Getting started with SMS

Step 1: Before you get started

The SMS industry has several rules and regulations in place which SMS traffic should adhere to. We highly recommend familiarising yourself with some of the best practices before you start sending out your messages. This will help avoid any issues with delivery.

In the following article, you can find some best practices to read up on: Best Practices for SMS

Step 2: Familiarising yourself with our features

When sending your SMS, we offer several features that can make the process easier or more personal. Below we'll discuss some features to familiarise yourself with, so you can set up your SMS the way you want.


You can save templates of SMS in your MessageBird Dashboard. This can be useful if you are sending out the same or similar messages often. Read here how you can manage your templates: Using templates & personalisation


You can personalise your SMS messages by providing custom information for each contact when entering their details. By using personalisation you can send out SMS to each of your recipients with specific information such as their name, their order number, appointment date, etc. Read more about personalisation here: Using templates & personalisation


We offer the option to schedule your SMS to send at a later date and time, rather than send them out immediately. In this article you can read instructions on how to schedule your SMS, depending on how you send your SMS out: Scheduling a Campaign

Step 3: Choosing an originator

The originator is the name or number from which the message is sent. Choosing an originator can be an important step when you get started with your SMS to make sure your account is set up correctly for your use case. For instance, when sending with a name as the originator, your recipients will not be able to reply to your messages. Read more here about the originator: Choosing an originator

Step 4: Sending an SMS

MessageBird offers a range of ways to send your SMS. SMS can be sent from within your Dashboard, or on your side via email or through an API connection. Below you can see the different ways to send an SMS and how you can use these:

  • Campaign Builder: Send personalised messages, use templates and schedule campaigns to one or more recipients at the same time. Read more about using our Campaign Builder here: Sending SMS

  • Quick Send: Send a quick SMS from your Dashboard to one recipient at the same time. Read more about using Quick Send here: Sending SMS

  • Bulk Messaging: Send SMS to one or more recipients using different content, by uploading an Excel or CSV file in your Dashboard without storing any contact data. Read more here about Bulk Messaging: Sending SMS in bulk

  • Email to SMS: Allows you to send SMS directly from your email client. Read more here about setting up Email to SMS: Sending Email to SMS

  • Inbox: Send SMS via Inbox using your SMS channel. Read more on this page about setting up your SMS channel for Inbox use: Install SMS as an Inbox channel

  • API: Send SMS straight from your API integration. To use SMS via our API, please check our Developers Documentation.

Step 5: Receiving SMS

There are a few different ways to receive SMS from your customers. We differentiate between receiving SMS initiated by your customer, or receiving SMS as a reply. Read more here on how to set your account up to receive SMS successfully: Setting your account up to receive inbound SMS

Once you have set up your account, you can view your received SMS in your SMS Overview in your Dashboard. Instructions for this page can be found here: Viewing your inbound SMS

Step 6: Using automations

If you are receiving SMS from your customers, you can set up a number of automations using our Flow Builder to help you manage the inbound traffic. For example, you can forward your SMS to an email address, URL or phone number. You can also set up automated opt-in and opt-out flows on your account. Find a few handy guides below:

Having issues?

If you are having issues with our SMS product or its setup, we recommend checking our Troubleshooting guides on this page: SMS Troubleshooting

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