Send & Receive SMS
Send and receive text messages in Slack
To send an SMS in Slack navigate to the clerk dashboard by typing /clerk in your channel and press enter. You will be presented with the Clerk dashboard.
Clerk Dashboard
Clerk supports text messaging in either shared channels via Slack threads or direct channels via Slack channels. Depending on the size of your business, the volume of SMS messages, and how you prefer to use Slack you can choose either of those methods.
Note: Clerk uses emojis as a message status and an easy way to indicate when a message was successfully sent and received. Icons are especially useful when you try to troubleshoot an undelivered message (for example when you try to send an SMS to a landline)
✔️ Message Successfully Sent
📳 Message Successfully Received
❌ Message Failed

Outbound SMS

Click on 📱Send Text
You will see a pop up. On the first field you can enter a contact name or a phone number, and on the next field type your message.
Send SMS​​
Post to the current channel: When this is
checked, the outbound SMS will get posted to the shared channel. Sending and receiving SMS with the contact will default to the Slack thread. (default state is unchecked). Refer to Shared Channels section below for more information.
Send at a later time: Schedule the delivery of the message at a later time. Refer to Scheduling Messages section for more information.
When you are done adding your message click on "Send". You can also schedule it to be sent out at a later time if needed, to enable this option you would need to check off the "Send at a later time" option at the bottom.
On the next screen you will have the option to add the person you are messaging by adding their first and last name, then clicking on the "Save and Send" button.
Add Contact
Your contact will receive your messages as outbound text messages, they will also be able to see the number they're receiving the message from, so they know reply to you.

Direct SMS Channels - Slack Channels

In a direct channel, every message sent to the contact will be sent as an SMS. While it’s for anyone who wants to organize their Slack texts in this way, we see this as a huge benefit for companies who have a lot of repeat customers or ongoing clients. Each client or customer can have its own communication channel, making it even easier to send and receive SMS from Slack and making it easier to keep track of that client internally. Specific SMS can be called out to another team member, bringing clarity and efficiency to problem resolution or questions.
Note: Contact communication lives within Slack channels. Internal team communication lives within the Slack threads.
Direct SMS Channel
Any message sent in the channel will be delivered via an SMS to your contact. Inbound SMS will be posted back into the channel.
Any internal discussions between team members can be done inside of 💬 threads. These messages will not be delivered to the contact and remain internal to the team.

Shared Channels - SMS Threads

This functionality is useful for mid to large clients that have a large inbound of messages. We’ve designed Clerk to persist client conversations in the same thread. You can think about a thread as a direct communication to your contact (similar to an iMessage). Every time you initiate a message from the Slack modal or reply directly in the thread, the message will ALWAYS go back to the original thread. This has been designed purposefully to always maintain the history of the client/phone conversation in the same Slack thread.
Post to the current channel
Note: Contact communication lives within Slack threads. Internal team communication lives within the Slack channels.
This will create a designated channel, with the first and last name of your contact to differentiate it from the rest of your contacts within your channels.
Your newly created channel will look like the image above, with your recently sent message showing last on the thread. This will be your chat history where you can continue with the conversation in one place, also from here you can edit their contact information if you need to, by clicking on the "Edit Contact" button. When they reply to you you will see their message right after yours, as the newest will always be last.
Moving forward the next time you want to message this same contact person all you need to do is type your message on the text box at the bottom, or you can click on "Reply on a thread" to send them a message as a continuating thread.
Note: If you haven't connected your contacts you'll be able to just type in the phone number. Once connected you'll be able to flip between number or contact input by clicking on Use Phone Number or Send to Contact respectively.
Note: Power users can send messages quickly right in the channel by typing send #phone-number message
example: send 4159436084 Hello 😃 Thank you for reaching out to Clerk Support.

Replying to a text message

All clerk SMS conversations are Slack threaded. Threads let you have client conversations without adding clutter to the main slack channel, and help make discussions easier to track.
Note: All communication to the individual phone number live inside of the Slack 💬 thread.
New Inbound Message
To continue the conversation click on 1 reply and you will be taken to the Slack 💬 thread. Simply Reply... back and forth with your contact to continue the conversation.
Slack Thread - Conversation With Your Contact
Clerk has a powerful built in notification system that allows you tag conversations and assign to different members of your team. Refer to our section on Notifications for the full breakdown of the features.


Direct channels are not working, what do I do?
Clerk doesn’t have the necessary permission to create channels in your workspace. Update Slack admin channel permissions by navigating to
and update People who can create public channels: Everyone, except guests.
Channel Settings


Should I use SMS in threads or channels?
We've built Clerk to support a variety of Slack workflows. Enterprises that have a large volume of text messages might prefer to use the thread SMS functionality where all inbound SMS go into a single "triage" channel. Internal support team can then triage the conversations and move them to individual channels should they choose to.
Small businesses or organizations that have a pre-defined set of contacts or vendors might want to use the direct channel functionality and separate SMS conversations into their own individual Slack channels.
What happens if I delete or archive a direct channel?
If a direct channel with a contact has been deleted or archived a new inbound message would get posted to your shared channel. You can choose to keep the conversation there or re-create the direct channel. On a new outbound message you can choose to send the message to the shared channel or create a brand new direct channel.
Last modified 6d ago