SMS marketing is an effective way to reach customers through text messages. It stands out for its high open rates and the ability to deliver timely promotions and updates directly to customers’ mobile phones.

In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about this type of marketing, including the costs and how to work out your return on investment (ROI) for your SMS marketing campaigns.

Whether you’re just starting out or tweaking your current SMS marketing strategy, we’ve got simplified tips to help you amp up your SMS game.

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The Rising Popularity of SMS Marketing

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Ad spending in the global SMS advertising market is set to reach $0.79 billion in 2024 and is expected to grow to $0.86 billion by 2028. This shows a steady annual growth rate of 2.15% over four years.

The United States leads this trend, with its ad spending set to spend $310 million on SMS ads in 2024. It also highlights SMS marketing’s growing popularity for businesses looking to reach customers directly.

SMS Marketing Cost Per Message

The cost per SMS message for marketing purposes usually ranges from $0.25 to $0.50 cents, influenced by the number of messages sent, your service provider, and any extra features you use.

Bulk SMS marketing typically costs less per text and offers savings for large campaigns. Using shortcodes helps get your messages out quickly and allows more people to see and respond to them.

Short codes are easy-to-remember numbers great for sending lots of texts at once. They help spread your message far and fast and are perfect for big promotions or crucial updates.

International SMS Messages

International SMS messages cost more due to cross-border fees and different rates set by telecoms across countries. SMS marketing pricing varies significantly by country and can change with regulatory shifts or mobile carrier fees. If you’re planning to send SMS messages abroad, it’s crucial to:

  • Check specific rates for your target countries with your provider.
  • Look into any volume discounts for large sends.
  • Be aware of potential extra fees, like international service setup charges.
  • Make sure you are following the local regulatory guidelines 

MMS Message Cost

MMS messages can include pictures, videos, or audio and cost more than regular text messages. 

While an SMS might cost a few cents per message, MMS costs can range from a few cents to over 10 cents per message as they use more data and require more storage and processing.

How Much Does SMS Marketing Cost Overall?

Initial Setup and Platform Fees

You’ll likely encounter initial setup fees when you start with SMS marketing. These can include costs for:

  • Accessing the SMS platform
  • Integrating it with your existing systems, if needed 
  • Any initial training required for your team

Additionally, many SMS marketing platforms charge a monthly or annual subscription fee, which gives you access to their platform and various features such as message scheduling and analytics. The cost can vary widely based on the provider and the level of service you choose.

Operational Costs

The main ongoing cost is for each message sent, which usually gets cheaper the more you send. Key operational expenses include:

Segmentation and Personalization

Sending targeted messages to specific segments of your audience can increase engagement but may also increase costs, as it involves more complex setup and management.

Automation Features

Automating SMS sends, such as appointment reminders or welcome messages, requires using platform features that might come at an additional cost.

Additional Costs

Other expenses to keep in mind are:

International Messaging

Sending messages across borders usually incurs higher fees due to international rates and may involve navigating various regulations.


Staying compliant with laws like TCPA in the US is crucial and may require additional investment in legal advice or compliance tools.

Customization and Integration

Tailoring the SMS platform to fit your specific needs or integrating it with other software can lead to additional costs and depend on the complexity of the work involved.

What Influences SMS Marketing Costs?

The cost of SMS marketing depends on a few important factors:

Number of Messages and Campaign Frequency

The more messages you send and the more often you send them, the more they cost. But sending lots of messages can sometimes get you a discount and make each message cheaper.

Since sending messages more often will still increase your overall cost, try to find a balance in keeping the costs down.

You should also be aware of sending too many messages, as this will raise the opt-out rate and lead to carrier blockage.

Target Audience and Location

Who you’re sending messages to and their location can also affect the cost. Targeting messages to specific groups might initially cost more due to setup, but it’s usually more effective.

Sending messages to people in other countries is more expensive because of higher rates for international messaging. Knowing where your audience is and targeting your messages can help manage these costs.

Integration with Other Marketing Tools

Linking your SMS marketing with other SMS marketing tools, like your CRM or social media, might cost more initially but can make your campaigns more effective. This could mean better results for your spending. 

However, these integrations might need additional setup and operational costs.

What is SMS Marketing ROI?

man holding coins and roi sign animated picture

SMS marketing ROI measures how much profit you make from SMS campaigns compared to spending on them. 

It’s important to know if your SMS efforts pay off, as it will guide you in investing in what works best. Plus, it clues you into customer likes, which can help tweak future campaigns.

Steps to Calculate Your SMS Marketing ROI

To calculate your SMS marketing ROI, follow these steps:

  1. Total Investment: Add up everything you’ve spent on your SMS campaign, including platform fees and message costs.
  2. Revenue Generated: Figure out how much money the campaign made from sales directly linked to your SMS messages.
  3. Net Profit: Subtract your total investment from your revenue. This shows the profit your SMS campaign brought in.
  4. ROI Calculation: Use the formula: ROI = (Net Profit ÷ Total Investment) × 100.

This gives you your business ROI as a percentage and will show how effective your investment was.

Comparing SMS Marketing ROI to Other Channels

When evaluating the ROI of SMS marketing to other channels, it’s crucial to look at costs, engagement levels, and conversion rates:

Email Marketing

Email marketing is cheaper and allows for richer content with images and links. However, it suffers from lower open and click rates, and emails can get lost in spam filters.

Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising offers a broad reach and precise targeting based on user data. The costs can vary widely, and users might ignore ads due to overexposure.

Direct Mail

Direct email creates a tangible connection and offers creative branding opportunities. Yet, it’s generally more expensive due to printing and postage, and delivery takes longer.

How to Choose the Best SMS Marketing Solution?

When choosing an SMS marketing platform, focus on these essentials to find a good fit for your business:

  • Pricing: Some platforms charge per message, while others have monthly plans. Watch out for hidden costs.
  • Scalability: Choose an SMS marketing solution that can grow as your business expands.
  • Customer Support: Look for platforms that offer quick and helpful assistance through various channels like email, phone, or chat.
  • Integration: It should easily work with other software your business uses, like CRM systems or email platforms.
  • Reliability: Messages need to reach your audience without delay. A reliable platform ensures your campaigns run without delays.
  • User-Friendly: Your business should opt for a solution that simplifies setting up campaigns and analyzing data.

Save on SMS Costs and Boost Engagement with Textellent

Several factors are necessary when looking for an SMS marketing solution. Fortunately, Textellent ticks all the considerations mentioned above with its unique approach.

Using shared shortcodes (which are affordable as compared to leasing one directly), Textellent automates texting to make advertising and lead generation effortless. Their solution is designed to collect detailed information and engage your clients through personalized SMS drip campaigns.

Textellent’s pre-made templates and media library also help businesses easily send bulk messages and schedules. Using Textellent’s Zapier integration and robust APIs also makes it simple to integrate with your existing business tools and calendar.

Textellent Pricing Overview

Textellent provides flexible pricing plans tailored to organizations looking to improve their lead generation and marketing strategies and businesses in service-oriented and appointment-centric industries.

You can tap the ‘Select Industry’ feature, and from there, you can easily find the plans available for your sector.

For those in the Accounting and Tax field, Textellent offers a unique calculator to help estimate your costs.

Textellent price calculator

Other industries can choose from set pricing plans:

Textellent pricing plans
  • Lite Plan: $29/month includes one user and 250 credits.
  • Essentials Plan: $49/month comes with one user and 750 credits.
  • Standard Plan: $99/month allows two users and provides 2,000 credits.
  • Premium Custom Plan: Offers customizable options for users, credits, and additional credits tailored to your business needs.

Cut your SMS campaign expenses in half with Textellent’s efficient texting solutions. Sign up for a Free Trial or request a Demo consultation today.


Getting the hang of text message marketing costs and ROI is crucial for smart texting strategies. It’s all about knowing how costs work—think of message lengths, where you’re sending them, and how many you’re sending. 

Plus, ensure that these costs are paying off for your business.

Focus on fine-tuning your approach. With texting solutions like Textellent, you can use features like automation to save money and still hit your marketing goals. Be smart with your SMS strategies to reach your audience effectively without overspending and ensure a solid return on your investment.

FAQs About SMS Marketing Cost

What is an SMS shortcode?

An SMS shortcode is a shorter number (typically 5-6 digits) used primarily for mass text marketing or informational alerts. Users can send a keyword to a shortcode to opt-in to receive messages or participate in promotions.

Do providers charge for undelivered messages?

Policies vary by provider. Some may charge for every message sent, regardless of delivery status, while others only charge for successfully delivered messages. It’s important to check with your provider.

What are the hidden costs to watch out for in SMS marketing?

Watch for setup fees, monthly minimums, and extra charges for things like keywords, short code rentals, or API access. They can all hike up your SMS marketing campaign costs but may be worthwhile depending on the type of campaign that is being created.