Landlines have long been the standard for business communication. But, some 39% of businesses and organizations are now texting their contacts, customers, and clients.
So what happens when you text a landline phone number?
Unless you text-enable your landline phone or set up a text-to-landline service.
In this article, I cover:
By the end, you’ll know how to text-enable an existing business number and implement a text-to-landline service.
Read on for more.
Landlines are phone lines that transmit signals through a physical cable. These lines are either buried or strung on telephone poles. A landline telephone also refers to traditional phones with handsets, cradles, and cords. Landlines still rely on hard-wired connections.
Landlines used to be the only way a home phone or office could send and receive voice calls. But this was before cellphones and satellite communications existed. When someone says they’re “cutting the cord” they mean they’re ditching their landline for a mobile phone.
A landline number is a traditional 10-digit local phone number that relies on physical wires to enable voice calls. Mobile cellphone numbers aren’t considered landline numbers. This is because they transmit radio waves and have internet connectivity for voice calls.
When you text a landline, the phone service or carrier checks the number to see if it's eligible for text-to-landline service. Your text message then gets recorded and the telephone service calls the recipient's landline phone.
Text-to-landline services only manage the transcription of text messages into voice recordings. Here’s the step-by-step for how a text-to-landline service works:
Note: Text-to-landline services are different from text-enabling your business landline. When you text-enable your business landline, you’re using business texting software to send and receive text messages.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages of sending and receiving text messages on landlines.
You probably advertise your phone number everywhere. Windows, truck decals, billboards, and all kinds of other advertising - everywhere.
And if you’re an older, established business or organization in your community, then everyone will know your phone number.
But text-enabling your business number allows you to keep the same number.
You don’t need to install software or hardware. And there’s no need to change your voice service to text-enable your business landline.
A business texting software can even make it possible to text phone number extensions.
All you have to do is choose a business texting service and ask them to host or port your phone number.
Suggested Article: Porting Phone Number vs. Hosted Number | How to Port Numbers
There’s a shift in business communication towards text messaging. People want more convenient, immediate, personalized messaging experiences.
And someone could even be trying to text your landline right now, but you’d never know it.
In fact, some 58% of customers have tried to try to text back after missing a call from a business.
If you’re not already texting with your contacts or customers, then you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.
SMS text messages are one of the top four most adopted mobile marketing tactics to date.
Because texts get read, and 90% of customers would rather text than chat on the phone with your business.
Need further proof? Text messages have high delivery rates, a 98% open rate, and 45% click rates. Compare that to email and voice. Neither have the same level of engagement as texting.
Bottom line: text messaging has clear advantages and benefits.
You’re behind the curve if you don’t already have a text number for business purposes.
People want to text and a business text messaging service that makes it easy to text-enable your landline can help.
Being more available can even increase your reach and improve customer engagement levels. Plus, you’ll never miss a question. No more frustration with missed replies.
Text-enabling your landline and plugging it into a business texting service unlocks automation and additional time-saving features.
These include things like:
You can even set up keyword autoresponders to send automated text responses. If a customer texts “OFFICE HOURS”, then they could automatically get a text with your office hours.
Features like these are perfect for providing immediate support and responding to frequently asked questions. They can also work well for promotional “text-to” campaigns.
Suggested Article: Guide to Automated Text Messages
With a text-enabled landline and a texting service, you can centralize your text messaging and voice calls into one platform.
And you retain the standard phone call features you get on a desk phone. This includes caller ID, call waiting, and call forwarding.
In fact, some 61% of customers think organizations should use the same phone number for calling and texting.
But the main benefit of centralizing all of your business communications is preventing missed messages. Your landline won’t become a virtual black hole for text messages.
You can also use many text messaging systems’ call forwarding features to route incoming voice calls. If someone calls a separate phone number, you can route the call to another number of your choosing.
This works great for businesses and organizations that prefer having separate numbers just for texting customers and contacts.
Every business texting service has a slightly different process for text-enabling a landline phone.
Below is what MessageDesk’s text-to-landline process looks like.
The first step to setting up text to landline for your phone number is choosing an SMS phone number provider.
But you’ll want to find one that has the SMS and call management tools that suit your needs.
MessageDesk offers a specific range of phone number and texting features designed to suit your communications needs.
The next step is to create a free account. You can do this with MessageDesk by starting a free trial.
Next, you’ll need to port or select a number or existing business phone line.
To text from your existing business number or landline, you’ll need to submit a number porting request.
Below is an example of what a number porting request looks like in MessageDesk.
Note: It takes 1-7 days to successfully text-enable your business number once you submit your request. Sometimes, this process is referred to as number hosting (not to be confused with number porting).
Once you’ve submitted your number porting request, a representative from the MessageDesk team will reach out.
They’ll confirm that your landline number is eligible for porting. Then they’ll work with you to submit and sign a letter of authorization to approve the hosting or porting process.
Below is an example of what MessageDesk’s LOA looks like.
Call forwarding is another landline texting feature. It allows you to route incoming voice calls through your business text messaging service to your landline.
If someone calls a separate phone number, you can route the call to another landline of your choosing.
Plus, you get to retain all of the standard phone call features like caller ID and call waiting. This feature works great for businesses and organizations that prefer having separate numbers for texting and calling.
Below is a list of frequently asked questions related to text-enabling business landlines.
Yes, you can text-enable any existing business phone. You can use your current 10-digit number, even if it’s a landline or VoIP to receive and send text messages. If your organization needs an additional number, MessageDesk provisions new local and toll-free numbers.
No, in most cases, text-enabling your existing landline or business phone number doesn’t affect your voice service. You’ll still receive calls as usual, but texts can be sent and received from your business texting service.
You can text groups and send text message broadcasts with a 10-digit landline number. Having the right software and text-to-landline service also makes it possible to handle 1-on-1 conversations.
Yes, you can text-enable 1-800 toll-free numbers.
VoIP stands for voice over internet protocol. VoIP phones don’t transmit via twisted-pair copper wire like landlines. They transmit voice calls over the internet using a normal broadband internet connection.
VoIP phones don't rely on physical exchanges. They convert calls into digital signals within the phone itself.
|Carrier||Text to Landline Support|
A text-to-landline service converts texts sent to a landline into voice messages. It doesn’t have an interface for reading or responding to text messages. These services call the recipient’s landline phone number and deliver a text message via voice.
A business text messaging platform provides an interface and SMS inbox for reading and responding to text messages and even automating responses.
You don’t need additional hardware to text-enable a business landline. All text messaging gets managed with software using a business texting service like MessageDesk. You don’t need a special handset or landline phone with texting capabilities.
Many text to landline and business texting services don’t charge fees for text-enabling your landline. The part that costs is having the ability to send and receive text messages. MessageDesk’s business texting plans start at just $14 per month.
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