What is the Difference Between Business Texting and Standard SMS?

November 9, 2021

Many business phone apps on the market offer texting as part of their plans. So the question is, how is texting as part of a business phone app different from Business Texting? Read on to understand the nuances between the two.

What is Business Texting?

Simply put, Business Texting refers to SMS messages sent to contacts outside of your organization, such as customers, clients and suppliers. Business text messages can be received and sent through a text-enabled business landline, used for conversational 1-1 SMS texting, appointment reminders and dispatching, SMS broadcasts, auto-replies, automated text message sequences, messages sent via API or widget and more.

If your small business already has a main business number through one of the big phone providers like AT&T, Verizon or Comcast, you’re not able to send and receive text messages through that line. Business Texting is a solution that is layered on top of your existing phone service to be able to receive and send text messages using that number, without disrupting your voice service or needing to change providers.

Business Texting can be deployed with Shared Number capabilities for enhanced functionality. Shared numbers are phone numbers that are shared with team members, allowing any member of that team to respond to customer inquiries – on the phone or through text. Shared Numbers help your small business keep up with customer demands without losing visibility into that customer’s journey.

What is Standard SMS?

SMS stands for Short Message Service, and it is the standard mode for sending text messages through a mobile phone carrier. SMS originated as a means of sending text messages from one mobile phone user to another. Considering that there are 270M smartphone users in the US, and a whopping 2.2 trillion messages were sent last year, messaging is a well-established communication mode for millions of Americans. However, with the ubiquity of text messaging, businesses need to find a way to leverage this technology in a business context. This is where Business Texting, as outlined above, comes in. Business Texting takes the concept of standard SMS and applies it to a business environment.

“With Cloudli TalkNText, I was able to text-enable my existing business phone number so I could start receiving and replying to client and candidate text messages. Once I implemented Business Texting, I realized that I had been missing messages that people had been sending to me. Now, I am better able to connect with my clients and people I’m trying to reach - which is essential to run my business and provide responsive client and candidate support in this competitive job market.”

Jeff King, President, RQFocus

How is Business Texting Different from SMS included with Business Phone Plans?

Many business phone plans like those from other leading providers already include SMS capabilities for the numbers they provide. However, you must have your phone service on the same platform to take advantage of texting – so you would need to port over your phone service, which may mean that you’ll be paying twice for phone service if you’re in the middle of a contract with another provider. And if you have one main business line with multiple users on extensions, you might run into logistical challenges figuring out how to get text messaging up and running for that number.

As well, many of the SMS features included with business phone plans don't allow for enhanced Business Texting functionality like appointment reminders and dispatching, SMS broadcasts, auto-replies, automated text message sequences, and messages sent via API or widget, which are highly useful for many businesses. The type of SMS messaging that is often included in these business phone plans is a minimized version of Business Texting and lack the capabilities and features that add value to business and customer communications.

93% of consumers that prefer to support small business want the option to talk  and text with those businesses. Source: Cloudli Survey: SMBs Need a Blended Communication Strategy

How is Cloudli TalkNText different from Standalone Business Texting Providers?

There are a handful of Business Texting providers on the market who offer businesses the ability to text-enable their existing business phone numbers. Zipwhip, Numa and Textel are all examples of leading Business Texting providers in the ecosystem. While these providers offer Business Texting functionality like TalkNText, the challenge is that they keep text conversations siloed from voice conversations – so you have no idea when you’re sending a text if the customer had called five minutes earlier.


Cloudli TalkNText: The First Single-subscription App to Combine Business Phone, Business Texting and Shared Phone Numbers

TNT_Venn Diagram-v2

*Feature claims based on comparison of features published on competitor websites or other publicly available sources as of November 18, 2021. All product names, logos, brands, trademarks and registered trademarks are property of their respective owners.


Cloudli’s TalkNText solution is the first single-subscription app to combine business phone with Business Texting - eliminating the need for SMBs to maintain two separate, costly subscriptions every month.

TalkNText brings together business phone and Business Texting in a unified conversation view, making it easier to pick up the thread and respond. Having both call and text details in the same view makes it easier to add context to your follow-up message, and gives you a broader perspective on client and team communications.

In addition to creating siloed communications, these Business Texting services come with a hefty price tag – around $50 per month for just one user!

Why Choose Cloudli TalkNText?

Implementing Business Texting is good business: based on a survey conducted by Cloudli, ¾ of consumers said they’d switch to shopping small if the business offered text messaging. And with Cloudli TalkNText, small businesses can save up to 82% over industry-leading voice and messaging provider, by combining business phone and Business Texting in a single monthly subscription. The best part? You can try it free for 7 days.


Découvrez les avantages que la messagerie texte d’affaires peut procurer à  votre petite entreprise. Essayez TalkNText de Cloudli gratuitement pendant sept jours!

The Best Call for Your Business

Your business needs more than just a number. Experience a modern, unified business phone app today.

Start Free Trial

Keep Up With Cloudli

Check out related blog posts on business connectivity and industry thought leadership.
See More Posts