How to send SMS messages to your contacts

Available as an add-on for the following plans:

Marketing Plus, Professional and Enterprise

Sales Plus, Professional, and Enterprise

An SMS is a text-only message sent to a contact's mobile device. SMS messages are sent from automations using the "Send SMS" automation action to contacts who have shared their mobile phone number with you. You should only send SMS messages to contacts that have given you permission to do so.

View our SMS pricing page and learn what countries are supported.

In this article, you’ll learn how to create and send an SMS message to your contacts.

Take note

  • ActiveCampaign accounts purchased or upgraded on or after January 3, 2023, must purchase the SMS Add-on before sending SMS messages
  • ActiveCampaign accounts purchased or upgraded before January 3, 2023:
    • Plus and Professional plans receive 25 free SMS credits per month
    • Enterprise plans receive 1,000 free SMS credits per month
  • All mobile phone numbers collected for your contacts outside of the United States must follow E.164 number formatting. This formatting is an internationally-recognized standard phone number format and includes the following:
    • A "+" sign
    • International Country Calling code
    • Local Area code
    • Local phone number

      Our system saves a mobile phone number exactly how it was submitted to us. We do not reformat the phone number. If you do not use the E.164 format for contacts located outside of the United States, our SMS provider will default to add +1 (US) instead.

      You can learn more and view a list of country calling codes.
  • Phone numbers for contacts located within the United States do not need to follow the E.164 format. However, you must include the full phone number and the area code. For example, you would format the phone number to be 123 456 7890.
  • Mobile phone numbers must be stored in the default ActiveCampaign phone field. If you store the mobile phone number in a custom field you created, then we cannot deliver that SMS message. Learn tips for ensuring successful SMS delivery.

Create an SMS message

  1. Click Automations on the left menu.
  2. Select the automation you want to add your SMS message to by clicking “Edit.”
  3. Click on the node (+) in your automation to add your “Send SMS” step.
  4. Select “Contact” for your recipient.
  5. Enter the text you want your SMS message to display. Note that you can personalize the SMS message with contact- or deal-specific information by clicking the "Personalize" dropdown and clicking the personalization tag to insert. SMS messages have a 160 character limit. If you are using a personalization tag in your message, it will cut off at 160 characters after personalization.
  6. Select the days you want your SMS message to send. NOTE: If a contact reaches this Send SMS step outside of the days you selected, the SMS message will not send, and they will proceed to the next step in your automation.
  7. Select the time range of when you want your SMS message to send. NOTE: If a contact reaches this SMS step outside of the time range you selected, the SMS message will not send, and they will proceed to the next step in your automation.
  8. Click “Save.”

Learn where to locate replies to your SMS messages.

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