How to lower SMS costs

Choosing the right SMS messaging platform isn’t just about what’s convenient; it’s about your budget too. This article breaks down why going for hardware SMS gateways is a wise financial move compared to the online choices as well as a few good practices. We’ll discuss cost reduction strategies of SMS campaigns, adding an extra layer of security, enjoying useful features without extra costs, and staying connected even when the internet doesn’t work. Each point aims to highlight how picking hardware SMS gateways isn’t just good for messaging; it’s also a way to keep a good chunk of money in your business pocket for the long haul.

Table of Contents

Hardware vs. Online SMS Costs

Online SMS gateway services often slap you with per SMS cost. While these might not seem like much at first, they can pile up over time, taking bites out of your budget. On the flip side, hardware SMS gateways offer a one-time investment option.

Transparency in pricing is key to making business decisions. For example, an SMSEagle hardware SMS gateway costs around $1,000 for device plus a SIM card which may cost approximately $35/month (with unlimited SMS provider plan).




This translates to significant savings compared to online gateway SMS rates, for example $198 (Twilio U.S.) per 25,000 SMS. This can cause much higher costs for large volumes of text messages sent.

Once you’ve got the hardware, you can use it without dealing with ongoing per SMS message expenses, leading to significant long-term cost savings.

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Send mass SMS campaigns 3x cheaper
than online SMS gateways

SMSEagle hardware SMS gateway can be 3x cheaper compared to online SMS gateways. One-time payment grants you access to all features, there are no subscription fees and hidden costs. 

  • No subsribtion fees
  • No additional costs
  • Access to all functionalities within purchase ( no upselling ) 

Reduce your SMS Costs by Understanding Message Segments

When sending a text message, your charges are determined by the number of segments used to send messages. For standard encoding SMS, this limit is 160 characters. The catch? Exceeding this character limit by even one character doubles your segments and, consequently, doubles your costs. (Not to mention doubling your sending time!) While there’s nothing wrong with intentionally sending multi-segment messages—in fact, it’s often a smart move—ensure you’re doing so intentionally and not inadvertently inflating costs with unnecessarily lengthy messages.

Opt for SMS over MMS (in Certain Situations)

SMS, or Short Message Service, and MMS, or Multimedia Messaging Service, serve distinct purposes. While MMS allows for sending pictures and multimedia and other characters and content, it comes at a significantly higher cost compared to SMS.

Imagine a scenario where a small business routinely sends appointment reminders or transaction notifications to the phone numbers of its customers. Despite these messages being short and containing no multimedia content, the business was unknowingly sending them as MMS, incurring higher costs. By recognizing this inefficiency and switching to SMS for such messages, the business can now save a significant amount—potentially up to 60% or more—on messaging expenses. This simple adjustment not only reduces costs but also optimizes the use of resources across marketing channels, demonstrating the importance of choosing the right messaging format based on the content being sent.

Opt for MMS over SMS (in Certain Situations)

Believe it or not, in certain scenarios, sending MMS can be more cost-effective than to receive messages using SMS. Besides allowing media attachments, MMS permits sending up to 1600 characters of text—a lesser-known advantage. For instance, sending 1600 characters of text via SMS would cost 10 credits, while sending message broadcasts MMS incurs only 3 credits for the same message length.

Consider a scenario where you need to send a lengthy text message containing important information to your customers. If you opt for SMS to write messages, sending 1600 characters would cost you 10 credits. However, by leveraging the capabilities of MMS, you can convey the same message broadcasts at a significantly lower cost of just 3 credits. This means you can save up to 70% on messaging expenses simply by choosing MMS over SMS for longer texts, making it a cost-effective solution for certain communication needs.

Features Without Extra Costs

When it comes to saving money, Hardware SMS Gateways outshine Online SMS Services by offering more features and automations. Because hardware SMS gateways are all about your business, you can customize them without tacking on extra costs to meet your specific needs. Online SMS Services might ask for more money for fancy features, but with hardware gateways, you get a budget-friendly option. This cost advantage lets businesses upgrade their workflows and set up custom automations without budget worries.

Enhanced Data Privacy for SMS Messages

Security is a big worry for businesses, especially when it comes to handling sensitive info. Hardware SMS gateways step up the game by keeping your data safe within your premises. This means less risk of data breaches and unauthorized access, giving peace of mind to businesses that put a high value on protecting confidential information. Financial losses from cyberattacks can be significant. For example, according to an IBM Security report, the average cost of a data breach was $4.24 million in 2021. In addition to financial losses, cyberattacks can also lead to serious reputational damage, which may be difficult to recover from.

Independence from Internet Connectivity

Hardware SMS gateways don’t depend on the internet, making sure your messages get delivered even during network outages. This independence is a big deal for businesses that can’t afford to rely on things beyond their control.

For instance, in healthcare facilities, hardware gateways ensure timely communication, vital for patient care, even during internet outages, preventing missed appointments or delayed emergency notifications.

Similarly, in retail, hardware gateways maintain communication channels between stores and headquarters during internet downtime, averting inventory management issues or delays in sales updates.

Educational institutions also benefit, as hardware gateways enable uninterrupted dissemination of announcements and academic updates, crucial for student and staff communication, even when online learning platforms become inaccessible.

By providing reliable communication independent of internet connectivity, hardware SMS gateways save businesses from potential losses due to failed SMS delivery. Alternatively, they might need to deploy temporary mobile hotspot solutions or rent satellite phones for remote communication, both of which come with rental fees and usage charges. Additionally, businesses might need to hire temporary staff to manually deliver messages or use courier services for document transfers, further adding to operational costs during internet downtime.


The substantial cost-saving benefits of hardware SMS gateways in SMS marketing are evident. By selecting hardware SMS gateways, companies can significantly lower their SMS spend by reducing the cost of sending SMS by up to three times. This choice represents not just a one-time investment in SMS marketing efficiency to save money but also a strategic approach to managing SMS spend. It enables businesses to leverage the advantages of sending bulk messages and text messages at a reduced cost. In essence, hardware SMS gateways present a smart solution for sending messages, offering long-term financial benefits and making them a cost-effective choice for SMS marketing campaigns.

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