What Are the Variables in Cost for a Texting Program?

Texting programs can vary wildly, and as with most things, the bigger and better they are, the more expensive they are. Many factors contribute to the cost of a text message program.

  • Vendor
  • Staff time
  • Equipment
  • Marketing
  • Length of project
  • Number of messages you plan to send
  • Whether your program is a two-way program or a one-way program
  • Web-based platform type

Since most public health agencies work with limited means, try to choose vendors and platforms that can be used for more than one project and over a long period of time.

What Features Do I need for My Program?

The table below illustrates the different levels of texting programs available to choose from, from the fewest features and lowest cost to the most features and highest cost. Depending on the variables listed below, your program may cost $50 a month or more than $1000 a month.

Hover over the underlined cost amounts for examples of how each may be used in public health.

Cost $Example: Public health nurses communicating with individual patients. $$Example: Sending health promotion texts to a small number of patients at a school-based health clinic. $$$Example: An emergency notification program for employees at a public health department. $$$$Example: Operating a diabetes intervention, an emergency alert system, and a health promotion program under the same platform. $$$$$Example: An emergency surveillance service that allows users and administrators to interact in real time.
Technology platform Phone-to-phone texting only Web-
based interface
based interface
based interface
based interface
Create subscriber list(s) Single Single Multiple Multiple
Schedule texts yes yes yes yes
Two-way texting yes yes yes
Reporting Basic Advanced
Multiple administrators yes yes yes yes
Database integration yes
Security systems yes
Focus on reliability and throughput yes

Move ahead to the next topic, Evaluation.

A phone on money