Creating and sending SMS

Quickly create and send SMS messages to increase engagement and encourage action.

Beth-Ann Sher avatar
Written by Beth-Ann Sher
Updated over a week ago

With a very high open rate, SMS has become a highly powerful channel for actively engaging and connecting with your customers, right where they are. Quickly create and send SMS messages and use the rich customer and event data you have in Intercom for powerful SMS targeting, orchestration, message personalization, optimizations, robust reporting, and more.

Create an SMS

First, go to Proactive Support from the main menu and click + New message in the top right corner.

Then select SMS as the content type to choose from a range of SMS templates or start from scratch.

The SMS editor

Use the simple SMS editor to type your message:

Insert emojis as well as People, Company and Event attributes to personalize your message. Learn more about what kind of content can be inserted in SMS here.

Message segment lengths

SMS messages can be sent in multiple segments depending on their length. These segments are then stitched back together to be viewed as a single message on the customer’s phone.

Below the SMS editor you can see how many segments your message will be and you’ll be shown the number of segments again before you set your message live.

If you use dynamic attributes which can vary in length per customer such as First Name, you’ll be shown an approximate message segment count.


As messages will be coming from a local number, such as '+4477777111222' if it’s for a UK activated country, it’s best practice to identify in the message who it’s coming from. By default, your workspace name will be appended to the start of the message.

Teammates can turn this off if they want to insert their company name elsewhere in the message.

It’s legally required in certain countries to identify your business and it improves the experience for your customers.


You’ll also need permission from your customers to contact them by SMS. For any marketing related message, it’s legally required to include opt-out instructions inside your message.

Send an SMS

Now you can send your SMS. Use date or event based rules to trigger the message automatically, and choose your target audience.

For example, if we wanted to send an SMS to any customer who has started the checkout process but didn’t complete it, and give them an introductory discount, we could use an event rule to trigger the message based on “Checkout start” and then target an audience of Users where “Checkout-start last occurred exactly 2 days ago” and “checkout completed count is 0”.

Outbound SMS geo filtering

Outbound message audiences are automatically filtered to only include customers who have phone numbers in countries that you have activated. For example, if you only have US activated, then any non +1 numbers that do not originate from the US will be filtered out.

SMS quiet hours

Even with automation and message triggers, it’s best practice to send non-urgent messages (such as generic marketing or promotional messages) to customers during their waking hours. Always consider your customer’s experience and whether a message could potentially interrupt their sleep.

Quiet Hours will be turned on by default in your message Frequency and scheduling. When enabled, it pauses an SMS from being sent to a customer during quiet hours in their local timezone, and sends it only during their waking hours.

If a user has no timezone value present on their profile and you enable quiet hours on your SMS, the user's timezone value will default to the Workspace's timezone. To prevent sending to Users with no timezone, you can add the audience rule "Timezone has any value" to the audience rules of the SMS.

Quiet hours by timezone can be managed from SMS settings.

Using SMS in Series

SMS is also available in Series as a message block type. Create powerful campaigns which contain multiple sequential SMS messages, or combine SMS with other content types such as in-app messages to reach customers even when they’re offline.

Using SMS in bots

After a customer sends their first message, you can trigger a Custom Bot to deflect, triage and route inbound SMS conversations more efficiently.


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