Why Your Business Needs SMS Automation (and How to Get Started Today)

SMS Automation will change the way you communicate with your subscribers. Kick your messaging strategy up a notch by setting up SMS automations and shave off hours in your daily tasks.

SMS is used worldwide as a marketing and business communications channel. While many companies use SMS to send order confirmations and one-time-passwords, there is a much broader facility for automating SMS for lead nurturing, customer support, marketing blasts, and subscriber engagement campaigns.


  1. Almost everyone now has a mobile phone
  2. SMS has lightning fast delivery speed
  3. 95% of SMS messages are read within 3 minutes of receipt
  4. Overall open rates for SMS are 98%

Yet as many as 90% of business owners do not use SMS for communications and marketing 😱

Automated SMS has the highest open rate of any communication channel. Moreover, most consumers are willing to receive SMS from their preferred brands and businesses, and organisations they consider to be important to them. This is even more pronounced when there is an added value to receiving the SMS — an exclusive deal, a time-sensitive offer, notification a place/ticket has become available.

What is SMS Automation?

SMS automation simply refers to the automated delivery of an SMS based on a trigger event instigated by either the business or the customer.

It works by using the tools and strategies which help you save time. With the right SMS software, you can:

  • Improve workflow and processes
  • Generate new leads
  • Boost retention and renewal rates
  • Nurture customer relationships
  • Eliminate repetitive tasks
  • Boost customer satisfaction
  • Reduce operational costs
  • Capture feedback and data promptly

Examples of SMS Automation include:

  • Instant SMS responses to customer interactions with a business
  • Pre-delivery confirmations
  • Post-purchase survey
  • Subscription renewal alerts
  • Abandoned-cart reminders
  • Personalised birthday messages and offers
  • Automated SMS responses to inbound SMS inquiries

How to Use SMS Automation

SMS Keywords

Using a virtual number, set up SMS keywords for consumers to text in to trigger an array of actions including (but not limited to) confirm donation, forward to mobile, forward to email, add the number to list, and send an automated response SMS, and more.

Automated Lead Generation

Launch a giveaway or competition by having your customers text in a keyword. This not only rewards the consumer but automatically adds their number to your list and sends an automated reply with instructions on how to avail of your offer or enter the contest. This enables simple entry, prevents fraudulent entries, is easy to promote and fast to set up, and builds your database of new leads.

Customer Support

Automate customer support with a simple SMS keyword experience for auto-responses (like chatbots) for frequently asked questions. Auto-replies may include your store hours, your location and address, etc.

Customer Segmentation

Use different customer lists to target your client base based on their location, gender, age, interest, or a variety of other demographic markers. This allows you to send highly targeted messaging to resonate with your customers, which then benefits your business by eliciting fewer opt-outs and higher click-through rates.

Automate SMS with Customer Interactions

Send messages automatically each time a customer performs an action on your website, sets up an appointment, makes a purchase, or even when they have been inactive.

Here are 8 popular ways to automate SMS:

  1. Welcome Messages — send personalised bulk SMS upon customer registration to welcome and inform of website links, how-to guides, or introductory video content.
  2. Reminders — send timely reminders with SMS automation for bookings, reservations, appointments, time-sensitive offers, renewals, etc.
  3. Notifications and Updates — alerts for usage, expiry, payment success or failure, support updates, purchase confirmation, delivery notifications, etc.
  4. Reviews and Feedback — seek quality feedback by sending an automated SMS poll or survey after purchase or delivery.
  5. Newsletters and Offers — personalise offers and tips based on individual customer activity and a set of pre-defined triggers including birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
  6. Referral Requests — seek referrals from your existing customers to generate new leads.
  7. Contextual Alerts — track purchase behaviour and send SMS offer alerts based on preferred products or topics.
  8. Reengagement Campaigns — reengage with inactive customers after a prescribed period.

Important Tips to Consider

Consider the following when setting up your SMS automations to ensure your text messages are a success:

  • You must provide a clear and simple option for your customers to unsubscribe from your SMS messages. Let’s face it — if your customers do not want to hear from you, it’s not beneficial to continue messaging them. Further, if subscribers are unable to opt-out, this can have detrimental effects on your business. If that’s not reason enough, it is also a legal requirement that “opt-out” or “unsubscribe” is simple and clear.
  • Target and personalise your approach based on your recipient — make your message about them, rather than about you!
  • When setting up any time delays for messages don’t forget to consider time-zones.

How to Set Up SMS Automations

There are several different ways you can set up automations. Read on to find the way that suits your business best.

Set Up Simple SMS Automations via the ClickSend Dashboard

When you log in to the ClickSend dashboard, you will see a menu on the left side of the screen, with all our different products. Clicking Automation will reveal two options — Introduction or Automations.

There are 3 types of automations you can set up from the Automations dashboard:

  • Time-based automations: if you want to send a message at a regular interval, you can set this up as time-based automation in the dashboard.
  • Contact list automations: use this to send messages when a new contact subscribes or is added to your contact list.
  • In-bound automations: if you want an automated response to a particular keyword (eg. “Reply PIZZA to order dinner now”), you can set this up as a keyword-based rule. Note: you will need to use a dedicated number to be able to support SMS keywords.

Build SMS Integrations with Your Existing Applications

Get the most out of your existing business software by building SMS functionality into your current tech stack. Our open API allows your developers to build powerful and flexible custom solutions for your organisation that is perfectly tailored to how you do business.

We do realise though that a lot of small business owners have limited resources when it comes to building integrations so we have created an integrations marketplace….

ClickSend Integrations Marketplace

Check out our integrations marketplace where we have hundreds of no-code integrations with all the popular business tools and platforms. Where we don’t have a direct integration, you can set up no-code integrations via an integration platform as a service like Zapier.

Some of our most popular automations include:

  • send an SMS when an invoice is raised in Xero or Quickbooks
  • send an SMS when a contact is created in ActiveCampaign or ZohoCRM
  • send an SMS when an appointment is created in Google Calendar or Calendly — or set a delay and have it remind attendees ahead of the event
  • send SMS order updates from WooCommerce, Magento, or Shopify

And while you’re setting up automations, don’t forget that you can automate more than just SMS. Using any of the mentioned triggers, you can set up actions like send MMS, email, snail mail letters, or even a beautifully printed and mailed postcard!

Retain clients with regular but un-intrusive campaigns facilitated with messaging automation. SMS automation offers a high-value way to connect with your audience, boost revenue, collect data, and improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.

So what are you waiting for?

Get Started with ClickSend Now

Sign up with ClickSend today for the very best global online SMS gateway. With us, you will be able to seamlessly communicate with employees and customers and we can facilitate SMS automation for utmost convenience and cost-effectiveness.

With ClickSend, SMS automation is a cinch!




Business Communications. Solved. Otherwise a massive lover of all things tech and marketing.

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