Landline phones were created to connect us over voice, but they’re not known for texting. It may be an older technology, but landlines are still relevant today, especially for businesses. In this blog post, learn how you can text a landline that’s equipped with a Text to Landline service or with business texting software.
What is a landline? And what’s the difference between landline and mobile phone numbers?
A landline is a phone connection that requires physical cables to transmit a call. For comparison, mobile phones transmit calls wirelessly through radio waves. The landline was created in 1876, and it was our only option for calls until mobile phones were introduced nearly a century later. The difference between landline and mobile phone numbers is that a landline is limited to a fixed space, commonly used as a centralized phone number for a home or business. A mobile phone number is for individual use and can be used on the go, anywhere there is a cellular signal.
Unsurprisingly, home landline use has decreased since mobile phones have become more accessible to the public. Mobile-only homes are now the norm, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
Can you text a landline?
Yes, you can text a landline, and it works just like texting a mobile phone number: Open your text messaging app, address it to the 10-digit number, compose your message and send. However, the landline will need texting software to receive, read and compose a text message in order to reply. There isn’t a need to enable a personal landline for standard texting given that we can text one another from our mobile phones. Instead, some homes use Text to Landline service, which converts written texts to voice messages. The option to send text messages to a landline phone is more relevant for businesses that would like to communicate with customers over two-way text messaging.
What happens if you text a landline?
When you text a landline, one of three things could happen:
- The text message is sent into the void. If the recipient doesn’t have Text to Landline or a text-enabled number with business texting software, there’s nowhere for the text to land. The text is left undelivered, floating in the ether.
- Your text message will be converted into a voice message. If the recipient has Text to Landline—a service offered by phone providers for landline phones—the recipient’s phone will ring, and they will hear a bot recording of your written text. If the recipient doesn’t answer, your recording will be left as a voicemail.
- Your text message will be sent and received like a regular text. If the recipient is a business and their landline phone number is enabled with business texting software, they’ll receive your text message just like they would a text on their mobile phone.
For most businesses, landline text messaging makes sense with business texting software. Without it, your business could be missing customer communications. According to a Zipwhip survey, 43% of consumers have proactively texted a business. Additionally, one in three have texted a business and never received a response. Many customers send text messages to landline phones assuming that the number is already text-enabled.
Text to Landline can be helpful for the occasional intercepted text message in the home. For businesses, however, a text-to-voice service isn’t pragmatic for managing a high volume of customer communications. Without a way to text back, customers are left feeling ignored.
Are landlines necessary?
Landlines aren’t necessary for phone calls or texts in a home because family members each have their personal phone lines via their mobile devices. However, a landline phone can be necessary during a power outage. Landlines don’t need a battery and can function without electricity during an emergency. A 911 operator can track a call from a landline quickly, but they can’t do the same with a mobile phone call.
Businesses, however, greatly benefit from keeping their landline phone number and enabling it with texting software. A landline is beneficial for a few reasons, especially if the business has owned the phone number for a while.
- Brand recognition. A phone number offers brand recognition, serving as a centralized avenue for customers and clients to reach your business.
- High-quality calls. Landline calls are high-quality due to their wired connection, while it’s common to experience spotty or dropped connections with mobile calls.
Keeping a landline could also be a good idea if employees text with customers on their personal cell phones. It may seem unnecessary to send text messages to a landline phone when customers can conveniently reach an employee’s cell phone. However, it’s ill-advised to communicate with customers over a phone’s default messaging app due to a lack of safety features, among other reasons.
Plus, native SMS apps don’t have the productivity tools and texting features that businesses need to scale, such as composing text messages from the convenience of a laptop or scheduling a timed text message.
Texting-for-business software modernizes the landline phone. Businesses can text their customers without the need to change phone numbers or purchase an additional line.
Can you text a landline? Yes, you can with business-texting software
So how does it work? Business-texting software like Zipwhip will re-route text messages sent to a landline, giving employees the ability to read and reply to texts on their own laptops or via a mobile app. Calls will still go through the landline uninterrupted.
Or to learn more about using texting for business software with your customers, download our free e-book The Ultimate Guide to Texting Your Customers.