Create a default SMS auto-responder

Learn to set up a default, automated text message reply to respond to all incoming messages on your virtual mobile number or shortcode.


Use the default auto-responder to send a generic, instant reply to anyone messaging only your number or shortcode (without using trigger words), or for messages including a misspelt or unknown trigger words.

To learn about dedicated and shared numbers and shortcodes, check out our articles SMS short codes and Virtual mobile numbers

Ways to use the default auto-response

We've provided a couple of use cases below to help inspire you about the use of default auto-responses. But don’t be afraid to let your imagination run wild.

  • To alert that a number is not monitored
    In this use case, we use the default response to let the sender know that we don't respond to messages sent to this number. To help them out, we also include a link to our contact us page.

    How strange. There's nobody here. If you need to speak to our team, visit
  • As a fallback from a trigger word campaign
    In this use case, we use the default response as a fallback to a trigger word campaign. We send this response to any senders with typos or unrecognised trigger words.

    Oops! It looks like you've made an error. Check for typos and try again.
To learn about setting up more customised responses and using trigger words, see Create a trigger word auto-responder.

1. Create a default SMS auto-response

To create a default SMS auto-response message:

  1. Go to SMS > SMS campaigns > All SMS campaigns and select the Automated tab.
  2. Select NEW CAMPAIGN.
  3. Enter a campaign name.
  4. Select Save.
  5. Under Campaign details, select the following options:
    Option Enter
    Type of send: Automated
    Split test: N/A - this option is not available for automated campaigns
    Links: Shorten or Do not shorten
  6. Select Save and continue.
  7. In the SMS editor, enter your default auto-response message.
    Automated SMS campaigns don't support the use of personalisation.
  8. Select Save & close.

2. Assign your default SMS auto-response to a number

To assign your SMS auto-response to a specific number:

  1. Go to SMS > Campaigns > SMS auto-responder. Once there, you see a list of all inbound numbers and shortcodes linked with your account.
  2. Select Default response below the number (or shortcode and keyword) which you want to set up a default response.
  3. Under Response rules, find Respond with and select the message you want to use.
    If you don't have any responses, go back to Create a default SMS auto-response.
  4. Under Actions, choose whether to add people who respond to your message to an address book. If you select Yes, you need to select which address books.
  5. Under Activation, select Active to turn on the auto-response.
  6. Select Save.

Next steps

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