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Texting 101

Your Slack SMS integration guide

Alia Paavola
minute read
Table of contents:

Since business success largely hinges on effective communication, it’s no secret why Slack is one of the most popular business tools on the market. The platform, which reported 42 million daily active users this year, replaces email as a more organized internal communication tool. 

Given Slack’s user-friendly interface, many businesses connect different tools – like SMS – to the platform. While SMS platforms and Slack can function independently, many companies prefer a more centralized approach. 

As a result, SMS integrations have gained momentum among businesses seeking streamlined and efficient communication channels.

This guide will discuss how to set up a Slack SMS integration, the benefits of connecting the two, and explore the diverse functionalities unlocked by this powerful combination.

Jump right to:

<h2 id="Can">Can you send and receive SMS via Slack?</h2>

Yes! You can send and receive text messages in Slack by integrating with an SMS platform. A Slack SMS integration lets you view, reply, and send text messages from a preferred Slack channel. 

Setting up this integration allows you to use Slack to reach contacts on their phone’s native texting app.

<h2 id="Benefits">Benefits of using Slack to send and receive SMS</h2>

Whether you’re using texting to communicate with customers, leads, or employees, a Slack SMS integration can simplify communication for your business. Here are a few of the benefits of doing so:

  • Centralized communication. With an SMS integration, businesses can condense internal and external messaging into one app. This is a significant benefit, as employees can monitor just one communication tool to simplify workflows.
  • Improved collaboration. A Slack SMS integration allows teams and partners to easily work together by adding specific users to an SMS Slack channel. Anyone in that channel can then read and reply to messages, allowing you to manage texts as a team. SMS platforms like Textline allow you to leave private notes (which we call Whispers) on a specific text thread in Slack. Or you can also discuss this in a separate Slack channel for your team.

  • Increased efficiencies. Employees won’t need to switch tabs when replying to texts by managing internal and external messaging in a single platform. A centralized platform lets teams easily view conversations in one place and search to find specific information, reducing wasted time.
  • Better visibility. Improve visibility into workflow and customer communication by setting channel permissions to monitor conversations, KPIs, and productivity. Supervisors can even provide feedback on how a particular interaction was handled.

  • Improved communication. Adding SMS capabilities to Slack can enhance communication with customers, leads, and employees. Customers can message your business via SMS without downloading a separate application, and your business can leverage Slack to reply to those messages.

<h2 id="What">What can you do with a Slack SMS integration?</h2>

Sales, support, operations, and marketing teams can do a lot with a Slack SMS integration. Specifically, Textline’s Slack texting solution allows businesses to:

  • Text from Slack. Textline’s SMS integration allows businesses to view, reply, and send text messages from a designated Slack channel. You can share photos, emojis, GIFs, links, and more.

  • Manage multiple SMS departments. Textline allows businesses to connect and set up multiple Slack SMS channels. For example, you can easily set up a dedicated support and sales SMS channel.

  • Claim conversations. Let teammates in your Slack channel know you’re handling a particular inbound text conversation.

  • Transfer conversations. Easily transfer a text conversation to a different team member without leaving Slack. This is similar to transferring a phone call.

  • Resolve conversations. Once you’ve answered a customer inquiry or finished a text conversation, you can resolve it within Slack.

  • Reopen resolved conversations. If you need to reopen a text conversation at any point, you can do so with Textline’s Slack integration.

  • Reply with Shortcuts. Respond to texts using pre-written, templated text messages to save time. You can create a series of canned responses you can access from Slack to help you cut down response time. This is especially useful for commonly asked questions.

  • Use Whispers. Send private messages to team members within a particular text conversation. This lets you reduce back-and-forth since the private chat is attached to a specific text inquiry.

  • Get notifications. Get notified of inbound text messages directly in Slack, mirroring the notification experience you already enjoy on the platform.

  • Text in a HIPAA-compliant manner. Textline prioritizes HIPAA compliance, ensuring the security of sensitive information. Our integration with Slack can also adhere to HIPAA standards with the appropriate safeguards. To achieve this, it's essential to be on Slack's enterprise plan and collaborate with them to adjust controls and establish a Business Associate Agreement (BAA).

<h2 id="Use">What are some use cases for a Slack SMS integration?</h2>

Here are some ideas for how different teams can utilize the Slack SMS integration.

Customer support and success

  • Answer customer questions
  • Troubleshoot technical errors
  • Handle customer complaints
  • Give proactive updates (i.e., service downtime)
  • Check in with customers
  • Send payment reminders
  • Manage appointment reminders
  • Collect customer feedback
  • Confirm reservations or bookings
Answering a customer support inquiry via Slack SMS.


  • Follow up with leads
  • Send a calendar link to book demos or meetings
  • Share demo or meeting reminders
  • Provide quotes to prospects
  • Nurture leads with helpful content
  • Answer customer inquiries quickly
  • Upsell or cross-sell to existing customers
  • Qualify leads via texting  
A sales Slack SMS example.

Operations and logistics

  • Share time-sensitive updates with field staff
  • Ask field staff to text status updates
  • Provide job details to staff members
  • Confirm job details to customers
  • Fill last-minute shift openings
  • Send staff schedules via SMS
  • Let customers know when your team will arrive
  • Coordinate with contractors
  • Alert partners to stock outs or restocks
An operations Slack SMS example.


  • Promote a seasonal sale
  • Share a product launch
  • Recover abandoned carts with SMS
  • Welcome customers to an SMS subscriber list
  • Nurture with interactive and helpful content
  • Build excitement about an upcoming launch
  • Promote an event
A marketing SMS example.

<h2 id="How">How to set up a Slack SMS integration using Textline</h2>

It’s easy to set up a Slack integration with Textline! Just follow these steps:

1. Create a Textline account. The first step is to create a Textline account. This step includes getting a texting phone number or text-enabling an existing one like a landline or VoIP. Remember that all SMS platforms require you to register a texting phone number. If they don’t, they are not complying with the law.

2. Add Slack integration. Once you have your Textline account, navigate to the Tools and Integrations page. This is found under Settings. From there, you will click Slack.

Adding Slack integration to Textline.

3. Log into Slack. Selecting Slack within Textline will seamlessly redirect you to a dedicated Slack webpage. You can securely log in to your organization's workspace, ensuring a smooth and integrated experience.

4. Grant access to Textline. After logging in, Slack will prompt you to permit Textline to access your Slack workspace. Click “Allow” to continue to the next step.

Granting Textline permission to integrate with Slack.

5. Select the channel you want to text from. The last step is selecting the channel or channels in which your Textline messages appear. Once you choose the proper Slack channel, click save. Your Slack SMS integration is now complete!

Selecting the preferred channel for Slack SMS integration.

Simplify business communication with Textline’s Slack SMS integration

If your business already uses Slack, managing text communication can significantly increase visibility, team productivity, and collaboration. Use an SMS Slack integration to simplify workflows and improve business communication. 

But don’t just take our word for it. You can test out the Textline platform for free or request a demo from our team to see the Slack-Textline integration in action.

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