SMS in Automation

Benefit from SMS channel on your automation

Ira avatar
Written by Ira
Updated over a week ago

At Omnisend, we believe that contacting your customers through the appropriate communication channel is as much important as sending the relevant data. In this article, we are going to explain how you can use the SMS channel to confirm transactions, inform about shipping, remind them about abandoned carts, and more.


Before you start

  1. You need to have your contact's phone number in an international format: +11231234567 (+ country-code area-code phone number)

  2. To start sending promotional newsletters via the SMS channel, you need to collect your customers' opt-ins for the SMS channel. If you want to send SMS messages to US customers, you need to collect TCPA consent along with the opt-in records.

  3. Omnisend provides you with the phone numbers for the SMS messages sent.

  4. SMS channel is included in the Free and Standard plan ($1 worth of SMS credits) and Pro plan; you can also purchase SMS credits as a subscription service.

  5. You can either create a flow with the SMS channel only or with a combination of different channels.

Setup of the Automation with SMS channel

The SMS message can be sent with any of the automation workflows available in Omnisend. Once you've chosen the workflow, you may start adding the message blocks to the sequence.

Make sure to verify your number first, you can do it from Store settings →  SMS. Check the full guide here.

1. Add SMS block to the automation workflow

This block can be added to any stage of your sequence. You can send it right after the customer triggers the sequence or after some time passes by. While you might be interested in sending your Order Confirmation sequence immediately, you may want to give your customer some time before providing the discount code in the Abandoned Cart message.

2. Fill in the SMS message content

When you add this block to the sequence, a red bar with a Missing SMS information warning appears. It informs that you still need to be set fully, and you still need to add your sender's name and the content of the message.

Look through the limitations of the sender's name before you provide one. 

Add personalization

SMS is a more intimate channel, so maintain that closeness by personalizing your messages. Send offers that are relevant based on location or previous purchases.

In case the trigger you are using in the automation carries unique data that is relevant to each of your customers in particular, you may add a link to the cart your customers abandoned or to the order tracking page.

3. Add opt-out instructions to the message

At the end of the message, you may want to add the opt-out instruction. Even though this option is optional, we encourage you to add it to the content of your texts.

To comply with the TCPA requirements, we suggest adding a reply STOP to opt-out text for US customers. Once the customer replies with this message, an automatic message will be sent informing about successful opt-out. Check this article for more information on TCPA-compliant marketing.

Since the keyword replies are relevant for US customers only, we suggest adding an Unsubscribe link for the rest of the recipients.

Keep in mind adding the opt-out of all non-transactional emails (Welcome, Abandoned Cart, etc.) sent to the US is mandatory. And even though there might be no special regulation for non-US recipients adding opt-out instruction is still highly recommended since different countries may have different rules and requirements.

Important! This Unsubscribe link will ONLY unsubscribe the customers from the SMS. They will still receive messages from any other channels to which they subscribed.

4. Review your message content 

In the Preview section, you can see how this message will be shown for US/CA and non-US/CA customers.

Important! Enable the "Pass non-opted-in contact to next workflow step" option to ensure that customers with unsubscribed status for one channel go right away to the next channel in the flow. 

Also, if the customer still needs to provide their phone/email, this feature will work the same way as for customers with unsubscribed status, passing them to the next step of the workflow.

When you are happy with the text, click Update and continue working on your workflow. Feel free to add as many SMS messages to your workflow as you feel most appropriate.

In case of running out of SMS credits, if the setting of passing customers to the next step is on, the contacts will be passed to the next step instead of being exited from the workflow.

Multi-channel sequence

You could use SMS campaigns solely to deliver critical and time-sensitive messages at every step of the customer journey. However, you can't forego the limitations to the message content. Therefore, the best decision is a combination of different channels. For example, you may send an SMS message to capture your customer’s attention and add pictures of the abandoned products in the email follow-up to remind them of what they’re missing.  

It is not only about the timing and reaching your customers personally but also about developing your brand awareness. 

Check our Blog for more examples on the Best Practices.

Testing SMS in automation

It's the easiest to test SMS in automation via Welcome, Order Confirmation, or Abandoned cart. Here is how:

  1. Add the SMS block in the workflow 

  2. Change the delay to trigger immediately

  3. Make the action on your store - sign up to receive the welcome message, make a test order, or abandon the cart. Make sure to provide opt-in permission to test Welcome automation.

  4. Wait for that SMS message to be delivered!

SMS credits subscription

To start using the SMS channel for your marketing, you need to make sure you have enough SMS credits in your account. The number of SMS messages you can send with a single SMS credit is based on the price for a single SMS in your recipients' countries.

  • On the Free and Standard plans, you get $1 credit for SMS messages sending. Since the price for a single message in the US is $0.015, with a $1 credit, 66 texts can be sent to US numbers.

  • On the Pro plan, you get FREE SMS credits equivalent to the price of your subscription. If you are paying $59 on the Pro plan, you get $59 on your SMS messages budget for the month.

  • On any of the Omnisend plans, SMS credits can be purchased as a subscription service.

Please note that you can start the automation workflow without having SMS credits, but you need to purchase SMS credits if you want your workflow to send out the SMS.


Reports for SMS contain:

  • Sent SMS. Subscribers that received SMS.

  • Click rate. If your message contained a link, you will see here how many of the customers clicked on it.

  • Sales. If your customer placed an order after clicking on a link in SMS, you will see the tracked sales.

  • Unsubscribe rate. The number of customers that unsubscribed out of those that had this option.

  • Bounce rate. The number of customers who haven't received the SMS for multiple reasons (e.g. invalid number).

Important note: open rates are not tracked for SMS. Make sure you include a clickable link in your SMS messages to see how many actions were initiated. Adding a link will let you see the click rates and measure client engagement via the SMS channel.

Does something need to be fixed? Have a look at our Troubleshooting SMS channel article. If you have more questions or need any assistance, do not hesitate to contact our Support Team, which is available 24/7 and can be reached via In-app chat or email at [email protected]

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