SMS and Slack are quickly becoming preferred modes of communication over traditional email, both for internal communication between employees and external communication with customers, prospects, vendors, and more. The latest stats: the average open rate for emails is only 20%, but text messages are opened 98% of the time. As people continue to want information more quickly and more directly, companies need to find ways to make their business as accessible as possible. Bringing your business phone SMS into Slack is a perfect way to streamline internal workflows and increase connectivity between the Slack “office” and external communications. To merge SMS into Slack, businesses may be considering a Twilio Zapier integration. But Zapier is not the best tool for this use case. Zapier is simply a connector that links Slack to other apps, but it is not built natively into Slack or the apps it’s connecting to. This greatly reduces its functionality compared to Clerk, which is natively built into Slack to enable text messaging. Why Clerk is better than Zapier for SMS Since Zapier was not specifically built for Slack SMS integration, it has multiple limitations in functionality: Not bi-directional The Zapier integration only works one way. You can receive SMS in Slack, but you cannot send them. This greatly limits the use cases for SMS in Slack. It essentially turns Slack SMS into an alert/notification function, not a way to have SMS conversations. With bidirectional Clerk Twilio integration, companies can use Slack as their one communication channel. Not real-time Our second complaint with Zapier is that the SMS integration is not real-time; there is a lag. Even on the most expensive plan the delay is 5 minutes - for other plans, it’s 15. For most use cases for Slack SMS, this is a real problem. The whole point of SMS is that it is instantaneous. For example, if you are using it to respond to customers, you may need to know about a problem instantly. Consider our Clerk customer, Lemon from Heaven. As an online video studio, their instructors use Clerk to communicate with customer service. If the instructor is experiencing a technical problem in the minutes before class starts, the Lemon from Heaven team needs to be able to respond to that request instantly. A lag would be unacceptable. Not seamless to set up. You will need the Zapier app and the SMS by Zapier or Twilio apps. Each user will need to authenticate their own phone number to receive the SMS alerts. Benefits of Clerk Clerk is a much superior option that allows companies to take full advantage of the benefits Slack SMS has to offer. With Clerk, you can send and receive real-time SMS in Slack in just minutes. You can choose a new number or connect an existing number, even numbers through Twilio, Ring Central, or Bandwidth. Companies can use all of the features and benefits they love from Slack and apply them to their text communication. With Slack SMS powered by Clerk, you can completely transform your business communication with customers and team members. Clerk is simple, affordable, and offers the no-frills SMS services you need, without the complexity you don’t. Learn more here.