5 minute read |

Can you text to VoIP numbers?

VoIP phone service background
CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

Imagine life without texting in the modern world. Most people favor texting over calls for getting quick replies, instant acknowledgment and so they don’t disturb the recipient unnecessarily. Texting is not limited to personal relationships, however. 

Many consumers prefer communicating with businesses via text. They will buy from organizations that make it as easy as possible to do so. Your customer is not going to wait until you come back to the office and respond to their queries. If your business is not responsive, they will go elsewhere. 

The value of using texting for business

Did you know that most emails and voicemails go unopened? In other words, most of your customers never see your messages. Texts, however, are opened about 99% of the time. And people are very quick to reply too, the average response time is 90 seconds! In the same vein, about 89% of consumers say they prefer texting with a business and would rather get a text than a call from companies. 

The value of using texting for business

Why is texting the preferred method of communicating today? The answer is quite simple: texts are visible, they stand out on a smartphone which is what most people use to communicate. Your customers get far more emails in their inbox than texts. They are more likely to turn on notifications for texts and turn it off for emails. It helps that texts don’t have to get past filters either. 

What Is VoIP Texting? 

Now you know texting is crucial for your business. But you’ve already invested in a VoIP phone system that handles all your voice communication seamlessly. Can you text to VoIP numbers from your system? Can your customers send texts to your VoIP number? The answer to both questions is YES. 

Just as VoIP lets you make calls over the internet to any landline, mobile, or VoIP phone, it can do the same for texts. VoIP texting uses a virtual number to send and receive text messages. You don’t need a mobile phone or a traditional phone plan for text to VoIP. All you need is an internet connection and a VoIP app that supports SMS and MMS messaging. 

With VoIP texting, you can communicate with team members and customers from anywhere. You don’t need a mobile phone just to send text messages or even a phone plan. Basically, you can use VoIP for both business calls and texts using the same number.

Enable text to VoIP for your business

There are two ways to enable VoIP texting for your business:

1. Use your current VoIP number by adding a text plan

Several – but not all – VoIP vendors offer texting capabilities for their customers. Some may have specific limitations such as no texting on toll-free numbers. Or they may require adding a premium text plan. Similar to calling plans, you can choose between unlimited messaging and pay as you go plans for texts. 

Before you look into a third-party vendor, check with your current voice service provider to see if VoIP texting is an option.

2. Add VoIP texting with a new number and service

There are many vendors who offer standalone VoIP texting plans which come with a number. It’s a good choice for businesses that don’t have a VoIP number yet and want one for VoIP texts. Most providers will also enable texting on your existing phone number if you want to use the same number you have already.

How Does VoIP SMS Work?

Behind the scenes, VoIP texting works much the same as making VoIP calls. You need to sign up for a VoIP text plan and download the app on any internet-connected device. You can then send and receive texts as you would with a normal service plan. No one has to know that you’re using anything other than a cellphone for texting. The internet connection on the specific device will replace the need for cell phone service. 

From the recipient’s point of view, they won’t know your team is not using a cell phone. Your employees can share VoIP numbers so multiple people can send texts to customers. Using the app for VoIP texting also keeps personal and business texts separate. So your employees don’t have to worry about customers getting texts meant for their friends. 

How Does VoIP SMS Work

VoIP texting vs. Traditional texting 

How does VoIP texting differ from using a traditional cell phone to send texts? Text to VoIP offers many advantages including:

Reduced costs

If you’ve already invested in a VoIP-based voice platform, you know that switching to VoIP calls saves you a lot of money. The same holds true for VoIP texting as well. While you will pay for VoIP texting plans, it will likely be cheaper than a service plan from a traditional network carrier. 

Considering the volume of texts your business will send on a daily basis, the savings will add up. If you need to send texts internationally, VoIP texting is even more cost-effective. 

Automation

Another huge and often underestimated benefit is the ability to automate texts. You can schedule messages, personalize them, and even customize the responses based on specific triggers. Automation allows you to send texts for promotions, special offers, customer reviews, meeting reminders, and so much more without having to start from scratch each time. Instead of needing several employees to send mass messages, you can deploy them elsewhere. 

Shared phone numbers

Most businesses have a dedicated phone number to receive customer support or technical support calls. You may have a small team answering questions for customers but all incoming calls go to a single queue. You can do the same thing with VoIP texting. 

Suppose you set up a dedicated line for your customer service or sales teams. Depending on the text volume, you will want more than a single person to monitor incoming texts and reply to customers. 

VoIP texting allows several team members to access a common dashboard where they can see all incoming messages. Users can also see when someone else is typing so you don’t end up sending multiple messages to the same person.

Shared phone numbers

Texting at scale

Texting is normally limited when it comes to reaching out to hundreds of customers. It’s a one on one interaction. While you can send a group message, you are often limited as to how big the groups can be. Another drawback of group messaging is that everyone in the group can see other recipients, not ideal in a business context.

VoIP texting allows you to send texts at scale. You can message dozens, hundreds, and even thousands of customers at once. You can even segment your audience and send custom messages based on factors you specify. 

Online message management

Perhaps the best feature of VoIP texting is the ability to manage your texts online. Users can view and manage all their texts from a convenient dashboard, just as they do for calls. Send texts from a desk phone, view responses on a laptop, and schedule texts from your mobile device. It’s so much more convenient than having to reach for a cell phone every time you need to message someone.

online dashboard

VoIP texting – Features to help businesses

Canned responses

Canned responses – labeled differently based on the provider – allow users to save time when replying to texts. You can create a library of responses from which users can select one when replying to customer texts. You can even create custom responses that autofill the name/number or that trigger certain actions based on the keywords.

Voicemail to text

Quite a few VoIP systems will forward voicemails to your email inbox. You can read a transcription of the original voicemail without having to hear the complete message. This feature allows users to respond to voicemails quicker, especially if they’re in a noisy environment. 

After you enable VoIP texting, you can forward incoming voicemails to your texting inbox. For employees who travel often, texting can be a more reliable and quick way to respond to voicemail and make sure no message falls through the cracks.

Custom templates

Suppose you frequently send messages soliciting reviews after a customer interaction. The text message contains a link to your website and a short note to the customer. It’s a standard format every time. Why should your employees type the same message every time? You can use custom templates to quickly send texts. Not only does this same time (when you’re sending thousands of texts) but it will also ensure accuracy, so users don’t accidentally send the wrong link to clients.

Scheduling

You will appreciate the ability to schedule texts days, weeks, or even months in advance with VoIP texting. It means you can plan ad campaigns and other projects ahead of time making sure you don’t miss deadlines. You can automate this process and set a specific date and time to send the texts, aligning them with holidays or other special occasions. 

How can your business use VoIP texting?

There are so many ways you can use VoIP texting for business purposes. Sending texts via VoIP is so quick and easy you’ll be looking for ways to use it everywhere. Given that most consumers prefer texting over any other form of communication, VoIP texting offers the best open rates, response rates, and improves customer satisfaction. 

Texting isn’t just for external use such as communicating with your customers. You can use it internally between teams and help employees contact their colleagues across time zones. It’s especially useful if you have offices scattered across the globe. 

Sales

VoIP texting can be useful in two ways:

1. Help your sales team save time

Use texts to send calendar links, allowing recipients to choose a time that works best for them. Once a meeting is confirmed, schedule reminders to be sent 15 minutes or an hour before. You can also send follow-up texts with pertinent information such as notes, contract details, and other links. Since you can automate most of these texts, your salespeople are not wasting any time. 

2. Contact and convert leads

Reach out to prospective leads via texts to improve open and response rates. Suppose you have a page where customers can request a quote. Instead of just emailing it (where it languishes in someone’s inbox), text them also. You can also follow up an email with texts, especially when you’re leading up to a meeting for quicker back and forth messages. 

Customer service

Businesses can improve their customer support experience by including VoIP texting in their toolset. Using a multi-channel approach allows your customers to use whichever option suits their needs at the time. 

  • Encourage customers to text your dedicated support line by including a link on your website and other marketing materials
  • Make sure you respond to customer queries via text as soon as possible. Consumers expect SMS to be quicker than email or a call, so organizations need to live up to those expectations
  • If your customers bring their products in for regular service, send text reminders before their appointment. 
  • With the option to schedule texts, you can also set up these reminders when the customer first makes a purchase. Then when next year rolls around, they get a reminder to make an appointment for service/repair!
  • If you have helpful videos and other content on your support pages but no one looks at them, text a couple of links to customers. Short, focussed videos on particular features are much appreciated by customers instead of hour-long ‘tutorials.’
  • Customer reviews are more powerful when they include photos or videos. Encourage customers to upload them by texting a direct link to the page. Since the photos and videos are already on their phone, they’re more likely to follow through

As you can see, you can get creative about utilizing VoIP texting when improving the customer service experience. Depending on your audience demographics and industry, you can use texting to become a customer-first organization.

Recruiting

Amidst a difficult transition to remote working, many companies are finding it difficult to recruit and retain employees. Workers are re-thinking their career goals and demanding better work conditions. If you want to find and keep the best talent, you need to move fast and texting can help HR reps throughout the recruiting process. 

The advantage of VoIP texting is that your recruiting team can send texts to candidates without having to use their personal numbers. If you get questions or messages from prospective candidates, recruiters can respond immediately. No need to wait until the office opens!

Just like with sales meetings, you can send reminder texts before interviews to candidates. If your business – like almost everyone else – is conducting online interviews, provide a link to start the interview or change the time if necessary.

After a promising interview, keep in touch with potential hires through text. Invite questions from them as well as feedback on the interview process. This allows you to quickly fine-tune the interview process. Why wait days or weeks when you can get feedback in minutes?

Even if a candidate does not get the job, stay in touch with top talent and send texts about potential opportunities. Invite them to seminars, conferences, and other networking opportunities. You never know what position you might need to fill in the future.

Sure, you can do all this with a call or email but texting is quick and more likely to get you a reply from candidates. No more playing phone tag, leaving voicemails in the hope of getting an answer, or sending dozens of emails with no answer.

Employee engagement

After you find good talent, your next challenge is to retain them. Employee engagement is a top priority for organizations, especially with workers not coming into the office for months on end. While remote working offers some benefits, a very real consequence is that staff may feel disconnected from their co-workers. Team building becomes crucial when members cannot meet in a physical space

Instead of sending long email newsletters, celebrate employee achievements with short texts. You can segment your audience by department or teams to send relevant information to the right recipient. Use VoIP MMS to send pictures and or short video clips as well.

Teams can also use texting to organize impromptu coffee hours on a Friday or meet online for a virtual happy hour. You can have team lunches for holidays or send gift baskets to workers and enjoy them together virtually. 

Another way to incorporate texting is by using them to schedule meetings. It’s often much quicker to organize an ad-hoc meeting by text than via email. For longer meetings, break up the sessions and use texts for fun polls or to solicit opinions. It can be a fun way to relieve stress and boredom, especially when you have different departments presenting. While most companies strive to avoid long meetings, sometimes they are unavoidable. So use VoIP texting to make meetings fun or at least less boring!

zoom meeting

Conference scheduling and follow up

Many businesses organize or participate in industry conferences, seminars, and other informative sessions. Once again, VoIP texting is a powerful tool you can leverage to get quick responses and immediate replies from participants

  1. Use texts to schedule an event, specifically when you want to pick a date and time that works for all participating teams/businesses
  2. Once you have everything organized, send updates via text so everyone is on the same page
  3. If you need to make changes, texting will ensure everyone has the updated details
  4. You can also invite feedback and ask participants to share their experiences through text. Get feedback on what you can do better while the event is still fresh in everyone’s mind, not weeks after you wrap everything up

VoIP texting allows you to message a few people or hundreds at a time. So no matter the conference size or the number of participants, you can easily scale up or down as needed.

Send mass updates

Sometimes you need to send mass updates to different groups of people. These messages don’t need to be personalized, they simply provide information to everyone within the group. 

To take one example, suppose your business is experiencing shipping delays affecting the supply chain for your products. You can send a mass text to all your suppliers, partners, and current customers informing them of the delay. 

You can use mass texting in various other situations as well:

  • Inform customers of the last day to order from you, so they get them in time for the holidays
  • If your store or office hours are changing (temporarily or permanently), make sure everyone knows it with a text
  • Launching a new product? Let customers know with a promotional text
  • Inform partners, suppliers, and customers of any changes to your product lineup, service offerings, or updated terms & conditions

Should you enable VoIP texting for your business?

You can use VoIP texting throughout the organization and improve productivity across the board. Cost and time savings aside, your customers expect it from you. Slow responses to customers translate to lost sales and damaged relationships. Why take the risk when you have a tool on hand to prevent delays in communication?

When you consider all the benefits of VoIP texting, it’s practically a no-brainer. Whether you have an existing VoIP system for voice calls or not, adding texting is a quick and simple process. Some providers will offer a 2-week trial or even longer so you can test the service

Just like with VoIP calling, you can start small and scale up as needed. You don’t have to commit to a specific contract or number of messages. Start with a pay-as-you-go plan and switch to unlimited if the situation demands it. Include texting in your arsenal of multi-channel customer support and see the difference in your business processes.

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Thousands of businesses across the world trust VoIPstudio for all of their most vital business communications. Why not be the next?

Thousands of businesses across the world trust VoIPstudio for all of their most vital business communications. Why not be the next?

Start a free 30 day trial now, no credit card details are needed!

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