Send & Receive SMS

Send and receive text messages in Slack
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.
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

Outbound SMS

Click on 📱Send Text
You will see a modal pop-up. On the "To" field you can enter a contact name or a phone number, and on the Text field type your message. Click Send when you are done typing your message. The message will be sent instantly.
Send at a later time: Schedule the delivery of the message at a later time. Refer to Scheduling Messages section for more information.
You will be able to see the sent message in the #clerk-sms channel.
SMS Notification
Open the thread by clicking 1 reply. You can now start sending and receiving SMS with the contact just by writing in the thread.

Inbound SMS

Whenever a new contact texts your business line for the very first time, the text message will get posted to the main shared channel. You will receive SMS on the same thread as long as you do not create a direct channel for the number.
Slack Threads
New SMS Notifications: Clerk will post a notification at the bottom of your slack channel for an SMS from a new contact. To prevent too many notifications during an ongoing conversation, Clerk will only post a notification after 3 min of inactivity.
Read more
At the top of the thread you will three options:
Conversation Options
If you click on Create Channel a new direct channel or dedicated channel will be created for the number you just sent an SMS to. You will get notified on the same thread about the new channel. You can see the channel on the left navigation bar of slack channels.
Direct Channel
In a direct channel, every message sent to the contact will be sent as an SMS. Inbound SMS will be posted back into the channel. Slack users can invite other Slack users to the channel, use emojis, send images/links, etc. to visitors just like any normal Slack conversation. 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.
While direct channels are for anyone who wants to organize their Slack texts in this way, we see them as a huge benefit for companies that have a lot of repeat customers or ongoing clients. Each client or customer can have their own dedicated Slack channel, making it even easier to send and receive SMS from Slack.
Note: In Direct channels, contact communication lives within Slack channels. Internal team communication lives within the Slack threads.


Clerk has a powerful built-in notification system that allows you tag conversations and assign them to different members of your team.
When you stop messaging with someone the Clerk notification will automatically notify you after 3 minutes of inactivity. Hence, even after a week, you can reopen the thread simply by clicking Reply.
Clerk Notification
Reply: Opens up the threads
Hide: Hides the notification
Refer to our section on Notifications for the full breakdown of the features.


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
Power users can send messages quickly right in the channel by typing send #phone-number message. Sending the messages this way also avoids forcing you to add the contact prior to sending the same.
example: send 4159436084 Hello from Clerk Support!


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