When your business supports hundreds or thousands of clients each day, you can’t always drop what you’re doing to send a text. You might be out of office, in a meeting, taking calls, or busy responding to previous messages. 

But many clients expect text messaging to be a real-time communication channel — even a 20-minute wait for a first response can feel long. If you don’t want clients to feel ghosted, texting auto-reply messages is a simple and quick way to keep your customer relationships alive.

We’ll explain what auto-reply texts are and how to set them up, then provide tips and examples to help you get started.

What is an auto-reply text?

An auto-reply is a type of automated text that’s sent when a trigger, such as a missed call or a newsletter signup, occurs. Once you set up an automatic reply, you no longer need to manually type up a text or tap send. Your autoresponder software will instantly deliver your message to the right people at the right times based on their action or some other automated criteria. 

Texting auto-replies help you stay connected with customers, even in your sleep. 😴🙌

Auto-replies can serve a number of purposes. For example, they can help you:

  • Acknowledge customers, even when you’re not available
  • Set expectations about your response times
  • Send confirmations to reassure clients

Not sure what auto-replies look like in action? We’ve compiled 20 automatic text response examples — each for a different use case — so you can craft some of your own. Feel free to use our examples as templates for your auto-replies.

20 auto-reply text message examples

1. After-hours auto-reply

If customers reach out after your business hours, setting an auto-reply away message reassures them that you’re not ignoring their calls or texts. Inform clients of your business hours, so they don’t expect a response until you’re back in the office.

Example: Thanks for reaching out to XYZ Company! Our business hours are M-F, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. PT. We’ll get back to you within one business day.
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2. Out-of-office auto-reply

GIF with someone saying I'm not available

Heading out for an errand or for lunch? Set an automated out-of-office message to respond to incoming calls or texts, so your customers know you’ll get back to them soon.

Example: Thanks for contacting Jill at XYZ Company. I’m currently out of the office. I’ll be back at 1 p.m. and will respond to your message shortly.
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3. Vacation message

When you’re out for more than a day, customers will appreciate a heads up about the change in your availability. If relevant, let them know how to get quick support for emergencies.

Example: I’m currently camping in a WiFi-free zone! I’ll be back on May 10 to respond to your message. For urgent matters, please reach out to Joe at 555-555-5555.
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4. Holiday closure notification

Celebrating an office-wide holiday? Leave guilt-free with a positive and informative holiday auto-reply. 🏖️

Example: Our team is out spending time with loved ones. We’ll be back on November 29 to respond to your text. Have a great Thanksgiving weekend!
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5. Customer support auto-reply

Clients need your help if they’re reaching out to your customer support team. Texting auto-reply messages to every person that reaches out can give your clients reassurance and ensure they don’t get more frustrated than they already are.

Example: We’ve got your back! A member of our support team will respond to your message within 2-3 hours. Thank you for your patience.
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6. High-volume notification

GIF with a woman saying I have to schedule in my relaxation

If your support team is getting overwhelmed with calls and texts, explaining the situation can help you buy more time (and understanding) from customers with an automated reply explaining the situation.

Example: Hello! We’re currently getting more texts than usual. We’ve received your message and will respond as soon as we can. Thank you for your patience.
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7. Self-service support message

Help customers help themselves to resolve support tickets faster. Set up an auto-reply that links to your help center or FAQ page. Pro-tip: use a link shortener like Bitly to save space in your text auto-reply message.

Example: Thanks for your message! An expert will get back to you very soon. In the meantime, our help center may be able to answer your questions faster: [link to your site’s help page]
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8. Bug report auto-response

When customers report a bug on your site or app, let them know you’re on it or if you already know about a platform-wide issue. 🐞

Example: We’ve received your report. We’ll reach out if we need more information and let you know once the bug is resolved. Thanks for helping our site perform better!
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9. Missed call auto-reply

Missed a call while you’re still at work? Whatever the reason, reassure your clients that you’ll get back to them soon.

Example: Sorry we missed your call! A member of our team will get back to you by the end of the day.
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10. Voicemail auto-reply

If the caller you missed leaves a voicemail, you can create a more personalized response to show your appreciation for their extra effort.

Example: Thanks for leaving a voicemail! We appreciate your patience and will get back to you by the end of the day.
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11. Sales promotion message

GIF with man saying yoo-hoo big summer blowout

When your sales team gets incoming texts, you can add a promotional message to your informational auto-reply to drive more sales.

Example: Thanks for contacting XYZ Company! One of our sales reps will reach out to you shortly. Tap to browse our summer sale while you wait: [link to your website]
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12. Lead generation auto-reply

If capturing sales with your automated text doesn’t sound realistic, consider collecting additional contact information instead.

Example: Thanks for contacting XYZ Company! We’ll reach out within an hour. Have you read our latest eBook? Fill out this form to get your free copy: [link to your lead generation form]
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13. Redirect message

For teams that don’t offer SMS customer support, auto-replies help you give clients a heads up so they’re not shouting into the void.

Example: Thanks for reaching out! This inbox is not monitored. Please call this number or email us at [enter your support email address] so we can support your needs.
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14. Welcome text

When customers subscribe to your SMS marketing messages, texting auto-replies can help you welcome them to a unique customer experience. 📱

Example: Welcome to XYZ Company SMS Rewards! Keep your eyes peeled for your first exclusive discount, coming to you soon.
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15. E-commerce confirmation auto-reply

Texting auto-replies triggered by purchases can make a buyer’s experience feel complete. You can also inform customers when they should expect their order to arrive.

Example: Thanks for opting into text alerts for your recent order. We’ll send you a message once your order has shipped!
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16. Appointment booking auto-reply

GIF with Jeff Goldblum saying I'll see you there

If your clients can book their own service appointments or meetings, send an appointment confirmation text so they know their appointment was booked. If your text marketing service allows, use custom fields for the date and time to make your auto-replies more personalized.

Example: Thanks for your booking! We’re looking forward to seeing you on January 15 at 2 p.m.
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17. Customer onboarding message

When a customer buys from you for the first time, you can give them a warm welcome by helping them navigate your product or service.

Example: Thanks for your first XYZ Company purchase! We’re excited for you to try out our product. Here’s how you can set it up: [link to onboarding instructions]
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18. Purchase reminder

If you want customers to repurchase what you sell, you can nudge them to restock or return. Schedule your automated text when customers might be gearing up to buy again — for example, 20 days after a dog food purchase — to keep your brand top of mind.

Similarly, if you offer an auto-delivery program, you can use auto-replies to remind customers about an upcoming shipment and credit card charge for a better customer experience.

Example: Ready for your next order of [product name]? Order now so you don’t run out! 
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19. Contest entry confirmation

Hosting a contest for your customers? Let them know their entries haven’t been missed.

Example: Thanks for entering the XYZ Company spring sweepstakes! We’ll reach out to the winners on August 31 by noon PST.
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20. Job application auto-reply

Texting auto-reply messages to job applicants is an effective way to use automated texts to reach more than your clients.

Example: Thanks for applying to XYZ Company! We’re processing your application and will reach out within three business days if you might be a good fit.
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How to set up auto-reply text messages

It’s easy to start texting auto-reply messages to your clients, customers, or other business contacts. While the auto-response setup process can vary depending on what text messaging app you’re using, OpenPhone allows you to choose between two simple methods, based on your needs.

You can use our built-in auto-replies feature or use our integration with Zapier.

Basic auto-replies

Auto-reply texting menu settings in OpenPhone

If you want to send automatic texts when you miss phone calls, get voicemails, or receive texts, you can do so in OpenPhone by following these steps from our web app or Mac app:

  1. Tap “Settings” from the left-hand menu.
  2. Under “Workspace,” select “Phone Numbers.” If you have multiple phone numbers, select the number that you want to set up auto-replies for.
  3. Scroll to the “Auto-Replies” section to set them up. You’ll be able to customize your automated messages based on whether they’re sent during or after business hours.

Don’t worry about overwhelming your clients with too many auto-replies. OpenPhone won’t send more than one auto-response within a three-hour time frame. If clients try ringing you five times in a row, they won’t get five of the same texts. 😌

Integrate auto-replies into your tech stack

Adding auto-replies using the OpenPhone Zapier integration

If you want to set up auto-replies for more triggers, you can do so by linking your Zapier account to OpenPhone. This allows you to set up thousands of different texting automations. For example, you can send automatic responses when customers:

  • Complete a Typeform survey on your site
  • Register for your Zoom webinar
  • Schedule calls with you on Calendly

To learn more about setting up Zapier, please check out our help documentation.

3 best practices for texting auto-reply messages

When you start setting up auto-replies for your business, keep these pro tips in mind to impress your clients:

  1. Stick to SMS messages: SMS auto-replies, which are standard 160-character texts, are ideal because it guarantees that clients can receive your message straight away. Multimedia messages (MMS) often require a cellular data connection. And while Androids and iPhones support MMS, not every cell phone or VoIP phone does.
  2. Thank your customers: When you’re texting auto-reply messages, your clients are interacting with you in some way. Thank them for their time, so clients can feel more supported by and connected to your brand.
  3. Set expectations: Let clients know what response times to expect or what will happen next, so they know that you’ll actually follow up with them.

Improve response times with texting auto-replies

Texting auto-reply messages to your clientele can help you improve the customer experience. You’ll reduce response times while easing their worries and frustrations. Auto-responses have endless use cases — from informing customers of business hours to confirming their purchases — so feel free to get creative as you set up your first one. Get started with auto-replies by signing up for a free trial of OpenPhone today.

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Author

Emily is a freelance business and marketing writer based in the desert, though her writing is anything but dry. Her passion is writing compelling, human-friendly content that helps growing businesses perform better.

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