zipwhiplogoSeattle-based Zipwhip was the first company to bring cloud-texting to your desktop via your mobile number, and now they’re doing it for business landlines.

“This is one of the biggest announcements we’ve made in Zipwhip’s history,” CEO John Lauer told GeekWire. “We will be the world’s first text carrier. That’s a new term because of how unique what we’re doing is. Anyone with a landline, regardless of what carrier they use, can come to our site and text enable it in five minutes. That’s powerful.”

So what does “text carrier” even mean? Essentially, if you have a landline, you can add a texting feature through Zipwhip without adding anything to your existing phone plan.

Zipwhip CEO John Lauer.
Zipwhip CEO John Lauer.

That means restaurants can allow customers to text them reservation information, or dentists and doctors offices can have their patients text them cancellation notices.

“I’m really excited for what this means for the texting industry because it is one of the biggest shifts that has occurred in texting for several years,” Lauer said.

The cloud-based technology mimics that of Zipwhip’s Android app. Users sign up for Zipwhip, text enable their existing phone number and from there, they can “text” from a laptop, tablet or PC within minutes.

The company is hoping the new service helps businesses build better relationships with customers based on the fact that people check texts more often than email. Zipwhip cites a Neustar study that found more than 90 percent of text messages opened and read compared to less than 40 percent of emails.

The service costs $19.95 per month and Zipwhip is offering an introductory 14-day free trial.

When they’re not busy helping customers text in the cloud, the folks at Zipwhip are busy doing cool stuff at their Queen Anne offices like building Textspresso machines and celebrating customer wins with automatic flag-raising.

Previously on GeekWire: Video: Zipwhip’s ‘Textspresso machine,’ now with edible ink

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  • datukgoh

    What is landline?

  • Ted

    Good stuff. It’s about time I can text the chinese restaurant my order so i don’t have to repeat myself 5 times. Thank you!

  • Joe

    Who keeps landlines? Landlines are history, a dinosaur era thing. Everything is mobile, well except that Chinese restaurant.

    Even companies like AT&T, Verizon and others are pushing their subscribers to move from land line to mobile. They are losing land line customers left and right, day and night.

    • Kelsey Klevenberg

      (Zipwhip employee here). I disagree, Joe. Most businesses will always have a landline and there are millions and millions of them. We’re seeing more business use cases here than residential ones.

  • Paul_Owen

    Zipwhip needs to zip its lip. Boston’s TalkTo invented this technology (and category) more than a year ago. They already have thousands of customers.

    Be an authority on your category before you make a claim like “first ever.” Rookie move.


    • James Hanover

      Paul, it would appear TalkTo its uses agents to email / call the business. I’m interested in signing up my business for landline texting but TalkTo doesn’t seem like it allows businesses to send and receive texts using their existing business phone number. Am I missing something?

    • Chris Hutchinson

      Paul, I’m in the wireless industry and was a customer of Zipwhip’s CEO, John Lauer, when he started the first SMS aggregator in the U.S called Simplewire. He helped invent short codes. I heard he even gave Twitter their first short code. Zipwhip’s category is text messaging. John is one of the most authoritative guys in the industry. It appears here Zipwhip had to become a carrier to do this. Is TalkTo a carrier? Does TalkTo actually text enable the landline? From what I can tell no, so it looks like the rookie move here is your post.

  • Timothy Jones

    I like receiving reminders from businesses. However, I hate when they come over a different number than their business line. Hopefully this solves my woes.

  • Rold Gush

    Hate “free trials” that require you to leave your credit card information up front. No, thanks.

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