Should you send your business text messages from your own phone number, a business name, a shared number, or a dedicated number?
We’ll run you through the pros and cons of them all in this post, but here’s a snapshot.
- Your own phone number: not recommended unless your business is small and you’re happy to use your handset to respond to replies.
- Business name: great for brand name recognition and the trust that can bring, but can’t accept replies.
- Shared number: a free ClickSend number that does accept replies but is not unique to you.
- Dedicated number: a ClickSend number you pay a small monthly fee for that accepts replies and is unique to you, is owned by you.
When you use the ClickSend SMS gateway, sending a text message is as simple as choosing who you’re sending to, who you’re sending from and what you want to say.
Every business that sends texts to its customers and subscribers, whether these are transactional or marketing messages, must decide which phone number recipients will receive these messages from. There are several options from which to choose, including using dedicated numbers, shared numbers, and even using your business name as your “number”.
Note: not all options are available in all countries, please check our country specific guides or confirm with our customer support team instantly via 24/7 live chat.
So when faced with the choice of sender details, which is the best option?
Read on to find out more about the sender detail choices and why you would use each of them.
Why Use Business Texting?
SMS is a great way to get in touch with your customers, as well as to easily and seamlessly communicate with your staff, contractors, and suppliers. Sending business texts is easy, reliable, and cost-effective. Instant delivery rates are near 100% and open rates for SMS exceed 98%. There is no requirement for internet or Wi-Fi connectivity and as long as you and your recipient have basic mobile coverage and a basic mobile phone, your message will reach its destination.
When it comes to deciding which type of number will be right for you, you need to consider:
- How often will you be sending texts?
- What type of text messages will you be sending?
- Do you wish to send MMS?
- Do you want your message recipients to be able to reply to your texts?
Options for Sending Business Texts
Your Own Phone Number
You have the option within the ClickSend dashboard to have your cell phone number, or a cell phone number you own, as the number your recipients see and reply to.
- You already own the number so no extra cost.
- Can accept calls.
- Familiarity and consistency with your recipients.
- Replies become challenging to manage – especially once your business grows.
- Your cell phone could get bombarded by calls as well as texts.
- Your number is in the public domain.
Recommended: only if you’re a small business with a small contact list and you can handle the replies.
When sending messages from a reputable SMS gateway provider like ClickSend, you have access to one of our shared numbers at no cost. This will come from a random pool of numbers, or in some countries you can opt to send from the same shared number in your settings.
How Does a Shared Number Work?
Shared numbers are virtual numbers that look just like a regular mobile phone number. The numbers belong to ClickSend and will be used by several other customers. Your messages, however, and any replies you receive, will not be visible to other users.
At ClickSend, our pool of numbers is country-specific and supports replies. This means they are great for sending text messages and receiving replies to those messages. These responses can be found in the ClickSend dashboard and as a default, we forward them through to the registered email address on the account (so you don’t have to constantly be logged in, monitoring replies!). You can define your own rules for replies in your messaging settings in the dashboard.
- No cost.
- Easy to manage replies via the dashboard or email.
- Supports high-volume messaging.
- The number is from a shared pool so not unique to you.
- A very small chance that you and other companies in the shared pool may send something to the same person using the same number.
- Lack of consistency with a new shared number for each campaign.
- A recipient may want to save the number and reply at a later date where you have moved onto another shared number.
Recommended: if you do a few big SMS blasts a year so the familiarity of your number is not required.
Sending From Your Business Name
Using your business name is an option for sending business texts as an alternative to using a virtual shared or dedicated number. By creating a custom sender ID, any business text message you send will appear to recipients as coming from your company name rather than an unrecognised phone number. You can type the name of your business (this must be no more than eleven characters).
- Increases recognition and trust.
- Promotes your brand, drives familiarity.
- No cost.
- Characters must be letters or numbers; no spaces or symbols are permitted.
- Using your business name to send SMS does not support replies.
- Given replies are not supported, offering the option to opt-out by return message is also not supported and you will have to supply an opt-out link for promotional messages.
- Recipients can’t save the sender as a contact to their own phone.
- Not available for messages sent to the US, Canada, or New Zealand.
Recommended: if you do campaigns, marketing or transactional, that you really don’t want or need replies from. A good choice for marketing campaigns as you get brand recognition without handling responses.
For a small monthly fee, you may access your own dedicated number for business texting. A dedicated number is used by only a single business account at a time and is fantastic for branding.
Benefits of Dedicated Numbers for Business Texts:
- Consistency of a single sender identity.
- User customisation for saving as a contact.
- Use custom keywords alongside your dedicated number to enhance campaign tracking e.g. Text ‘More Info’ to [dedicated number].
- Simplify the customer journey and drive retention.
- Differentiate your SMS marketing.
- Automate reminders, RSVPs, bookings, notifications, etc.
- Facilitate SMS chat for customer queries and effortless support.
- Proactively communicate with stakeholders.
Enhance Engagement with Dedicated Virtual Numbers
Lots of businesses send out communications that come from different numbers. For example, marketing business texts may come from a different number than reminder notifications. This is the result of using shared numbers. While they are perfectly adequate for irregular messaging and two-factor authentication messages (2FA), using different random numbers is not ideal for every business.
To stand out from your competitors, and engage on a deeper level, using a dedicated virtual number can pay big dividends for your business.
- Dedicated numbers support replies (replies are handled the same way as shared numbers).
- Continuity; dedicated numbers are used only by you and hence can be added to your website, social platforms, and marketing materials.
- There is the option to choose your number from our available list.
- Drives brand recognition.
- Builds trust.
- Enhances familiarity.
- Supports personalisation of messaging.
- A small monthly cost – and that’s it!
Recommended: if SMS is a strategic part of your comm’s mix and you’re serious about using this messaging channel (and why wouldn’t you be 😉 ) then a dedicated number is highly recommended.
We are a global SMS gateway provider working with clients all over the world, with offices in Australia, US, UK and more. Start now – sign up today or chat to our customer support team about the best way for you to send your business text messages.