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SMS is a brand new marketing channel for Act-On. Here are our answers to the most common questions about this feature and how it works.


General Questions

Can I integrate SMS with other tools in my tech stack?

Yes. There are many ways you can do this. Here are two examples:

  • Automated Journeys - Act-On has SMS as an available step in Automated Journeys, which could allow additional automations with events such as webinar reminders and transactional events.
  • CRM Integration - You can add SMS Opt-In to any lead capture form that sends new Leads to your CRM. You may need to work with your CRM Administrator to ensure your CRM can accept the correct fields.

Does Act-On have an API for SMS?

Not at this time.


SMS Setup

If we use SMS today and transfer to using Act-On SMS, can we continue to send through our current phone number?

Yes, it is possible to transfer phone numbers from one vendor to another. You should request this when you purchase SMS. The transfer will be done via Act-On Professional Services. This process can take up to 4 weeks, and your existing number may be unusable during some or all of that time.

If you are still interested in this, please contact your Account Manager.

Is there an option to toggle the SMS area on/off for agency customers?

Yes. If you do not want to see SMS in your Act-On menus, please contact support.


Sending SMS

How do SMS Credits Work?

Visit our article here for more information on how SMS Credits work in Act-On.

Is there a limit to how many SMS Messages I can send per day?

You are not limited by the system in sending SMS, but there is a limit due to the rate at which they process and deliver. SMS Messages take time to send based on the carrier's throughput - which is in their control, not Act-On.

Messages may go as slow as 1 message per Recipient per second. In this case, 14,000 messages would up to 4 hours to send. This puts a cap on the number of messages that can be sent in a day.

Can I send SMS internationally?

Yes. Act-On Administrators can determine whether to send SMS outside of US and Canada. Additional credits apply, which will vary by country.

Can I cancel an SMS Message?

You can cancel a message that is scheduled to send in the future. Click here for instructions.

SMS messages that are pending processing cannot be stopped, and Technical Support cannot assist with these requests.

Can I send personalized links to each recipient?

Yes, you can insert a personalization field that includes a URL as part of your SMS. However, this will not use the SMS Link Shortener and Tracker, and therefore cannot be tracked as a clickthrough for your SMS report. (A good example of this use case would be to send a join URL to webinar registrants.)

Can I use SMS as a replacement for transactional emails?

If you use Automated Programs or the Automated Journey Builder to send your transactional emails then yes! SMS is a great alternative to transactional emails in many cases.

If you currently use the API to send transactional emails then no. SMS does not currently have any APIs.

Can I use SMS paired with transactional emails?

By using our Automated Journey Builder, you can transform a Transactional Email program into one that also has SMS.

  1. Segment the list used for the program by SMS > Has SMS Opted-In > Yes
  2. Add a branch before the Transactional Email Send step and make the new branch use the new segment.
  3. Add your Transactional SMS

What happens if a duplicate phone number is uploaded which was already opted out?

Any phone number that is on the Opt-Out list will still be opted out. To opt back in, your contact can reply to you via SMS with the word "START".

For more information about SMS interactions for your contacts, see SMS Interactions.


CRM and Sales Users

Can our Sales Team send SMS from their CRM?

No, this is not an available feature.

Where is SMS communication logged for our Sales users to see?

SMS activities are logged in the Activity History section of the Contact Report. 

At this time, you cannot add a note to your CRM when SMS messages are sent. However, if you use an automated program to send SMS, you can add a step in your program that does this.



What kind of reporting is available for SMS?

Act-On has a detailed SMS report available that includes data on Sent, Clicked, Replied, Failed, and Opted-Out. For more information, see our article: The SMS Report.

If someone responds to an SMS message, can I view the response?

Yes, you can view the responses in the Replied tab of your SMS Report.

Can I see who has read their messages? Does Act-On show read receipts?

No. Read receipts are a feature of MMS services, which is not a feature at this time.

If I include a link in my SMS do I get unique reporting on the clicks?

Yes. As long as you use the SMS Link Shortener and Tracker, your report will include clickthrough data.

How do I know if SMS is successful?

Success will be measured by your own judgment, but standard KPIs for SMS include Click Rate (for links), Reply rate (for messages asking for a response), and action rate (for messages asking for action).

Is SMS Message data available for export in Data Studio?

Yes, you can export SMS Message data through Data Studio. Please click here to read more.


SMS Opt-Ins and Opt-Outs

How do I format phone numbers?

Act-On will accept most phone number formats and then convert the number to the format necessary for SMS. We recommend using a phone number validation on your opt-in form for best results.


  • (123) 456-7890
  • +1 123-456-7890
  • 1 (123) 456-7890
  • 11234567890
  • 00 1 123-456-7890

Can I add SMS Opt-In as a Lead Score behavior?

No, not directly. However, if you have an SMS Opt-In Form, you can use the behavior of submitting the form to contribute to your Lead Score model as shown here:


If someone opts out of SMS are they opted-out of all communications or just SMS?

If a Recipient replies STOP to an SMS message that you sent, they will only be opted out of SMS messaging. This is separate from Email Opt-Outs.

My account does not have SMS right now. Can I still collect Opt-Ins?

Yes. You can start gathering phone numbers and SMS opt-in permission now. The SMS Opt-In section is available to add to your Act-On Forms. (Note that this option may be disabled for your account. Ask your Act-On Administrator.)

For more information on collecting SMS Opt-Ins, see Build Your SMS Opt-In List.



Can I segment my SMS list?

The SMS Opt-In List cannot be segmented or used directly as a source of Recipients to send SMS messages. 

You can use SMS behavior to segment a Marketing List. See this page for more information: How to Create List Segments with SMS criteria


Automated Journeys and Automated Programs

How do I add SMS in the Automated Journey Builder?

Visit this page for instructions: How to Send SMS from Automated Journeys.

Can I include SMS in my Automated Programs?

SMS is not available in the Automated Program editor. You will need to use the Automated Journey Builder to add the step or make any changes. SMS steps are view-only for the Automated Program builder.

Can I add an SMS I already created to an Automated program?

Yes. For more information, see How to Send SMS from Automated Journeys.

Can I set up auto-responses for SMS Replies?

Not based on specific replies, however, you can set up a general reply to all who respond by creating a Marketing List Segment based on SMS reply behavior.

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