How to Choose Messaging Services for your Website or Web App

Emails, Text Messages, SMS, Chat, Push Notifications, and Beyond

Your website or web portal doesn’t exist in a vacuum. For it to be user-friendly, it will need to communicate with internal and external users in real-time, whether they’re signed in or not.

The good news is that there are plenty of helpful services that can make messages on your website or web app speak clearly. But how do you choose what your specific needs are? Our how-to checklist gives four questions you can use to make the best decision for your business.

  • Emails: Your website or portal can send emails in many places—from account signup and password recovery to transactional emails and reminders. You should make sure that you can monitor these emails to guarantee delivery and assess effectiveness. Here’s a good comparison of leading services.
  • Text Messages and SMS: Users get so many emails nowadays that sometimes it takes a text message to break through the clutter. Text messages also allow for two-factor authentication, an added security feature some customers demand. Twilio is a leader in this space, but there are competitors emerging as well.
  • Live Chat: One of the keys in engaging customers is reducing the effort needed to contact you. That’s why live chat has emerged as a popular tool. There are several low-cost options that are easily added via HTML, notably Olark.
  • Push Notifications: Mobile apps use push notifications to communicate to users when apps are closed. Apple has now made the same technology available in the Safari browser on desktop.
  • Phone Calls: With the advent of VOIP (Voice over IP) solutions, your customers can now call you through the web. You may want to choose this method of inviting phone calls instead of traditional phones or even click-to-call functionality.