What IsInbound Message?

An inbound message is an SMS that an end-user sends from their mobile phone to an application or a business.

The user normally initiates the communication via a phrase, keyword, or short code. This enables a two-way SMS interaction between the individual and a business. A common form of inbound messaging is a text-to-win competition, where the end-user joins by texting a code to a specific number.   

How Does an Inbound Message Work?

An inbound SMS is typically prompted through short codes or text keywords. 

Short Codes

Short codes are numbers consisting of 5–6 digits that the end-user sends an inbound text to. Sending a message to 41414, for example, would generate an automatic response that may carry a welcoming message. 

Text Keywords

Another element that can prompt an inbound message is a text keyword. For instance, sending the keyword “DISCOUNT” to a number would trigger a response with a confirmation message. The text keywords are ideally short and relevant to the business. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Inbound Messages

How Does Inbound Messaging Benefit a Business?

  • Helps SMS marketing campaigns in boosting both revenue and productivity

  • Allows multi-response campaigns for complex inbound strategies

  • Enhances business operations by allowing companies to effortlessly incorporate SMS with their existing systems

  • Enables companies to send automated replies from internal systems such as accounting

  • Allows businesses and organizations to control inbound messages from an SMS platform that can be accessible from any location 

What’s the Difference Between an Inbound and an Outbound Message?

The primary difference between an inbound SMS and an outbound SMS is that the former is when an end-user texts in response to an inbound campaign. Outbound messaging is when a business sends SMS messages to a contact list.

Does Inbound Mean Incoming?

Although the two terms can be used interchangeably, they are not exactly the same. An inbound SMS is one that a user sends to a business in response to a campaign, whereas an incoming SMS is simply one that a mobile phone receives. 

What Is an Example of an Inbound Message?

Normally involving inbound messages are text-to-win competitions. A business can send out invitations to a contact list, prompting them to enter a competition by replying to a short code. Once the recipient responds, the system would then send a message confirming their entry to the competition, sometimes along with a link for updates or more information.