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Buzz Messaging Vs Podium

Which Text Message + Reputation Software Platform Has More “Bang” For The Buck?


One of the most common questions we get asked in our support Chatbot is “what is the difference between Buzz Messaging and Podium?”

No doubt they have been in the reputation/text messaging game for a while, and grew via “word of mouth” because they have such a unique software that fixes a lot of problems small business owners face like getting reviews from happy customers instead of just unhappy customers like their ‘about us’ page states…

They created a software to help them get better online reviews and they have since built a multi-product platform that is modernizing the way local business gets done.

I completely agree with that statement and the fact that their name keeps coming up in our support Chatbot tells us two things:

1) They should be respected. Because if they weren’t good and provided a crumby app, we wouldn’t be talking about them now.

2) There are holes & limits in their software platform that have their current users looking for alternative options.


A Quick Back Story

It was a beautiful day back in early April of 2019, a year before the pandemic hit, when one of my clients had seen a Podium text message Chatbot on a website and asked me about it.

We had been using text messaging to send out “blasts” for clients but I had never seen a Chatbot that lets people fill out a form, and when the business responds to the question from the Chatbot, it goes to the customer as a text message…

And we all know that text messages have an open rate of 97% within about 15 minutes, so I got SUPER excited as I knew right then that text was replacing email… For the most part 🙂

Being the good consultants that we are, I decided to check out Podium for my client, get some pricing and see what it was all about.

I went to their website and low and behold, there isn’t any pricing or package breakdown to view, and the only way to get a quote is to go through a demo after you fill out a form on their pricing page…

Podium pricing page


I went online to see if I could find someone talking about their pricing and I did, –

They appear to have multiple packages starting at $99/mo.

Podium pricing from


I replied to my client with my findings and they asked me if I could research other solutions as they didn’t want to be limited in how much they could use the app…

Interestingly enough, at this time, we were heavily invested into a mastermind group which was developing a marketing platform that was going to be super easy to use, feature rich, with the tools business owners NEED to engage customers, make more sales and/or book more appointments online.

We had been using Drip, but they went strictly into eCommerce and most of my clients were service based businesses so Drip just didn’t cut it anymore.

Plus we wanted a better text message solution than the one we had to “Frankenstein” together inside of Drip.

When I reported my findings about Podium to the group, the head developer said “we already have a text message Chatbot ready to go but they needed 2 more months to polish it up.”

I went back to my client and told them if they could wait 2 months, we would have our own platform and it was going to rival what Podium offers + much more.

Finally in late summer of 2019, the first version of the new marketing platform was launched and I put all my clients on it for through testing.

At first it was clunky and slow. Crashed a few times.

Then they moved it over to super fast servers, made many software updates, and now after 1 1/2 years of putting it to the test with many different business types, we have what I consider to be one of the top online marketing/texting/reputation platforms on the market.


But what are the differences between Podium & Buzz?

Let’s discuss.

For the sake of this battle today, we will compare Podium’s $99/mo plan, to our $49/mo plan.

And as any gentlemen would, I will let Podium go first.


Dissecting The Plan

Please note that I am using the pricing I found online. It is very possible that their pricing and packages have changed, though I hear that the average package sold is about $300/month.

Let’s start with it’s limits, for $99 month you get:


#1. Up to 75 reviews & leads per month.

Now, I’m not saying that up to 75 reviews & leads per month for $99 is an awful deal, but as an agency owner I can tell you this.

When we set out to build the Buzz App, our #1 priority was to make it so businesses did NOT have ANY limits put on them, for anything!

What if this is your business’ first review app and you have 100 customers you want to try and get reviews from?

Guess you have to wait until month #2?

What if you want to use Podium to store leads?

Guess you only get a few of those since you are burning up your “75 credits” trying to get reviews?

To me, this would cause frustration…

Because instead of focusing on “taking care of & growing your business” you have to watch your “credit usage.”


#2. Make your website textable.

This means you get their text message Chatbot to put on your website.

It doesn’t show any limits so that is good.

Many of our client’s sales have exploded since the Buzz Text-Enabled Chatbot went live.

It goes to show that people prefer to text a business rather than calling or using a ‘contact us’ email form.


#3. Free version of SMS marketing

I’m going to assume here that you get the ability in the software to create text message marketing campaigns, but you most likely have to pay per text message to send them.

That is good as it is the same way we do it in the Buzz app.

I’m just not sure what “Free version of SMS marketing” means and what limits are placed on you…

But why have limits?


#4. Free text-to-pay

Text to pay is HUGE.

This feature allows you to generate a ‘pay online secure link’ inside a text for any amount, and then you send it to your customer/client/patient as a text.

You will see way less problems, slow pays, & excuses getting people to pay you, when you can text them a link to pay you securely online rather than sending them an email to get lost inside an inbox full of spam…

The Buzz App does the same thing. And our clients LOVE it.

Again, you most likely have to pay per text just like the Buzz App.


#5. Connected Messaging & Automated Conversations

I am pretty sure that with Podium’s $99 package you get connected messaging with automated replies.

Automated replies include:

Sending appointment reminders
Follow-ups on past visits
Gathering customer feedback

Automated messages can be sent through the following “connected messaging” channels:

SMS text
Google Click to Message (Google chat feature on your Google My Business (GMB) page.)
Facebook Messenger
Apple Business Chat

Podium wins the “connected messaging” category as the Buzz App doesn’t connect to WhatsApp, Apple Business Chat, or Instagram. But Instagram is coming soon.

Buzz wins the “Automated reply” category because along with the features mentioned above, segmentation is included.

Note: both Podium & Buzz have a mobile and desktop app so it is easy to ask for reviews and/or message with customers on the go or in the office.


We were a little shocked to see that the Podium mobile app for Android has a rating of only 2.0.

Luckily the iPhone app works better & has a rating of 4.8.


Podium Android Mobile App Rating a little low


You can rest assured that the mobile app for the Buzz Messaging System, for iPhone or Android, is coded & maintained by professional mobile app experts.


So in Summary.

When you choose Podium over Buzz Messaging you pay $99 to have limits placed on your usage which in turn, puts limits on your ability to grow your business using their platform.


Want a Demo of the Buzz Text Messaging System?


Now let’s move on to Buzz Messaging.

First we will compare apples-to-apples with their $99 plan, then we will show you some extra goodies you get with Buzz.

In our $49 plan, we do NOT put ANY limits on your usage, number of contacts you can add per month, number of review requests you can send out, or number of new leads added per month.

We do charge 1.5 cents per text sent out.

So in comparison our first feature is:


#1. Unlimited reviews & leads per month.

To send 75 review requests costs you $1.20.

It appears that Podium includes the 75 reviews texts in their $99 package, but in our minds (& wallets) it is better to pay the $1.20 for 75 text messages than to have a limit placed on how many reviews you can get in a month.


#2. Make your website textable.

This is a tie. Our Chatbot looks very similar to theirs and most likely works about the same.


#3. Full version of SMS marketing.

Again I don’t know what ‘free version’ means with Podium, but with Buzz you get the full version of SMS marketing along with some cool programming to help you segment out the hottest leads from the cold leads.

(In case you didn’t notice on their pricing above, to have segmentation, you have to upgrade to their $349 plan)


#4 Text-to-pay

Our text to pay is a full version, I don’t know why they say ‘free’ above. (Unless they are trying to add it as a bonus? Seems to me that this feature should be standard!)

Podium’s text to pay is basically the same as Buzz’s. You will need a Stripe account (Free to set up. 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction).


#5. Connected Messaging & Automated Conversations

As mentioned above, Podium’s app does connect to more chat apps than the Buzz App does. Instagram is coming soon to Buzz and is important.


End of Apples-To-Apples Comparison

Now let’s dig into some of the other features of the Buzz Messaging System.


#1. Review response.

Having the ability to get online Google reviews is 75% of the battle, responding to them is 25% but still very important, especially if you happen to receive an unflattering comment.

The Buzz app has a built in Google review response area with the $49 plan.


Buzz Google review response area


Above is an example from a Med Spa. The grayed area is where they will type in their response and it will post right to their Google My Business (GMB) page.

No more need to log into your Google page to respond.

(In case you didn’t notice on their pricing above, to have review response capabilities, you have to upgrade to their $249 plan)


#2. Missed Call Text Back.

With the Buzz App you get a leased phone number using the area code of your choice.
(Podium probably does the same)

You can use this phone number anywhere you want.

We don’t recommend changing the phone number on your main website, business cards, etc., but we do recommend using the number with any online marketing you do like Facebook or Google ads.

Stats say that most small businesses miss about 20% of incoming calls.

So if you are busy and you miss a call, Buzz will automatically send a text message back to the caller letting them know you will call them back soon.

This could save a sale because instead of the person immediately going back to Google looking for the next business to call, they might wait for your call back.

For most small local businesses, the text back will be successful 85% of the time as 15% of calls come from a land line unable to receive a text.

The Buzz App also connects to your Google page and all calls from there can have missed call text back.


In Summary

This article wasn’t really fair.

We sorta feel like a healthy strong adult man challenging an older man who has had his day to a fight.

I encourage you to do your own research and confirm the best features needed by your business.

If you are wondering which platform will provide you with the best ROI The Buzz Messaging System is the clear answer as it doesn’t limit you to number of reviews and/or leads and has a few more features that you’ll need.

Click the button below to create your Buzz Messaging account today for just $49/mo!

Start Your Buzz Messaging Account Today

Written by Mark Stafford

Mark Stafford is the founder of Buzz Messaging System. He has three wonderful kids, and loves reading books about leadership and online marketing. For over 30 years, Mark has been an avid motorcycle rider who loves to ride his Big Dog Chopper for charity events all over Arizona.

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