Following automated text message best practices will help you send the kind of messages your subscribers are not only more likely to respond to, but that they actually want to receive. Not just that–it’s also necessary to make sure your text message marketing campaigns aren’t breaking any laws.

A successful SMS marketing strategy doesn’t have to be complicated; rather, it requires sticking to a few simple but important rules that will ensure deliverability and maximize engagement. We’ll cover the basics of SMS compliance and share some best practices to keep in mind as you establish your text marketing program.

What are automated text messages?

So, what exactly is an automated text message? 

An automated text message is simply a pre-written message that is sent out automatically, usually in response to some sort of trigger (like a customer placing an order). Automated text messages can be very useful for contact centers, as they can help to save time and ensure that important information is always communicated to the customer. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when using this tool, which we will discuss in more detail below.

What is SMS compliance?

SMS compliance covers all the steps you take to send text marketing campaigns in a way that’s aligned with the relevant laws and that minimizes your risk for legal action. SMS compliance requirements will vary by country and can even differ from one U.S. state to the next, so it’s important to have an understanding of the law anywhere you plan to send texts for marketing purposes. 

Here are a few of the top SMS compliance considerations. 


Opting in refers to the process by which people become subscribed to receive your text messages. You might collect customer phone numbers at the physical point of sale, via an input box on your website, by having users text a keyword to a specified number, or even collect phone numbers on a paper form. What’s important is that the customer gives their number to you–you don’t purchase it from a third party or scrub it from a database. Using phone numbers that have been submitted as part of an order or during some other interaction does not constitute opting in. 


Text message marketing best practices require making it easy for customers to opt-out. Don’t make them jump through hoops or take multiple steps. Opting out of future text marketing campaigns should be as simple as clicking a link or replying to your correspondence with a word like ‘STOP.’


Consent means a subscriber has agreed to allow you to contact them for marketing purposes. The states with the strictest consent policies state that brands must have “express written consent” to text subscribers, so it’s a good idea to use this as your baseline.

Terms and Conditions

You should have a policy that governs how you’ll use subscriber data, including what level of privacy subscribers can expect. These are your terms and conditions, and they should be easily accessible for anyone who wants to look them over. Automatically sending a link to your terms and conditions page after a subscriber opts-in is a great way to share this information.

The benefits of text message marketing

Increase Visibility

SMS messages are the best form of digital marketing if you want to make sure your message is seen. They’re more reliable than email for visibility, with open rates hovering close to 100%. 

Boost Conversions

Because they’re so convenient to engage with, text marketing campaigns are a great way to gain conversions. Entice subscribers with exclusive deals, insider offers, and VIP perks that boost your bottom line.

Nurture Leads

Text campaigns can help build brand awareness and affinity by helping prospective customers get to know you. Send bite-sized campaigns that contain useful information that corresponds with your sales funnel.

Collect Customer Data

You can learn a lot about your customers based on how they interact with your text campaigns: what they click on, whether they respond, and the types of messages they send back. You can also learn a lot in a more straightforward way: by asking them! Use SMS messages to distribute surveys and feedback polls that will help you provide better, more tailored service.

Integrate With Other Channels

Text messaging is highly conducive to integration with other channels, like email and voice. Here are some examples:

  • Allowing subscribers to text to receive a call back instead of waiting on hold
  • Deflecting inbound calls by offering text-based support
  • Texting subscribers to let them know a sensitive document will be arriving via email
  • Emailing subscribers a special offer when they opt-in to receive marketing via text
  • Transitioning from text support to a voice call to tackle a complex customer service issue

Is text message automation legal?

Yes, automated text messaging is legal, but you need to be mindful of the following compliance practices: 

  • Once you’ve obtained clear and express consent from your customer, outline your text message program details at opt in. Will this be primarily for promotions? Appointment reminders? Let them know upfront. 
  • Receive prior express written consent. We can’t stress this part enough. 
  • Confirm opt-ins with a secondary welcome text message. 
  • Clearly communicate the terms and conditions. Will messaging data rates apply based on their provider?
  • Time your texts appropriately
  • State your business name in every message to show trust
  • Allow your customers to easily opt out with an unsubscribe link or keyword trigger in each message. 
  • Avoid banned language.

Comparing automated text messaging platform features

Automated text messaging platforms provide an array of features that optimize communication among businesses and customers, facilitating efficient marketing strategies and customer relationship management. Among these features, the ability to send bulk messages and have two-way conversations is crucial in expanding outreach while maintaining a personal touch. Various platforms offer different levels of customization and automation, with some providing built-in message templates, while others allow for the import of personal templates to tailor the communication. Platforms such as Twilio and MessageBird come with APIs that integrate seamlessly with your existing CRM, enabling you to send messages programmatically and keep track of your contacts, campaigns, and performance within one centralized system. This integration encourages data-driven, targeted messaging strategies, increasing response rates and overall effectiveness.

Another essential feature of automated text messaging platforms is the incorporation of artificial intelligence (AI) and chatbots. These AI-driven systems enable businesses to engage with customers efficiently, offering 24/7 support and resolving customer inquiries with minimal human intervention. Customer support channels, such as live chat and text messaging, are empowered by natural language processing (NLP), helping platforms like Chatfuel and ManyChat understand customer queries and provide relevant, automated responses. Furthermore, analytics play a prominent role in text messaging platforms, with tools that measure the success of campaigns using open, read, and click-through rates, among other metrics, assisting in the optimization of future messaging strategies. In conclusion, the features offered by automated text messaging platforms have quickly become indispensable for businesses looking to boost their customer engagement, retention, and satisfaction.

Text message marketing best practices

Get Permission

We’ve covered consent already, but it bears repeating: get permission before sending marketing messages via text. Permission should be explicit, so that the customer knows exactly what kind of communications they’ll be receiving and that they can opt-out at any time.

Use Consistent Frequency

A social media user might see the same Facebook ad ten times without becoming annoyed, but send just one text too many and you’ll lose a subscriber in as much time as it takes to type UNSUBSCRIBE. Text message marketing is different from other marketing platforms in that frequency really matters. It’s best to limit communications to a few times per month, or 1-2 times per week tops.

Be Mindful Of Send Times

Likewise, the time of day you send messages matters. During normal business hours or in the early evening (in your recipient’s local time zone) is best. Note that there are more specific restrictions on timing if you’re sending messages for the purpose of collecting a debt.

Personalize Messages

One of the greatest advantages of text messages is that they’re highly suited to personalization–so use them! Leverage data from your CRM to tailor messages based on the customer’s buyer persona, stage in the sales funnel, past purchase history, support interactions and more. 

Shorten Messages

Though your campaign might originate from SMS software on a desktop, be mindful that your text message marketing campaigns will be viewed on mobile phones. So, the message should be short and to the point, with a clear call to action.

Analyze And Optimize

Use an SMS platform that offers easily accessible reporting on your text campaign performance. This way you can continually analyze your results and tweak future campaigns to increase ROI.

Automated text message examples

Using automated text messages for your business can be an extremely valuable tool, if used correctly. Here are a few tips on how to use this powerful communication tool effectively:

  1. Use automated texts to communicate important information to your customers or clients. This could include appointment reminders, special offers, or updates on new products or services.
  2. Make sure the message you send is clear and concise. You want your recipients to understand the information you’re sending them, so avoid using jargon or abbreviations.
  3. Personalize your messages whenever possible. Add the recipient’s name or company name to the message to make it feel more like a personal conversation than a marketing pitch.
  4. Timing is everything with automated texts. Sending a message at an inappropriate time (like late at night) will only annoy your recipients and damage your relationship with them. Make sure you know when they’re likely to be available to read your message before you hit “send.”
  5. Don’t overdo it with the automated texts. If you start sending too many messages, you’ll quickly become a nuisance rather than a valuable resource. Stick to sending one or two texts per week at most, unless there’s truly important information that needs to be communicated more frequently.

Examples of automated text message campaigns

There are endless possibilities when it comes to automated text message campaigns. Here are a few examples to get you started:

  1. Appointment reminders: Send your customers a text message reminder a day or two before their appointment.
  2. Shipping notifications: Keep your customers in the loop with automated shipping notifications.
  3. Promotions and coupons: Drive customer engagement with promotional offers and coupons delivered straight to their phone.
  4. Customer satisfaction surveys: Get valuable feedback from your customers with post-purchase surveys sent via text message.

How to choose an automated text / SMS system

When choosing an automated text / SMS system, select software that is compliant with the regulations set by the FCC. You should look for a platform that allows customers to opt out of automated messages at any time and provides contact information transparency. Additionally, consider whether the technology used by your automated text / SMS system is secure and reliable.

When choosing an automated text message system, contact centers should focus on features such as:

  1. Automation tools that enable contact centers to send out automated text messages quickly and efficiently. 
  2. Customizable templates that contact centers can use to create personalized messages. 
  3. Analytical tools that help contact centers measure the performance of their automated text messages and contact strategies. 
  4. Compliance with SMS regulations in different countries or regions, to ensure contact centers are adhering to the required laws and regulations when sending out automated text messages. 
  5. Robust customer service and technical support, so contact centers can quickly resolve any issues that may arise with their automated text message system. 

Understand the rules and regulations around automated text messages before implementing a contact center solution. With the right automated text message system in place, you can maximize your contact strategy and ensure that your customers receive timely and relevant messages.

Industry use cases for automated text messages

Automated text messages have quickly become a game-changer for various industries, helping them streamline processes and enhance customer engagement. With the power to send timely and personalized text messages, companies can foster stronger relationships with their client base and improve their overall brand image. Furthermore, the increased efficiency that comes from automating mundane tasks frees up valuable time for employees to focus on more critical aspects of the business. This ultimately results in improved productivity and allows companies to grow at an accelerated pace.

Healthcare, finance, retail, and hospitality are just a few sectors that are reaping the benefits of automated text messages. In healthcare, appointment reminders and follow-up texts not only help reduce the number of missed appointments but also ensure patients stay informed about necessary medications, tests, and other vital health information. Similarly, financial institutions can use automated text messages for account balance updates and fraud alerts, thus providing customers with real-time account security. Retailers can employ these messages for order confirmations, shipping notifications, and promotion announcements, giving their customers a more convenient shopping experience. In the hospitality industry, automated text messages for reservation confirmations and hotel check-in instructions create an effortless experience for travelers. As the use of automated text messages continues to expand across industries, businesses are set to witness a surge in customer satisfaction and loyalty, resulting in long-term success.

Examples of automated text messages

Here are 6 automated text message examples: 

Example 1: Appointment reminder

“Hello [Client Name], this is an automated reminder for your appointment at [Business Name] on [Date] at [Time]. Please remember to wear a mask and maintain social distancing during your visit. Reply ‘CONFIRM’ to confirm your attendance or ‘RESCHEDULE’ if you need to change the appointment. Thank you!”

This message includes specific details about the appointment, a reminder for COVID-19 safety protocols, and clear call-to-action steps to either confirm or reschedule the appointment.

Example 2: Payment reminder

“Dear [Customer Name], our records indicate that your [Product/Service Name] invoice (#123456) of $[Amount] is due on [Due Date]. Please submit the payment via [Payment Method] to avoid any late fees or disruption in service. For assistance, please contact our customer support at 1-800-123-4567. Thank you!”

This message details the invoice status and provides clear instructions on how to make the payment along with offering support for any queries.

Example 3: Order confirmation

“Hi [Customer Name], thank you for your order (#ABC123) with [Online Store Name]! Your items are due to be shipped on [Shipping Date] and the estimated delivery is [Delivery Date]. You can track your package using the following link: [URL]. If you have any questions, please call us at 1-800-555-1234 or email support@[onlinestore].com.”

The message contains specific information about the order, estimated shipping, and delivery dates, providing reassurance and transparency towards the customer.

Example 4: Event reminder

“Hey [Attendee Name], we’re excited to see you at the [Event Name] on [Event Date] at [Event Location]! The event starts at [Event Time] and dinner will be served at [Dinner Time]. Remember to bring your ticket/QR code and a photo ID for check-in. See you there!”

This message outlines event timeline, check-in requirements, and important details, creating a sense of anticipation and excitement for the event.

Example 5: Two-factor authentication code

“[App/Service Name]: Your security code is 123456. Please enter this code within 10 minutes to complete the login process. Remember, never share this code with anyone. If you did not request this code, please contact our support team immediately.”

This message is integral for user security and provides a sense of urgency to complete the process, while also reminding users to keep their information private.

Example 6: Flight status update

“Hello [Passenger Name], this is an update for your flight [Flight Number] departing from [Departure City] to [Arrival City] on [Flight Date]. Your flight is now scheduled to depart at [New Departure Time] due to [Reason e.g., weather, technical issues]. We apologize for any inconvenience and recommend checking the [Airline Name] app or website for further updates.”

This text message provides travelers with crucial information about flight changes, allowing them to adjust their plans accordingly and stay up to date on their travel arrangements.

Can a contact center set up an automated text response?

Yes, a contact center can set up an automated text response system to improve its customer support process and cater to a larger volume of inquiries more efficiently. This is possible through the implementation of advanced technologies, such as Natural Language Processing (NLP), Machine Learning (ML), and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

By setting up an automated text response system, contact centers can achieve numerous benefits, including:

Instant responses

By automating responses, customers receive immediate answers to their queries or issues, thereby enhancing customer satisfaction and reducing the need for customer representatives to manually engage with repetitive questions.


Automated text response systems can handle a large volume of simultaneous customer interactions, allowing contact centers to cater to a larger customer base without incurring significant additional workforce costs.


Integrating AI and ML algorithms can help customize automated responses based on the customer’s profile, preferences, and past interactions. This results in a more engaging and personalized interaction, ultimately leading to improved customer experience.


Automated text responses are available 24/7, breaking the limitations of traditional contact centers working within fixed operational hours. This enables customers to receive support anytime they need it, regardless of time zones or business hours.

Cost efficiency

Implementing an automated text response system reduces the need for human support agents and helps contact centers save on labor costs. Additionally, automation enables businesses to redirect their resources to focus on more complex tasks or other areas of improvement.

Data analysis

The use of NLP and AI algorithms in automated text response systems allows businesses to analyze customer interactions and derive valuable insights, such as identifying recurring issues, determining the customer sentiment, and understanding the effectiveness of responses.


Automated text response systems can be easily integrated with other channels like email, social media, and voice calls, resulting in a cohesive and consistent customer support experience across all platforms.

Setting up an automated text response system in a contact center enhances customer support processes, allowing businesses to provide instant, personalized, and accessible support while improving efficiency and reducing costs. With advanced technologies like NLP, ML, and AI, contact centers can optimize their interactions with customers by continuously learning from data and refining their response systems.

How to send automated text messages

Sending automated text messages or SMS (Short Message Service) is a useful and efficient way for individuals, businesses, and organizations to communicate important or timely information without manual intervention. With the advancement of technology and the popularity of mobile devices, automating this process has become more accessible and convenient. To send automated text messages, follow these detailed steps and consider using higher-level features to maximize semantic richness and effectiveness.

  1. Choose a platform or service: Research and select a reliable and reputable SMS platform or service provider. These providers often have a web-based interface or an application programming interface (API) that allows you to configure and send your automated text messages. Some popular platforms include Twilio, Plivo, and Nexmo.
  1. Create an account and purchase a phone number: Sign up for an account with the chosen platform or SMS service provider. Many providers offer a free trial, allowing you to test their services before committing to a plan. Once you have an account, purchase a unique phone number (local, toll-free, or short code) that you will use for sending automated messages.
  1. Set up message triggers and schedules: Determine the conditions or events that will trigger an automated text message. These triggers could be based on specific dates, times, user actions, or system events. For example, you can have an automated SMS sent to a new customer when they sign up for your service or to all subscribers as a reminder of an upcoming event. Configure these triggers and schedules within your SMS platform’s interface, using its provided tools or API.
  1. Write the SMS content: Compose the text message that you want to send, keeping it concise and meaningful. For higher semantic richness, consider employing personalization, actionable language, and clear instructions to make the message more engaging and useful to the recipient. Make sure to respect the character limit, typically 160 characters for standard SMS.
  1. Utilize variables and templates: To make your automated text messages more dynamic and efficient, use placeholders, variables, and templates. By creating message templates with placeholders that represent the personalized data, you can ensure consistency and reduce the time spent on crafting content. These variables can be replaced with the appropriate information from your data source to create individualized messages for each recipient.
  1. Integrate with data sources: Connect your chosen platform or SMS service provider to your data source. This could be a CRM system (Customer Relationship Management), database, or spreadsheet that contains the necessary information for your automated messages, such as names, phone numbers, and other relevant details. Follow the provider’s instructions to properly connect and synchronize the two systems.
  1. Set up opt-in and opt-out mechanisms: Ensure compliance with SMS regulations and best practices by allowing recipients to opt-in and opt-out of receiving your automated text messages. For instance, provide an option for recipients to reply with “STOP” to unsubscribe from future messages. Update your database or CRM accordingly to maintain a clean and accurate list of subscribers.
  1. Test your automated text messages: Before launching your campaign, test your automated text messages to ensure they are being sent correctly, with the right content and trigger conditions. This will allow you to identify and fix any technical or content-related issues that may arise.
  1. Monitor and analyze performance: Once your automated text messaging system is up and running, utilize analytics tools provided by your platform or SMS service provider to monitor the performance, success rate, and engagement of your messages. This data will help you make informed decisions and adjustments to improve the effectiveness of your automated text messaging campaigns.

Sending automated text messages requires researching and selecting an appropriate platform, setting up triggers and schedules, crafting meaningful and semantically rich content, personalizing messages with variables, and ensuring compliance with regulations. By following these detailed steps, you will be able to create an efficient and effective automated text messaging system that supports your communication goals.

What is a good automatic reply message for a call center?

Here is a boilerplate example that you can use to send automatic replies in your call center: 

Subject: We’re Working On Enhancing Your Customer Experience

Dear [Customer’s Name],

Thank you for reaching out to [Your Company’s Name]! This is an automatic reply to acknowledge we have received your query or request. Your satisfaction is our highest priority, and we understand that attending to your concerns promptly is crucial in providing an exceptional customer experience.

Our dedicated team of customer service representatives is available from [Operating Hours] daily, working tirelessly to answer your calls and serve your needs. However, recent trends have indicated that calls to our call center reach their peak between [Busiest Hours]. As a result, you may experience increased wait times during those periods. To ensure we can swiftly address your concerns, we recommend contacting us at other times when our call volumes are more manageable.

In the meantime, we would like to offer you some self-help options to explore, which may provide immediate answers to your questions:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Our website [Website URL] hosts a comprehensive list of answers to our most commonly asked questions.

Knowledge Base: Access our extensive library of articles and guides, specifically designed to help you with any product/service-related query – available at [Knowledge Base URL].

Live Chat: For quicker assistance, initiate a real-time conversation with one of our available customer support agents using our Live Chat feature on our website at [Live Chat URL].

While we strive to provide immediate assistance, please note that response time for email queries typically takes between 24-48 hours. Your reference number for this inquiry is #[Ticket Number]. We appreciate your patience and understanding. Rest assured, one of our customer support specialists will get in touch with you shortly to address your concerns.

Once again, thank you for choosing [Your Company’s Name]. We value your business and look forward to providing you exceptional service and support.

Best Regards,
[Your Agent’s Name] on the Customer Support Team

Frequently asked questions

What are the best practices for SMS in digital marketing?

When sending text messages for digital marketing purposes, follow these best practices:

  • Obtain the subscriber’s express consent
  • Make opting out easy
  • Offer clear and transparent terms and conditions
  • Personalize messages
  • Limit message frequency
  • Keep messages brief

How do you market a text message?

You can turn any marketing message into a text campaign using SMS software. A two-way messaging platform allows you to send messages to and receive them from subscribers, including promotions, limited-time offers, contests, time-sensitive communications, service alerts, and feedback surveys.

Is text message marketing legal?

Text message marketing is legal when a person has given a company permission to contact them via text for commercial purposes. The TCPA and CAN-SPAM Act are two important pieces of legislation governing how marketing text messages can be sent.

What is the best practice for SMS?

The most important best practice for SMS marketing is to obtain express consent from every subscriber before texting them.