Even though SMS isn’t a recent innovation, texting is still one of the most popular forms of communication today because it’s cheap, fast and easy to use. Statistics from CITA’s 2020 annual survey show that an incredible 2.1 trillion texts were exchanged in 2019, an increase of 52 billion from the year before. This startling figure relates only to American SMS users, so we can only imagine the numbers worldwide.

For businesses, SMS provides a direct and fast way to reach leads. There are a few ways that you can send SMS for marketing and transactional communications, one of them being through free SMS websites.

In this article, discover how to send SMS from websites, what the risks are when using free sites, and why it’s worth choosing a quality SMS provider as an alternative.

How to send SMS from websites

Black man using Macbook and an iPhone

If you do a quick Google search, you’ll discover several websites that allow you to send SMS (many offer this service for free).

Typically, you’d visit one of these sites and fill in a short form with your subscribers’ phone number(s), your name as the sender, and your message. Then you click a button to send your text.

Some SMS websites enable you to create a phonebook to store your contacts and receive text message replies to an inbox. Others allow integrations with your own website so you can encourage customers to text you.

The risks and downsides of sending SMS from free websites

While there are advantages to using certain SMS websites (like sending texts for free), these sites often have limitations and may prove risky for your business. Here’s why:

1. They’re not always free

Many free SMS websites only allow you to send a single SMS for free. More often than not, you’ll have to pay a fee if you want to send the same text to a group of contacts simultaneously. And, some SMS websites don’t support bulk messaging at all, only allowing you to send one text at a time.

2. They often have carrier limitations

Not all SMS websites support all mobile phone carrier networks, so you might not be able to reach all of your customers. In addition, some will only send SMS within specific countries like the United States or Canada.

3. Data privacy is a concern

Privacy please sign

Sending SMS from websites can be done anonymously, depending on which site you choose. This is where your IP address gets hidden. As a business, however, you’ll want customers to know that their text messages are coming from you to build trust and encourage engagement.

Another potentially huge data privacy issue to consider is whether your customer’s data will be adequately protected when uploading phone numbers to free SMS websites. Unfortunately, some SMS websites are a bit lax on data privacy, so by using them, you could be putting your business at risk of breaching data protection regulations, like the GDPR (which covers the EU). Therefore, it’s essential to check the SMS website’s privacy policy and see how the data you submit will be stored, processed and used.

4. Quality can be poor

There have been reports from users of certain SMS websites that the texts they send don’t actually get received. For one example, check out this thread on Digital Spy. Free (or cheap) services can mean that SMS routing is of poor quality.

Also, the character limit for text messages varies depending on which website you use. For example, you might only have 80 or 130 characters to work with, which isn’t a lot to get your message across. (A regular text message sent from a mobile phone gives you up to 160 characters).

In general, we recommend avoiding websites that enable you to send free SMS messages. If you're trying to send free text messages using an online SMS system, the limitations of these services may impact the quality of your communications with customers or prospects.

For instance, if you're only allowed to send free SMS messages to a set number of people at a time, this could slow down your outreach efforts and create unnecessary delays. When you want to send SMS messages to customers or prospects, you should not face such problems.

Woman checking texts on a smartphone while drinking coffee

Why you should opt for a quality SMS provider

If you’re serious about using texts for business communications, it’s best to opt for a professional SMS sending platform (like Messente). There are several benefits to doing so. You’ll get:

  • Better reach – many SMS providers offer text messaging worldwide. Messente, for instance, can send SMS to customers in more than 190 countries because of its valuable partnerships with hundreds of mobile networks.

  • Bulk texting as standard – giving you the ability to send out mass text marketing campaigns at the click of a button, helping drive business revenue.

  • Quality of service – well-established SMS providers can handle any volume of messages and deliver them quickly and reliably.

  • SMS analytics – it’s crucial to measure performance to inform your SMS marketing and communications strategy. With an SMS provider, you’ll get complete insights such as campaign statistics, delivery reports and more.

  • SMS campaign tools – such as text message templates, message previews, scheduling options and unsubscribe links. These are all features within Messente’s offering.

  • Support – at some point, you’ll have questions or need assistance. A good SMS provider offers comprehensive support. At Messente, you can reach out to a real person when you need a hand, plus we have a wealth of documentation for developers.

  • Flexible user experience – with Messente, you can choose whether to send texts from our online dashboard (our website) or integrate our SMS API into your existing business systems, such as your CRM tool. The latter approach makes it easier for you to manage communications and track engagement.

How to send an SMS with Messente

It’s really easy to send an SMS using Messente. The first thing you need to do is sign up for a free account. Then, apply for a Sender ID – this is something that you’ll see a prompt for when you log into your account for the first time. Your Sender ID can be your existing phone number, a shortcode or a long code number.

Next, head over to the ‘Messaging’ tab, where you can compose your text message. See this example below. You can either type in the phone number you want to send a text to or upload multiple numbers and allocate them to groups, for example, sales leads or VIP customers.

Sending SMS from a website with Messente

You can preview how much your text message will cost to send when you click on ‘Preview’. Then, click a button to send or schedule your text. You’ll only pay when you send your message. View Messente’s pricing details.

Send SMS from Messente’s website (in minutes)

Messente is packed full of useful features that’ll help take your business marketing and communications to new heights. You can depend on Messente to deliver your text messages swiftly and reliably, and keep your data (and that of your customers’) safe.

Messente enables you to quickly send texts directly from our application or within your own systems. The platform is built to scale with your business, so you can use it whether you’re a startup, SME or enterprise.

Get started today – create an account to explore what Messente has to offer (no credit card details required).