheduling tools, message personalization, and subscriber management.
Branded sender ID to increase customer trust.
Helpful reporting and analytics.
Approved partner for Viber Business Messages.
Transparent pricing – no tie-ins, and pay only for the texts you send. Bespoke pricing is available for enterprises with large messaging volumes.
Straightforward and user-friendly dashboard.
Messente is a flexible and affordable business messaging solution for all business sizes. One area where the platform stands out is customer service. All clients, no matter their messaging volume or budget, receive the same top-level service that enterprise clients get: a dedicated account manager, telephone support and fast resolution if problems arise.
A business communication platform, TextMagic enables you to send a range of one-way or two-way text messages to customers and staff, including notifications, reminders, alerts and SMS marketing campaigns.
TextMagic's key features:
SMS gateway API for integration with existing business systems.
Email to SMS – email content is converted into a text message, and replies arrive as emails.
Supports MMS as well as SMS.
Bulk messaging worldwide.
Subaccounts for different team members.
Click to text widget available.
Voice calls and forwarding so customers can click to call in response to your text.
Reporting and analytics.
Simple Pay As You Go pricing structure.
TextMagic operates primarily in the US, UK, Canada and Australia. It's a scalable, user-friendly solution for small businesses and offers comprehensive coverage, API tools and plenty of useful resources. A downside to TextMagic is that companies with large messaging volumes won't see a cost-benefit as there are no pricing tiers. TextMagic's customer service also has mixed reviews online.
3. Zeta Global
Zeta is a cloud-based omnichannel marketing platform powered by propriety data and AI. It helps businesses and brands increase customer acquisition, growth and retention by creating individual experiences throughout the customer lifecycle.
Zeta's key features:
A unified platform that helps you organize your data sources, identify marketing opportunities and create targeted campaigns across a range of channels, including SMS and MMS.
Customer Data Platform (CDP), Demand Side Platform (DSP) and Email Service Provider (ESP) in a single platform.
Can link Zeta with your paid advertising strategies.
Detailed audience segmentation tools.
AI-informed improvement recommendations.
Integrates with your existing tech stack.
Comprehensive analytics to help you track sales KPIs, customer segments and marketability, and monitor campaign performance.
Zeta is a sophisticated all-in-one platform with customer data and identity at its core, helping you deliver the right offer to the right customers at the best time through omnichannel marketing and AI-driven personalization. You'll need to request a demo to get access to pricing details.
4. DOE Media
DOE Media is a digital marketing agency with offices in Chicago and Miami (and it's one of the fastest-growing companies in America). With a focus on data that matters, DOE Media exists to help companies with customer acquisition, retention, and brand awareness.
DOE Media's key features:
Social media marketing on Facebook, Instagram, X, TikTok, Pinterest and Snapchat.
Paid search engine advertising.
SMS and email marketing, and lifecycle marketing management.
Web design and SEO.
DOE Media is an agency you can hire to look after your online marketing – best for businesses that don't have the time, resources or expertise to carry this out in-house. It does everything from content creation and identifying growth opportunities to campaign execution and delivering insights in exchange for a monthly marketing fee (dependent on your budget).
5. The Stable
The Stable (part of Accenture Song) is a cross-platform modern commerce agency connecting brands and consumers seamlessly on multiple channels. It aims to grow the brands of the future through superior industry expertise, adaptable solutions and a little rebellion against the traditional rules of commerce.
The Stable's key features:
Retail strategies, including marketing, sales, operations, data and analytics.
Amazon services – helping clients grow their presence on Amazon organically and through paid ads.
Direct-to-consumer (DTC) services, including developing an ecommerce strategy, web development and design, subscription programs, headless commerce and ongoing revenue optimization.
Paid and organic social media, email, SMS and influencer marketing.
Studio services, including brand identity, visual design, content and copywriting, campaign development and brand amplification.
Analytics for all services offered.
Proprietary commerce tools.
The Stable helps consumer brands of all sizes and stages to create and manage their own digital commerce channels (and run their business in specific North American retailers). With a full suite of omnichannel and insight capabilities, the agency drives sales, revenue and efficiency through both retail and DTC channels.
6. Konnect Agency
Konnect is a full-service digital marketing agency based in LA, Denver, Chicago, New York, and Oklahoma. The firm creates meaningful customer journeys through compelling content, brand amplification and technology across various online marketing channels.
Konnect Agency's key features:
Marketing strategy formation.
Content creation for reels, imagery, infographics and explainers.
Website and ecommerce store design.
Social media management.
Paid social and online advertising.
Influencer marketing and brand partnerships.
Email and SMS include two-way and personalized messaging, creative services, and automated marketing.
Brand experience mailer campaigns.
As a full-service agency, Konnect can offer you a tailor-made marketing package based on your needs and budget. Working with just one agency that provides everything is convenient, saves time and keeps all digital marketing activities aligned. Bear in mind that full-service agencies usually don't have expert capabilities in every field. So, for SMS, they may not have the partnerships with mobile networks and hubs that specialist messaging providers have.
How to find the right SMS advertising agency for your business
Take into account your specific requirements when exploring SMS marketing agencies. Your budget is an essential factor when comparing pricing plans, but also consider the following:
What kind of SMS campaigns do you need to run? For full-scale marketing, you might need help with content creation and automation, so check if your preferred agency offers this.
Coverage – what regions does the agency serve? Can they cover all your existing and potential customers' locations?
SMS compliance – do they comply with local and international SMS rules and regulations? What measures are in place to ensure no messaging or marketing laws will be broken?
Case studies and testimonials – always check the agency's track record with previous or current clients to learn about their experience and expertise.
IMPORTANT! Check the SMS marketing agency is using the right routing service at their backend. For example, Messente is an SMS API provider with partnerships with over 800 mobile networks and hubs – giving you global coverage, optimized routes and high delivery rates.
Did you know our technology enables conversational (one-to-one) texts as well as bulk SMS messaging? We're already trusted by lots of businesses, from small startups to large enterprises, to deliver all their promotional and transactional SMS messages.
Choosing the right SMS marketing agency for you
SMS offers you a powerful way of connecting with customers and other stakeholders. It's a direct, efficient, fast and affordable channel for short promotional, transactional and conversational messages. But you can't utilize SMS for business messaging effectively by yourself – you'll need to enlist an SMS marketing agency.
SMS agencies vary in terms of services. Some are specialist SMS platforms, like Messente, with APIs and access to network carriers. We give you all the tools you need to create and manage your own text message campaigns successfully – while we take care of message routing and delivery. You just pay for the texts you send.
The wider service digital marketing agencies handle the creation and execution of your SMS campaigns on your behalf, often alongside other marketing channels, in exchange for a monthly fee plus the cost of sending text messages.
Which SMS agency you choose depends on your budget and specific requirements – the type of texts you want to send, the locations you're sending to and whether you wish to manage your campaigns yourself.