Textingly Adds Live Chat And Twilio Hosting To Beef Up Realtime Customer Interaction

There are a lot of startups out there trying to make SMS messaging more affordable. I won’t even name them all here. But, I’d argue there isn’t a clear market leader as of yet, so with the right team, the right product, and a full suite of services, there still seems to be plenty of room in this space to be successful. Since Textingly launched at the first TechCrunch Disrupt last May, the startup has raised $650K, partnered with the New Jersey Nets, and expanded its team. It also officially left beta last month, announcing that it had attracted 6K small business customers to its SMS messaging platform.

As you may have guessed, Textingly is a text message management tool for businesses that aims businesses to manage all of their SMS interactions with customers. The Textingly platform handles message delivery on both outbound and inbound text messages, contact list management, and reporting. It is all opt-in and consumers scan start, pause, or stop the messages at any time.

“Businesses are beginning to move beyond using text messages for just alerts and marketing; they’re using text messages in new ways”, said Textingly CEO David Dundas. “We all know that text messaging is the most efficient way to reach people, but has been difficult to manage. With our new platform, we are trying to give businesses one place to manage all the ways they might use SMS messaging in the form of ‘apps’, hopefully making it far easier to integrate into services a business might already be using”.

As part of Textingly’s new look, the startup is moving away from its larger business model, in which it was more of a pure text messaging marketing campaign manager and led to its partnership with The Nets. Now, the startup wants to be the central platform for businesses to manage their text messaging operations and thus plans integrate its service into a host of web apps across the Interwebs.

Today, it is launching a new App platform that will allow businesses to add text messaging to the many services they already use in as little as two clicks. Businesses will also now be able to chat with their customers in realtime via text. What does that mean? According to Textingly CEO David Dundas, “Live Chat” will be like a “Google Voice SMS on steroids”, providing users with contact management, reporting, and auto responders while they’re offline.

The second feature update will allow any user with a Twilio phone number to use the startup’s platform to manage their SMS marketing and communication. This will include contact list opt-ins and opt-outs, reporting, and more. Dundas says that this is of significance because it is the first user-friendly interface for Twilio that won’t require sophisticated facility with programming or reporting to use it. Some companies prefer full phone numbers to the short codes that Textingly employs, so this will give them another option.

What’s more, businesses that use MailChimp for email marketing can import their lists into Textingly to reach their customers by SMS, WordPress users can embed a phone number capture widget to have readers opt into SMS polls and breaking news alerts, as well as sending out tickets and reminders via text for Eventbrite events.

Dundas said that more app integrations are on the way, and though the platform is closed as of right now beyond the apps available above, the platform will be opened to developers in the next few months.

Textingly has officially raised $650K to date from Inspiration Ventures, 500 Startups, Gary Vaynerchuk, and other angels.

For more on Textingly, check out the video below: